Gamification for the workplace

11 Steps to introduce gamification with positive results

Gamification remains in many workplaces as the misunderstood uncle at a party! The concept relies more on the mechanics, process and system of games rather than a pure snakes and ladders approach to change management initiatives.

You see how gamification continues to penetrate our daily lives and business world, from loyalty bonus points from website visits, to badges of awards on your health app to its applications within educational institutions, the world bank, the US Army and various popular customer experience applications. See this article for 25 leading examples of gamification within the workplace.  

Gamification is not a game.

The benefits of tapping into intrinsic motivators help gamification stand out as a catalyst for positive behavior change in the workplace. So, gamification by itself is not a game but more of a game changer for your business performance and culture.

Help make some serious change with gamification at work.

Help make some serious change with gamification at work.

Reasons to implement a gamification project within your workplace.

·        The gamification process establishes long term performance management results.

·        The transparency of gamification aligns to OKR reporting structures

·        Engages current high motivators through to the least motivated people.

·        It holds the ability to measure and summarize many different metrics at the same time.

·        Can integrate across current or new enterprise systems and reporting structures. 

·        Generates a simplification of understanding for complex subjects or behaviors,

·        The contextual structure offers unique narratives to match the business culture.

·        70% of business transformation efforts fail due to lack of employee engagement

·        Read this article how gamification is impacting manufacturing   

11 step guide to implement Gamification within business

Follow these step by step guidelines to help you and your management team has a positive experience with the gamification process.

Step 1: Alignment

Ensure there is formal alignment of your gamification purpose and goals to match the desired future culture and business values.

Top Tip: Ensure board leadership approves and agrees this principle.

Step 2: Define the performance range of desired behavior change outcomes.

For optimal performance, tolerance bands of desired behavior changes should be defined. This sets future expectations for sustained results rather than temporary blips in performance to attain accreditation.

Top Tip: It is acceptable to have some open ended expectations with no defined limits.

Step 3: Create the game to match the players

The starting point of the “game” should match the current player’s capabilities, enthusiasm, resistance, roles and reflect the business culture.

Top Tip: Concentrate more on gamification principles rather than a popular gaming theme.

Step 4: Define and create the game rules, rewards and gamification project lifetime.

This tactical level of the process is critical to spend time getting right.

Top Tip: Keep the game rules simple, have rewards that start easiest from the first attainment and then become more stretched later. Rewards can be status and none financial – keep these appropriate to your industry and business ethical values.

Step 5: Reinforce learning and provide opportunities for learning to take place, including failures.

A good game will sometimes have an element of luck and chance. There can be positive reasons to introduce failure experiences within a gamification design.

Top Tip: Repeating tasks in various contextual circumstances helps behavior change.

Step 6: Communication and networking.

Share the gamification process, results and status internally within the correct platforms and notification processes.

Top Tip: Individual performance, departmental performance can be presented using standard methods for speed and ease of result levels across the whole business.

Step 7: Start the internal marketing process to stimulate interest in the gamification project.

Any new radical idea has the risk of generating resistance and polarized reactions. The risk of lower employee engagement is highest at the start of the gamification process. Careful presentation and factual examples help stimulate interest.

Top Tip: Match the pace and style of information to the current business culture.

Step 8: Go Gaming.

Implement the gamification project with a clear date.

Top Tip: Ask a third party for a swift review and feedback of your current new gamification project. This may highlight errors or provide additional support to your concept.

Step 9: Measure

Check for accuracy of measurements, performance and fine tune/generate feedback on the project.

Top Tip: Speed of response is important for confirmations and adjustments to the game.

Step 10: Behavior changes

Habit formation requires incentive

Habit formation requires incentive

Establish confirmation of behavior change matches the desired outcomes. If not then readjust the gamification structure.

Top Tip: Use your prior agreed tolerance band of expectations as the clear measures.

Step 11: Review and re-implement.

Towards the end of the gamification project life time seek reviews and feedback communication loops. Once fine-tuned prepare for your next project using gamification.

Top Tip: Seek best in class benchmark examples.

Variety of gamification

A variety of choice can be create from core elements

A variety of choice can be create from core elements

The journey of your gamification brand and process should match the pace and desires of long term business objectives.

Companies that introduce a variety of gamification structures operate the risk of losing focus and lower engagement levels.

So, the tone, style, format and lifetimes of each game are important to be known.

Where possible, link each gamification project through the form or a journey story and narrative matching the business vision and mission.


Further Reading

  1. Pop over to our Gamification board on Pinterest

  2. “Researching Gamification: Strategies, Opportunities, Challenges, Ethics”

Written by James Doyle, founder of JAMSO

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