Patience is a rare commodity these days, as we live in an age of instant gratification. At GamEffective, we've decided not to try and combat this trend, but incorporate it in to the way organizations work, to their benefit. We do this by providing feedback on performance, which has a great impact on employee motivation and performance.
We're big believers in real time gamification and in the possibility of being able to know how well you're doing your job at all times. We have worked long and hard so that our platform will be able to integrate in to any existing platforms or systems that different organization may be working with. Our platform is constantly pulling different relevant information from all the systems that an organization uses, creating a real-time picture of the state of performance. From the get-go, our idea was that showing employees how they are performing in real time would allow them to adjust their performance accordingly, creating a win for all parties involved. We've actually seen some great results with this, but we've also come to find that the situation is not always as simple as it may look from the outside.
When KPI's just need more time
Sometimes, in real contact centers, it is impossible to get real-time performance data. Does that mean that the gamification solution is broken? Well, what we've found is that there is actually great value in gamification mechanics, besides the real-time angle. One of the most interesting advantages that we've seen has to do with how gamification mechanics force employees to think and self-reflect about their performance and performance in general. This brings with it major results and boosts in performance.
So let's go through some examples of situations where it's not possible to create real-time feedback regarding performance.
We were interested in seeing how agents would react to delayed KPI's. Would they even care about KPI's that reflect events that occurred several days ago? Would the organization be losing precious time in which agents could be correcting their actions and improving?
The idea for the solution actually came from one of our clients, and it was beautifully simple – let agents rate themselves, and use the self-evaluation data as a simulated KPI until the real data comes in. The results that this brought on surpassed our expectations.
Introspection and self-evaluation have been topics for much academic discussion for centuries, dating all the way back to the times of Aristotle and Plato. The important thing to understand here is that the outcome of the self-evaluation isn't what's important here. Instead, the act of an agent actually self-evaluating and introspecting, brings with it a lot of value.
Contact centers tend to be a very hectic environment. As such, agents rarely have the time to reflect on their previous interactions and think about where they can improve and what areas of their job need to be worked on. The benefits of asking agents to think about their work and evaluate how well they performed are that this creates an "inner standard" within employees, where they are evaluating their own work, while still engaged and mindful of the tasks at hand.
I've written in the past about how prediction can be a powerful tool. In the scenario we now had with the contact center agents, we had the perfect situation to utilize predictions to enhance performance and engagement.
We asked agents to bet on their self-predictions, and try to guess how they would score against a colleague, based solely on the information from their respective predictions. Although the wagers were made based on the predictions, the final winner was determined based on the actual KPI's built on the actual data coming from customer satisfaction surveys, supervisor reviews, and other statistical data.
This was a win-win situation. If agents were correct in their assessments, they received a confirmation for their feelings of self-worth and a job well done. If the agents were way off in their assessments, it was also a positive situation. Agents lost their bets and were more likely to work harder to be more accurate the next week. This brought agents to be more reflective and try to listen better to their customers and supervisors, since this was the only way to gauge their situation and be better prepared to wager a bet the following week.
One of the great things of working on a product like GamEffective, is that it really gets you thinking about how the mind works, and what makes people effective and fulfilled at work. This was a great example of cooperation with a client and of hacking the mind and emotions to create better experiences for both employees and customers.