What is gamification?
Gamification takes the mechanics that make videogames popular and uses them to motivate people to achieve personal or business goals. It has the power to make even the most repetitive tasks rewarding. And it can be one of your most powerful tools when it comes to engagement – internally and externally.
The most powerful game mechanics include: working towards set objectives and levelling up; teamwork; competing against others; and learning, improving and developing yourself through tips, tricks and tutorials.
They’re the reason videogames are taking over the world. And they’re at the heart of the ‘intrinsic motivation’ attached to games – a drive to achieve something without the need of a tangible reward such as payment, acknowledgement or otherwise at the finish line.
There’s nothing more engaging than jumping into a virtual universe where every success is rewarded with items, experience points and other in game benefits that make you a better version of your cyber-self.
What’s more, failure isn’t frowned upon – even when it proves to be fatal. It’s a chance to reset, respawn and learn from your mistakes to reach a better outcome next time round.
Now, imagine if we could take all the above and apply it in our businesses. The teamwork, the resilience, the hunger to learn and overcome challenges. Gamification takes these powerful elements of videogames and brings them into the workplace, rocket-fuelling your people and giving your engagement a significant 1-UP.
How can gamification improve business results?
“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and…. Snap! The job’s a game, and every task you undertake, becomes a piece of cake.”
From Mary Poppins to our Culture Carnival, these were the lyrics Ted Hewitt shared with us in his brilliant talk on gamification in the workplace. They carry an important message too, because when it’s designed correctly, gamification increases motivation, engagement, learning and loyalty, turning business tasks and targets into, well… a piece of cake.
Sounds great, right? But activity doesn’t necessarily equal success. The challenge lies in creating meaningful incentives – the kind that your people are willing to pursue and the kind that contribute towards your business objectives.
Gamification ideas for your business
If you send out a feedback survey to your customers for tips on how to improve your business, why not incentivise them to fill it in with the reward of being entered into a prize draw for an Amazon voucher?
When these feedback scores and comments come in, why not award any team scoring an average of 9/10 virtual badges that can be collected and traded for a meal in the canteen or other prizes?
If you work in marketing, could you reward the number of ‘clicks’ or sign ups on your adverts, articles or emails in a similar manner?
If you have a sales team, why not design challenges based around how many email addresses they can get in a month?
Or how about encouraging engagement with your learning and development portal by introducing rewards and ‘level ups’ for completing modules or courses, with prizes awarded every month.
Whatever it is, there are four key elements to every successful example of gamification:
- It should be appealing to play (i.e. fun enough to make people come back).
- Players should receive feedback on their performance straight away.
- Challenges and objectives should be easy at the start to make them accessible, and increase in difficulty over time to maintain engagement.
- Players should feel a clear sense of progress and be able to compare it with others.
Successful examples of gamification in business
Koin Rewards use one of our favourite examples of gamification. They’re making customer loyalty schemes exciting and environmentally friendly by rewarding their users for buying products that are more responsible, ethical and sustainable.
The reward? Their own cryptocurrency, ‘Koin’, which can be turned into cash to be spent on other sustainable products, donating to good causes and offsetting your carbon footprint. And because Koin Rewards give you direct access to these products based on your interests and values, they’re making being a conscious consumer easier – and more rewarding – than ever. We caught up with Curt Hopkins, their CEO, recently. Check out Curt’s story here.
The iconic circular confectionary makers engaged their audiences across Facebook and Twitter with their take on ‘Where’s Wally?’ – or ‘Waldo’ as he’s known across the pond.
They challenged users to find a pretzel hidden amongst a sea of M&Ms. Why? To promote their new range of pretzel M&Ms. And although there was nothing more than a fleeting moment of accomplishment on offer, the campaign attracted 25,000 likes, 10,000 comments and 6,000 shares on Facebook alone. A shining example of gamification’s ability to engage people with your brand in a fun, memorable way.
The power of gamification is everywhere
Remember when you added more and more detail to your LinkedIn profile to reach 100% on the completion scale? That’s gamification. Airline loyalty programs? They’re an example of gamification. Even your local bar’s happy hour is evidence of gamification in action.
The potential of gamification to engage your people and boost your reputation is everywhere. What’s more, with the technology at our fingertips, rolling it out and feeling the full force of its benefits has never been easier. So, how are you going to take your business to the next level?