Gamification started off life as a buzzword and, for a time, looked like it might become another fad in the corporate world. However, it has proven to be more effective than many might have predicted in the early stages.
There are numerous reasons behind its success. Generations that grew up on video games and their effects are now established parts of the workforce. Many of the techniques that go into successful game design translate perfectly to the corporate world and achieve great results in a familiar setting.
Best of all, gamification works in virtually every element of modern business. So whether your focus is employees, new hires, new and existing customers, or anything else, there’s always room to turn business into a game.
1. Greater Productivity Among Employees.
One of the most significant cultural shifts in modern business involves a change in attitude towards games in the workplace. For so long, games were viewed as being about as disassociated from workplace productivity as it’s possible to be. But, of course, corporate gamification doesn’t necessarily mean dropping everything and playing games instead.
It involves updating processes and procedures to introduce gaming elements that rely on the great feelings of progress and accomplishment. From customer service to sales, and much more besides, making a game out of doing a job well and keeping eyes on the prize can have a massive impact on output.
2. Training While Playing.
There’s a trend for marketing educational toys as being so much fun that kids won’t even realize they’re learning. Some might call it slightly underhanded, but the vital part is that it works on adults too!
The concept is relatively easy to understand. There are thousands of employees out there today that can recognize every national flag in the world from playing soccer simulations or have intimate knowledge of specific points in history through playing games from the Total War series. Gamification enables learning through repeated exposure in immersion, and it can be modified to meet your training goals.
The training itself varies wildly between companies and industries. However, the desire to learn more, complete tasks, and pick up rewards along the way cannot be underestimated.
3. Greater Engagement with New and Existing Customers.
Internal gamification is excellent but, when done well, it can have a lasting impact on customers too. Some of the world’s biggest brands have introduced gamification as a way to attract and retain customers, and there are plenty of word-of-mouth benefits.
You might even use some of these gamified apps already. The Nike Run Club app is one great example, and Fitbit does something similar through its app by setting challenges and awarding badges. Of course, fitness lends itself well to the concept, but it’s far from the only way to get people talking about your brand while solving problems and building goodwill in the process.
4. Build Team Spirit and Retain Staff.
There are people of all ages and not just younger individuals who, after a hard day, enjoy nothing more than hopping online and playing their favorite games with friends and complete strangers. While there will always be room for more conventional team-building exercises, it’s hard to beat the immediacy and accessibility of a gamified workplace.
This can tie into productivity, as outlined above, with leader boards and rewards. On the other hand, it could be as simple as going back to basics and literally playing games! Use the company network for some good old-fashioned multiplayer action, or encourage some healthy competition on online games that are simple enough to make it through the IT team’s filters.
There are hundreds of millions of gamers on every continent, and the concept is so ingrained in so many lives that it’s pointless to attempt to ignore it in the workplace. Indeed, doing so would be a bad idea anyway, given the untapped potential gamification can have among stakeholders inside and outside the company. Of course, it remains a fledgling concept for the time being, and there is much more to come, but it’s never too early to think about how introducing games into the workplace can boost your business.