Building trust in your team (Gamification of work)

At your service poll result (July 13, 2013)

At your service poll result (July 13, 2013)

Howdy Folks!

How are you? Has been a long and exciting week for me, especially because an article about me winning the trip to the IGIP conference in Russia has been published this week in the local news. I described how I came to wining the trip in my last post.

Today, I want to tell you something about “Building trust in your team (gamification of work)” as you voted in my customer service poll (see image at the right).

One important thought first: Avoid blaming the others, especially blaming a whole department for delaying your work. Blaming the others (and especially blaming a “anonymous” group of persons, e.g. a department) bins the fault in a problem stack that is never solved or even recognized to exist. If you catch yourself blaming someone, think about why you blame the person(s) and how to change yourself and to communicate with the person(s) to solve the problem. This way, work will be much more fun because you will realize how things can be done much more faster if you work as a real team in a real enterprise (instead of fighting each against others).

But how to gamify your work?

In my opinion, many issue tracker (e.g. JIRA) and ticket systems (e.g. iET) are already like role playing games. You get tasks (“quests”) to complete and you have a role (e.g. “1st Level Support Employee” or “Java Application Developer”). But why do these tools annoy us so often?

Adult Ralph in Bart to the Future, annoyed at ...

Annoyed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First of all, they lead us to simply completing the tasks without listening to our inner goals and motivation. Changing this is simply a question of personal philosophy but can be supported by gamification (see “Working on your personal goals” below). Secondly, these tools are often full of features and have a rather poor design which results in a bad user experience, so it is already feeling like work to use the tools (see “Some thoughts about user experience” below). Finally, these tools tend to isolate us in our workplace which is a bit related to “Working on you personal goals” but can additionally changed by gamification (see “How to make your workplace become more social” below).

Working on your personal goals

A simplified example of a skill tree, a common element of role-playing games. (credit:

A simplified example of a skill tree, a common element of role-playing games. (credit:

Think of a skill tree in role playing games (see image at the right). What if you had this skill tree in your daily work and could level up by completing tasks to get skill points? With this skill points, you could go to workshops and coaching to improve a special skill you find important to improve. Additionally, you can create tasks and watch them get completed and give the person who completed your task particularly well an additional experience points bonus.  What do you think about it? I think we don’t need to talk about the fact that simply giving points for something with no related meaning is never leading to anything…

Some thoughts about user experience

Good games are very easy to play and get more and more complicated with you getting better so they always are neither boring nor annoyingly complex to play. If you think of user interfaces of business tools, you wish sometimes it would be similar. As a beginner, you need more help (guidance and feedback) and less possibilities. As an expert, you need more possibilities and less help. So a good user interface adapts to the skill level of its user. This can be done by an intelligent enterprise role management giving beginners less roles (and therefore less complexity in the user interface). The tool needs a good tooltip and on-demand (shortcut) context help function. Help and tips can appear automatically based on your skill level, so a beginner gets more help and tips than an expert.

How to make your workplace become more social

Bazar Bizar 2010 @Rotterdam

Bazar Bizar 2010 @Rotterdam (Photo credit: wot nxt)

In times of tools and computers, it is important to create space to meet up with other people. This can happen both in real life and in virtual life. I think of “Marketplaces” for working together and sharing or trading your tasks and of “Lounges” to communicate with people who do the same work or have the same interests.

English: Jack Daniels Lounge

Lounge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Therefore, augmented reality could be really helpful to navigate you inhouse (e.g. for meeting a working mate in another office), showing the status of your working mates (e.g. “Struggling hard with that damn satisfaction calculation method” -> you decide to help your working mate) and to synchronise the communication and actions between reality and virtual reality. Therefore, a tool like a “DocuBuddy” could be quite helpful. I imagine that I’m talking with a working mate about how we’re gonna implement a particular function and we have a great idea. I say “DocuBuddy, please note” and then “DocuBuddy” writes down what I say and adds it to the corresponding task.

Building trust in your team

Finally, the trust in your team will result from a skillfull, improving team that helps each other, shares work and ideas with each other and consists of self-concident and rather happy (inner motivated) people. Getting both recognition for working and a feeling for personal progress will shorten the (felt) time to retirement very much…

So what do you think? What are your ideas how one could change your work to become a better activity you’d love to do?

May the force be with you,




3 thoughts on “Building trust in your team (Gamification of work)

  1. Pingback: Lessons learned from reading “Loyalty 3.0″ by Rajat Paharia | On the light side of gamification

  2. YES, Gamification is aligned to the emerging global phenomena and paradigm shift!
    The skill tree in role playing games is an excellent tool to both track and motivate progress.
    The act of (TRUE) learning is FUN and the gaming concept embodies this.
    Self-educate, self teach, self govern, and abundant energy because everything is energy.

    “Ere many generations pass, our machinery will be driven by a power obtainable at any point of the universe. This idea is not novel. Men have been led to it long ago by instinct or reason; it has been expressed in many ways, and in many places, in the history of old and new. We find it in the delightful myth of Antheus, who derives power from the earth; we find it among the subtle speculations of one of your splendid mathematicians and in many hints and statements of thinkers of the present time. Throughout space there is energy. Is this energy static or kinetic! If static our hopes are in vain; if kinetic — and this we know it is, for certain — then it is a mere question of time when men will succeed in attaching their machinery to the very wheelwork of nature. ~ Nikola Tesla”

    Thank you for sharing this Chris.

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