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Gamification is about understanding and influencing human behaviours in order to achieve a specific outcome. Gamification seeks to take enjoyable aspects of games - fun, play and challenge - and apply them to real-world business processes. Analysts are predicting massive growth of gamification over the next few years, but the jury is still out on whether there is any substance or evidence to back up some of the benefits being touted. This webinar will address the following questions:
Does gamification have a place as an effective business change agent?
Can gamification encourage more effective knowledge sharing behaviours and better employee engagement within and across the (your) organisation?
Organisations continue to search for the silver bullet that will deliver improved employee and customer engagement, facilitate more effective collaboration and drive innovation. Is &quot;gamification&quot; the answer, or is it just one more over-hyped and fashionable trend that promises much but delivers little? Gamification has indeed bubbled to the top of the Gartner hype cycle, but there is growing evidence that it is an effective business improvement change agent, with industry growth rates predicted to be 67% p.a. and a market worth £3.4 billion by 2018.
Gamification is about much more than simply rewarding points and badges, but rather understanding and influencing the human behaviours companies want to encourage among their employees and customers. Gamification is founded in the fundamentals of human psychology and behavioural science, and rests on three primary factors: motivation, ability level and triggers.
This session will look at some of the gamification strategies and techniques being used to influence behaviour change, and how these techniques can be used to facilitate more effective collaboration and employee/customer engagement.
Gartner identifies inflated expectations and implementation failures on the general market confusion about the term ‘gamification’. It recently offered the following definition to clarify what it is and what it is not: Gamification is: “the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals”.
The key elements of the definition are: Game mechanics describes the use of elements such as points, badges and leaderboards that are common to many games. Experience design describes the journey players take with elements such as game play, play space and story line. Gamification is a method to digitally engage, rather than personally engage, meaning that players interact with computers, smartphones, wearable monitors or other digital devices, rather than engaging with a person. The goal of gamification is to motivate people to change behaviours or develop skills, or to drive innovation. Gamification focuses on enabling players to achieve their goals. When organizational goals are aligned with player goals, the organization achieves its goals as a consequence of players achieving their goals
It&apos;s still seen as 5-10 years out from its plateau, but also dangerously close to the Trough of Disillusionment. Perhaps this is why there is more and more marketing effort to move away from the term &quot;gamification&quot; in the enterprise space, and instead focus on terms like employee engagement and motivation. More companies are trying to focus less on the splash of gamification and more on the idea of what successful gamification achieve. Executives and managers might argue that gamification sounds like they are trivialising enterprise software, but who is going to argue against more engaged and motivated employees?
Women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (37 percent) than boys age 17 or younger. Whatever else we believe, gamification is big business!
The company of the future – and indeed the company of the present – needs new instruments to adapt to a changing reality. The new generation of digital natives is progressively being incorporated to the world of work. We are talking about a generation that has lived most of its life within the technological revolution that has occurred in the last two decades. It has connected people, who spend more time on the Internet than in front of the television and who have lived with the emergence of video games. It is not to judge whether that is good or bad, it’s simply real and nothing will change it.
There can be many reasons for the lack of action. For example, the user may be: Unaware of his ability (e.g. didn’t know that he can take such action, unaware of the simplicity of the task etc.) Hesitant (e.g. unsure if it is appropriate, unsure if it is the right time, question his motivation, etc.) Distracted (engaged in another routine activity due to behavior momentum) A trigger can take many forms but its function is simple. It prompts the user for action now. The only requirements are that the user must be aware of the trigger and understand what it means. It is important to remember that different people have different motivation stimuli – it’s not a case of one size fits all.
One of the dangers when considering each of the above game components is the compulsion to design the game around the features available, rather than thinking first about the user and the behaviour that is to be encouraged (or discouraged). Good gamification design should be user-centric and not mechanism-centric.
