Achieve the Right Balance of Points, Prizes, Badges, and Social Recognition

By Robert Cowen

Since the first contact center was established, games and leader boards have been key components of agent incentives. Today, however, rather than posting agent accomplishments on your company’s bulletin board or in the lunchroom, social recognition sites (such as Facebook) present new options for much wider visibility. It’s time to reexamine the balance of points, prizes, badges, and social recognition in your agent incentive program. Here are some things to consider and a few recommendations.

Most contact center work is easy to define and measure: agent availability, quality score, customer retention, agent tenure, or dollars collected. Having specific goals and objectives simplifies employee measurement, much more so than evaluating on “engagement” or “core values.”

Employees graded on objective call center metrics have a much greater expectation of similarly specific, tangible rewards such as money, gift cards, or time off. While social recognition via leader boards and badges is important, when used to excess it can result in badge-fatigue or badge-inflation. Badges and leader boards are complementary; they are not a substitute for tangible rewards when goals are objective and easy to define and evaluate.

If you are part of a team producing a product involving numerous steps that advance from one group to another and has a long development cycle, the task of identifying contributions of a specific individual is challenging, if not impossible. Defining goals and measurements in this environment presents challenges to both management and employees.

Determining the types of rewards to offer, to whom they are given, and in what value becomes a daunting task that is fraught with opportunities to get it wrong. In these situations, rewarding via internal leader boards and badges poses less risk than with more tangible rewards.

A word of caution: Serious thought should be given prior to facilitating and encouraging employee participation in public social networking sites such as Facebook. Recruiters can see the names of your star performers. Is this what you want to happen? Praise and bragging rights on external recognition sites such as Facebook could lead to the loss of your best employees.

Snowfly automated gamification and offered it as a cloud service in 1999. Snowfly improves KPIs by at least 20 percent (sales, availability, retention, adherence, attendance, call quality, turnover) and reduces administrative burden and costs. For more information, contact Snowfly president Tyler Mitchell at 307-745-7126 x707 ( or Robert Cowen at 248-324-1161 (

[From Connection Magazine Jul/Aug 2014]

%d bloggers like this: