30 september 2014. We all know how an open and fun work environment can encourage creativity and generate disruptive thinking in a corporation. Both are essential factors in any innovation process and can be stimulated in any work environment through the use of extremely entertaining tools such as ideas social networks.
Picture: Juhan Sonin, under CC license.
Being a social community, innovation agora encourages users to share ideas and build on them. To do this, it uses motivational dynamics that are characteristic of gamification. The application of game mechanics, among which is a points system and several prestige levels, in a non-entertainment environment such as a company, increases engagement and strengthens the following employee skills:
Employees have a tool that establishes a bidirectional and friendly communication channel with the rest of the team. As we have mentioned in other posts, innovation agora increases participation coefficients of the so-called 1% rule in the Internet.
Employees have a great ‘empty slate’ where they can share ideas, complement them with multimedia resources, and develop projects with absolute freedom.
Any employee knows that his or her ideas will, except where their tone is inappropriate, be well received and listened to. Everyone can read them, from an executive to a desk colleague or an intern.
Participating in the community increases the sense of cohesion among employees, and makes them feel like they belong to the same team.
Gamification mechanisms reduce pressure on employees and help to develop their capabilities, as they work immersed in a fun and creative work environment.
Employees put forward and accept challenges in a fun environment, enabling them to apply all of their potential to their solutions.
Users may experience a sense of triumph after finding a solution to a problem shared in the ideas platform. Their knowledge is useful, and is being valued.
Employees are rewarded for their participation in the platform via innovation agora´s internal processes, which include a votes and points system for ideas and ideator rankings, as well as through the possible organization of competitions with material prizes.
By expressing their ideas, employees position themselves in the platform (more participation, more points). Also, their proposals are voted for and commented on by other users.
The community gives employees the chance to build an online reputation, and create their own identity, opening the door to specialization in ideas by categories.
Other internal mechanisms in innovation agora, such as the selection of outstanding ideas and ideators to be privileged within the platform, are also ways of rewarding participants.
Resources such as competitions and challenges, as well as eventual rewards, create healthy rivalry that stimulates employees to make their ideas known and to highlight some of their colleagues.
Behind its recreational nature, the challenges system brings employees a clear definition of the company’s objectives, giving them first-hand knowledge of all information regarding a project whose guidelines are otherwise not always communicated correctly, due to human error.
Users of an ideas social network may express their points of view at any time of the day, free from any restraints and without having to always be concerned with a calendar of deadlines.
Platforms may include projects with a charitable or social purpose, strengthening the employee’s sense of fulfillment.
A report by Gartner Research shows that companies who include innovation in their processes are increasingly using gamification to take better advantage of their own resources in this field. In fact, this technology consultancy firm expects that, by 2020, the use of this motivational technique will have become common practice in corporate culture.