Using gamification in work contexts is one of the most powerful tools that human resources leaders could manage today. The use of technology allows the combination of digital game design and human psychology, allowing business results such as increased productivity and employee engagement.
It is not necessary to be addicted to videogames to understand the ability of gamification techniques to influence and positively modify human behavior.
Like all puppies on this planet, humans learns initially through play. This principle remains even in adults. Videogames designers have understood since a long time ago: humans are led to interact positively with game elements such as points systems, increasingly levels, challenges to be faced, goals to be achieved and rankings in which to position themselves in a competitive manner. This is because processes shaped in the form of play stimulates emotions and this leads to greater awareness and engagement by the employees.
“Gamification is 75% psychology and 25% technology” (quote by Gabe Zichermann, Business Partner of “Gamification by Design”)
Gamification in the workplace can drive results
Managing commitment and productivity of individual employees are complicated and often held back by the need to have individualized variables; this is what staff managers are used to: gamification completely modifies this approach, making the start-up phase easier and immediate. Our experiences alongside companies have made us see incredible user adoption and usability rates, able to defeat any old-fashioned motivation program.
A key component of the success of workplace gamification lies in the ability to identify desired business outcomes and break them down into micro-targets in which the full range of rewards and awards will motivate people. Gamification apps offer a complete menu of reward systems adapted to individual preferences, (including financial awards, training opportunities, collective recognition in the workplace and other incentives). Personalization facilitates an high rate of adoption and this stimulates a correct interaction between actions and rewards, in a logic of stimulus-reinforcement.
For example, it would be possible to encourage sales people to challenge themselves in a broader logic of the “number of leads closed” and “turnover”. The use of a greater number of correlated variables and the development of a continuous monitoring of the identified KPIs ensures challenging game dynamics, able to increase the productivity of individuals and groups. Gamification app user does his job because he decides to do it, because he feels involved in a larger project, in which he is accompanied step by step.
The key point is to create a digital architecture within the gamification application that can clarify the desired results and behavioral changes required (higher productivity, greater focus, better lead generation results, etc.). Once this is done, the best incentive systems must be created in terms of the incentive for employees, creating a system of recognition and reward aligned with the corporate culture and the needs / requests of employees.
Gamification helps training, involvement and productivity
Video games are highly “attractive”: they are machines designed and created to keep users playing for hours. Anyone of us has played or played with their smartphone. In gaming apps, players can add skills and knowledge to help them get better results in the game, earn more points, climb to higher levels and gain recognition. Game design techniques also work well for skills development and training, adding fun and competition in the learning mix that a standard training plan could never achieve.
83% of workers say that always having new challenges to face creates a very strong link with the organization (Source: ReportLinker)
Gamification strategies can increase employee motivation while increasing employees’ ability to retain knowledge about growth paths. Organizations like Microsoft have long introduced gamification logic in measuring employee performance, giving workers a way to measure and improve their productivity while assisting customers. Result? Microsoft has achieved an increase in performance and effectiveness customer service, since he has associated each operation with incentives, rewards and awards in a real-time management of individual projects.
Gamification in the workplace has an incredible number of real applications, especially when it comes to increasing productivity and the involvement of human resources. The gamification apps are great vehicles to motivate employees towards specific business results, whether it be learning, efficiency, providing better services or more sales. Ease of use and speed of learning makes it even more difficult to limit the collaborators: the risk of gamification if anything is the excessive dependence on the part of employees in using it. In fact, video games complain about a game disis declared at the beginning of 2018 officially by the World Health Organization that defines adolescent players at risk of dependence as a consequence of video game addiction, do you think what it could be to transform this mismanagement of motivation logic into a virtuous circle that is positive for learning? Where the energies are dedicated in the appropriate ways and times to focus and increase the cognitive and motivational development of people?
The same regions of the brain that are activated when craving occur in alcohol and drug addicts are also activated in video game addicts when they see images of computer games. (Source: Han, 2011)
In the coming years it will be an incremental path for many companies and even mandatory in some contexts where the relationship creates development. In your company: which process could be “played” with the potential of gamification?