Enterprise Gamification: Game out of work!

October 12th, 2011

Posted by in Social Workplace

When you hear the word “gamification,” you probably think of a consumer facing platform like Foursquare or SCVNGR. While these concepts are noteworthy, enterprise gamification is becoming more and more popular.

And no, enterprise gamification does not mean playing solitaire at work. Companies are implementing new systems to motivate their employees that contain badges, leaderboards, and other items popular in social games.

This can be used as a new age method of training, or as a way of making remote workers feel like part of the team. Enterprise gamification can also turn mundane ordinary tasks into something that is actually fun and merits a reward.

Gaming brings employees together

Many office tasks are individual in nature. Leaderboards and badges, however, transcend cubicle walls. Game scores allow employees to benchmark themselves against their coworkers, and makes work more social. Even employees who work from home or on the road will feel more attached to the greater organization if they are competing against their fellow employees on a regular basis.

Gaming provides better training

Enterprise gamification is more than just a leaderboard or a flashy badge. Managers can set up virtual projects, allowing employees to “test their skills” before doing it for real. This allows employees to learn from their mistakes before they make them on an actual project.

In a real video game, new players are usually introduced to gameplay in what is known as a “sandbox” or “tutorial.” They are usually given some sort of guiding authority who teaches them as they advance throughout the early levels of play. A “sandbox” at work can teach new employees basic tasks and processes in a fun way. This also allows employees to teach themselves, eliminating the need for management to spend their time teaching basic skills over and over.

Additionally, gamification allows managers to easily identify which people are best for important projects. By introducing “levels” at work that employees must “unlock,” there becomes an inherent ranking system that is completely objective. When selecting people for a task, managers can simply choose the employees with the highest level or amount of skill points.

Gaming is a growing trend

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, “Tech-industry research firm Gartner estimates that by 2014, some 70% of large companies will use [gamification] techniques for at least one business process.”

Additionally, revenue from these systems is expected to grow more than 8-fold between this year and 2014. This is because many companies hire outside firms to build gaming platforms, instead of creating them themselves.

Because gaming at work is a relatively young concept, not much data is available to judge its effectiveness. However, it is being adopted so rapidly that one must expect there is a reason for this growth. To learn more about enterprise gamification, check out this SlideShare from Social Performance Management firm Rypple.

Have you implemented gaming into your company? Have you seen any success?