One global consultancy learns that games are not just for kids.
The following story was shared by Frank Farrall, lead partner of Deloitte Digital in Australia.
Deloitte Digital offers traditional digital consulting services and an on-demand suite of customized digital solutions, the most successful to date being the Deloitte Leadership Academy (DLA) app for executive learning.
Beginning in late 2008, Deloitte worked with an Australian airline client to develop DLA so that frequently flying executives could use air time for learning and development. DLA includes short bits of lecture content from educational institutions such as Harvard and Melbourne business schools, and case studies of CEOs from prominent global corporations.
For example, the app may contain a three- to five-minute video with a segment of a Harvard lecture on managing change, followed by an interview with a well-recognized CEO sharing how he drove change in his organization. Although new users initially accessed the platform intensively, Deloitte found that individual use declined over time.
Knowing that people easily become addicted to games and that humans are motivated by personal and group competition, Deloitte decided to integrate gamification as a way to increase executives' use of DLA.
In late 2011, Deloitte incorporated gamification functionality within a pilot release of an updated DLA platform. The company worked with gamification provider Badgeville to customize and integrate the Badgeville for Yammer social gaming platform. The platform is designed to drive knowledge sharing and build an employee rank and reputation system around DLA content and course completion.
Users can earn a series of badges as they complete pieces of content, so if an executive completes the DLA Change Module, he receives a "change badge." Users have access to a leaderboard, which tallies each one's badge earnings and rank when compared with others.
In addition to the gamification piece, the platform is integrated with social networking sites such as Yammer, LinkedIn, and Twitter. A user can earn badges by posting a status about which module she recently completed or by commenting on other users' posts. The social functionality helps to increase friendly competition and, in turn, use because executives become competitive about their positions on the leaderboard in comparison with their colleagues.
Deloitte launched the pilot in November 2011 and received a positive response from executive users. The company incorporated user feedback for the official platform launch in May 2012.
After only one month post-launch, DLA showed a 47 percent increase in the number of users who return to the site daily, a 36 percent increase in the number of users who return to the site weekly, and an average of three badges earned per active user. The platform also has helped to build eminence and recognition by raising users' profiles around a specific topic. For example, if someone sees that her colleague earned his change badge, she may seek his expertise for her new program that involves significant change.