Faye Holland, HR Tech World and #disruptHRtech blogger interviews Gal Rimon CEO & Founder at GamEffective, a workforce gamification company delivering better e-learning and performance, and alignment of corporate goals with employee performance.
FAYE: Congrats on making the top 5 of the October 2015 disruptHRTech competition. For the sake of those reading this who weren’t involved can you explain who GamEffective is and what you do?
GAL: GamEffective is essentially the next generation of enterprise gamification – gamification that’s targeted at changing employee behaviour and performance through more motivation and engagement.
I think that we became finalists for two reasons: there is a re-emergence of interest into what gamification can do for performance management and learning, and we are considered an innovator (we won the #1gamification platform in 2015) and secondly, because we have quite a lot of traction with several large companies, even some Fortune 500 companies, which are using our gamification platform.
We help companies set and manage personalized benchmarks for performance, learning and development.
- Using GamEffective, managers set goals, desired behaviours, benchmarks or learning sequences. They can also set next-best-action sequences for employees.
- Employees use our platform to track their performance, see their next best action, get feedback, coaching or to learn. The platform has some pretty innovative uses of game mechanics, as well as game narratives.
- Our extensive analytics capabilities allow optimization of benchmarks, KPIs and next-best-actions. By setting and showing real time performance and goals, GamEffective is like an activity tracker at work, combining the best of OKRs (that is now a hot performance management methodology, but for knowledge workers) with real-time feedback and innovative game elements that are applicable to the entire workforce.
FAYE: What was the biggest lesson from attending the event last year and did you make any changes following your involvement?
GAL: It was great appearing on stage with the other contestants. The conference itself was a valuable opportunity to test our positioning with a broad range of HR players and companies coming from all over the world. It pushed us to refine our messaging – something about the constant touch with the market helped us understand things like the need to set benchmarks and goals, to segment employee types and levels, so games would be relevant to them.
FAYE: So with all this in mind, what’s your objective from participating in disruptHRTech this year and what would you like to achieve as a result of your participation?
GAL: We want to get more time talking to analysts and industry leaders whose opinion matters to us, and also to show off the amazing growth we had in 2015 – tripling our revenues and bringing our solution to market in a scalable and repeatable way.
FAYE: Tell me why you believe gamification is the way to truly improve performance?
GAL: Companies find it difficult to align employees with corporate objectives, but the employees are also facing a crisis of disengagement – no-one wants to work when they are feeling disengaged.
Looking at competition or social proof as the solution for this is a very naïve concept of gamification – and it only works in the long run. Research even tells us that high wages aren’t necessarily engaging. So what does engage employees? Intrinsic motivation – the sense that I’m doing well, beating a personal record, learning and developing. And gamification does that. It gives employees real time feedback about their performance, lets them correct course, take e-learning (that’s gamified too) to become better. All this creates a culture of alignment, fairness, transparency and, above all, motivation.
FAYE: To encourage adoption the buyer market has to be able to innovate, engage and contract for new technologies. What has been your experience on how if companies are truly ready for this?
GAL: We see a lot of interest in the market. Companies are passionate about culture and addressing engagement issues, and they want to see how they can use gamification to do that. The idea that gamification can be for the workforce what OKR is to knowledge workers is fascinating them. They want to be ahead of the innovation curve.
FAYE: Can you give me an example of how a customer would use your service and what kinds of benefits will they achieve?
GAL: Customers use our learning gamification (where progress in learning is reflected in the ability to build a virtual city and add virtual assets to it) for onboarding. Once employees finish onboarding they can use the platform to play a performance game, where benchmarks and KPIs are tracked and reflected in real time to employees, driving their motivation.
FAYE: With 5 generations in the workforce, how do you ensure your offering is accepted and utilised by everyone?
GAL: Funnily enough, being a “gamer” doesn’t mean you’re more into gamification, since gamification isn’t really a game, but the use of game mechanics and digital means for engagement. So we’ve seen fairly old people, that didn’t necessarily grow up playing games, being very engaged by the idea. Similarly younger players also like gamification but connect to it on a different level. We’ve written a very popular post about this, here: http://www.gameffective.com/gamification-basics/gamification_and_generations/
FAYE: Tell me a little about the team and how they work with your clients?
GAL: We typically work on a consultation sale. While the platform is robust and simple to configure and administrate, figuring out how to think about KPIs, about employee segments and learning requires some help. Similarly, avoiding some possible pitfalls of game design (e.g. don’t tempt employees to ‘game’ the game with too-simple rules) requires advice. We provide that.
For more information on Gal and GamEffective check out these links and resources