Gamification Solution Part 1 of 3: What is Gamification and Why Does it Work?

by Lily Zimmerman, Instructional Designer

Gamification is on the rise—and it’s here to stay. Many organizations are successfully using gamification to take the snooze factor out of compliance training. Are you considering a game or gamified approach for the first time?

If so, this three-part series might just be for you. In it, we will explore:

  1. What gamification is and why it works
  2. How to determine if gamification is right for your organization
  3. Key steps you can take now to start-up a gamification program

What is Gamification and Why Does it Work?

Research validates that thoughtfully designed gamification is a powerful tool that can be used to engage employees, change behaviors, and develop skills.

What is Gamification?

According to Wikipedia, gamification is the concept of applying game mechanics and game dynamics to non-game activities that will engage and motivate people to achieve goals.

It might involve incorporating games or gamification into your compliance training program, a website, an online community, a content portal, or business processes in order to inspire employees to participate, collaborate, share, and interact.

A well-designed experience can be used to accomplish a variety of mission-critical business goals including adoption of safety and compliance in the workplace.

Why Does Gamification Work?

The answer is basic human nature and the factors that motivate individuals to act in a certain way. It’s really about motivation, not games.

To some, the term “gamification” just means adding bells and whistles to a learning experience. However, effective gamification isn’t just about fun games or earning badges and points. It’s about motivation—extrinsic and intrinsic.

It leverages people’s natural desires for competition, achievement, status, altruism, and community collaboration.

 

Gamification Extrinsic Motivation Extrinsic Motivation
People respond to “extrinsic motivations” that come from outside themselves such as rewards. Gamification makes it easy to provide virtual rewards, whether by earning a badge for completing certain actions or by awarding privileges, such as extra vacation days, to people who’ve reached a certain status level. When applied correctly, it can be a compelling motivator for driving behavior.
Gamification Intrinsic Motivation Intrinsic Motivation
People are also compelled by “intrinsic motivations”, like having the opportunity to set and achieve goals. Many feel rewarded when they can share their achievements and receive public recognition. Using social collaboration tools as part of a gamification strategy to recognize employee’s achievements can motivate others to seek recognition and create positive reinforcement throughout a team.

How Can Businesses Use Gamification to Motivate Employees?

  • Reward employees for their daily activities dynamically
  • Elevate employee status and showcase employee expertise
  • Increase employee motivation through incentives
  • Reward progress toward goals

The Real Benefits

Making compliance training fun and motivating people doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t also produce results. Gamification provides real benefits:

Gamification Benefits

When applied effectively, gamification can be a valuable tool to engage and motivate employees to adopt and apply compliance in the workplace. Who can ignore that?

Want to learn more? Contact us today to learn more about how we can help setup a gamification program!

 

Want to learn more?
Stay tuned for Part 2 of 3,
How to determine if gamification is right for your organization?

 

 

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