November 13, 2013

How to Take Social Up a Notch with Deeper Profile Data and Gamification

Author: Ramin Vosough

It’s been said time and again – employees can make or break your business. One of the best things an employer can do for its bottom line is to know, really know, its employees.  Think about the potential that knowledge has – by being familiar with an individual’s skillset, area of expertise, overall history and reputation within the workplace, an employer holds some valuable information that can be used for the greater good.

LinkedIn has paved the way for aggregating and housing this kind of data, and HR recruiters and hiring managers are eating it up. Now extend that knowledge to the enterprise where, as an employer, you have the means to match the right employee to the right business opportunity through your social collaboration platform. For example, if you’re pitching a product or service to a new vertical like healthcare or banking, wouldn’tit be ideal to tap the skills and experience of those on your staff who already have the relevant knowledge to win that business? And to also know those people have been endorsed as performers and real team players by their co-workers

On the flipside, this level of ‘exposure’ can provide employees with opportunities they may not have had before. By becoming a true resource, they’re building their own professional brand outside their own little department, and getting to know others throughout the organization regardless of position, location, tenure, etc. This insight into the individual now becomes a tool for employee engagement, job satisfaction and career advancement as well. And engaged employees can significantly impact the bottom line. A recent Gallup survey found that engaged organizations have 3.9 times the earnings per share growth rate of organizations with lower engagement in their same industry.

An extension to the engagement effort is badging, or gamification, in which an employer or its employees can ‘reward’ an individual for things like a job well done, a can-do attitude or consistent performance. This application of game-like scenarios is meant to trigger users to take action through fun and challenging methods. It is often used to change behavior, develop skills or drive innovation. According to Gartner, “The fastest-growing segment of gamification is internal-facing enterprise uses, in which it is deployed to increase employee engagement in areas like training, innovation management, collaboration and employee performance.” (Hype Cycle for Social Software, 2013, July 2013, Jeffrey Mann)

With today’s diverse and dispersed workforce, it’s become more important than ever to create an interactive team environment – one that not only gets the job done, but recognizes talent and rewards the performance of each individual team member. With the right social collaboration software in place, the enterprise is primed to take advantage of deep profile information and gamification for greater insight into its employees, what motivates them, and how to tap into the broad expertise of individuals within the organization.