Originally posted November 16, 2016 and August 30, 2018

Image for post
Image for post

Lucidea’s KM Conversation webinar series included a chat with me about using gamification techniques, including offering tangible rewards for participation in a KM program.

One gamification technique to encourage adoption of a KM system involves offering tangible rewards. This method can be very controversial; some people think they provide the “wrong” motivation for participating, that they are extrinsic rather than intrinsic and encourage artificial and superficial contribution, and that people will only participate for as long as you provide the rewards, etc.

While there are many arguments as to why tangible rewards may not be ideal, I have seen them work quite well in some scenarios. You need to select them carefully within your context; there is no “one size fits all” option. During the session, I mentioned 10 examples of ways to weave tangible rewards into motivating people to do what you want them to do.

It’s important to note that rewards must be tied to the kinds of outcomes you want. Also, note that if people have to do the work anyway, it’s nice that they can take a small extra step (contributing to your KM platform) and get a tangible benefit. The rewards do not have to be costly, and they don’t have to be financial, even though they can be.

  • Goal: submit proven practices.
  • Reward: people submitting the 5 most reused win a small financial reward. *This points to quality not quantity, and applies a measurement of usefulness.
  • Goal: don’t reinvent the wheel every time.
  • Reward: 5 top project teams in terms of content reused during their projects can attend the industry conference of their choice.
  • Goal: share lessons learned.
  • Reward: for every five documents contributed (which meet standards), the individual earns a gift certificate.
  • Goal: reuse content to help win proposals.
  • Reward: those who reuse content as part of three proposals win the book of their choice. *Note that you are rewarding the use of knowledge with yet more knowledge, reinforcing its value. A virtuous circle!
  • Goal: encourage committed leadership of communities of practice.
  • Reward: those who lead a community of practice for one year win the latest in-demand piece of technology. Sure, they could buy it themselves, but this way they get something back for the time they spent during that year.

I expanded on this topic in my most recent book, published by Lucidea Press, Proven Practices for Promoting a Knowledge Management Program. In addition, you can read Using Gamification Techniques Can Accelerate KM Adoption and watch a recording of my webinar, Selling KM: Recognize and Reward.

Image for post
Image for post

Written by

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store