What is it?
According to Wikipedia, “Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics to engage users in solving problems. Gamification is used in applications and processes to improve user engagement, return on investment, data quality, timeliness, and learning.”
How does gamification work?
The concept of gamification goes back to the first level of Nintendo’s Super Mario Brothers, which motivated users to play the game and move from one level to another, earning points on their way. Gamification challenges people, provides a medium to express their creativity thereby bringing in elements of motivation, retention, loyalty and above all, a sense of achievement!
“Challenge + achievement = Pleasure”
…is a simple formula behind the huge success of gaming in general. No other medium is able to deliver the same results, at such frequency, leading to addictive behavior. It makes people want to do it again and again, over and over!
Now imagine if this were to be used at the workplace…or as a medium to improve your business!!
It is no wonder then that Gartner estimates by 2015, more than 50 percent of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes. By 2014, Gartner predicts that over 70 percent of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one "gamified" application, and that "gamification is positioned to become a significant trend in the next five years." M2 Research reports that gamification will be a $2.8B industry by 2016. (Source: gamification.org)
Enterprises – large and small use gamification today in a number of innovative ways: in enhancing employee engagement initiatives, employee motivation, talent development, training and improving business performance by socially recognizing and thus leveraging progress. It is said that businesses applying gamification in their processes can increase their employees’ ability to learn new skills by 40%.
How Torry Harris gamified the training process for ‘Customer Service Representatives’ of a large Telco?
Torry Harris was asked to reduce the training time, cost and effort for one of the training processes of a large telecom client. It had “gamification” written all over it! The client had just moved from one Incident Management System to another. This migration gave rise to three key challenges:
- The Customer Service Representatives had to unlearn the old system and relearn the new one
- That meant a huge learning curve
- Time and budget were short
The Center of Excellence (CoE) team at Torry Harris decided to gamify the entire process using formal principles, and introduced both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation techniques, to encourage people to learn the new system. A virtual game environment was created with a secret agent being assigned to solve a bank robbery crime. The CSR agent would don the character of the secret agent while playing the game. The game then guided the user through a series of missions that were linked to specific learning objectives.
As against reading through 50 PDF documents, the game made the whole learning process more fun, simple and effective with super-engaged CSRs! It allowed employees to emotionally connect with their objectives. By creating a fantasy environment, with a series of challenges; the users were increasingly motivated to progress through each level and complete them. They were also able to compete with each other through a score-board, to make it a competitive learning experience.