Badges and Leaderboards

Deloitte Leadership Academy (DLA), conceived in 2008, is an online training program for Deloitte’s employees and clients. It presented a structured way to encourage leadership executives to utilise a training curriculum that Deloitte had designed. By introducing gamification elements such as badges and leaderboards, Deloitte’s executives completed their curricula about twice as fast, with users remaining engaged more often than before.

Of course, badges and leaderboards are nothing we haven’t heard of – organisations all around the world have used badges and leaderboards for a variety of purposes, from physical fitness to sales numbers. However, many such operations have also failed to accomplish their purposes. 

In Monster Train’s daily challenges, the leaderboard constantly refreshes, keeping players coming back to improve their scores.

So what did Deloitte do differently?

Firstly, conventional leaderboards can often be counterproductive, turning off a large majority of users when they realise they have no chance of catching up to the regular high scorers. DLA, however, restricted leaderboard information to users of similar levels. By doing this, the personal leaderboard experience is greatly enhanced as the goals feel more achievable, thus encouraging increased engagement. The leaderboards are also refreshed every week, so as not to discourage a user who may have missed a week or two.

Secondly, badges are awarded to users to recognise achievement, ranging from completing the DLA interface tutorial to more workstream-related curricula. By also introducing hidden badges, DLA has also introduced an element of curiosity into its program – the experience then also becomes a scavenger hunt, where users would complete courses to see what other kinds of badges they could attain, thereby completing more of the syllabus ahead of schedule. This, combined with the social aspect of the DLA curriculum, where users could track each other’s progress and achievements, created a healthily competitive environment that motivated users to experience more of the course than they normally would if they had treated it like a task.

Badges and Leaderboards have become a mainstay in many a workplace to recognise achievement and promote interactivity in the workplace. By understanding their goals more intricately, we can tailor these systems to better fit their purpose over a longer period of time.