4 min read08-10-2020

Gamification in the workplace

InnovationCompany culture

How people describe it

Today we’ll learn the basics of gamification strategies, including common terms, how to implement solutions, and what it can do for your company.

Gamification is usually described as the application of game elements to non-game contexts. In simpler terms, gamification takes the characteristics we like about games and adds them to everyday actions in order to make them more interesting. Think about all the ways something like that could be used in your workspace!

You could encourage people to...

  • Complete their daily reports
  • Take action on training and improving their skills
  • Get up from their desks and move

Think about receiving points for finishing paperwork or making coffee. These game elements use our love for competition and reward or encourage us to do certain actions. By changing the way people think about behavior, gamification can change people’s habits.

There are multiple ways to implement gamification, here are some examples of how it's done in the world of gaming.

Reward

The reward system is the heart and soul of gamification. Basically, when an employee does something you want them to do, they get a reward.

If you want employees to collaborate and share their work, reward them by giving points for asking/answering questions, writing/commenting on posts, and uploading files for team use.

If you want employees to compete against one another, put everyone's scores on a dashboard where they can see their points add up instantly. This is a form of the 'leaderboard effect'. Ranking top performers on a leaderboard broadcasts who gets the most out of a game. They foster a sense of community, especially if users are grouped into teams.

Game reward chest

Angry Birds menu

(Positive) Feedback

Immediate positive feedback makes us feel good about completing something and motivates us to do it again. On the flip side of that, when employees are punished for not completing an activity, they are more likely to disengage from their roles and the company.

Motivation

There are many theories about what motivates us as human beings. In addition, there have been many studies conducted that try to get to the root of motivation. This is because, without motivation, we wouldn't accomplish much in this world and your employees wouldn't accomplish much in the workplace.

We like Scientific American's simple breakdown of motivation:

  1. Autonomy: You feel more motivated when you're in charge. Or even when you think you're in charge. Researchers found that the perception of autonomy predicts people's drive in pursuing a goal. They also discovered that – surprise, surprise – people are more energized about completing tasks they want to complete.
  2. Value: You're more motivated when you believe in and value an activity. In other words, if you think an activity is important, you're more likely to complete it. Researchers found that students who valued a subject in school were more willing to investigate it independently.
  3. Competence: The more time you spend on an activity, the more competent you get at it, and the more likely you'll continue doing it. Researchers also found that effort creates excellence and can motivate you to keep learning. Those who believe they have an innate talent are more likely to give up when an activity becomes difficult than those who have worked hard to master the skills.

    Fogg Behavior Model

Innovative companies will find ways to further personalize the gamification experience. These were just a few basic examples of gamification. We hope it is now more clear how to create a fun, yet positive, environment for your employers!


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