How can Gamification help your business achieve its business goals?
The idea of ‘gamification’ has been subject to a fair bit of hype… to the point that (as with all the best Tech fads) many of us probably think we ought to be doing it, but are still not really sure what it involves.
What is Gamification?
Simply, gamification is the process of using game design and game mechanics in a non-game context. Because of our familiarity with gaming concepts (from video games, online games, game apps on our phones, etc), some analysts suggest that applying them in other software tools could help to foster similar levels of participation and engagement.
Given the addictive nature of some games, this notion has gained a fair bit of traction within the business community. Imagine if your employees were as engaged with your business as some people are with Candy Crush? Imagine if your customers had the same loyalty for your products as some people had for Angry Birds?
What is possibe using Gamification?
The rub is, of course, that the success of those games is rare even within gaming. And those games had been designed around the sole purpose of ‘the game’.
Reorienting your business around gaming concepts is a big ask – even if it were desirable. Instead, to date, most gamification centres on introducing gaming concepts to existing processes or tools. This includes introducing things such as scoreboards, challenges, earning badges, leader boards, etc. in order to foster a greater sense of engagement and participation amongst customers and/or employees.
How are companies using Gamification today?
Gamification is great for encouraging repeated interactions with your brand by consumers on social media and online – the Yeo Valley website is a good early example where gamification has driven brand awareness and customer interaction (and purchase) across multiple channels.
Gamification is also great for motivating teams of employees and creating a buzz internally about achieving core business goals.
Motivating employees through Gamification
This is something we’ve been working on at Crystal Ball within our vehicle tracking solution. Our software, gives businesses a way of monitoring the driving behaviours of their employees so they can identify any drivers who need to change their driving habits in order to achieve optimum productivity, efficiency and safety.
How can gamification help with this? Well, in many ways. First, especially for new customers, it helps to create a buzz internally about the introduction of the new system which, in turn, helps to smooth the transition to the new software solution. Gamification helps to gain employee buy-in. Second, and this is for everyone, it also helps to align everybody’s thinking to (and focus on) business goals in the longer term.
How do your employees level up?
One of the key game mechanics that make games so addictive is the process of gaining experience points or ‘levelling up’. This plays on our natural desires to master a skill, complete a task, and compete against our peers in order to achieve status and seek out praise or reward.
Different businesses will choose to implement gamification techniques in different ways – depending on what suits the business and what it is trying to achieve. It could be something as simple as giving employees access to their own dashboards where they can see their performance stats. It could be weekly, monthly and annual league tables. It could be a system of badges, recognition and/or rewards based on these dashboards or league tables.
These simple ideas can create a buzz about individual or team performance against business goals – in the case of Crystal Ball, we provide customers with the data on their drivers’ behaviour in the form of a Driver League Table. This enables our customers to set business goals and personal goals for drivers and reward those drivers who meet them.
Longer-term, these performance tables can be aligned with HR & Development strategy: possibly impacting performance-related pay or promotion or, better yet, establishing ‘ambassadors’ within the business to promote good performance (good driving standards, or whatever else you’re measuring). These ambassadors can then support co-workers to progress towards their goals/ optimum performance.
Is Gamification right for my business?
And that, is, perhaps the crux of gamification. Gamification is just another tool in your armoury. Like any other tool, it has to sit within a bigger strategy.
You need to be clear what your goals are and why gamification is going to help you achieve them.
And if you decide gamification can help you achieve your goals, you need to embed gamification within the other aspects of your business it touches: whether that be internal communication, performance reviews, personal development plans, customer service methodology, sales.