gamification_sap_genyGeneration Y, people born from the early eighties to the mid-nineties, have an extremely high game and social media affinity. Growing up with cutting edge technology and innovation at home and at school, the Gen Yers are digital natives and by now make up around one fourth of the workforce. They have been engaged in the language and metaphors of gaming their entire lives so that winning has become the slogan of their generation and some even claim, according to a study conducted by MTV last year, that people their age ”see real life as a video game”.

Thus, to no surprise, this generation is expecting the same quality of technology they are used to in their workplace and they are more than open to gamificaton that allows brands to tap into consumers' competitive instincts to increase engagement and drive purchases. Gamification, the application of characteristics from games into non-gaming contexts to engage and motivate, is simply in their blood.

And since Gen Y’s ascent in the workforce is driving rapid change, many enterprise software giants, like SAP, Microsoft, or Salesforce just to name a few, started to integrate gamification, the language, metaphors and characteristics from games, into their products and business processes in order to engage and motivate not only their Gen Y employees, but everyone.

Case study: SAP’s Community Network (SCN)

SAP’s Community Network (SCN), for example, a site for SAP customers, partners, experts and developers to communicate, share, network and collaborate, has over 2 million members. There are 6,000 forum posts a day, and more than 200,000 unique assets.

With such a large volume of people and content, how do you make the true experts and influencers stand out?

Well, SAP built a Contributor Recognition Program into SCN. The effect is that users can earn community points for every contribution they make that serve then as an indicator of status in the SCN community. Users only need 250 points to reach the initial level of Bronze Active Contributor, but then need to work to gain recognition as a Top Contributor in their field of expertise.

Gamification elements in SAP’s Contributor Recognition Program include:

Transparency: Profile pages and leaderboards show how individuals and companies are doing against each other. Individuals and teams are scored on the content that they have created, which is maintained forever and accessible to anyone, so it’s easy to see and understand everyone’s performance and abilities.

Goal Setting: There are multiple types of goals within SCN – from leveling up as an overall contributor to having specific pieces of content that you created and are reviewed highly by your peers or by SAP’s moderators. The ultimate goal is to establish a reputation on the SCN site that positively impacts your career.

Competition: There is a very competitive element on the site. Businesses looking for SAP experts use individual and company rankings on SCN to determine who they should talk to. Hiring managers are looking for SCN points on resumes, and interviewing those candidates first.

Badges: Badges indicate SCN mentors, SAP employees, and 4 different levels of Active Contributors (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum)

Leveling Up: By earning points you can move up the Active Contributor scale and raise your status in the SCN community.

Teams: Individuals can be part of their company’s team. Individual points then aggregate into a company score, and there are company leaderboards to drive competition amongst companies. A company’s position on the leaderboard is important enough that companies are adding SCN points to the KPIs for their employees in their performance evaluations.

SAP presents gamification par excellence for recruitment purposes as well as service level improvements that is up to the spirit of the time. As a forward-thinking organization, the company is engaging its employees and business partners with meaningful and intrinsic rewards and uses sophisticated game mechanics to drive higher levels of engagement that makes a huge difference for SAP’s overall customer service quality. (Source: Bunchball White paper: Enterprise Gamification: The Gen Y Factor)

By Daniela La Marca