Kudos Badges Measure, Reward, and Encourage User Adoption for IBM Connections

Measure, Reward and Encourage User Adoption for IBM Connections

Kudos Badges can transform and accelerate organisations usage of IBM Connections by encouraging users to leverage the full capability of social enterprise.

Kudos Badges for IBM Connections is a flexible gamification engine for IBM Connections. By providing achievements and rewards (Kudos Badges), rank and leaderboards (Kudos Rank), simple next steps (Kudos Progress), and missions (Kudos Missions), organisations can dramatically improve their user engagement and adoption of IBM Connections.

In addition Kudos Badges is an extensible platform that can leverage game theory to provide performance management mechanics and reward systems for applications outside of IBM Connections such as HR, Sales Force Management, Help Desks, and many more.

When we first designed Kudos Badges we had three primary design goals:

1 - Encourage both initial adoption and sustained long term usage.
2 - Guide and educate users to leverage and adopt the full depth and breadth of IBM Connections capabilities.
3 - Make Kudos Badges extensible so organisations can reward and recognise users for not only their work within Connections, but also from other enterprise applications.

We also recently added a 4th goal:
4 - Increase user productivity thru clever design - This is what Kudos Boards is all about!!

A Proven Formula

Gamification or Game Mechanics work by leveraging the intrinsic human nature all of us have to receive status and rewards.

The theory is quite simple: Most people like recognition, like to receive rewards and earn status. People like to progress to the next level and move up ranks. These needs and desires can be leveraged to encourage users to engage in specific behaviour, drive user adoption, and drive performance.

Kudos Badges for IBM Connections leverages game mechanics to help drive user adoption and participation across the full capabilities of IBM Connections. Through the use of game mechanics Kudos Badges creates a reward and recognition mechanism that not only awards achievements but also helps guide the user on how they can improve their usage of IBM Connections for better business outcomes.

When users "win" rewards such as badges, these badges are designed to not only recognise the good work a person has done, but also to show them the business value of what they have done. This encourages them to expand their usage of Connections with more advanced features.

Having performed many implementations of IBM Connections, ISW found that a significant factor in whether organisations achieved real business value from social software was to ensure strong user adoption and retention.

In addition, providing guidance on how to leverage the full capability of Connections and by helping users understand "Why?" they should leverage social software to work better is a key success factor.

An important strategy for encouraging user adoption is providing reward mechanism's, both tangible and intangible. Kudos Badges for IBM Connections provides this strategy in a very powerful and flexible way.

Kudos Leaderboards

Leaderboards are aspirational and give your users a fun way to track how they’re doing compared with their workplace peers. The Kudos Badges Leaderboard enables users to view the top contributors throughout IBM Connections.

What contributes to rank?

Heaps of things! Post a Status Update, you earn a Point. Create a Blog, you earn 5 Points. Share a File, you earn a Point. Have someone else recommend your file, you earn 5 Points! As in the real world often it is the actions that others take that give you more Kudos!

You can view the Top 10 Kudos Leaderboard across all of Connections, or for each individual feature such as Profiles, Activities, Blogs, etc. If you have integrated other external systems to drive Kudos they can also have a separate Kudos Rank category.

The Kudos Leaderboard displays ranks relative to the person logged in. This lets you see your immediate competition with the option of navigating through the ranks. You can even see how you rank against just people in your network!

Leaderboards can be filtered based on Time enabling new and old users to start afresh and to always keep the competition alive. By default, the time intervals are set to 30 days, 180 days, 365 days and All-Time but they can be changed to suit your environment.

The Kudos Leaderboard Widget can be deployed onto users Connections Home Page for more prominent and regular exposure. In addition it can be deployed within a Community so you can see Kudos ranks that reflect the actual contribution from the members to the Community’s content.

People love receiving things, shiny things! Things they can show off! Kudos Badges hooks into this desire to have goals and achieve them. We provide a heap of predefined badges and rewards and you can add your own or customise what we provide.

The Kudos Summary Widget is added to everyone's profile so that others can see what achievements and rewards the person has received. When you mouse over each badge it provides you with details on why the badge was awarded and tasks that you can consider to try and win another badge! The idea is to not only reward people for their behaviour but to also provide them with guidance and education on what else they can do in Connections.



What have I earned? What else can I get? How do I win?