I have (so far) been unable to uncover any detailed research, or case studies, that might reveal how effective these techniques are in improving user participation and engagement for Communities of Practice. However, it is doubtful that any of these techniques will have a direct effect on that ephemeral (but essential) attribute we call “trust”, which most community users will rank highly as a reason for CoP engagement. Trust is not something that can be easily measured; it’s a bit like freedom and air. You know when you don’t have it, but don’t give it much thought when you do. Oxytocin is a drug created in our brains, most famous as the hormone that forges the bond between mothers and newborn babies, but more recently identified as a stimulant of empathy, generosity and trust.
Other examples: At Google, engineers have been able to spend an in-house currency called ‘Goobles’ on server time — often a scarce resource at Google. Google also implemented gamification into their travel expense process by allowing employees to choose how they spend the reminder of their travel allowance -- getting paid, putting the funds towards a future trip or donating to charity. The result was a nearly 100 percent compliance rate within six months of its launch. The Facebook game “Ayogo” which helps people with Diabetes to adopt healthier behaviours around diet and exercise. SAP launched a new gamification module in 2013 that adds the ability to design missions that track activities it wants to encourage as well as assign badges and designate feature-topic experts in leaderboards. It reported a 400 percent increase in activity along with a 96 percent rise in community feedback. AstraZeneca used an e-learning platform called &quot;Go To Jupiter&quot; to gamify the rollout of new medicines. It reported a 97 percent engagement rate and 95 percent of the users completed each teaching session.
Deloitte introduced gamified elements like badges, leaderboards and status symbols that measured how many executives were participating and completing courses. Results: The average time to complete the training curriculum dropped by 50 percent, and the program has seen a 46.6 percent increase in the number of users that return to the site daily.
Express: self-expression is a key driver for modern social gaming and social media - and a major motivator for engagement and purchases/monetisation. People who enjoy self-expression are motivated by gaining a richer palette and greater abilities to showcase their creativity and express who they are. Compete: competition drives social gameplay AND self-improvement (competing with yourself to improve your own metrics). People who enjoy competition assume everyone likes competition, but that&apos;s just one among many motivators - and often not the best. Explore: Exploring content, people, tools, and worlds can be a rich and rewarding activity. People who enjoy exploring are motivated by information, access and knowledge; stand-alone points won&apos;t mean anything to them. Collaborate: collaboration and collective action are a purposeful, non-zero-sum way of socialising. From Facebook &quot;likes&quot; to Kickstarter projects, collaboration is driving many of today&apos;s most innovative and influential social systems. People who enjoy collaboration like to &quot;win together&quot; with others, and be part of something larger than themselves. Gamification dates back to the 1996 publication of Bartle&apos;s Player Types Model. Game designer and professor Richard Bartle created an x, y axis detailing four types of people that interact in virtual worlds. These include: Killers: those who act against other game players - (Replaced by Express) Achievers: those who build up their in-game status - (Replaced by Compete) Explorers: those who gather artifacts and look around - Replaced by Explore) Socializers: those who build friendships - (Replaced by Collaborate) Amy Jo Kim, Ph.D. is a leading consultant on gamification as a business model to increase customer engagement. In 2010, Kim reworked Bartle&apos;s Player Types Model. She replaced the &quot;Killer&quot; type with &quot;Express&quot; -- a much more business- and school-friendly descriptor! Completing the axis, &quot;Compete&quot; took the place of &quot;Achiever,&quot; &quot;Explore&quot; replaced &quot;Explorer,&quot; and &quot;Collaborate&quot; replaced &quot;Cooperate.&quot;
To further illustrate the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic reward mechanisms, we can look at an extract from Mark Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer. In this scene, Tom’s aunt orders him to whitewash a fence as punishment for playing truant from school. He doesn’t relish this so he tricks several of his friends to do the job for him by convincing them that the task is so enjoyable that he doesn’t want their help. The boys beg him to let them take over - they even pay him with twelve marbles, a piece of blue glass to look through, a kite, a key that wouldn’t unlock anything, and a dead rat he could swing from a string. Twain wrote: “Tom had discovered a great law of human action, namely, that in order to make someone covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain”. If Tom had money, he might have tried to buy his way out of his plight, an “extrinsic reward”. Although they would have benefited from the cash, their hearts would not have really been in the task, which they would have categorised as “work”. Instead, Tom served up “intrinsic rewards”, by convincing his friends that whitewashing a fence was fun. Having started the task, they would convince themselves that it was fun, and not work, and therefore avoiding cognitive dissonance
