Does Gamification Actually Improve Engagement?

  • Posted on April 5, 2016   Brigg Patten

    The basic idea behind gamification is to take the most appealing aspects of any game and apply those standards to a business procedure. The goal is to increase the overall engagement of that procedure, thereby making it more efficient. The process is much more in depth than one might assume simply because of the numerous methods that can be used to ‘gamify’ something.

    The best gamification programs take advantage of skills and parameters often ingrained during childhood, such as motivation through reward, engaging choices, and spirited competition. For instance, those in the sales world might utilize a program that rewards salespeople when they reach a specific target figure. This not only spurs initiative to do better, but it inspires competition amongst salespeople all vying for the same goal. Public recognition upon reaching the goal is another strong motivator, and all these techniques can come together to dramatically increase productivity in a sales staff.

    Global-Scale Gamification

    Businesses all over the world are slowly discovering the benefits of enterprise gamification as it relates to engagement amongst their employees. Older, outdated practices are being abandoned in favor of more engaging, game-oriented techniques because it has been proven they are more effective. A growing number of companies that specifically offer enterprise gamification services have started to emerge, and it has been estimated the industry could soon reach nearly $3 billion. European and Asian countries are taking advantage of these programs as well, in the hopes of reaching new economic heights. Some analysts predict that over half of all corporate growth could include gamification by the end of this year. Such a profound shift in any industry would be enough to take notice, but when it happens simultaneously throughout all industries, it must be for a good reason.

    How Gamification Affects Engagement

    The sad truth is that monotony of work tends to prevent full engagement. It’s hard for employees to be passionate about something they feel to be tedious. Gamification seeks to correct that imbalance by bringing a higher level of interaction between the user and the experience. This not only makes the work more tolerable for the employee, but it also promotes faster, more effective work. The most common ways gamification can benefit an organization are described below.

    • Boost Engagement – Employees will much more readily engage with something they perceive to be fun, including mundane everyday tasks.
    • Promote Loyalty – Employees who enjoy their work are more likely to share their happiness with others outside of work, spreading brand positivity by word of mouth.
    • Increase Training Efficiency – Training programs are incredibly effective if they include a gaming element. Employees enjoy learning in an interactive style.
    • Promote Competition – Incentive programs drive competition amongst employees, which directly translates to stronger performance from the entire workforce.
    • Improve Collaboration – An engaging workplace will prompt more communication and collaborative effort from employees, especially if there is an incentive for effective collaboration on a group project.
    • Boost Morale – Employees who feel engaged in something entertaining are always happier than those who have little or no interaction throughout the day.
    • Increase Employee Retention – Once employees find a place they enjoy working, they don’t often leave without good reason. Creating a workplace that promotes fun productivity will help maintain a high-caliber workforce.

    With so many companies adopting these new techniques thanks to their sweeping potential benefits, it’s not difficult to see that gamification not only improves engagement, but it does so more effectively than any other tool.

    Closing Thoughts

    If you are planning an online training course, adding games would be a great way to help learners acquire new skills and improve their performance in a fun way.

    Need some ideas on how to incorporate games in eLearning? Check out our blog post on games.

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