People love to show off their achievements but they also need to know what they can achieve next! The Kudos Badges Details widget lists the badges and rewards that a user has achieved. In addition users can see what challenge they want to take on next by viewing the remaining badges with a description on how to earn them. This is designed to encourage users to the next level and to explore the wider capabilities of Connections.

You can also list your own custom badges and categories. Why not have some badges linked to your core organisation values? Or linked to the user performance in your Sales Force Management tool? Kudos Badges is not just about driving performance in Connections but also for objectives from other applications or areas of your organisation.

The Kudos Badges Details widget is also connected to the Kudos Progress Widget. When a user clicks on a badge category or mission the badges are filtered to show just the badges for that group.



Far from simply rewarding user behaviour, Kudos Badges is built to encouraging users to leverage the full capability of IBM Connections and to educate them on the how and why of IBM Connections.

Here are a few examples of Badges that users can receive:

Badge Name

IntentMessageAwarded ByBadge
Network BuilderEncourage Users to grow their network.Awesome. You are really getting connected. You have 10 people in your network. The more people you know, the more you can get done!. To get to the next level grow your network to 50Awarded for adding 10 people to your network.
Blog SwarmEncourage users to blog valuable content and drive discussions.Look out it is a BLOG SWARM! You created a Blog post that has got people going this time. Your blog post has had 15 or more comments.Awarded by creating a blog post that has had 15 or more comments.
Wiki ArchitectEncourage users to create wikis with some structure using Child and Peer Pages.Wikis are better with a bit of structure so good job. You have created a wiki with 3 Parent Pages and at least 10 Child pages. Remember to Tag your pages as well.Awarded for creating a wiki with 3 Parent Pages and at least 10 child pages.
Bookmark Builder Encourage Users to use Bookmarks & Bookmark Tags.You are really starting to build your expertise and share your knowledge through Bookmarks. You have created over 25 Bookmarks. To get to the next level you need to create 100 Bookmarks. Don't forget to Tag them as well! You will need at least 500 Tags! Tagging helps to categorise and search for bookmarks.Awarded for creating 25 Bookmarks.
Awesome AnswersEncourage users to answer questions that are posted.You are Awesome! You have provided answers to over 20 questions now. Now that is driving the Wisdom of the Crowd!Awarded for  providing a answer to 20 questions that were accepted by the poster.
Files SilverEncourage users to contribute and share high value files.Silver is shiny! And you have contributed a file that others like enough to recommend 5 times!One of your files has received 5 recommendations.
Thanks!Encourage users to recognise good work and thank their colleagues.Thanks for that! Someone really appreciates what you are doing there! They have posted thanks to your board. Awarded for having other people post the words "Thanks", "Thankyou", "Thank you" onto your board 5 times.

People Love Progression

There is a part of human nature that drives people to progress. Levels are an indicator of achievement, reaching a milestone, or completing a mission and Kudos Badges rewards users through points, levels, and badges.

The Kudos Profile Widget enables you to encourage your users to update their profile contact information, upload a photo, and all of the other basic information on their profile. This not only saves an incredible amount of time and manual guidance for IT support staff, it sets up all users with a consistent level of detail in their profile across an organisation.

Beyond the basics, the Progress Widget can also link more advanced criteria such as "Have they joined their first community?", "Have they participated in a discussion forum....in the last 30 days?". You can even connect it to external applications such as HR: "Has the user completed their annual training this year?" All of these prompts drive sustained behaviour, adoption and business productivity.




Kudos Badges also allows you to define levels, ranks, and how many Kudos points users receive for certain actions. Set point thresholds between levels and you can create new missions or badge categories. The Kudos Badges Progress Widget shows users how far they are away from levelling up and how many badges they have achieved within a badge category or mission.


Kudos Badges integrates seamlessly with the IBM Connections Mobile App enabling your mobile users to also participate. If you are going to encourage and measure adoption across your entire organisation you need to make sure your mobile users are included as well.

The IBM Connections Mobile App is a first class user interface and ensuring that your mobile users are also rewarded and recognised for their contribution is essential in any user adoption plan!

Kudos is seemlessly integrated with the native IBM Connections Mobile Apps so users can access their achievements, view the leaderboards, and leverage Kudos Thanks as well.


Social Recognition for IBM Connections

Kudos Awards & Kudos Thanks have been designed to enable Social Recognition of great work amongst your employees and customers. Creating a positive culture is essential in todays workplace. When employees are recognised for their achievements it can have the effect of multiplying the positive benefits of the work they have performed across the organisation.

