Gamification Delivers Results

In his October 9, 2016 blog about the Baltimore Ravens fourth-quarter loss to the Washington Redskins, former NFL player Dan Birdwell threw in this quote: “You have to play this game just like somebody just hit your mother with a two by four.”

Game or what’s since evolved into gamification perked up again during the pandemic with so many people quarantined at home. Since 1984, companies were urged to use gamification to improve employee engagement and get workers to more clearly define their goals. It was viewed as a novel way to keep score and get more frequent feedback from employees.

When digital began taking off in the 2000s, the computer folks at SaaS companies and consultants jumped aboard. They added points, leaderboards, and badges to software, and gamification became more popular than ever. Remember the popularity of Mozilla badges or games like Farmville in the early 2000s?

Gamification peaked in 2010, then went on a steady decline for several years. In recent months, it began rising slowly until the pandemic, where it was almost as though mom got hit with a two by four.

Why?

A study last year by Paradis LMS reported that 80% of American workers found game-based learning more engaging. The company also discovered that the level of employee engagement increased by 60% due to the employment of gamification training and that production was up 50%.

A different survey by TalentLMS said most employees like gamification. Of those 45 or older, nearly all (97%) said gamification would improve their work. Of those polled, 87% felt it would make them more productive, while 85% were willing to spend more time on gamified software.

Gamification Delivers Results

Studies show about 75% of the workforce in 2025 will be millennials, a generation that was raised on computers and video games. Data from XLPro Training Solutions shows that 69% of employees are more likely to stay three or more years with an employer if they receive good onboarding. Gamification is expected to play a big role in the process.

Collaboration tool company SAP Streamwork incorporated gamification to encourage more brainstorming. As a result, the company reported that the new idea generation increased by 58%.

Gamification Today

The most popular features of gamification in the corporate environment include the use of progress bars that simply show how much the user has accomplished or learned and a rewards or achievement page. Even something simple helps motivate trainees.

Leaderboards are newer to the scene and foster competition. It can help improve efficiency as well, but caution needs to be exercised, so no one feels humiliated or embarrassed. Encouraging the use of pseudonyms can make it more comfortable.

Applying one or more real games, either as quizzes or exercises, can help learners get more immersed. It often makes studying more productive.

Brands that don’t have gamification experts on staff should retain a qualified consultant who can advise the company about the best software to invest in to achieve its primary goals and so mom doesn’t get hit with a two by four.