Gamification of a Career - Andrzej Marczewski


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A look at some of the things that we can learn from games and use to enhance the experience people have in their career. From Induction, to promotions, to continued learning, games can teach us a lot. Not strictly gamification, but game thinking. Recently presented at Gamification World Congress 2013

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  • We will start by looking at Career 1.0
  • Day one generally starts with 1 or 2 days (or more) induction consisting of PowerPoint presentations and talks from people in the company. If you are really unlucky they may even throw in a few “ice breakers” as well.
  • Then you are into the general cycle of work. You work hard, you gather a little feedback along the way and then at the end of the year you run around trying to get feedback for your end of year review.
  • At the end of the year, you roll the dice to see if you will get credit, or promotion or a pay rise. Then, start again.
  • This feedback loop can be soul destroying, especially if you don’t have small achievable goals set that give you a way of really charting your progress. The more times you roll the dice and get nothing from it, the more chance there is that you will just leave.
  • Once you start working, there is often the opportunity to develop. These days, many large companies want to save costs, so have E-Learning courses made for you to do. These tend to come in one of three flavours. Mandatory, Useful and Patronising. You sit through a narrated slide show, populated by perfect looking stock art office workers and then answer some quiz questions at the end.
  • Enter Career 2.0.First, let’s clear our minds of thoughts of Gamification, Serious Games, Game Mechanics and Gameful Design.
  • Instead let’s concentrate on Game Thinking. What can we learn from games about engagement, motivation, feedback, learning etc.
  • Start with a half day, interactive induction. Meet the people you will be working for and with and get some of the more critical information.
  • Next, start the continuous development straight away. Everything that the new employee needs to get going should be available in a Khan Academy style learning system. Social, gamified and interactive. If you want people to learn something, make it engaging! Games don’t have big thick manuals these days (not very often). Instead they have interactive tutorial levels that teach you how to play, by getting you to play!Also, consider using staggered learning. Set it up so that they have to have done certain things to get their company phone (if it is not business critical they have it that day). Give defined goals and reasons for doing the courses throughout their career. Remember it is a fine line between fun and engaging and patronising and time wasting. If you are not a game designer – don’t design a game, employ someone who can!
  • After Induction and after they have completed the mandatory induction learning modules, they are given their first career game board. Rather than breaking he career up into a few widely spaced grades (F E D C B A), set it up as shorter, more attainable sub grades. F1, F2, F3 – think of them as levels and mini games in a game. All the key goals should be mapped, the end of probation, certificates the employee wants to get, degrees etc. We are much better at managing short goals than long goals. These game boards should cover no more than a year or two – things change! It should be possible for an employee to see where they are on the board at any time in their career.Think about a game like Super Mario. It is broken down into levels. Each level is manageable with some work. You can always go back to the map to see where you are going next and where you have been.
  • As the employee continues their journey in the company, consider the flow of their career. MihalyCsikszentmihalyi gives us this great concept of FLOW, the optimal point between frustration and boredom. If the challenge of a role doesn’t increase with the skill level of the employee, it becomes boring. If it rises faster than the skill level of the employee, they get frustrated. Either way, being bored or frustrated for any length of time is a sure way to lose an employee!
  • The employee still needs to work hard, but with regular feedback. People these days are used to feedback everywhere. It is not them looking for constant validation, it is just how they are. Games give constant feedback, phones buzz all the time, emails pop in instantly. Everything happens straight away, Consider a video game where you only find out how you did, a year after you complete it?
  • With the feedback, you need to be providing training, development and challenge. Balance all of this they should sit in the flow channel for much longer than in career 1.0.
  • This final slide attempts to outline a manifesto that you should be willing to abide by. It follows my RAMP framework, Relatedness, Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose as intrinsic motivators – but really it is just good business sense in employment 2.0The last two are interesting. Point 4 is really what Dan Pink often speaks about. A lot of gamification and motivation tools can’t work if the main concern of an employee is that of money, of survival. If you pay them well enough to not be worrying about survival – then you will get much more productive and much more loyal employees. You don’t need bonuses, just fair pay for their skills, pay more than the market base line and make them feel that the company is investing in them.Point three is a hard one to promise. When you consider the path to mastery is considered to take around 10,000 hours, thanks to MalcomGladwell. So a new employee should be able to master their role within about 4 years – if not sooner. You have to accept that they are going to want to do more as they develop – and that may include changing their role. Accept this and help them move and evolve within the company, you stand a better chance of retaining them – you don’t want you masters of enterprise to move on to a company that will embrace this.
  • Gamification of a Career - Andrzej Marczewski

    1. 1. Andrzej Gamification of a Career
    2. 2. Induction 1.0
    3. 3. Career Feedback Loops 1.0Promotion ChanceIncreasesYearlyFeedbackWorkHard
    4. 4. Career Feedback Loops 1.0Promotion ChanceIncreasesYearlyFeedbackWorkHardEmployee Promoted
    5. 5. Career Feedback Loops 1.0Promotion ChanceIncreasesYearlyFeedbackWorkHardEmployee LeavesEmployee Promoted
    6. 6. Continued Learning 1.0During meetings, you should always remember that the people around you aremuch more important than you. If you keep this in mind, you can’t go far wrong.Read the statementbelow.Do you think that it isA. CorrectB. Not CorrectC. NeitherContinue
    7. 7. Gamification(Serious)GamesGamefulDesignStop Talking about Game Mechanics
    8. 8. GameThinkingTalk About Game Thinking
    9. 9. Induction 2.0
    10. 10. Continued Learning 2.0CornakKhan Academy Coursera
    11. 11. Play the Career GameF.1 F.1 F.1ProbationEndsF.2E.1 Year 2 F.3E.2 E.3 E.3 E.3StartDegreeE.2E.1F.2F.3CertF.2E.1 F.3E.2On boarding Checkpoint Promotion
    12. 12. The Employee Journey and FlowHighSkill Level / TimeChallengeLevelHighBoredomFrustration(Anxiety) Key EventProgress
    13. 13. Career Feedback Loops 2.0Promotion ChanceIncreasesRegularFeedbackWorkHard
    14. 14. Career Feedback Loops 2.0HighSkill Level / TimeChallengeLevelHighBoredomFrustration(Anxiety) Key EventProgress
    15. 15. The Employer Promise1. We will provide an environment that builds a sense ofcommunity, support and value in which you can thrive.2. We will trust you and provide the tools you need to doyour job, in the best way possible.3. We will provide the means for you to expand your skillsand increase the challenge of your role whilst not beingafraid to let you evolve beyond it.4. We will pay you fairly and endeavour to make sure thatyou feel there are reasons to work here beyond purefinancial reward.Relatedness Autonomy Mastery Purpose
    16. 16. Andrzej You!