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Kudos Thanks

When users are recognised, either through peer to peer Thanks or Management Awards Programs, it helps them to build their profile within the organisation. Social Recognition takes this to a new level by enabling peers and colleagues to "Like" and comment on the awards, resulting in a more engaged workforce. The social aspect helps spread the word and positive results. Adding Kudos Thanks and Awards to IBM Connections can re-enforce your culture and core values while making users proud of their IBM Connections Profile. This in itself can help increase sustained adoption and engagement within the IBM Connections platform.


Kudos Thanks - Peer to Peer recognition for IBM Connections

There is nothing quite as simple as saying "Thank You" to provide some recognition of great work. Think about it for a moment...when somebody thanks you for your great idea, or for putting in that extra work to meet a deadline, or maybe for just being a good team mate, it makes you feel great and more motivated to stay engaged. That is why we have built Kudos Thanks, the peer to peer and team recognition tool for IBM Connections.


Motivate your team

We all do performance reviews (or we all should!), however often the problem is that the various achievements or small goals we meet throughout the year can be easily forgotten. Why wait for the next big meeting to provide some feedback to your team. Kudos Thanks enables you to provide real time feedback and to publically acknowledge great work quickly and easily. The recognition then stays visible on the person's profile so that peers and colleagues can see and recognise the value that is placed on a persons work.

Peer to Peer recognition

Thanks doesn't always come from your boss either! Often having your direct peers thank you for some great work can be a great motivator. With Kudos Thanks users of IBM Connections can select from a range of Thanks related badges, choose who to award the thanks to, add a message and send it off! The thanks will appear on the users profile as well as integrate within their Activity Steam so that others can see as well.


Management or Team recognition

Kudos Badges also allows for Manager or Team Leader Thanks Badges. You can create your own special badges that only certain people can award such as employee of the month. And because Kudos Thanks is built to be social within IBM Connections peers and colleagues are able to see and add value to the recognition and thanks as well!

Kudos Awards - Management Awards for IBM Connections

Kudos Awards allows management to acknowledge great achievements amongst their workforce. Using Kudos you can build and custimize an awards and recognition program to suit your organisation, such as certifications that have been achieved, awards for tenure or years of employment, any many other examples.

Kudos Awards can be granted either manually (using the Kudos Awarder Widget) by authorised users, or they can be awarded automatically by setting up Kudos Metrics for the award criteria. Kudos Metrics enables rules to be defined based on data stored in Connections or other data sources via JDBC. For example you might store the Employment Start Date for users within their Connections Profile and on the basis of this award Tenure Awards for the number of years employed.

When Awards and Thanks are received they appear in the IBM Connections Activities Stream (News feed in Connections 3) and other users can use social features such as "Like" and Comments to respond and congratulate the user on their awards and achievements

Kudos Badges works by tracking metrics around what users do within IBM Connections. For example when a user posts a Status Update, they get a Kudos Point. When they create a blog, they might get 5 Kudos Points. When someone recommends a file that someone else created, they get 1 Kudos Point and the receiver of the recommendation gets 3 Kudos Points. There are hundreds of potential actions within IBM Connections and Kudos Metrics enables us to track them and reward users for their behaviour.

Kudos Metrics are used to award both Kudos Leaderboard points as well as award Kudos Badges. All of the metrics can be customised and you can even create your own metrics and badges. Kudos Badges comes with a heap of predefined metrics and badges to make it easy to get started. They have been designed to not only reward behaviour but also to encourage users to take further action and educate them on the broader capabilities of IBM Connections.

In addition to metrics within IBM Connections, Kudos Badges enables you to create metrics for actions and behaviour in external systems. These external metrics can then be used to award custom badges as well as contribute to a users leaderboard score and rank. For example you may have a sales force system that you want to encourage specific behaviour. Or maybe HR Performance Objectives that you want to reward users for achieving. The options are endless!

Kudos is a native IBM Connections application that is installed directly within your IBM Connections environment. Everything is local to your environment and nothing is stored elsewhere. Kudos is built the way IBM want's us to extend Connections, based on standard Connections customisations, iWidgets, Open Social and Embedded Experiences. This is essential to ensure compatibility when you upgrade Connections to newer versions over the years.

For the 7th consecutive year, IDC rates IBM Connections the No.1 Social Business Platform! // For 2nd consecutive year, Kudos Suite recognised as a national Export Awards finalist! // Learn More