In the last post, I spoke about how gamification is changing education as we know it, both in workplace-related training and in ordinary education systems. I felt it was important also to mention several hurdles that may arise when trying to implement a gamification solution. None of these are very complicated to avoid, as long as you are aware of them and are able to spot them as soon as they appear.
Some employees will not like the idea of parts of their job being likened to a game. Some have never quite enjoyed video games, and being asked to participate in a platform which has a resemblance to these games may put them off. Other employees, who enjoyed the previous way training were conducted in the organization might be disappointed to see the changes occurring.
To prevent these types of negative feelings, we always recommend investing in preparing employees for the upcoming gamification implementation. This can be done through a newsletter that incorporates an exciting countdown until the gamification solution is launched, or creating a competition within the company to see who will be performing the best on the new platform. Also, it is very important to communicate to the workforce what the advantages of the new solution are, and how they will help both employees and the organization as a whole improve and go forward.
Gamification is an extremely powerful tool, and we see how it is affecting organizations every day. At the same time, it is important to use gamification where it is most appropriate. In other words, gamification is the most effective when it is used with quantifiable and measurable parameters. Although we believe that even aspects of work that may seem very difficult to quantify (things like good customer service habits, for example), can be taught through gamification, it is important to translate the traits you are looking for, even if they are a bit general or amorphous, into something that an employee can be measured on and see progress in.
An easy way to get around this is to start from gamifying the more quantifiable parts of your activity, and then moving on to the other areas. Once you do move into areas that are less clear cut, it is important to determine what would be considered success and how it can be measured.
When first attempting to introduce gamification into your organization, and especially when the implementation is in the area of elearning and training, it is important to emphasize not only the mechanics and the competition but the underlying content that you are interested in helping the workforce getting better at. It’s also important to communicate to employees how gamification can help them become better at what they do, and show examples of previous successes.
With every day that goes by, we see gamification become implemented in more and more verticals and fields. When done right, gamification can really transform a process, and sometimes, even an organization. In order for this to happen in your organization as well, put effort and thought not only into what you want to solve with gamification, but also how you will introduce it. This will help you reap the benefits and see results much faster.