Gamification is the introduction of game strategies and dynamics in non-game situations, such as business processes and education, to incentivise participation, collaboration, and engagement. When used in conjunction with preset goals, gamification can be a powerful catalyst for corporate excellence. Companies commonly apply gamification to their training, onboarding, evaluation, and sales processes.
Gamification versus game-based learning
Game-based learning involves the use of contextual games to facilitate learning — for instance, using numerical games to teach mathematics. Gamification only applies game mechanics such as scoreboards, milestones, and creative feedback to existing situations without structurally altering the situations.
How does gamification work?
Gamification works by leveraging the popularity of game elements to drive engagement in the learning or performance task. Games are perceived as fun activities, unlike learning, upskilling, or target achievement, which are seen as chores. Studies show that games tap into users’ intrinsic motivation, generating excitement and sustained interest in the task at hand. They also induce a flow state that helps the learner to focus better.
Some common game elements are points, badges, timers, and leaderboards. Gamification borrows these elements to foster a sense of excitement and competition within familiar settings, thereby turning mundane activities into a series of quests.
Benefits of gamification
Incorporating game mechanics with business practices have multiple benefits for employees and organisations. Some core benefits of gamification are:
Easier onboarding and employee assimilationNew employees and remote workers can be overwhelmed and unclear about their roles. Gamification works like a user-friendly guidebook to help them understand various features and processes, such as the workflow, expectations, and the company’s corporate image.
Increased motivationGamified features such as points, leaderboards, and digital badges provide better visibility into performance metrics, which drives intrinsic motivation and encourages goal-setting behaviours.
Autonomy and collaborationGamified software allows employees to autonomously track individual and team progress, minimising the need for physical meets. On the flip side, it also enables teams to cut across departmental silos and collaborate easily.
Training and upskillingGamified structures are known to drive better learning outcomes. Gamification is an effective tool for training, learning essential skills, and bridging knowledge gaps. It also supports microlearning modules.
Real-time feedbackFeedback is a key element in game dynamics because it enables users to instantly assess their strengths, weaknesses, and areas of improvement. Uncertainty or anxiety about performance levels can adversely affect end goals. Gamification services provide employees with real-time insights into their accomplishments, benchmarks, and performance gaps.