Gamification – Paving its way to be the best trend of Cloud Computing
Article Credit : Financial Post
Gamification, a strategy used to accelerate business and employee performance. Gamification programs combine game mechanics, intrinsic rewards and social technologies in a business context to influence employee or consumer behaviour. Some recent studies, however, have called into question the effectiveness of using games to drive business results in every application. The key lesson from the research is not that Gamification is ineffective, but rather that managers need to focus on designing good games and ensuring employee buy-in up front.
Also, the most common definition of Gamification is the use of on and offline game principles, techniques and technologies in an organizational context to improve business results. At their core, Gamification programs use stories, missions, incentives, and real-time feedback to change a person’s behavior over the long term. Stories can be anything that captivates and catalyzes a person’s interest over an extended period. Incentives can range from simple leader boards, ranks and badges to the creation of virtual currencies that can be traded.
For successful Gamification, combine the below 4 strategies:
- Business strategy – Powerful Gamification programs are tightly coupled to core business strategies and metrics.
- Motivational science – Successful games leverage key precepts of behavioral and social psychology such as the importance of continuous feedback, competition and public recognition.
- Video game learnings – Popular video games have been shown to increase brain endorphins, which lead to higher levels of blissful happiness.
- Collaborative technology – Companies should deploy enterprise-level Gamification platforms that can run different games.
Versatile use of Gamification in renowned companies
Improving operational productivity – Microsoft uses team-based competition and leader boards to more quickly and thoroughly find software bugs.
Driving consumer awareness and engagement – Duane Reade uses location-based, competitive gaming to build awareness of their stores and merchandise selection.
Deepening product usage – Adobe has gamified their Photoshop tutorial to improve a trial user’s knowledge of core functionality.
Facilitating employee learning and participation – Deloitte uses Gamification to better address employee concerns and manage performance in areas like training, document creation and community engagement.
Triggering lifestyle changes – The Nike+ game promotes exercise by allowing people to track their results and compete against their friends and others.
As with other business strategies, firms will maximize returns with better program design and implementation. To do this, we recommend managers follow a ‘measure twice, cut once approach’ based on these five principles:
- Be wise in choosing your application
Just because Gamification has many potential applications, it does not means that it should be deployed everywhere. Not every activity can or should be gamified. Good applications are found in controlled environments with well-defined workflows, are measurable and are willingly embraced by all employees.
- Be careful with game design
Good game design, mechanics and rules are essential to drive quick employee acceptance, rules compliance and ongoing participation. Designing games that are too easy will quickly bore the player or incite them to cheat. Deploying overly difficult games can lead to poor worker adoption and rapid attrition.
- Intrinsic not extrinsic rewards
The power of Gamification is its ability to leverage strong intrinsic motivators like competition, mastery and recognition. However, many companies mistakenly apply extrinsic rewards like cash bonuses. Like a caffeine hit, these rewards lead to short term activity but longer term burn out. Also, some players may learn how to manipulate the game potentially driving up costs.
- Adopt a ‘learning by doing’ approach
Given the complexity of some organizations and tasks, the sensible and low risk approach is to begin with a pilot project. Managers can then garner important lessons around game design, incentives, feedback loops and technology before rolling out across the enterprise.
- Pay attention to Technology
The choice of technology platform is important. However, its value will be highly dependent on the game that is running on it. Managers should first prioritize getting the game fundamentals right before choosing which technology to use. One of the most successful games we ever designed did not run on any Gamification platform at all.
Gamification has been on the rise among marketing professionals for several years. In 2012, Gartner predicted that by 2014, 70% of Fortune 2000 companies would have at least one cloud-based application that uses game theory, and so far gamification has continued to gain in popularity. With so many benefits, from increased consumer participation to increased access to behaviour analytics, companies are taking notice of what games can do for their brand.