Practising what we preach – Gamification six months in - Sunrise Software

Here at Sunrise we like to practice what we preach! We’ve been using gamification on our Service Desk for six months now and can report that overall we are very pleased with the results, however, there are potential pitfalls.

At its core, gamification is another reward and recognition tool, designed to motivate staff. It needs some thinking about and you need to know the staff you have well so that you can pitch it just right. To motivate staff you have to know what interests them. Gamification needs to be fun. So for example with levelling up, you could have levels 1 to 5, but that’s a bit boring. Better to use words and analogies that will pique their interest. You could use terms taken from the gaming world, popular culture/fiction/music, or even sports. Also, it isn’t something that you just set up and leave, you need to keep working on it. Having said all this the results are well worth it.

In the six months that we have been using gamification we have definitely improved response times, and incidents are now logged much more quickly. We’ve seen a positive impact on camaraderie on the desk with some friendly competition. Resolution times are now more consistent, which is good for customers.

Having the virtual awards is all well and good, but only the Analysts see them when they log into the system, the rest of the business is blissfully unaware. So we get around this by also awarding physical ‘trophies’, that sit on the proud winner’s desk, until someone else wins and they get passed on. The ‘trophy’ could be an actual small trophy or it could be a little cuddly toy, a dummy’s badge (awarded for making a daft mistake) or anything in between. The point is that everyone else can see them as well, and this sparks interest and conversation, resulting in recognition.

Gamification can help to encourage certain behaviours and activities, however, beware the unintended consequences. For instance if you award points for the number of incidents closed, you have to be careful that this does not encourage cherry picking of the easiest incidents. You don’t want to drive analysts to pick up every possible incident because it can lead to over work, and foster resentment. Also, you don’t want people to rush work, perhaps only doing a mediocre job, all because they are keen to get onto the next thing, to gain the points. Ideally, to get around this, there should be a link back to customer satisfaction wherever possible. Gamification can also be used to monitor workloads, ensuring that it is shared equally across the team.

So, six months in and we’ve already seen some great results, better resolution times, improved camaraderie, and in general, the Service Desk is just more fun than it used to be. That’s got to be worth celebrating.

Watch this space for more tales from the Service Desk……….

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