That children learn by playing is a fact. It is enough to remember how memorizing the multiplication table with a ditty helped to retain that 9×6 is 54. However, this categorical statement is not exclusive to children but also to adults who can have a fun time while expanding their knowledge. We talk about the benefits of business gamification.
What is gamification in the company?
Gamification in the company encompasses a set of techniques based on learning through play to enhance employees‘ work motivation and productivity. “Through gamification, people learn more effectively, providing extra naturalness and motivation to learning,” says Mertxe Gordillo, a technological pedagogue.
According to an expert specializing in e-Learning Project Management, gamification does not deal with the game for the sake of the game. Still, it seeks to learn through it: “The content behind the game is exactly the same as that behind a course, only that in a more motivating way.
Thus, in business organizations, gamification is postulated as an innovative alternative through which participants feel more attracted to their work. Likewise, games make the most daily and/or less “appetizing” tasks less monotonous and boring for employees.
Benefits of gamification in companies
The advantages of gamification compared to other learning systems are many and varied. However, all of them are equal. “There are other online training options that can respond to other needs and times in which the client is,” explains Gordillo, who reminds us that “online courses have not been forgotten at all” despite the implementation and generalization of gamification as a learning method.
However, the expert points out that one of the elements that make gamification a perfect system for learning is the fact that “it is through play that the feeling of belonging and identity in the organization is best fostered. “
In addition to fostering that feeling of belonging to a company and creating ties at different levels among colleagues, business gamification brings other benefits for those companies that put it into practice.
Improved productivity and motivation
It is proven that the more motivated we are, the more productivity at work is enhanced. In this sense, motivation and performance are clearly benefited by using games as a way of learning and learning in a more relaxed and innovative way. In fact, according to a study by TalentLMS, 87% of workers perceive gamification in the company as a formula to be more productive.
Promotion of creativity
Being more creative helps us find solutions to problems faster and with better results. Large companies like Google dedicate part of the working day to recreational activities that encourage creating new ideas.
Both internally within a department and at different levels of a company’s structure, gamification contributes to generating good communication, which is critical to the optimal functioning of teams.
Introduction of new dynamics
Developing the growth of the employee and the company through continuous innovation is always a guarantee of success. And this is another of the powers of gamification in the business field.
Development of specific skills
Gamification in the company is also essential so that each one of the members of a team can develop and strengthen their innate abilities.
Improvement of the brand image
This improvement does not have to be only for potential customers. Still, working on it for the employees is also beneficial. It is interesting to use gamification in this case so that they can learn about the company’s characteristics and perceive its values, which will make them feel more involved.
How gamification is used: examples of companies that apply it
To use gamification, it is essential to use the game according to cognitive criteria and aligned with motivation. This is key to devising activities perceived as exciting and stimulating the cognitive reward centers, promoting concentration and the initiative to carry out specific tasks. In this sense, it is critical to incorporate elements such as competition and prizes, typical of the game.
An example of gamification in the company can be seen in Correos, which proposed a game mode for employees to review 160,000 web pages and make proposals for improvement. The more they did, the more points they earned, which could be exchanged for prizes in the form of mobile devices, diet coverage, financial rewards, etc.). This A proposal that aroused great enthusiasm among the workers and, thanks to this gamification technique, Correos achieved significant savings.
Externally, using gamification in the company to attract and retain customers, for example, is also a winning bet. An excellent example of this is Nike, which with its NikeFuel app, has rewarded users’ physical exercise, motivating them to use their sports products. Starbucks has also used gamification in its company, rewarding its customers with free products for each consumption.
Thus, using gamification involves creating game strategies that generate a feeling of obtaining some reward. Thus, motivation and performance will be enhanced and, with it, the company’s productivity.
What activities can be carried out within the gamification technique for employees?
We have seen that business gamification can be practiced internally, with employees, and externally to encourage consumer interest in a brand, product, or service. In both cases, several gamification techniques can be applied in organizational and business environments:
In selection processes
Did you know that gamification can also be used in human resources? It is a way to make attracting talent more attractive and enjoyable. Likewise, this type of dynamics allows better decision-making about the ideal candidate for each position.
Some companies like PwC have set up a simulation in which some candidates develop their potential and demonstrate their skills for a few days. From there, hiring becomes more accessible and more effective.
In continuous training activities
On numerous occasions, continuous training at work points causes a lack of interest and motivation in employees. What better than using the game as a strategy to promote worker training?
The HP company has already done so with a gamification system aimed at cybersecurity training, where workers test the knowledge acquired with each other. Once again, a gamification technique is used with elements of reward and competitiveness, characteristic of the game.
To promote business culture
Beyond being applied to promote productivity and boost sales, gamification can also be applied to strengthen corporate culture. An example of this is developing a program that encourages healthy habits in employees, among other gamification activities, to favor the work environment and the organization’s identity.
The most common mistakes of gamification in companies
Even though human beings are positively predisposed to gambling and naturally identify it as attractive, specific errors that can cause this methodology to fail must be avoided.
Among the most common failures is the fact that efforts are focused on the game and not on attempts to make people acquire and internalize knowledge: “Sometimes games with complex rules are proposed, and this misleads the user from the objective we want to approach, which is to learn,” says the pedagogue.
Another mistake is forgetting that “you must always keep the interlocutor in the game in mind and pay attention to their motivations, digital skills, etc.”
In addition, it is essential to consider that gamification cannot be turned into pure competition because, in this case, the main objective –learning– would be ignored: the user is intended to “get engaged and learn, not just win.” Promoting competitiveness should be avoided since we would be achieving the opposite objective.
As for the drawbacks of the methodology, Gordillo only finds one: “If implemented correctly, a gamification project has no drawbacks except that it generates a desire for more … positively, of course.”
Business gamification can be the tool your company needs to promote motivation and productivity. The result? More united organizations, better-trained employees, and more excellent prospects for growth.