What is Gamification?
To help answer this question, it is worth clarifying what gamification is not. It is not about creating a game, nor is it about playing games in the workplace. It is also not simply about the use of prizes (or other incentives) to drive a specific action, as this would merely be an incentive system.
There is nothing wrong with incentive systems, however they tend to reward final outcomes and don’t make lasting changes to the behaviors and practices of staff. In fact, these approaches, when used in isolation, are often the very reason why there are large groups of dispassionate and poorly engaged employees in organizations.
At a fundamental level, gamification is defined as follows:
“The use of game mechanics (the main components of a game structure) with game dynamics (how, when and to what degree each component is used) in a non-game context to engage users and solve problems”.
In a business context, this translates to:
"Gamification is used in business applications and business processes to: improve user engagement, improve data quality, accelerate learning, and to drive a faster and larger return on an existing or new investment".
In the workplace, gamification has taken root in key business areas; including sales, marketing, customer service, supply chain and HR processes. The reason is simple; it drives an increase in engagement and behavioral change that in turn creates a measurable improvement in business efficiency.
Increasing employee engagement levels results in:
- increased user adoption
- improved data quality
- increased social collaboration
- reduction in sales cycles
- a clearer view into user performance