Gamification can be a tricky concept to introduce to a manager. There is misinformation abound when considering the short and long term effects of gamification on businesses. Gamification has existed for such little time that there is also the misconception that 'good' gamification cannot be accurately described. That's not true.
We're going to clarify what good gamification looks like for you. Because it certainly exists. We've been delivering gamification services worldwide for 7 years now. We've seen the great effects that good gamification can have on a company... and sometimes the harmful effects of poorly implemented gamification.
We've collected our positive experiences into this blog post, which we hope will help you spot good gamification from now on.
1. Higher productivity
When gamification is done right, employees enjoy coming into work (or working from home at the moment). In fact, their favourite day of the week is often Monday. Higher productivity means accomplishing more with the same amount of resources or achieving higher output in terms of volume and quality from the same input. Gamification uses science to target internal desires and makes completing work intrinsically satisfying. If you can make the work more enjoyable for your employees don't you think you'll see them doing a lot more of it?
2. Lower attrition
Gamification makes work EASIER. It's a bold claim, but we're going to back it up. Say you are onboarding your newest recruit. You've got the training DVD's you've got the certificates of completion ready in the back. There's also a policy book which needs signing every 6 months... And it never happens!
Good gamification would make signing the policy book a fun and engaging task. But how does one do this? Perhaps every three months you introduce a day of in-house activities to your team and all tackle them together. Call these days by a different name! (Enrichment days maybe?) Bundle this with similar tasks, set the time limit (Friday at 5!) and order the pizza. Doesn't setting aside four days a year sound easier than nudging all of your employees every day for forever?
3. Higher morale
How do you boost company morale? What even is morale? High morale means good spirit, it means an energized workforce who encourage each other! We're sure you've seen an office with low morale. Silence. Tension. People leaving early, getting in late. It's unpleasant to say the least, and is known to affect work rate and quality.
An office with high morale is where you want to be. People are happy, and offering a helping hand to their colleagues. Gamification improves morale because it directly triggers dopamine receptors in the brain. Completing achievements and “quests” and earning rewards can motivate us to keep working on jobs that we don’t especially want to do, as it gives us the feeling that we are contributing to something greater, giving our jobs more meaning.
4. Improved image
In a survey, 78% of the respondents say that gamification in the recruiting process would make a company more desirable. That is an incredibly appealing statistic for HR managers, CEO's and investors alike. Imagine being able to take up your GlassDoor rating by a whole star simply by investing in some in-house training and establishing gamified practices for hiring.
When gamification is done right, you become well known for it. Word of it spreads your renown for being a fun and engaging company to work for. Terri invites all of her friends to take part in your gamified activity and suddenly you have 5 new competent members of your team: all because of gamification.
5. Better performance
Gamification is awesome, because when it is designed right you can start achieving some spectacular results in your business. A gamified company environment that makes a happier, hard-working team are certain to produce some exceptional results.
The game Spyro is famed for having a completion level at MORE than 100%, all the way to 117% complete! If your team usually functions around 60%, imagine if gamification took your performance all the way to that 117% mark. Give your employees a chance to reach the moon... and they just might.
6. Greater market share
What's your competitive advantage?
Haven't got one? Oh.
Companies achieve market share when they are more competitive than others. Gamification can provide that competitive advantage. You can gamify your product or service to give it a USP over your competitors. Gamification can also get your employees to care about your business as much as you do.
Okay, lets say you already have market share but you still don't use gamification? What?! You are missing a trick there!
Gamification can be implemented into any business scenario at almost any price point. If you're not using gamification, then this is your sign to start!
7. Greater profit
An easy way to explore this is to talk about gamified sales. We're a fan of the Octalysis case study presented at Gamification Europe 2017. The whole sales department were on boarded onto a pirate-style gamified application which had a 99.7% enrolment across the whole team. Sales grew by 21.5%!
Of course, gamification doesn't just work in sales. It works in Marketing, HR and even in your legal team. Just think of the possibilities!
We'd like to recommend you watch the whole video, it's a pretty compelling case-study. We've linked it below ;).
8. More growth
Our favourite example of growth to use here is Dropbox. Dropbox is an online file storing website. When you first sign up you get 2.25 GB of storage. Dropbox introduced a gamified growth technique: referrals. Accounts get 500 MB per referral and can earn up to 16 GB. Dropbox started to grow pretty quickly after they introduced this feature, as friends were introduced to the service, who then all wanted extra storage; so they referred all of their friends... etc.
Gamification that brings you three new customers rather than one. Why spend extra on marketing to capture these results when you could get three for the price of one?
9. More innovation
Games act a mediator. They can be a universal language that everyone understands. In a workshop setting, the implementation of gamification into the workshop helps employees to let go of any misconceptions of their understanding of the task at hand. By adding a whole new language to our repertoire, games and gamification makes people think differently. New patterns of thought are essential in generating new ideas and innovation. Gamification is a catalyst for innovation. Check out our workshop on Playful Leadership for more on using play to create safe places to fail to boost innovation.
10. Problems solved
We talked about gamification as a shared language in communication. When you have gamification as a new method and tool for dealing with problems as they arrive, you can deal with each issue immediately and successfully. Gamification gives you a new framework, an extra set of eyes that help you work out what the ideal solution should be!
By seeing the world as a game, you start to see patterns in how the world works and how you can make the most of it. When you play enough games you start to get suspicious of red barrels or containers... they usually explode! Gamification makes you aware of red barrels in the real world. In games, the solution is built in. With gamification, you are immediately able to link your problem with the ideal solution and mitigate it from ever being a problem in the first place.
11. Happier customers
One of our favourite parts of gamification is how easy it is to personalise for everyone. That's why we've dedicated a whole section to it on our Successful Gamification Project workflow. Gamification allows you to get very personal, and with a gamified marketing strategy, you can learn exactly what sort of products your customers want. Gamification allows you to acquire feedback at the rate you really need to make these personalisations.
When you are the only vendor providing exactly what the customer wants, don't you think there will be a long line of eager customers waiting outside your front door or at your website?
12. Superior service
Adding gamification to your customer support team can revolutionise your service. Like we said for number 3 (higher morale), gamification makes people happier. Happier staff means happier customers.
Imagine you had a gamified decision tree scenario, where certain responses were worth more points? The aim of the gamification would be to sort out the customers issues as quickly and effectively as possible. Better quality responses would give more points to the staff and they'll soon learn how to improve their score (get better at their job). This gives your staff a chance to really enjoy their job and makes your customers happier, as they get their issue resolved rapidly.
13. Environment saved
Gamification can have real and tangible positive outcomes for sustainability and the environment. In fact, the recent 'Gamification in Sustainability Award' via The Gamification Awards showed just how much of an impact gamification can make!
If you implemented gamified sustainability training for all your staff, they would begin to see where waste (physical or metaphorical) emerges, and change their practices to align with a higher purpose: saving the world.
Are you ready?
Phew! We hope you can see why we're so passionate about gamification. It's uses are many fold and can ramp up your results. Crucially, all the factors above are entwined, and act as a booster for all the others. When you next have that conversation with your boss about the potential to bring gamification into your workplace, show them this list!