Learning About Gamification to Improve our Lone Worker App Engagement

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It is not always easy to have workers motivated or on-board for new initiatives in the workplace. Our Ok Alone app is introduced to lone workers as a way to help keep them safe. We wanted to engage our users by introducing an aspect of gamification into the lone worker system.

Research into Gamification

Some of their findings, shown below, found that presenting challenges in different formats would motivate certain personality types.

Different Formats

Badges are visual representations of achievements. Such badges systems can take different levels of complexity. Main motivational mechanisms addressed by badges are the following:
* Badges fulfil the players’ need for success and thereby address people with a
strong power motive
* Badges work as virtual status symbols and thereby address people with a
strong power motive
* Badges function as a form of group identification by communicating shared
experiences and activities and thereby address people with a strong
affiliation motive
* Badges also have a goal setting function
* Badges can foster the players’ feeling of competence

Leader boards provide information about a players’ success. Regarding motivation, this element can be seen critical, as only some people will stand on top of such leader boards, while most of the other players will end up — presumably demotivated — at the bottom. Nevertheless, leader boards can also address certain mechanisms and if designed as team-score displays, they could show some additional motivational effects.
* Individual leader boards foster competition and address achievement and
power motives
* For players at the top of leader boards, feelings of competence can arise
* Leader boards, which provide a team-score, can foster the team members
feelings of social relatedness, as they emphasise collaboration and community
activities provided by shared goals and opportunities for shared experiences

Progress bars and performance graphs each focus on individual players and their progress. While progress bars symbolize progression towards a goal, performance graphs furthermore compare the individual scores to previously achieved scores. The following mechanisms are activated:
* Both progress bars and performance graphs provide feedback
* Progress bars provide clear goals
* Performance graphs compare players’ performance to previous performances and thereby focus on improvement and foster a mastery orientation regarding goals are little tasks, which usually show a person the directly linked rewards.
This fosters the transparency of a possible success of the action. Thus following motivational mechanisms are primarily addressed:
* Quests provide clear goals
* Quests highlight resulting consequences of a goal
* Quests emphasize the importance of a players’ action within a giver situation ²

For a new initiative to engage as much of the workplace as possible, it would be best to have a system that offered many of the different types of motivation. Using a combination of these formats is more likely to appeal to the wider community of staff.

Safety Awards

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1 & 2 -https://www.researchgate.net/publication/278672057_Psychological_Perspectives_on_Motivation_through_Gamification

Some extracts are taken from an article originally published at https://www.okaloneworker.com on June 12, 2020.

I blog and create content for Ok Alone to help people understand more about lone working and work alone related issues. Learn more at okaloneworker.com

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