Game on: Gamification Works Enterprise Wonders
The Future of Gamification [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usPHFhfDCq4]
Type the word 'gamification' in your Google search tab and you will know that it is a hotly debated topic, which is gaining momentum. At the heart, gamification is a simple idea: take gaming concepts that work and apply them in a non-gaming environment. In reality, however, it is a lot more than just that.
In my view gamification is all about influencing user engagement and leveraging the human psyche to learn more in order to achieve a common goal. The common could be anything - solving a problem, increasing loyalty or creating new efficiencies.
For example, NASA developed a citizen science initiative for identifying features in images from space. Interpreting space images is a difficult task in itself but gamification has made this an exciting project. Zooniverse has similar citizen science initiatives, including butterfly counting and astronomy!
Yelp is a brilliant example of crowdsourcing. Every time I am looking for restaurant options in a new city, I Yelp the choices. On my smartphone, I get crowdsourced reviews, inputs, images and much more. Then there is Trapster that allows users to share road hazards, accidents to red lights in real-time; and Waze for traffic navigation.
LinkedIn revolutionized professional relationships. Your profile views are tracked, ranked, profile completion percentage is highlighted and 'contacts' are prodded for endorsements - all of these are crowdsourcing and gamification concepts that highlight the professional persona of an individual.
Gamification is finding a lot of success in the health and fitness industry. Fitbit, a popular wireless wearable device, measures data such as the number of steps walked, quality of sleep, and other personal metrics. You can even add a 'compare' feature to monitor your progress against your friends. Apple iOS' recent update features a Health app, which tracks all your fitness data.
As a concept, gamification is not new. All kinds of customer loyalty programs (airlines, hotels) encourage consumers to stay loyal by choosing their services again and again. The more you do, the higher you go on their categories - bronze, silver, gold, etc. Each ascending tier gives you better services/benefits. This, too, taps into the human psyche of game-playing and winning.
Gamification has also been adopted by the customer service industry. Training/learning initiatives for employees that leverage gamification are making their presence felt. We have seen increased use of gamification in customer service centers to foster knowledge sharing, adopting best practices and in knowledge management initiatives. A major insurance company uses gamification to help teen drivers with road safety and driving best practices.
The trick is to meaningfully harvest people motivation. This can range from intrinsic motivation such as gratification (citizen science), social value (LinkedIn profile views) to extrinsic motivation such as exclusive rewards (airline frequent flyer programs) and gains. In the enterprise space, we believe gamification has a huge potential. When businesses capitalize on their customers'/employees' penchant for solving riddles and winning, to solve a problem in which they are not trained/are experts - they fumble upon efficient and amazing results. In the end, gamification is all about efficiently tapping into a large crowd's desire to come first!