Gamification: Culprit or Victim?

Recently Gamification has become the fad we love to hate, but why? And is it really a fad? If you were to take a poll in your office, you may find people using words like “silly,” “unnecessary,” and “childish,” to describe the use of gamification in your workplace. If this same group was probed further, you may also find that these feelings stem from a direct experience with gamification that left them with a less than desirable taste on their professional palate. Gamification however has been tested and proven to garner a positive return on investment. So, why is this research based concept the cause for so much eye-rolling at the mention of its name? Is it possible that the concept of gamification is not the culprit, but instead the victim?

Placed in Gartner’s Hype Cycle in 2011, corporate America had high hopes for gamification. Victor Luckerson wrote Let The Gamification Begin (TIME) in 2012, stating

“Though still an experimental business strategy, gamification is expected to be used by 70% of the world’s 2000 largest companies in some form by 2014 and generate $2.8 billion in consumer spending by 2016.”

These are some pretty lofty numbers and a very quick turnaround. This huge expectation of corporate buy in and return on investment set the stage for the attitude of disappointment that is developing around the use of gamification today. With everyone scrambling to jump on the bandwagon of the next big thing to change the “game,” gamification is falling victim to the adverse effects of supply and demand. More buzz equals more demand. Every tech company on the market now claims to be able to supply gamification tools and features. The more estimated profit that is expected as a result of providing gamification opportunities to employees and customers, translates into the less research being done prior to purchasing these gamification products. Companies do not want to “waste” the time choosing the right mixture of features to fit their specific needs. Plainly put, everyone is just trying not to be left behind and very few have a true vision for the future of gamification in their workplace.

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” Johnathan Swift

What was and still is invisible to many is the need to find the right fit of tools and features when incorporating gamification into your workplace. One visionary, Yoav Vilner, contributing writer at Entrepreneur and start up expert, believes

“To integrate gamification successfully into the employee training process, it needs to be incorporated into the very core of corporate work-flow. It must become part of the organization’s communication and feedback DNA, rather than some temporary, superficial supplement that sticks out like a sore thumb.”

Just like with any other decision made in the boardroom with the intention of propelling a company forward there must be a plan. In order to successfully infuse the use of gamification into the culture of your workplace this plan should seek to explicitly answer such questions as what, why, how, and who.

What is the goal? Why is the use of gamification necessary to reach this goal? How will gamification help us reach this goal? Who will be directly impacted by the use of gamification? And maybe most important, which features, tools, and product will best fit our needs? By answering these questions you are well on your way to designing a strategic plan for embedding the use of gamification into the culture of your company. Success is on the horizon when you are able to transition employee opinion about the use of gamification in your company from, “let’s see how long this lasts,” to “this is how we do things here.”

Edvance360 offers a variety of tools and features that can be incorporated in your company’s current culture –including proven gamification tools. Our dashboard, collaboration tools and various other features can be customized to flow seamlessly into the fabric of your company’s workflow. If you have questions and/or would like more information please contact the Edvance360 sales team at [email protected]

Gamification Infographics