Improve work performance with gamification

Do you want to get your employees motivated by using a positive and fun approach. Not having to punish with sanctions or bad reviews or even having to bribe them with bonuses or salary increases to improve their work performance and get them engaged in your business. By simply adding game elements to your workplace, gamification can make this possible.

How does gamification work?

Gamification is about engagement and motivating people to do things by stimulating the desired behavior. It is the use of game thinking and game techniques outside a game environment, in the ‘real world’, like your office. Therefore it’s not a stand-alone game. It is all about taking game elements and implementing them in daily work to make work more fun and challenging. It is managing on performance level by rewarding your employees for desired behavior. Which desired behavior you want to reward can be determined on your business goals, helping you achieve the goals you set for your organization.

Let me give you some examples

Gamification can be used in various businesses from marketing to health care. The following examples give an impression of how gamification can be applied. The first example is well known and called Nike+, which was introduced by Nike in 2010. Nike+ is a running application that records the distance and pace of a walk or run. By using Nike+ runners can set goals, earn levels, points and badges, track their activities and get aninsight of the progress they made. The application stores all the data on the Nike+ website where the position on the leaderboard is shown, achievements can be shared with each other and other runners can be challenged. It is designed to make fitness a social, fun and engaging experience and ofcourse eventually get more people to run.

The second example illustrates the use of gamification in a contact center in order to get contact center agents engaged and improve their work performance. A lack of complexity, autonomy and control found in contact center work is related to low engagement of the agents. Contact center work is in itself a demanding, repetitive and often stressful job. This reflects in a high level of absenteeism. The image below shows how agamification feedback bar was implemented in the screen of the contact center agent. Here the agent receives instant feedback on his work performance. His status and targets are clearly displayed and will be broadcasted to other employees to provoke friendly competition. He can win points, badges, complete levels and improve his position on the leaderboard by simply performing his normal work tasks.

Example - Tracebuzz

Example – Tracebuzz

But why does gamification work?

The current generation has grown up with technology, and especially video games, as part of everyday life. It has become the fastest growing form of human recreation enjoyed by players at all ages and origin across the globe. For example: at this moment there are 7.7 million players active in the fantasy world of World of Warcraft. Video games are a powerful tool for motivating behavior and form the entertainment of today. They have the power to take you in, entertain you and motivate you by containing the right balance between psychology and technology. Gamification uses these same principles and makes use of the underlying reason why people are encouraged by challenges, a sense of progression, status, recognition and feedback. Which makes gamification the most effective form of managing for this generation.

Want to know more? Here are some tips

  • Want to know if gamification is suited for your organization? Coursera offers an extended gamification course, which will give you an insight of the mechanism and provide you with knowlegde to effectively implement gamification. Sign up for this course!
  • To get a better idea of gamification I strongly recommend you to visit the website of the Funtheory. This website shows us exactly how fun can change human behavior in a positive way.
  • Get inspired by watching Jane McGonigal’s inspiring TedTalk.
  • Book a session with me!

this blog was posted at 24sessions on 15 November 2013


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