Is Gamification Your Ultimate Business Leadership Strategy for 2015?




Designed correctly, gamification can be successfully applied to engaging people and motivating them to change or build new work-role behaviors and rapidly develop news skills.

Gamification can also accelerate team-based collaboration and fuel serious value adding innovation.

Gamification taps into powerful motivators such self-esteem and social capital, the dynamics of competition, collaboration and achievement through the use of goal-setting, real-time feedback, positive reinforcement, status and recognition, that are intrinsically motivating to participants engaging in the process.

Increasingly companies want to know how they can leverage gamification to quickly address and resolve organizational challenges and meet or exceed performance goals. 

Gamification offers a range of powerful solutions. For example: Witness Buchball's amazing Nitro 5.0  platform. 

However, there is an important caveat that must inform your choice when asking to ask one of the most important leadership questions that will confront you in 2015 and beyond:  to gamify or not to gamify?

When an opportunity to apply gamification's principles to an organizational process arises, the first step is to clearly define business objectives and evaluate whether gamification is the right solution to achieve them.

As companies are continually tasked to improve productivity and drive innovation, more are turning to gamification as a strategy to enhance social business capabilities and build high levels of employee and customer loyalty.  Gamification solutions are being applied to:

  •  Behavior-based performance management,
  • Customer engagement,
  • Product engagement
  • Active Employee Engagement, 
  • Training and education, Innovation management,
  • New employee onboarding

 And the list continues to grow. In addition, gamification can provide solutions to organization-wide integration by building cohesive cross-functionality and team building. Are there any limits to this strategy? 

Only time will tell but Gartner estimates that over 40% of Fortune 1000 companies will use gamification as the primary mechanism to transform business operations by 2015.

 To be successful, however, gamification requires a deep understanding of game design and player engagement strategies in order to effectively motivate users. This type of real-time feedback encourages, improves and most importantly leads to measurable outcomes.

 The application of gamification is best when it is seamlessly layered into existing systems.The successful application of gamification principles can advance business objectives. 

Companies with a proven track record of gamifying varying objectives include Deloitte, T-Mobile, Nike and CrowdFlower, all representing starkly different industries.

 
Executive Leadership Training - Deloitte

DeloitteLeadership Academy was faced with a challenge: how to get senior executives to take their corporate training courses. Badgeville Game Mechanics put a series of gamified elements – badges, leaderboards and status symbols – in place for participating in and completing courses. 

This gave participants instant feedback on their progress and guided them along clear learning paths, keeping them intrinsically motivated to engage. By doing this, time to certification for participants reduced by 50 percent.

 
Peer-to-Peer Collaboration – T-Mobile

Consider how a gamified solution was applied to serve 45+ million customers and a 30,000-member community. T-Mobile’s goal to improve customer satisfaction by helping customers resolve their issues on the spot required closing the communication gap between retail-level customer representatives, and technical support personnel. 

The solution was to upgrade T-Community, a social business Jive platform built with the purpose of logging all known technical and general customer issues and sharing them across the company, with Jive Advanced Gamification Module powered by Bunchball. Within the first six weeks of implementation, employee participation increased 1,000%, self-learning and feedback between members increased, customer satisfaction and issue resolution rates improved.

 Customer Loyalty and Engagement - Nike

Nike has been using software for a number of years now to gamify its customers’ workouts through its NIKE+ program. Using special chips in their shoes or wristbands, customers can track all their fitness stats daily, including how far, fast, and long they ran, they can sync it to their mobile device, compare their stats with other users, win virtual trophies, and share their stats on social media for support and encouragement from their network. 

Nike has turned working out into a game through this hardware and software, going beyond the shoes and apparel they sell to engage customers with their brand in a new and effective way. Since it began in 2006 it has attracted over 7 million runners to join its social running community.

 Now take the principles of gamification and apply them to an organization that relies on a virtual workforce situated throughout the globe. CrowdFlower’s expertise is in harnessing this virtual workforce, taking complicated projects and breaking them down into small, simple tasks, which are then completed by individual contributors (crowd workers). CrowdFlower’s network is composed of more than 5 million contributors worldwide.

 CrowdFlower launched a worker motivation program powered by BunchballNitro aimed at improving quality and satisfaction of its online workforce. By gamifying the dashboard, used by contributors hired to solve a problem or complete a microtask, they stay motivated and can track their progress over time. 

CrowdFlower in return rewards superior work and by tracking badges earned by top contributors, CrowdFlower can offer better workers higher paying projects. According to the company, the Bunchball platform has proven to be easy to deploy, scale and customize as needs evolve.

 

So is gamification your ultimate corporate leadership strategy for 2015? Remember the caveat mentioned above? 

When applying gamification principles to business operations, companies should seek to advance clear strategic objectives. 

This is confirmed by Doug Palmer of Deloitte: To apply gamification effectively, companies should understand the organization’s inner workings, process interdependencies, and stakeholder behaviors, including the interplay between people and technologies. 

Companies should seek to avoid becoming stuck with isolated one-off concepts that incrementally improve only a small part of the business. Instead, executives should rethink what a gamified business looks like from the ground up. 

Understand who you're trying to engage, what motivates them, and how gamification can change the way they look at—and work with—your organization

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Sources:

http://enterprise-gamification.com–various-channel-marketer-report.com/2013/04/using-gamification-to-drive-partner-loyalty-and-sales/

http://deloitte.wsj.com/cio/2013/06/06/building-the-technological-foundation-for-gamification/?amp;goback=.gde_3299196_member_249175432

http://www.badgeville.com/customers

http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgebradt/2013/07/03/how-salesforce-and-deloitte-tackle-employee-engagement-with-gamification/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gartnergroup/2013/01/21/the-gamification-of-business
 
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