Wednesday 6 October 2021

Gamification And Why Your Business Should Be Using It*

Gamification is a trendy topic within the business world and an effective way to increase productivity and morale. Businesses of all kinds can benefit from implementing a successful gamification strategy. This is a guide to understanding what gamification is and why your business should be using it in some form.

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So, what is gamification? 

To put it simply, it's the application of game elements to an activity that isn't traditionally a game. For example, giving points for completing tasks or setting up quests earns you items or other benefits within the app when completing them. These rewards don't necessarily need to be digital - they can take any material form that makes sense for your business goals.

What are some of the benefits?

  • The first significant benefit is that it makes work more fun. Even people who say they wouldn't enjoy games think that gamified work sounds good because it breaks up the monotony of doing things over and over again, day after day. It also helps reduce workplace boredom by allowing employees to show off their skills in a competitive way. All these elements make employees feel like they have a bit more control over their job, even if it's only the illusion of control.

  • Another significant side effect of gamifying a workplace is increased engagement. If people are having fun while working, chances are they'll be happier and more motivated to keep doing whatever it is they're doing. This increased engagement also comes with an increase in creativity and, thus, productivity. Employees feel like their ideas are valued because they know others are likely to adopt them if implemented.

  • There's no arguing that gamification makes work fun by allowing employees to show off their skills in a competitive way. It also boosts morale through rewards that can be given out for milestones or when an employee does something exceptional. The element of surprise goes a long way in keeping things exciting - you don't want people getting used to seeing the same old reward every time they do something good.

  • Another great thing about gamified workplaces is improvements in communication and teamwork. From friendly competition between teams to quests where people work together to complete them, there are plenty of opportunities for employees in different areas of your organization to come together. This teamwork makes the workplace more collaborative, helping staff work together in a way that benefits everyone.

  • Last but not least is how well gamification works with other HR tools and techniques. You can also use other methods such as employee surveys and performance reviews wherever you're using gamified elements. These tools will help get at what you want to know: How happy are your employees? What could be changed or improved? Where do they see room for advancement within the company? Where do they see room for improvement?

It's obvious why businesses should try using gamification. The benefits it offers are invaluable and easily implemented throughout your organization. And the best part is that you don't need to invest big money into an expensive system because there are plenty of great apps for mobile devices available at no cost and at reasonable prices.

What should I do next?

The next step is to decide what kind of game elements would work best for your business. Maybe points or levels will be enough, but if you want to take advantage of quests, teams, or other game-like features, then look into the appropriate app first. Most gamified apps offer a free trial before requiring you to commit to buying their product, so this research phase should be pretty risk-free. Just pick something that works well with your type of business and follow the steps to implement it.

What are some examples of companies using gamification?

There are many companies out there who have adopted this strategy with great success. Newest casinos survey confirms this. A few others that come to mind are Starbucks, BetterWorks, Epson America Inc., and Gatorade's G Works program.

A common theme behind all these examples is improved engagement levels through its employees or customers. 

Let's take a look at how Starbucks does it:

The app, My Starbucks Barista, is an excellent example of this. The coffee shop giant has successfully increased engagement among its employees and customers through gamification. When their app was introduced in 2015, it had around 500,000 downloads within the first six months. On top of that, over one million people have been registered as beta testers for future updates.

Betterworks is another example:

This HR software company has around 400,000 active users daily. They have over 1,100 companies using their system to track employees' progress, including Target and Adobe.

Epson America Inc. is another excellent example:

They have used gamification to increase engagement and performance among their large workforce. This printer company has over 20,000 employees across the globe that utilize gamified features such as badges for completing tasks, levels of user power-ups, etc.

A more recent example is Gatorade's new game G Works: 

IBM created it in partnership with Tennis Canada and Fast Company. According to the makers of this gamification logic, it is a way for people to "play through some real-world challenges found on the tennis court while earning points towards exclusive prizes".

The benefits associated with applying gamification are immense for businesses of all sizes.

The growing trend of gamification can be summarized with three points:

Engagement: Companies like Starbucks and Betterworks show how effective it is at engaging and motivating its users, employees or customers. And if you think about it, why would an organization want their employees/customers to use an app that doesn't engage them?

Differentiation: When an organization can use relevant and up-to-date strategies other organizations will be unable to, it sets itself apart from its competitors.

Productivity: Focusing on employees or customers in a whole new way can add more productive workforces/customers.

By implementing these strategies within their companies' operations, many organizations have noticed an improvement in employee and customer satisfaction. 

Press Start

There's no question that gamification is here to stay, and we should expect more companies to adopt these practices to remain successful. As powerful as this strategy is, it isn't helpful for every type of business and industry. It also doesn't just happen overnight; an implementation may take many months or years, depending on the size and nature of your workforce/target market. But once you get there - reward yourself! You deserve it; just don't play a game of Solitaire on your computer now that you're done reading this.

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