Gamification is being used increasingly for business training purposes. But what exactly is Gamification and how do you apply it effectively within organizations?
Wat is Gamification?
Gamification includes all online and offline activities to which gaming elements have been added to stimulate behavioral change. In other words: Gamification covers all uses of Game thinking and Game techniques in a non-Game context. There are many examples of Gamification in day-to-day practice, including:
- Matrix signs in traffic that show a smiley face when road users keep below the speed limit;
- Chain stores’ loyalty programs, through which customers save for discounts or free items when they make purchases, post reviews or through ‘tell-a-friend’ promotions;
- Running apps, which not only track progress by displaying statistics, but also provide challenges to keep users improving their running performance.
Recruitment, reward en retention
According to researcher David Nieborg (Media Studies), Gamification is based on three basic principles: recruitment, reward and retention. This has the following effect:
- A high fun factor forms the basis of a Gamified experience and exerts great attraction;
- With Gamification it is important that there is a reward to look forward to if the desired behavior is shown;
- Because you are rewarded for your performance, you will continue this behavior.
Intrinsic motivation an important incentive
Anyone who wants to realize behavioral change in the workplace must start by looking at the intrinsic motivation of the employees. Appreciation from the work environment is one of the most powerful sources of experiencing job satisfaction. Increasing recognition and status is therefore a crucial starting point for Gamification. In a Game, this is achieved by confirming and rewarding the indispensable role of the individual participants – both in the Game and in real life. Providing positive and constructive feedback, rewarding performance and making the scores on the KPIs visible to colleagues and stakeholders reinforce this effect. Gamification is ultimately about rewarding behavior in the real world.
“Is Gamification just about playing? Yes, principles of play are applied, but in a business environment and with a specific goal in mind. It’s not just a simple trick with points and badges, but a tool for complex behavioral change, based on deeper human psychology.”
Higher learning efficiency through Gamification
Interactive game elements ensure that the user is constantly challenged. Completing a certain challenge and seeing the results give the user a good feeling, which works as an incentive to continue developing and making progress. If the player occasionally achieves disappointing results in the Game, this leads to intrinsic motivation to take action. This achieves a high learning efficiency.
How to implement Gamification
How you can implement Gamification in the workplace? Three indispensable tips for a successful implementation:
1. Formulate clear, measurable goals
What exactly do you want to realize? The success or failure of a Gamification process depends on a clear demarcation of your business objectives. Set clear and measurable KPIs. It is therefore important that the Game offers the option of monitoring progress on the development goals. After all, you want the game elements to have an effect. Do priorities include improving customer satisfaction or the cooperation between team members? Are there sales or turnover targets you want to work towards? By rewarding the right behavior – not the achievement of the objectives in itself – the desired results then follow automatically.
2. Communicate clear rules of the game
What is the framework within which the Game is offered? Things that promote effective implementation include:
- Clarifying that participation in the Games is voluntary, but also that time is scheduled for it on a daily or weekly basis. This allows your employees to take ownership of their improvement and change processes in a relaxed atmosphere;
- Many employees do not look forward to performance interviews. By clarifying that a Game facilitates a work setting in which employees can improve their performance without the involvement of team leaders, they work safely and confidently towards the desired development goals;
- With accessibility on mobile devices, employees are free to play outside working hours when they feel like it. In this respect, it is also a good idea to emphasize the voluntary nature. (Incidentally, many of our customers note that their employees actively use the Games at ‘in between’ times, such as while waiting for a bus or just before the start of the shift).
Good expectation management is half the job.
3. Implement competitive elements
By making progress on the game elements transparent to all participants and HR managers, employees feel a greater challenge to improve their own scores. After all, performing well compared to the rest gives you a good feeling. Such competitive elements bring out the best in one another.
Measurable results with Gamification
It’s the combination of play and actual results that stimulates participants to put the desired behavior into practice. Successfully implementing the game elements leads to more satisfied and productive employees. Do you also want to get the most out of your employees? Do you want to experience for yourself what Gamification can do for your company?
During our online Workshops we share our insights and learning points and explain the latest Gamification trends, so that you can gain enough practical experience to get started with Gamification yourself.