From buzzwords to business, gamification need not belong exclusively to the domain of tech gurus and serial entrepreneurs. Read on to get the rules of the game and learn about aspects of gamification that can benefit your company.
Alongside "agile", "lean", "purpose", "scale-up", "work-life balance", anything Elon Musk ate for breakfast, chia seeds and dogs of Instagram - gamification seems to have been buried underneath the clutter of business jargon, with at least one major publication proclaiming it the "Next Big Thing" yearly since 2012. But what is in it for your employees? Do they need to play team-building games to boost engagement or literally sync up to 3D glasses and never look back?
Neither. Let's dig into pillars of gamification, dismantle the hype and strip down to the game elements anyone can use to improve their work processes, no Oculus Rift involved.
According to the Interaction Design Foundation, gamification is the application of game design principles and mechanics to non-game environments, inviting your employees to adjust their behaviors in a positive way through incentives, rewards, recognition and motivation. In people management and HR, gamification aims to improve workforce connectivity, provide training opportunities and engage digital natives. Marriott, Cognizant, Deloitte, Aetna and others have been employing gamification for the past few years, proving it to be the innovation element worth looking into.
Gamification proponents agree on the need to dismantle the common gamification newbie misconception: gamification for the sake of it will not yield results. Instead, it may present a time- and resource-consuming obstacle to otherwise efficient processes. On the contrary, the gamification application Rule Number 1 is to apply it to solving existing issues, one at a time.
From employee retention to new staff benefit schemes, to boosting productivity overall, gamification can solve plenty of organizational issues. This focused approach not only simplifies the process of innovation but makes the end goal more attainable.
While it is tempting to directly copy gaming strategies to spice up your next team meeting with some paintballling activities and actual games, a closer look at human motivation factors is more important. The Interaction Design Foundation prioritizes these 7 motivation-driving behaviors:
People everywhere. A sense of expectation hanging in the air. Giving out a spark... ABBA was right about so many things, and especially the focus on your employees required from any HR manager attempting to introduce gamification initiatives. According to Gartner, "The target audience [of gamification] may be customers, employees or the general public, but first and foremost, they are people with needs and desires who will respond to stimuli".
What can be suitable for a growing startup could seem too management-heavy in a large corporation. When implementing your shiny brand new gamification plan, keep your organization's existing culture in mind: measure the activities you want to introduce against company morale and capabilities.
Looking for a way to create a personal approach to every employee? Make sure you read our Newbie Profile Manual and learn about the demands of different workplace archetypes.