“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” – Albert Einstein.
There is no doubt that playing games is one of the most common activities among all nationalities and generations. Since, we have all been playing games from childhood, we have learnt the basics of life through games.
What is Gamification?
Gamification is the process of taking something that already exists and integrating game mechanics into it to motivate participation, engagement and loyalty. In gamification, we apply the data-driven techniques into non-game experiences in order to engage players and motivate their actions that add value to our business.
Games VS Gamification
To understand the concept and usage of gamification, first of all, we need to make a distinction between games and gamification. While games are for fun, gamification is more about using the elements of games that has defined outcomes. These elements can take many different forms, from short activities in a face-to-face setting to large open-ended digital experiences that are digital-driven.
What is GBL (Game-Based learning)?
Game-Based learning on the other hand is almost reversal of gamification. With this approach, you deliver your learners a completely developed and interactive game. This game is used as the foundation, and the training content is added on, or woven into it.
Gamification in Companies
Gamification takes the essence of games – attributes such as fun, play, transparency, design, competition and yes, addiction – and applies these to a range of real-world processes inside a company. These processes are varied from recruiting and learning to company development. In fact, through gamification companies look for new ways to attract, engage, incentive and retain both employees and customers.
Gamification in HR
Statistics demonstrated by Gallup in January 2015, shows why companies are increasing their interest in gamification. The Gallup study finds only 31.5% of employees are engaged while 51% are disengaged, and 17.5% are actively disengaged. But what is interesting in this report is the demographic statistic and generational segmentation which shows Millennials are the least engaged generation.
So, the way to gamify various processes in human resources is a controversial subject today which helps companies provide an opportunity for employees across the generations to increase their levels of engagement, collaboration and recognition in the workplace.
Gamification in Learning occupations
A university of Colorado Denver Business school study* found that those who learn by gamified learning do their jobs better, have higher skills, and retain information longer than workers who learn in less interactive, more passive environments.
How Gamification succeeds in your company?
Here are the main reasons gamification is able to increase employee productivity:
- Autonomy: In general, independence and personal preference within gamification can all help promote autonomy within roles.
- Fun: When we accomplish something, our brain releases dopamine, making us feel euphoric. Gamification taps into this reward cycle in our brains.
- Competence: The more one improves a specific skill, the more likely he or she is continue doing it. Gaining new features or reaching new levels within a game provides measurable results, reinforcing the idea that the employee is learning and growing.
One final note I would like to make about gamification relates to implementation of games in companies or classrooms. Thereby poor implementation of games, like anything, we won’t get our requested results. Many educators have added a simple gamified element to a class without offering a truly gamified learning experience. In these cases, gamification is nothing more than a glorified point system or the incorporation of badges and awards without authentic meaning attached.
* University of Colorado Denver. (2010, October 20). Video games can be highly effective training tools, study shows: Employees learn more, forget less, master more skills.