We all enjoy rewards, we’re hardwired to; we get a hit of dopamine whenever either intrinsic or extrinsic rewards enter our lives. When you add a social dimension such as a sense of earned rewards you can quickly build a picture of rewards as a concept being a potent one.
The notion of Gamification is everywhere in the business world, it’s not a new concept these days.
Marketing and sales divisions incentivize positive consumer activity by utilising game-like challenges with milestones and rewards. Starbucks customers can earn Gold Card stars for purchases. Even grocery and drugstore chains incentivize customer loyalty with points and membership perks! Just as gamification is popular with consumers, it has great utility as a method to boost employee engagement, and therefore productivity.
According to a Badgeville report, gamification increases productivity levels for 90% of workers and increases awareness of co-workers’ goals and tasks by 86%.
Gallup research has found that their customers increased employee engagement by over 20% on collaboration platforms thanks to the gamification of support processes: individual departments worked better with other teams, providing more effective customer service from all departments. This same research showed that gamification can help those companies that are struggling to source quality talent
There are plenty of gamification software example that can assist people professionals: Fantasy Sales Team is an online application that allows sales managers to host team-based competitions modeled after fantasy sports; Trajectory IQ is a game-based learning software platform that helps businesses deliver fun and effective training materials and Growth Engineering is a platform that provides businesses with game-based eLearning, and instructional design in order to improve training and leadership programs.
When you have an engaged, enthusiastic support team, the entire organisation benefits. So why isn’t everyone using gamification to motivate employees? Because all that glitters ain’t gold. And gamification in the business has some Cons as well.
In fact, many companies implementing enterprise gamification do so in the most generic ways. They can be guilty of applied point systems, badges, and leaderboards into any work process (despite it’s mostly incorrectly applied!).
Gamification is profound and powerful through creating thoughtful experiences that balance competition and collaboration, either with the self, the team or a network. Along with this, some people think that games by their nature must be voluntary, and when a company insists its employees play along, it stops being a game and is a form of coercion. It’s never easy to implement an efficient system of gamification in the business.
The challenge is to choose an outcome that you’re looking to optimise, and work backwards!
Are the sales teams struggling to graduate leads from stage 1 to 2? Some simple progress highlighting and social transparency on a time-based goal will be an effective use of game principles. It’s a tightly specific area of focus. Zoom in before you start considering gamification at all
Even though it has its cons, gamification is a proven psychological and non-invasive way to reinforce positive behaviour: it’s a great way to incentivise activities in the workplace, because it triggers the reward compulsion loop in employees’ brains and turns tedious tasks into opportunities for reward. When done correctly, it can be a vital piece of your workplace culture and customer service experience. The right way to make it work, it’s to start out with incredibly focussed, single goal games or principles with obvious rewards and move up from there.
Let us know what you think about all things gamified in the comments!