Building sites aren’t the most obvious “low hanging fruit” for applying gamification techniques in the workplace but we can see that the popular “Considerate Constructors” scheme in the UK is a good real example of Gamification at work.
Let’s game break down how the scheme is worked…
As a site manager or company owner you play to win a single badge – the title of “Considerate Contractor“. This badge is made meaningful in two key ways:
1. You can display it on the building site, so improving the overall “status” of your construction works within the community. In return you might hope to be rewarded by more amenable neighbors who might be more likely to agree compromises with you, rather than complain to the local council. Typically this might mean fewer noise complaints, as you agree to do most of the drilling and banging between certain hours.
2. Procuring agencies request that contractors have the badge (already obtained or willing to work to achieve it) in their tender documents. Without the badge you don’t get the contract – that’s a significant reward incentive!
So, with a meaningful badge at stake, it is then between a scheme inspector and the site manager to decide whether a site has earned it.
This is where the points come in. The inspector awards up to 60 points to each scheme based on the code of practice. “Recycling just the odd bit of paper? that’s 1 point, Recycling every single piece of waste? 5 points…”
If the site gets enough points they win the badge. Simple gamification in action.
But, could more gamification techniques improve this already popular scheme?
It strikes me that the system relies on an expensive inspection regime (a human inspector) and one that is inevitably just a snapshot in time.
A canny site manager can simply do all the “right” stuff at the time of the inspection but can revert to inconsiderate practices once they have gone.
To resolve both these issues we could suggest a reciprocity based voting system by relevant stakeholders:
- number of “likes” on Facebook
- number of passers by who hit a big “Considerate” or “Inconsiderate” button on the pavement
- number of negative tweets or blog posts (like this one)
- recycling points awarded on a weekly basis by the local recycling department itself
- safety points awarded dependent on the number of minor and major accidents on site that week