Next up is Siddesh Bhobe. None other than John Sumser describes eMee as the most brilliant HR technology he has seen. Siddesh is broacasting in from India. The product is built on gamification. he started with the question for his own team “Are we really enjoying what we do?”. the answer was that they were taking it too seriously. there is nothing wrong with productive play at work.

the social web is a fundamental shift in how humans communicate, live and work. Social gamification with valued rewards makes work a challenge and exciting. his product is built on the Farmville, the massively popular Facebook game. each employee has an avatar, and anyone can pass on awards and recognition. points are awarded for tasks, and each task has a score, with extra rewards. Performing tasks and projects builds a personal “Eden”. part of the “game” is the school, where employees can go and learn to earn new points. Feedback on performance is via the game interface, and the competitive nature of many employees means they want the best “eden”, and that means completing new tasks.

Siddesh makes the point that badges aren’t just for kids. Think medals for soldiers. when a badge has a real recognition value in the organisation, people want to earn them. experts who have proven a level of expertise become on-line mentors, and anyone can connect through the platform. He gave the example of running on-boarding as “who wants to be a millionaire” where new employees compete to answer questions on areas like health and safety. The game drives data and assesment, and the platform makes sense of the link between what is happening in the game, and what this really means for the company. The challenge is that you need to implement this quickly (4 – 6 weeks), and be agile enough to change the interface and the game regularly as the “players”, your employees, change their behaviors.

The key here is applying analytic s to what is happening in the game. the example given is that an engineer who starts to voluntarily mentor others, could be a very good fit for a team leader role. The business using the game employ 7000 people, mostly agile developers. Teams consist of 72 people, and no team member can work together for more than 7 months.

The “dojo” principle is that anyone can teach and share, and add their own learning resources, accessible to anyone. The more people learn from you in your dojo, the more recognition points you gain. The more points you have in a discipline, the more people come to your dojo.

I can already hear some people dismissing this based on the farmville, “kids” game principle, but you can tailor the interface and the nature of the game according to your culture. think about it for a minute and you can start to see a “game” that would fit in with your culture. no one says work shouldn’t be fun. A performance management system is a game in its own right. validation is by crowd sourcing (through likes) rather than management validated. I love the potential for companies who open their mind. Sumser might just be right.

Bill