Consider a scenario where an employee is asked to play ‘Angry Birds’ at work. With gamification being adopted by organizations to enhance and supplement staff skills, an act that would have previously attracted admonishment might now even be encouraged. Organizations are now starting to realize that, as human beings, we are naturally driven by the need for validation, accomplishment, and status. Gamification leverages this need and utilizes it to a company’s benefit by influencing the design and execution of training and engagement programs.
Consequently, companies are devising games to train their employees on crucial business aspects, including business engagement, problem solving, strategy, design, competition, financial management, sales and time management. In fact, research suggests that by 2014, 70 percent of 2,000 global organizations will depend on gamified applications for employee performance, marketing, and training. For instance, a consulting firm could groom its future leaders through gamified video lectures, detailed courses, tests, and quizzes, and reward them with badges and leader board scores.
Technology companies have already developed games to boost staff morale, and better quality control and productivity. Examples include simulated betting on predictive markets to earn virtual currency, adventure games as part of employee induction programs and branded RPG (role-playing game) style software training programs. In addition to the more obvious benefits of enjoyment and increased engagement, gamified training is also estimated to have lowered costs by over 50 percent.
Global corporates are already taking the concept to the next level by designing games for leadership development. Of the employees who completed a leading IT company’s leadership program, almost 72 percent have successfully taken up top management roles—50 percent more than the company’s traditional training program’s conversion rate. Companies also have the option of creating a dedicated gamified platform for employee engagement. These standalone digital properties can have missions, badges, and leader boards, besides offering video lectures, in-depth courses, tests, and quizzes to groom future leaders.
The education sector is also implementing gamification, by segregating learning into levels, and offering rewards, badges, and stars. For instance, non-profit educational portal, Khan Academy, has introduced game mechanics to challenge learners based on their skillsets. Recently, Angry Birds creator Rovio has launched an initiative in Finland and China, employing the famous characters from the game to provide a 360-degree approach to learning.
In order to engage tech-savvy shoppers, retailers are gamifying their operations, through in-store screens and real-time engagement. Alongside reward points for check-ins, purchases, and feedback, shoppers increasingly have the opportunity to contribute to the retail process through inputs on design, merchandising, and production with a variety of incentives on offer.
In Europe, evidence of the technique’s contribution to sustained customer loyalty has led over 45 percent of banks to express an interest in gamification, with nine percent of banks using a gamified system already.
And now, the proliferation of wearable devices and the rapid progress of emerging technologies, such as AR (Augmented reality) and NFC (Near Field Communication), means that companies can create increasingly engaging gamified experiences. Do you agree that gamification is the future of audience engagement? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.