Gamification in Business: Benefits, Strategy, Examples
— November 3rd, 2021
Gamification is the application of elements typical of game playing (points, levels, missions, leaderboards, badges, and progress) into areas that are not usually game-related. The term was first coined by Nick Pelling in 2012 and has, over time, become a buzzword in the business world.
In fact, there is a growing trend to gamify tasks like training and team building. More and more successful businesses are incorporating gaming elements into the workspace to encourage and incentivize employees.
According to Zippia the North American gamification industry, led primarily by the US, is valued at $2.72 billion. Moreover, 72% of people say gamification motivates them to do tasks and work harder on the job.
Luckily, gamification doesn’t need to be difficult to design to be effective. Even simple gamification strategies can up the fun quotient in the office.
7 Tips to better understand and engage your people
Everyone loves a bit of friendly competition and leaderboards are a way to implement this into the workspace. They are a great motivator for employees to perform better and can improve morale throughout the company.
A well-designed leaderboard provides daily reminders of past and current accomplishments. It is important to design the leaderboard to encourage as many players as possible to take part in the competition.
Leaderboards work by:
- Offering a visual representation of a competition
- Allowing employees to compete more easily
- Making it easy for players to set a goal for themselves
- Giving employees a way to keep track of their progress
- Providing recognition/social reward
One of the most important aspects of a lot of games is that a system exists that gives instant feedback to let the player know how they did. In terms of corporate learning, similar quick feedback allows learners to become aware of not only what they know, but what they need to know.
This will facilitate better learner engagement and thereby better recall and retention. Immediate feedback will work particularly well when applied to online courses using assessments, modules, and badges.
When leaders celebrate their employees’ milestones it works to promote a recognition-rich culture. This type of positive culture is directly tied to employee engagement, morale, and ultimately, retention.
Whatever the objective, businesses should break it down into small milestones that are achievable for their employees to reach. Then, they should reward users for each one. It’s also important to keep track of employees' progress to see how effective the system is.
Goal-Tracking Progress Bars
Employees are more engaged and motivated when they feel like the work they are doing is helping them to achieve a certain goal. In most types of games, a progress report and sense of achievement are important factors to keep players moving forward.
This too can be applied to employee motivation. Goal teaching software is an ideal way to let employees and their managers know how close they are to reaching the next level.
Benefits of Gamification:
- Makes learning fun and interactive
- Gives learners the opportunity to see real-world applications
- Offers real-time feedback
- Enhances the learning experience
- Increases employee motivation
- Promotes transparency and cooperation
- Recognizes and rewards employee achievements
- Helps workers develop their skills
- Measures progress and success
- Increases employee satisfaction and reduces turnover
- Improves the employee onboarding experience
- Provides clear paths to goal achievement
- Improves health and wellness
- Encourages teamwork
- Attracts Millenials and Gen Z talent
Examples companies using gamification
Dominos understands that it can be challenging to recruit and train new employees in a fast-paced industry.
With this in mind, the pizza giant got creative and came up with the Pizza Maker course, a training strategy that uses gamification-like simulations to teach new employees the skills they need to know to succeed e.g. how to put the correct toppings in the right amounts on each type of pizza. This saved the company resources and significantly cut down the onboarding time.
Like Dominos, Walmart successfully found a way to speed up the onboarding and training process of new employees, only this time through the use of VR headsets. Trainees who visit a Walmart Academy get to experience real-life situations through a virtual world.
They are faced with a number of potential situations that could present themselves on an average working day. Since the schools were first founded in 2016, more than two million employees have graduated from a Walmart Academy, which is often located in or near a Walmart Supercenter.
Due to its huge customer base and many products, Microsoft has significant language localization needs. This is why the company must always be careful to ensure their product translations and instructions are carefully translated.
To help this process, Microsoft created a ‘language quality’ game to be used by its employees all over the world. Those who participated in the game were presented with language phrases for which they would check the accuracy of. The game attracted 4,500 users who reviewed a total of 500,000 screens and made translation corrections or improvements based on their native tongues.
7 Tips to better understand and engage your people
From entry-level employees to senior leaders, Deloitte believes there’s always room to learn. When the company introduced its Deloitte Leadership Academy (DLA) training program, many senior executives lacked the motivation to take part.
However, when gamification elements were introduced into the learning experience, this quickly changed. These elements included badges, leaderboards, and the ability to customize the site to suit a person’s specific learning priorities.
Three months after the gamification principles were introduced, the time to complete the program dropped by 50 percent, with a nearly 37 percent increase in the number of users that return to the site daily.
To achieve certain business goals such as increased employee engagement, more effective training, and quicker onboarding, leaders can employ game-like principles to the workplace. Several variations of games and game-like elements are being successfully employed by big companies including points and badges, leaderboards, contests, challenges, prizes, and rewards.
Overall, when implemented effectively, gamification increases participation among employees and fosters other desired outcomes including capitalizing on people’s desire for recognition, achievement, and a sense of belonging.