Gamification: another buzzword of the past decade, yet compared to other paradigms like blockchain, AI and IoT, gamification seems to get a lot less media attention. So, what’s happening in that space?

As far as trends and adoption patterns go, most consumer facing applications continue to use gamification to either make you come back more often, create a bit of additional loyalty to a brand or entice you to try something new. None of this is new, but the proliferation of these efforts has grown monumentally.

Consider any app that you have on your phone: if it doesn’t have a gamification element to it, you’re probably a whole lot less likely to use it regularly or recommend it to a friend. In fact, mobile-first gamification design has become the predominant theme for many multi-national organisations. The most noticeable examples are in the food ordering and delivery industry: you may have noticed how most major restaurant franchises have released apps which allow you to order and track orders, as well as offer exclusive rewards for using their app, instead of say, Uber Eats, Orderin or Mr Delivery.

Human resources on board

There’s more to it than consumer-facing apps however. For example, consider the emerging HRTech industry: according to several Deloitte reports, “… HR [will] span across several business processes and not just simply applied to learning. As part of a digitalisation strategy for the HR process, gamification fits right in; especially when you want to put employees at the centre of the process. Employee engagement strategies include elements of gamification especially around skills evidence based recruitment, feedback, performance management and increasingly wellbeing and benefits.”

Consider skills evidence based recruitment: during the interview process, instead of having prospective employees take written tests or trusting their qualifications, one could have them complete a relatively simple game which will test their ability to reason in specific ways. This could also be done in conjunction with the afore-mentioned interview process, but it will allow employers to whittle down the chaff before getting to the interview process; make all candidates take the test first, then only interview those who demonstrate a reasoning ability resonant with what you’re looking for.

Healthy competition

As far as using gamification for employee training, Elucidat found that 62% of learners said they would be more motivated to learn if there were leader boards and healthy competition between colleagues. More importantly, learners should be recognised and rewarded for the act of learning, as well as for high performance. If one considers any successful game in terms of its rewards structure, one will notice a distinct pattern emerge: players are regularly rewarded for their efforts. For example, in a typical “dungeon explorer”, players often encounter chests filled with gold, merely for treading the unbeaten path, rather than just trying to complete a level as fast as possible. This in turn opens the doors for more opportunity to capitalise on the game’s offerings. Many studies have been released on the ways in which games habitualise gamers to perform better. Introducing these processes into the workspace is but one of many ways in which companies can take advantage of this paradigm.

The bottom line: gamification is no longer just a buzzword. It is and should be a normal component of any business’s digital strategy. Are you game?

by Stuart Allen



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