A Short Intro
The summer of 2016 was the best time for game lovers that wanted to drop a few extra pounds. Pokémon Go showed how these two things could combine the best. This game drove people to walk great distances and rewarded them by giving them high-level Pokémon. Simple as that. Ask anyone of those people would they be willing to walk those miles without incentive. I guess that answer would be a big fat No.
That is the story how gamification became a global phenomenon, while we didn’t even realise it.
The Wonderful World of Gamification
Gamification is a trend of applying gaming mechanics to everyday lives. Some dude who hated the feeling of boredom clearly invented it. The sole purpose of Gamification is to make daily tasks and jobs more fun and meaningful. When using Gamification, all tedious assignments become more attractive, and people are engaged and motivated to start doing them. Gaming mechanics like acknowledgements, awards, and points bring a competitive spirit and desire to win. The result is having highly motivated people who are doing their job, having fun and picking some prizes now and then. Ideal, right?
A Little Contest Never Killed Nobody
Some authors that study Gamification say that there are 75 percent psychology and 25 percent technology in it. Is it true? People love Gamification because it matches well with our competitive nature. Also, it is nice now and then to get some credit for a job well done, wouldn’t you agree? Just imagine that every time you washed the dishes, vacuumed the house or took out the garbage you got one point. You would have at least two or three of them by now, am I right?
Our desire for status is something that will always be a motivation. To be a winner and to stand high on a pedestal is already a great satisfaction. Along with that, being a part of some inclusive social community is very precious to us. But, not everything is in extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic is the one that also counts, maybe even more. People want to examine their limits, progress, know more, work better. To compete with ourselves is even a bigger challenge than to compete with somebody else. Think of that.
Come to the Dark Side, We Have Points
Imagine this. You are a leader of a company with 50 employees and start practising Gamification. It is all great; people are motivated, collecting points, skipping all the obstacles, accomplishing their goals, feeling great. Full of hope. This scenario can be realistic only if their points have some real value; if people can exchange them for some benefits. A day off. More comfortable chair. A better spot in the office. Anything you can think of. Be creative.
Also, there is one small thing. Never give up on something that you started. You know when you promise your kid sweets, but at the end, you give him an apple instead? You heartless creature. Why? A deal is a deal. You need to keep your part of the deal. Same applies here, don’t get too busy once you start Gamification. If you forget your employees, their motivation will drop. They will not trust you anymore. And they will not be interested in your suggestions anymore. You know how the saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
The Benefits of Gamification
Successfully implementing Gamification leads to some significant benefits. Let’s check some of them.
Everything Is Transparent
Implementing Gamification means collecting data about people’s performances. It is not important what type of data is collected; it is important that collecting is real, objective and constant. Everything is transparent, the game is fair, everybody has the same chance.
Collected data gives managers a real picture about each employee. It is a valuable source of information about performance effect.
If a measuring or progress tracking is constant, it can be an excellent way to provide each employee feedback about his work and progress. Measure progress daily, weekly; individually or in a team – all collected data is precious. If someone scores well, he will be motivated to continue being successful. If someone’s score is a bit lower, he will be motivated to be better for the next measuring.
People Are Getting Better in Their Work
Because of result tracking and comparison, employees will have a feeling of movement, progress and improvment in their job. But, it will not be just a sense. Progress will be real. People will not hesitate to learn something new just to beat a colleague in a game. Eventually, they will master their work, execute tasks effortlessly, and perform their best. Sensing mastery is the key to feeling happy about a job.
Gamification is a good motivation for everyone. Employees will be more engaged. Remember, people don’t have to compete only with each other, they can compete with themselves and push their personal benchmarks every day. Well implemented Gamification will show progress to every individual.
A Sense of Choice
If Gamification is implemented well, people will sense that they are doing it voluntarily. In reality, it is not quite like that. People are performing tasks that they would perform anyway. Only without stress. What matters is that sense of autonomy, right? The ability to choose is a powerful driver of motivation and engagement.
Feelings of happiness and satisfaction that recognition brings are important. Reward people or teams that are the best, but also reward those who have the biggest progress according to themselves. Rewarding gives the feeling that employee performance is noticed and appreciated.
The Bright Future of Gamification
It’s All About Legacy
One thing is sure; Gamification is not going anywhere. People have played games for thousands of years, and they will continue to do that. No matter what some of us may say, we enjoy competing and comparing ourselves to others. Accomplish more than the others, be better than somebody; it is a big acknowledgement for us. That fundamental part of human nature will never disappear. Gamification entering daily lives and jobs just confirms that it is here to stay.
Let’s Play Together
Soon, the one-guy team will not be exciting as much. Social Gamification will make a grand entrance and bring collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Black Mirror Future
Technology is evolving so quickly that Gamification has no limits if you consider that. Everything is possible. Just look at Black Mirror. One of the episodes shows us the world where ratings on social media manages people’s status in “real world”. People simply rate one another using their phones. That rating can impact their entire life. The story follows Lacie, a girl overly obsessed with her ratings. We could say that she is almost perfect. Her score is 4.2, but she needs 4.5 to achieve her dreams. After her friend from childhood invites her to be a maid of honour at her wedding, she sees that as an opportunity to improve her ratings.
How does this story go wrong, how and why she ends up in prison insulting her cell-mate, rated lowest as it goes? It is up to you to find out. Spoiler alert – you will get goosebumps and wonder – is this our future?
We can say that we live in a time when Gamification is more popular than ever. Implementing gaming mechanics to everyday lives sounds so fun and exciting that everybody embraced it. More and more brands apply Gamification to attract customers; more and more companies motivate their employees in this way. As it seems, Gamification is everywhere! Fun, exciting, engaging, stress-free, it will motivate even the hardcore non-gamers.
Do you apply Gamification in your company? If not, would you?
Feel free to leave us a comment below!