According to a statistics compendium published by Gitnux, 9 out of 10 employees noticed a rise in their productivity once a company integrated gamification techniques into the work experience.
The stat alone indicates that gamification has its place in the workplace. After all, it is common to see the trend of gamification growing in human resources. Specialists are looking at the available gamification mechanics and how these mechanics can be integrated with an everyday work environment.
What Makes Gamification Effective?
If your supervisor puts in the effort to gameify the department, it means that they believe in the method. But where does such an approach come from?
Take yourself back to the days of when you were a student. The odds are that instead of doing schoolwork, you were more interested in playing games. The desire to procrastinate is hard to resist when you are surrounded by friends who encourage you to go outside and have some fun. And what about video games? Many of us have spent hours and hours on those.
The idea behind gamification’s success can be attributed to two notable characteristics—collaboration and game immersion.
You cooperate with others and immerse yourself in a reality that helps you escape dullness. In a workplace that gets monotonous, introducing even a little bit of gamification can make a significant difference.
It is also worth mentioning the benefits that come from gamification. It is not just a company as an entity that can benefit from it. Individuals stand to gain something valuable as well, which further encourages them to engage with the system.
Besides the aforementioned aspect of having fun, gamification also:
Improves memory and attention span
Enhances storytelling and imagination
Helps with decision making
Creates a sense of achievement
Understanding how gamification benefits individuals makes it easier to see why the implementation of the concept can reduce certain problems that a fair few companies struggle to overcome. Let’s take a look at those problems in detail.
Employee Attraction, Motivation, and Retention
Employees are the heart and soul of a company, and it is up to the higher-ups to keep them happy and engaged while also ensuring that the right people join the team.
There are multiple perks that influence a potential recruit’s decision whether to join or not. It might not seem like a big deal, but if a company has a digital environment to help employees reach their goals, it will stand out from the competition.
An employee can join and play a game that tracks their status and goals. Once the participant clears a stage, they can move on to the next goal. A sense of direction also works as a means to motivate and encourage employees to continue. And if there is a reward in it, then that further boosts the desire to participate. With all that said, an employee who is happy and motivated will be much easier to retain, even if they receive offers from other companies.
One final thing to note, of course, is the fact that different departments have different priorities, and not every single person in a department is likely to have the drive to join. As such, it is crucial to think about different gamification levels and techniques that should be introduced.
In a busy work environment where productivity and profits are prioritized so much, it is common to see health being overlooked.
Overworking yourself to a point where you suffer consequences later is hardly ideal for long-term success.
Implementing gamification is relatively simple. You can hire an app developer or pick one of the already available applications and encourage employees to treat using these apps as a game.
For example, an app could track one’s time spent in front of a monitor or how many calories they consume on average throughout a week or a month.
Setting goals to take regular breaks, balance your diet, or spend more time can be treated as a game so long as you track your progress and checkmark goals.
By prioritizing employee health, a company further strengthens itself as a responsible employer. And similar to work productivity, instances of success in overcoming health problems or maintaining a positive result can also be rewarded.
Maintenance and Development Costs
By gamifying the workplace, a company stands to reduce its maintenance and development costs long-term. The overall savings might not be significant, but every little bit helps, especially for those who run on a tight budget or want to dedicate more resources to the well-being of the employees.
In this case, the purpose of gamification is to create a knowledge base and build a tool that collects data about employee engagement, training, progress, and so on.
It becomes much easier to identify which methods work and which do not when you have a gamification system in hand to provide instant results based on past experiences.
If a method is successful, it is worth continuing to use it and maybe developing further by investing more. On the other hand, if one of your gamification techniques did not prove good, you will have a piece of data to justify giving it up.
There are true and tried methods to boost customer loyalty and raise brand awareness. However, it does not mean that you cannot look for new and less conventional ideas.
Even if it is for the sake of variety, businesses stand to gain if they gameify certain aspects of their products and try gamification in sales.
First of all, you need to decide which elements you want to introduce. Choosing between one of the following should be a good start:
From a consumer’s point of view, there are two notable points of attraction. The first is competition against others, and the second is taking a direct advantage by participating.
Breaking these two down, let’s cover the competitive side first. Take Duolingo, for example. This well-known language education app has weekly leaderboards and multiple divisions that encourage users to spend more time on the app to learn and collect points and achievements because they want to be at the top of the leaderboards.
As far as the direct benefits go, those are pretty self-explanatory. If a service offers a discount code or a loyalty badge that enables free shipping, for instance, you can expect the engagement rate to grow significantly.
So what does this all lead to? By engaging with the product, customers become more attached and loyal. Not to mention that they are more likely to share their positive experiences with others. And considering how effective word of mouth is, it is understandable to see more and more companies try gamification marketing a go.
In the era of digital information and strict laws on data management, it is tricky to collect data and utilize it.
Brands make decisions based on the information they have. Customer demographics, habits, and other details help create a consumer persona that can then be utilized to create your targets.
However, businesses have to align the data collection with GDPR. Otherwise, they stand to break the law and face consequences.
The great thing about gamification is that it helps you circumvent the regulations. There are certain tools and services that let brands collect data legally. As for how this data is utilized, it is entirely up to the companies that gather the information.
Multiple Platform Reach
Roughly half of all the internet traffic comes from mobile devices. The other half is from desktops.
The split creates quite a few problems for brands that are looking to create a universal marketing campaign to cover as many potential consumers as possible.
For example, ads display differently on smartphones compared to desktop computers. Or, if you open an email on a tablet, the odds are that it will not display as the sender initially wanted. Sure, in some cases, the fault lies on the user’s end because they do not have optimized devices.
According to the Backlight blog, failing to clear the cache, remove spyware, or enable updates leads to performance and display issues. However, as a brand, you do not focus on these obstacles and want to do what you can do.
It is about efficiency. Managing resources is easier when there is a marketing method that works on multiple platforms.
Gamification is exactly that. Social media, apps, software as a service, and anything else with the potential to be gamified on both computers and mobile devices opens opportunities to make the most out of gamification without worrying about restrictions.
All in all, the fact that gamification solves such significant problems illustrates why gamification solutions are on the mind of those managing both big and small companies.
The idea of gamifying your work environment is still relatively new and comes with certain challenges, but the benefits outweigh the drawbacks by a significant margin. As such, if your organization has not considered implementing gamification, now might be a good time to reconsider.
After all, companies that do not bother with it stand to fall behind the competition, and it can be difficult to make a comeback once everyone else is ahead.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is gamification and it’s example?
Ans. Gamification is the application of game elements and mechanics in non-game contexts to engage and motivate individuals. It involves incorporating elements such as points, badges, leaderboards, challenges, and rewards into activities or systems to make them more enjoyable and encourage desired behaviors.
Example: A fitness app that uses gamification could award points and badges to users for completing daily workouts, achieving personal milestones, or participating in challenges. Users can compete with friends on leaderboards, earn rewards or virtual goods, and track their progress visually. This gamified approach helps to motivate and sustain user engagement in their fitness journey.
Q2. How does gamification work?
Ans. Gamification works by incorporating game elements like goals, challenges, rewards, and competition into non-game activities. It engages and motivates people by tapping into their desire for achievement, progression, and social interaction.
Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2023.