Don’t develop game mechanisms that dole out points and badges like sugar pellets every time the user hits the right lever. Perhaps the last word on motivation and rewards should come from Prof. Jesse Schell:
“Many studies have shown that if you bribe someone to do something, they always come to hate that thing. So the use of extrinsic incentives (e.g. points, badges, perks, money, etc.) will decrease a person’s intrinsic motivation and ultimately lead to the resentment of the gamified behaviour (i.e. gamification backlash). Prof. Jesse Schell. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_Schell
Some people – wrongly - see gamification simply as the process of adding points, badges or rewards to the learning process and instantly creating engagement, interactivity and motivation for learning. When done correctly, gamification provides an experience that is inherently engaging and, most importantly, promotes learning. The elements of games that make for effective gamification are those of storytelling, which provides a context, challenge, immediate feedback, sense of curiosity, problem-solving, a sense of accomplishment, autonomy and mastery.
What I think: Until and unless organisations begin to focus more on motivating people – customers, stakeholders, employees – to achieve their own goals and less on the organisation’s goals, I’m with the analysts in predicting that within 5 years, gamification will be nestling within the ‘Trough of Disillusionment’. Perhaps the secret here is for organisation’s to work towards aligning their goals with those of their employees and customers. This requires deep and meaningful engagement with both: before, during and after the deployment of any gamification strategy.
Quote: I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it. ― Bill Gates
Gamification - making work fun, or making fun of work?
Stephen Dale @stephendale
Unless otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
The challenge for you…..
• Does gamification have a place as an effective
business change agent?
• Can gamification encourage more effective
knowledge sharing behaviours and better
employee engagement within and across
The process of applying
game elements to non-
game applications in
order to drive
Is It all Hype?
• 80% Percent of Current Gamified Applications Will Fail to Meet Business
Objectives Primarily Due to Poor Design (Source: Gartner)
• Projected gamification growth to reach $5 billion ( £3 billion) by 2018
(Source: Mind Commerce)
• In 2015, over 2,000 global organisations will deploy gamification applications
for employee performance, healthcare, marketing and training. (Source:
• 80% of 2000 global organisations “will have gamified applications and/or
processes” by 2017. (Source: Mind Commerce)
• 50% of innovation practices will be gamified by 2015 (Source: Gartner)
• 40% of all gamers are women (Source: Reality is Broken, Jane McGonigal)
• 1 in 4 gamers is aged over 50 (Source: Reality is Broken, Jane McGonigal)
Gamification – potential benefits
What benefits can a company hope to
achieve using gamification?
- Increase the motivation and productivity of
- Align the expectations of workers with the
- Inform the workers of all the new initiatives
of the company
- Convert the workers into advocates of the
For a behaviour to change you have to have
a trigger, the ability to do the behaviour, and
Motivation and ability are trade-offs:-
Low ability requires more motivation.
Low motivation means making behaviour steps really
Overlaid motivational rewards (red and blue lines)
will give the user the feeling that they're working
Typical components of a
• Points – allocated for specific high-value behaviours and achievements
• Achievements – provide positive reinforcement for high value behaviours
• Levels – provide a gateway to new challenges
• Missions – used to create a set of behaviours that enable users to unlock
• Contests – missions that reward those who finish most quickly or effectively
• Leaderboards – introduce a sense of competition
• Notifications – to encourage engagement when users perform a desired
• Anti-gaming mechanics – used to set limits on how often a behaviour can be
Gamification Techniques For Online
Badges: Use to promote participation and reward employees and/or
customers for reaching specific goals. For example, award a welcome
badge for joining the community. Display earned badges on the
member’s personal profile page.
