Don't be scared of gamification, here's examples of how you already use it

Most common examples of daily gamification use

The first objection we find in business adoption of gamification strategies is the claim of lack of experience. This is the first point that we ask a few simple questions, or point to areas in a business reception, performance charts and marketing campaigns. Here we see the realization upon business leaders and team members faces when they understand that, yes they already are adopters of gamification strategies but had not realized it.

Let’s look into some of the common areas of life that gamified strategies are deeply embedded and already in known. The actions, the thoughts, the planning and even some of the implementation is the same, yet the label to identify them has been different.

A key aim of this short article is to help the following case examples.

  • You are curious about including gamification within your business but do not know what is involved.

  • You are engaged or tasked with a gamification project but struggle to make some of the stakeholders buy in or understand its concepts and use.

  • You have internal stakeholders objecting to adopting gamification and complain it is just a fad.

To help your understanding and case study examples, we have split the areas into some of the more common mechanisms and elements when developing, building and implementing a gamification project.

Use of storytelling / narrative in life and work

From simple bedtime stories to the latest brand product extension we use a narrative and story to help communicate, establish common purpose and understanding. Messages, culture, facts, wisdom, principles, ethics and behavior can all be established through storytelling and narrative.

From the world of Harry Potter to a specific opinion piece about a point in history, stories are used to help influence and shape emotional responses.

Action Point: Think of 2/3 examples where storytelling / narrative is used within your workplace (tip: Mission statement, code of ethics, product development background and research used as part of sales pitches). Use these concrete examples as case studies to help inspire, motivate and shape the reason for easier adoption of gamified solutions at work.

The short, medium and long term rewards we use for motivation

The little voice in your head that says “I will grab that coffee just after I have completed this last item on my to do list” etc is a perfect daily occurrence. If I manage to save £300 by the end of next month then I will use 10% of it to enjoy a cinema night out, once I complete this 5 year study then I will get the job and lifestyle I want. Those are motivations and rewards we set for ourselves in daily life. These are no different in design or use than as applied in gamification.

In the world of work, a short term motivating reward might be simply the feeling of a job well done on time, a medium term reward might be the opportunity to get the occasional Friday afternoon off one hour early to surprise the family or a long term reward might be a promotion.

Action Point: Identify 2/3 examples where rewards are used within the workplace culture. (tip: consider special loyal customer discounts, supplier awards, high quality status recognition, safety awards per department etc as solid examples). These specific and common applications help remove questions or doubt as their potential and benefit.

Obvious and hidden scoreboards around our lives

OK, let’s hit it straight away. The most common scoreboard we use is TIME. How frequently do you measure your progress, needs, future desires and success with an element of time included within the equation. The next obvious score board is one that has an equal impact upon our lives, that is the financial score board we call our bank balance. Those figures dictate many of the choices and opportunities we have.

Other boards that we use to measure include weighing scales for diet, the number of steps we make per day, the number of sports games we have attended or seen our favorite band. From small measures to large ones, we all make daily mental scores in our minds. These have been in existence far longer than the more obvious examples such as number of likes, followers and shares on social media.

Action point: Collect 2/3 examples from the workplace where scores are used (tip try to avoid less obvious examples other than standard metrics and sales). Sharing examples of scoreboards and leader boards already within the workplace helps HR and leaders overcome some initial resistance to status performance boards. Note privacy might be a concern so personalization as an option should be considered.

Putting on the candles and music

We have all being subject to the atmosphere created at a cafe, business reception, New Years party or first date. The scene is set, the music is plays appropriate songs to set the tone and mood. The same can be said at a sporting event or even Royal parade outside Buckingham Palace, these scenes, costumes, music, displays all create a mindset and emotional response.

Marketing campaigns are ideal obvious examples of creating a positive emotional response trigger for sales departments and customers. The smell of a new car, a red carpet at reception, the soft material over a lamp to create the right light tones, the depth of the carpet to provide a warm welcome in your hotel room. Some might see these as “normal basics” but when you compare with the range of approaches it is clear how this influences and engages with the users.

Action point: Collect 2/3 examples of specific design elements to make people or customers feel emotionally special or satisfied to help differentiate your business brand. (tip: Consider brand design, industry events/conventions, staff uniforms and ergonomic layouts). These tone setters help establish the culture and mood, adopting these strategies within gamified projects is critical for ease of implementation.

Defining the rules of engagement

Even war has rules agreed across the united nations. Our daily lives are full of rules at an official legal level or more subtle cultural and private level. For instance I trust you make it a rule to wash your hands after each visit to the bathroom. No law exists that requires you to do so, you do it because it is right and encourages the welfare of your family and community. Having process rules helps us navigate cars around cities and roads causing as little harm to each other as possible.

Within the workplace, rules from font size to data privacy, safety and product or service standards are followed. Some room for creativity and innovation is often encouraged to help develop and provide more value, efficiency and performance. Understanding the tolerance boundaries are important for success and satisfaction.

Action point: Curate 2/3 examples where special rules have been created for improvement of a process or welfare and safety of fellow staff members. (tip: Exception reporting and emergency procedures are great areas to select). These every day rules help justify the reasons for tolerance banding your gamified performance within ethical guidelines and accountability principles.

From the areas we have help guide you towards, you should have some unique ideas on how to overcome internal objections , become more inspired with gamified strategies and we hope start to see how they all link together to become part of your normal business culture.

I avoided the obvious cases such as competition, the role of luck (Lotto players), gaming industry and fit bits as those examples already are frequently shared across the internet. Here I tired you be more specific with help for your support.

Let me know how you get on and contact us if you seek more help.