Level Up Employee Engagement
In gaming terms, “level-up means to progress to the next level of player stats and abilities…” Today, business leaders and their organizations are accelerating the broad adoption of digital technologies to transform their business processes at a scale hardly imagined just a few short years ago. The efficiencies, competitive pressures, and benefits to the bottom line are just too compelling to ignore. This digital transformation is having profound effects on organizational culture. Technology innovation is speeding up and employees need to transform their mindsets and behaviors to take advantage of these amazing digital capabilities.
Now is the time for CEOs to invest their resources in order to enable their teams to catch-up to this fast-moving innovation. Beyond investing in training employees for greater tech skills, there is a compelling requirement for leadership to communicate the purpose and mission of the business. Motivating and influencing your employees by communicating the “Why” of the business and “Why” they should engage and commit to the journey ahead. Gamification of feedback, recognition, and appreciation can help.
Motivating Employees with Gamification and Epic Meaning
Epic Meaning & Calling is the First Core Drive of You-Kain Chou’s OctalysisGamification Framework. This is the drive in which people are motivated because of their belief they are engaged in something greater than themselves. Games usually prompt the Epic Meaning & Calling Core Drive. In many games, an introductory story broadcasts that the world is close to being destroyed, and you as the participant are the only one skilled to save it. This narrative storyline directly generates enthusiasm and motivation around this perilous adventure.
Standard of Trust PE-ER SaaS — 8 Core Drives (Octalysis Framework)
What about the real world? Do we ever experience events where we are motivated by Epic Meaning?
Why some people on social media (Linkedin, Twitter, and/or Facebook) have been able to build large communities of followers who are influenced by their advice, attend their premium events, and faithfully buy their books?
Why the rivalry between schools like Ohio State and the University of Michigan, for example, are so captivating, motivating extreme behaviors such as practical jokes, pranks, and violence; while also resulting in profit for the schools?
Can higher purpose also be developed in parenting techniques greater than the traditional reward and punishment practice?
Why are people so trusting of Apple products, to the point that they recognize that they want to purchase the next product, even before they understand what it is?
Have you ever wondered why people voluntarily contribute to the non-profit website Wikipedia? What drives an individual to exhaust hours of their time maintaining a site that does not reimburse them or build their credentials.
The incredible aspect about Epic Meaning is that it transforms otherwise passive users into powerful trust ambassadors for your company’s purpose and mission. Leveraging Epic Meaning motivation by using human-focused design or gamification with digital technology is a game changer for elevating employee engagement and shaping a 21st-century organizational culture of purpose, performance, and relationship capital trust. This is the future.
Building An Epic Meaning Culture of Community — Open Source Software (OSS) or Software as a Service (SaaS)
Once you are committed to leveraging Epic Meaning motivation in your culture and to applying human-focused design or gamification techniques into you business processes, Open Source Software (OSS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) come into the picture. Open source has the tendency to build passionate users that believe themselves, to a great level “owners” and “developers” of the product in question. These communities are predisposed to be highly loyal and have inclinations towards evangelization. Without a doubt, this a powerful aspect of OSS and should be leveraged.
SaaS, on the other hand, is inclined to build communities or networks of individuals that share a commonality — such as interest, use or some other aspect. SaaS users are apt to be loyal to a certain extent, but not nearly as loyal as opensource-ers.
Many SaaS enterprises have tried to build an open source community by adopting the ideas of beta-testing, development, and user feedback. This approach, however, has it limits. Primarily due to the fact that opensource is free. A SaaS product at a certain point in time will usually move from a free beta-test to a subscription based service.
Elevating Your Culture and Community with SaaS
Visualize if you will a context by which a revenue generating SaaS product creates a community of such committed users that they become the sales team, a core part of the development staff and the Public Relations staff. In reply to a question, here are a few points on creating this type of relationship capital community:
- There is no objective reason that SaaS users cannot perceive the same feeling of ownership as open sourcies. Many open source organizations are viable business entities, there is no reason why a Linux business operation could not be applied to a SaaS product.
- Enable your users to feel distinctive. If I subscribe to a SaaS CRM or to the PE-ER platform, and receive some extra service that corresponds to the primary offering but is distinct, I will feel inclined to credit it with relationship capital and publicly advocate for that product with my social network.
- Enable the users to mold the product. Go beyond just beta testing and foster a relationship capital culture of collaborative development
- Share on social media your intent to create a free SaaS product with community-led development and grow a different stream other than subscriptions.
- Find a niche market that is not being served or is so underserved by current offerings that merely by building a product (free or subscription) you attract and engage passionate ambassadors.
- Embrace the mission of an underdog, become visible as a fighter battling the incumbents or current occupants.
- Find an industry vertical that is unserved by traditional software products. For example, Facebook delivered social networking to a group of non-social networkers. JustUnfollow Me introduced Twitter Follower Management to community leaders.
When it comes to Epic Meaning & Calling, what makes you delighted is beside the point. It is all about the large meaning and higher purpose. And when you see a fissure in that higher purpose that you believe in, you become fearful that others including your employees will see that fissure and lose faith in the organization’s purpose. As a result, you take it upon yourself to correct it. As a leader, you can positively shape and elevate your organization’s culture at the intersection of purpose, mission, and technology. Isn’t time to level up employee engagement at your company?
- Chou, Yu-kai (2015–04–16). Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards (p. 66). Octalysis Media. Kindle Edition.
- Originally Published on September 20th, 2016 on Linkedin Pulse