People love games.
This isn’t a new revelation. People have loved games for a long time. And when someone really loves a game, they dedicate hours to mastering it.
In fact, as of 2011, over 5.93 million years of total time had been spent playing World of Warcraft alone. When a game is that good, people spend hours at a time engaged with the platform.
This is the same type of engagement companies are experiencing with their gamification systems (albeit a little less extreme than World of Warcraft). The idea of implementing gaming techniques in the workplace was originally met with heavy skepticism, and often criticism. Now, there are dozens of case studies outlining how companies large and small have used gamification to increase profits, decrease expenses, and increase competitive advantage.
A recent study performed by M2 revealed that the gamification market, currently valued at around $100 million, will grow to more than $2.8 billion by 2016. As more companies begin to realize the massive potential of gamification in the workplace, and as vendors create new and inventive ways to gamify everyday processes, the biggest movers and shakers will seek to stake their claim on what’s trending in the industry.
A few trends in particular have risen from the crowd as powerful and interesting changes within the gamification industry. Companies who have taken advantage of these trends have seen successful results, and other organizations are jumping on board.
Increased employee engagement expansion
Some of the most widely used gamification systems are designed for sales departments and other, more repetitive departments, such as call centers and customer relations. These areas lend themselves perfectly to gamification strategies. Due to the already competitive nature of sales, point systems and leaderboards are a natural fit. By adding game elements to call centers and the customer relations department, many companies have substantially increased productivity and success rates.
Other departments are beginning to notice these successes, and have begun implementing systems in their area. For example, InsideView wanted to increase all of their employees’ social media interaction with company accounts. Employee engagement software offered a cost effective way to achieve this. By simply sending out a monthly leaderboard (with no external incentives included), they were able to increase the number of updates from employees by 312 percent. Other facets of the enterprise that are currently experimenting with or using gamified solutions include leadership development, accounting, research and development, and more.Interview between TechnologyAdvice’s Online Events Manager, Clark Buckner and Yu-kai Chou exploring the finer details of Gamification.
Gamification for recruitment and hiring
Organizations are already experiencing success from gamifying the customer experience and the employee experience.
Now, many companies are beginning to implement game elements in the recruitment and hiring process. This creates a win-win for your organization. Gamified skills and learning assessments provide you with a more objective and accurate measurement of a candidate’s skills. At the same time, you’re presenting your company as an innovative organization where employees are challenged, all while having fun.
When designing gaming systems for the recruitment and hiring process, there are a few key points you should be aware of. For starters, create a game that is challenging yet attainable. You want your gamified approach to show you the potential hire’s qualities. How do they respond to adversity? Will they adjust their strategy when they hit roadblocks? How quickly can they solve problems?
Second, you want the game to be applicable. While solving a mathematical puzzle might be informative and entertaining in some ways, if you’re trying to hire people for your sales team, your test should be related to their interpersonal skills, perseverance, and ability to quickly learn new information.
Lastly, you want to create as objective of a system as possible. If an employee cheats in a company game, they are only hurting themselves and their coworkers. If an applicant thinks that doing well in a skill game could be the difference between getting hired and remaining jobless, he will probably be more inclined to do whatever it takes, potentially even cheating.
Gamification and the internet of things
The internet of things (IoT) is the growing collection of everyday objects with internet connectivity. For example, Procter & Gamble created the “World’s First Available Interactive Electric Toothbrush.” This toothbrush is capable of connecting with your smartphone to keep track of how long, how often, and how well you are brushing your teeth.
As more companies enter the internet of things market, gamification companies are developing solutions to partner with these devices.
Building on the toothbrush example, companies are now creating software that gamifies dental care, and partnering with these systems to create more immersive challenges, with points awarded for reaching certain benchmarks, like brushing for over two minutes. This creates a litany of new opportunities for companies to interact with their customers.
By creating gamified applications that connect with common IoT devices, like Nike Fuel or the emerging Google Glass, companies can connect with their clients in new and inventive ways.
Gamification should no longer be the subject of skepticism. Companies have implemented gamification in their workplace, and the results speak for themselves. Like any industry, gamification is constantly adapting and changing to solve more problems. Staying on the cutting edge of these new trends in gamification can help your organization get the most from your gamified solution.
Author Bio: Jesse Jacobsen is a web content writer at TechnologyAdvice. He covers a variety of topics, including business intelligence, project management, and other emerging technology. Connect with him on Google+.