Gamification in the Business World

What is Gamification?

It is the application of game elements such as point scoring, competition with others and rules of play in a non – game context and other activities mainly as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with products and services a business has to offer.

The goal of gamification is to encourage and motivate players to achieve organizational goals. Many organizations use gamification in company apps, community forums and websites to stimulate the player to become well versed with the company products and services. When companies apply gamification in their digital and non – digital products and services it paves an easy pathway to motivate their employees and players.

Relatively a new term coined by Nick Pelling a computer programmer and inventor, gamification has been around since 2002 and officially became a buzzword in 2009.

Gamification Elements

Companies have experimented with the following elements to achieve log term goals. Following are the general elements used in gamification.

  • Points – generally in games the greater number of points you have the higher you rank in leaderboards. Through gamification points are give to the player for quantifiable behavior such as completion a quest or assignment. Points have an immediate positive impact on the brain’s reward system.

  • Badges – mainly intended to motivate the player (employee or consumer) to behave in a particular desired way; badges are given to the player as a visual representation of the achievement, successful completion of goals and long-term engagement and royalty. Players can display collected badges for a sense of pride and proof of accomplishment.

  • Levels – as a method of qualifying for skills and mastery to showcase responsibility and privilege. As players level up they become more valued and prove as long -term achievements.

  • Leaderboards – transparent player progression to recognize leading players for being on top motivates other players to work towards reaching higher levels.

Main Benefits of Gamification

  • Increases brand awareness, engages clients and visitors, collects actionable insights, boosts ROI with results.
  • Tackles user retention - as it makes user experience a positive one as the reward / incentive system can instantly boost the user relationship with the product or service.
  • Reward / incentive systems trigger dopamine and endorphins also known as happy hormones in the brain - Neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp states the following about dopamine, “the brain circuitry which propels us to explore new avenues for reward in our environment.” Therefore, gamification elevates the physicality of the users whilst motivating them to engage frequently with the company products & services.
  • Profits human capital – Gamification increases productivity, it is no secret the more motivated we are the more productive we are. Using game dynamics to increase the skills of the employees creates a more relaxed and collaborative environment. Gamified techniques strengthen communication processes as it makes feedback fun during training processes. It is also known to favor employee engagement, develop specific skills and encourage creativity.