Gamification articles, news, and blogs by – Page 1

Checking in and checking out: what Foursquare’s evolution can teach us about Enterprise Gamification

Remember Foursquare?

In 2009, Foursquare launched a location based social network that allowed you to “check-in” at various venues, turning “life into a game”. The service was initially limited to certain metro areas, but after it opened, it reached 10 million users, which enabled the company to raise $ 50 M in 2011 at a valuation of $ 600 M. Foursquare was a hit.

One of the core drivers behind the craze to check-in using Foursquare and not competing services was Foursquare’s use of gamification.

The Ice Bucket Challenge: motivating & recognizing employees for the greater good

As is the popular custom these days, I too was challenged to have a bucket of ice water thrown over my head. The Ice Bucket Challenge, sometimes called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, is an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on one’s head or donating to the ALS Association in the United States. The challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads.

Not one to back down in the face of a challenge, even the kind to require a change of clothing, a bucket was quickly located and filled with bags of ice and… cue the camera!

So while I was being submerged in ice cold water, rethinking my whole prepared-to-take-on-any-challenge-that-might-come-my-way strategy for life, I came to realize the power of social media when it is combined with gaming elements.

Can Gamification replace corporate performance management?

Imagine a trucking company.
Let’s think about how its managers are engaged in meeting corporate goals. They are presented with a business strategy and goals. Let’s say the company has decided it should invest in better customer service, focus on a certain region and resolve a history of safety issues that are mostly related with too many hours of driving. Additionally, the company would like to better control its fuel expenditures by having trucks rest during rush hour traffic.

For over a decade, many enterprises have practiced engaging managers with corporate business strategy and goals. Managers undergo a process to acquaint them with the business strategy (often achieved with the use of learnification strategies) after which KPIs and targets are set, together with scorecards (to provide feedback) and recognition mechanisms. Management achievements are then reviewed discussed and rewarded in ritualized quarterly business reviews and more. This process of translating the business strategy into measurable goals for each manager is crucial to a well-functioning enterprise. Can gamification also achieve the goals of corporate performance management systems?

Using The Employee Engagement Funnel and Gamification For Business Transformation

The employee engagement funnel doesn’t have a lot of employees coming in and less qualified and able employees coming out of the other side. It symbolizes how employees are made aware of corporate goals, learn about the corporation and change the way they do their job. Eventually, the process makes employees more aware and helps them do better. As employees go through the engagement funnel, the organization needs to offer different tools for each stage in order to optimize the process.

Gamification and Interval Training – a Winning Combination

The world of fitness and weight-loss world is undergoing a revolution. Research has shown that interval training actually works, upending many long held beliefs about how exercise should be done and for how long. The concept is as simple as it is effective: alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity works best. This is now perceived as more effective that steady-state pacing throughout the exercise.

Walking is a great example. If you’re in good shape, you might incorporate short bursts of jogging into your regular brisk walks. If you’re less fit, you might alternate leisurely walking with periods of faster walking. In this way, you can gradually increase the intensity of your workouts as you physically and mentally adapt to your routine.

Interval training improves your aerobic capability, strength and endurance; even more importantly, it keeps boredom away and makes your work out goals more achievable, leaving you motivated for longer.

Employee Engagement With Gamification

In today’s business environment, managers are constantly pressured to produce results. There are usually measured through the lens of industry-specific key performance indicators (KPIs). Management by Objectives (MBO) and Corporate Performance Management (CPM) is set to align managers with business goals. Feedback is collected through scorecards and dashboards.

Peter Drucker’s famous statements – “you can only manage what you measure” and “what gets measured gets done”, requires managers to constantly evaluate their employees, with the knowledge that they themselves are also constantly appraised.

Sucessful companies are good at setting goals and finding ways to make them happen.

How to measure Gamification ROI. Is it mission impossible?

Measuring ROI (return on investment) is an elusive task: you have external factors that affect the results; measuring the baseline is a subjective process; forecasting future impact is difficult and even calculating the actual investment is a project by itself. The result? difficulty in agreeing about a project’s ROI even when the benefit of the project is obvious to all involved.

That said, I have a firm belief that one can measure almost anything (I recommend reading the book ‘How to measure anything’). Some of our customers claim that the increase in sales following a successful gamification implementation are an increase of 5-15%. But, to make such claims believable, we need to dive into the details understand how to analyze and quantify success.

As a matter of fact, this task can be divided into two smaller tasks (figure 1) :

Enterprise Gamification Secret # 1: Closing the Loop

One of the secrets of a good Enterprise Gamification implementation is using a “Closed Loop” approach.

First, we need to understand and define our gamification business goals (just like any performance management process). The second step is to recognize that we need to define the desired behaviors that will contribute to meeting the goals set for the gamification process. Don’t get confused by the “desired behavior” name: it doesn’t mean defining a key performance indicator, since we’re not focusing on how the behavior will be measured, or what its impact will be. The focus of gamification is the change we want to make in enterprise behavior – be it customer service, sales, or on-boarding processes. Gamification encourages and rewards sets of behaviors, not KPIs.