Gamification in the workplace: supercharging the employee experience to drive productivity (part 2: Killers)

In gamification, Bartle's 'Killer' type are the competitive members of the workforce. Here's how you can tailor your technology solutions to meet the Killers' employee experience needs.

Welcome to the second part of this unique five-part blog series which focuses on gamification in the workplace. In this series, I’m looking at how companies can drive a better employee experience that results in enhanced productivity, by applying Bartle’s ‘taxonomy of player types’ to their technology solutions (particularly CRM).

If you haven’t already read my introductory blog post to the series, including a summary of Bartle’s four player types, you can read it here.

The Killers: ravenous for competition #

Feeding the competitive instincts of this sinister-sounding group  ‘Killers’ can help them scale new heights. They are characterised by an intense desire to win and, more importantly, to see others lose. They are estimated to form less than 1% of all players, yet some managers will actively seek out the Killers such that it forms a high proportion of their team.

Naturally these will be the most competitive members of the workforce and, despite negative connotations, may find themselves as top performing employees. Killers can thrive where a role is heavily commission-based or where a personal bonus forms a significant part of an individual’s reward.

People working in sales in the finance industry are often caricatured as killers but also consider other jobs such as recruitment or estate agents. Healthy competition is often encouraged in a variety of industries to maximise performance. Remember to study how the people act rather than use their job title before stereotyping them as Killer

Battle to the top: sales leaderboards #

Jack works in sales for a software supplier who provide subscription-based access to small companies. He relies on commission from his sales, and  knows that strong performance against his peers means a fast track to promotion. As he spends most of his time engaging potential customers, he rarely sees the office tally chart that tracks his peers’ performance.

A simple leaderboard on his CRM homepage summarising his leads and opportunities would be a strong motivator for him. He sees his colleagues as competition for his promotion and, when pitching sales, thinks about how  success will move him up the board next time he logs in.


Leaderboards are a great way to encourage competitiveness among sales teams, or ‘Killers’

Skilling up with training progression tracking #

Tom is studying on an elite MBA programme that takes pride in taking on the best candidates. Only the top students finish the course, with those scoring consistently in the lower percentiles being removed from the course before it’s completion. The course has a reputation to upkeep for producing highly-driven and competitive graduates. For Tom, the more of his classmates that do not make it through, the better for his career prospects.

When Tom logs into his CRM, he sees his exam results and who is enrolled in his classes. The business school will introduce a simple health bar system next to student’s names that shows how close they are to dropping off the course. Tom sees that his health bar is slightly depleted whilst others are full and is determined to not let others feel superior to him. A pleasure he can empathise with as he smirks at all of the students on lower ‘health’ than himself!

Training progression tracking - gamification

Tracking training progression with heat-mapping allows individuals so benchmark their ‘health’ against other training participants

One size doesn’t fit all #

Killers are ultra-competitive and like ‘defeating’ others. In organisations where competition is encouraged in employees, CRM can be used to shed light on those performing well, whilst also providing insight into those Killers who might need a little bit more motivation.

Many organisations prefer to encourage more of a collaborative culture and this a whole different ball game. Be sure to check in for the other installments in this blog series which look at Explorers, Achievers and Socialisers, and see if these apply to you or your team.

Part 3: Socialisers >>