How badges can help staff value one another

Everyone loves a badge, a label, a way of describing themselves or signposting what they do. As participants in the front-line of digital workplace technology, how can you conduct your own social experiment into how your employees interact with your intranet?

Change workplace behavior

The idea of behavioral design has long been a favorite of psychologists. One of the many tricks that designers, policymakers and company managers use to try and shape how people unconsciously behave.

One famous example (and now used in lots of places) is at Schiphol airport. Managers had a messy problem to deal with. Men, it turned out (a perennial problem!), were crap at aiming their pee and made a mess. The answer was deceptively simple. They printed an image of a fly inside each urinal. The effect was a dramatic improvement in aim, since the fly turned peeing into a game of target practice.

What was the lesson here? They had stumbled upon a more effective way to change behavior than lambasting messy men with messaging and signage that would get ignored.

However, not all nudges work or in the way you intend. A common problem is that once you know you're being nudged, they get ignored. Or worse, they encourage new kinds of behavior (e.g. deliberately ignoring the printed fly in the urinals).

How does this all relate to your digital workplace?

Nevertheless, nudges are increasingly being used in the workplace. Notwithstanding messy toilets, architects love to encourage staff to be more healthy by making lifts less accessible, or by motivating staff to be gently in competition with one another through awards, nominating one another for good work, or by using... badges.

These techniques work. The problem has always been proving it and providing hard and fast statistics. However, using badges and clever analytics within a company intranet, you can start to show how the intranet is affecting better collaboration, productivity and engagement. Badge creation can be monitored and the analytics can be used to show how it’s increasing engagement or networking.

How can you try this out?

You could start with three badges which can be displayed against a user’s profile, as on Unily. Each badge can have a points threshold based on usage and participation which can be gathered through analytics. This could be based on anything you like e.g. most social posts or reactions, most articles read, most areas of the intranet used. If users get a certain amount of points in these areas, they will eligible for a badge. But at the beginning of the month, the points will be zeroed and the whole badge process will start over.

Badge 1: Engaged

To get this badge, you have to be a regular reader of all published news and content each month. It will let others know that you are very engaged in all things going on – a fountain of knowledge!

Badge 2: Connector

This badge will demonstrate to others that you are a frequent contributor on internal social channels such as Yammer. To be awarded it, you must be a champion poster, liker and commenter on others' posts. The center of our community!

Badge 3: Trailblazer

Being a trailblazer means you actively use a lot intranet functionality. Apps, Sites, Search to Documents are all a breeze to you! A real product evangelist!

You might want to adapt these badge suggestions to suit your own needs. Nevertheless, these three examples demonstrate how an individual who has earned a badge can help others – such as being a valuable connection to know, or because they are a proven fount of knowledge.

For any skeptics out there who think it’s a ploy for Managers to get them to work harder, make sure your leadership team are included too. As it’s about showing how everyone (not just the few usual suspects) are engaged in what is happening in and around the business and are upping their game in contributing towards its success.

For the first month, make a song and dance on the intranet highlighting those people who’ve won their badges. Other suggestions include creating a campaign takeover on your homepage or a special round of communications to drum up interest. Once the dust has settled, re-visit your analytics and see if the campaign has bumped up your views, engagement or more widespread usage of the intranet platform.

Remember, there are no hard and fast rules to using badges. It's a process of trial and error of working out what is right for your situation. But badges can be a useful tool to publicly recognize your staff for their effort and expertise, which reinforces your digital workplace as the hub of your company's community.

Get in touch to learn more about how an intranet can boost employee engagement.

 

Upcoming events

View all

Latest Insights

  • Unily named in Raconteur’s Connected Business special report

    Raconteur has just released a special report published in The Times that examines why cultural change is the key to emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic with a more empowered workforce. A technology spotlight casts intranets as “the perfect way to keep company culture intact”, with one of our travel and tourism clients receiving special recognition.

  • Beyond the hype: AI and the digital workplace

    Will AI take over your job? Or is it changing the fundamental nature of the digital workplace? Together with ClearBox Consulting's Sam Marshall, and AI experts from Microsoft, Unily aims to dispel popular myths surrounding AI in the digital workplace and bring you real-world examples of how you can employ AI technologies in your digital workplace.

  • Why you need to address knowledge decay before it harms your business

    Knowledge is power. Maintaining your competitive edge means protecting the expertise within your enterprise. We all make mistakes, and as the old adage goes, that's ok as long as we learn from them. That's why ensuring knowledge remains alive within your organization is a silent savior when it comes to safeguarding the future progression of any modern enterprise.

View all

Where next? Latest insights.

Unily named in Raconteur’s Connected Business special report

Raconteur has just released a special report published in The Times that examines why cultural change is the key to emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic with a more empowered workforce. A technology spotlight casts intranets as “the perfect way to keep company culture intact”, with one of our travel and tourism clients receiving special recognition.

Beyond the hype: AI and the digital workplace

Will AI take over your job? Or is it changing the fundamental nature of the digital workplace? Together with ClearBox Consulting's Sam Marshall, and AI experts from Microsoft, Unily aims to dispel popular myths surrounding AI in the digital workplace and bring you real-world examples of how you can employ AI technologies in your digital workplace.

Why you need to address knowledge decay before it harms your business

Knowledge is power. Maintaining your competitive edge means protecting the expertise within your enterprise. We all make mistakes, and as the old adage goes, that's ok as long as we learn from them. That's why ensuring knowledge remains alive within your organization is a silent savior when it comes to safeguarding the future progression of any modern enterprise.