Points: Use to encourage engagement, collaboration and participation
in online conversations. This could decrease support costs as more
members look to the community for help.
Campaigns. Use to encourage member participation. Track and
monitor members' activities and let them know their current status,
sending them information about how many points they need to achieve
the next level (e.g. guru status).
Leaderboards: Points could be used for building leaderboards,
which can boost a member's reputation, or be used as a currency,
e.g. exchanged for products, services or some other benefit.
Part of a growing trend for ‘wearable technology’ that tracks and
reports on daily activities, e.g. number of steps walked, number of
calories burnt etc. Additional motivational incentives include
comparing activity results with friends or participating in
community groups challenges.
Clubcards/Loyalty cards that influence shopping habits by giving
Gamifiaction to help solve world hunger. FreeRice created a
quiz game where each time you answered a question correctly,
FreeRice will buy 10 grains of rice, which are paid for by the
sponsors of the site.
AstraZeneca introduced a game-based
learning to teach its agents about a new
medicine. Users have to earn points to be
the first to reach a Stadium, which
represents the official launch event of the
medicine. In the web game, agents can get
points by answering quiz and playing
different mini-games focused on the
features of a new product. AZ reported a
97 percent engagement rate and 95
percent of the users completed each
SickKids needed to find a way to encourage young cancer
patients to fill out detailed reports daily. Using an iPhone App
they gave them some control over their pain and give doctors the
tools they need to understand the experience of pain from a
Gamifying with Dr. Amy Jo Kim's Social Engagement Verbs Credit: Amy Jo Kim, Ph.D.
Extrinsic & Intrinsic
Points/Badges/Trophies Personal Achievement
Progress bars Mastery
Points Mean Prizes!
10 Post a correct answer to a question
5 Have your reply marked as a decision
5 Have someone follow you
5 Post a helpful response
3 Create a document
3 Follow another user
3 Mark something as a decision
2 Comment on an idea
2 Create a blog post
2 Create a discussion
2 Create an idea
2 Have someone ‘like’ something you’ve posted
2 Reply to a discussion
1 Attend an event
1 Vote on an idea
Data extracted from the gamification module of a
leading collaborative platform
Valued Collaborator Badge
…don’t rush in...
Gamification should be well understood and planned
out prior to implementation. Some questions to
consider asking during the planning process include:
•Be sure your organisation’s goals for using gamification
are clear.This is an especially important step to take
before getting too deep into the effort. It is far better
to determine all of the goals of a gamification
programme during the beginning stages.
•Think carefully about your company culture.What
types of rewards will motivate employees, and how can
you build out a recognition programme that ties into
the prevailing culture?
Points could be redeemed for a day off or a team
Changing the rewards system periodically will ensure
employees remain engaged and not get bored with the
Focus on activities first, and outcomes second.
Don’t “game”the workers. Companies need to design
game systems that enhance work, and not to exploit
Further Reading & References
• The BartleTest of Gamer Psychology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartle_Test
• Gamifying with Dr Amy Jo Kim’s Social EngagemementVerbs:
• Making work fun or making fun of work: Steve Dale, Business Information Review June 2014
Play at Work: how games
inspire break-through thinking.
Adam L Penenberg
Unlocking the power of
game dynamics in business
and in life. Aaron Dignon
Discussion:What do you
• Does gamification have a place as an effective business
• Can gamification encourage more effective knowledge
sharing behaviours and better employee engagement
within and across the/your organisation?
Unless otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative
Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0
Twitter: @stephendale, @collabor8now
“I was gratified to be able to
answer promptly, and I did. I said
I didn’t know.”
― Mark Twain