Seven ways to improve employee performance with gamification

Organizations are increasingly working with game elements for customer loyalty and better employee performance. This blog focuses on the most important trends and developments in the field of gamification.

Gamification involves developments such as more attention to sustainability and the individual user. Below you will find seven important trends and developments that your organization can benefit from.

1. Gamification in the workplace Sebastian

Deterding introduced the concept of gamification in 2008. After that, companies mainly use game elements externally for a higher conversion and stronger customer loyalty. According to Jan Dirk Fijnheer, more and more companies and organizations are now discovering that gamification is also an excellent means of improving employee performance and influencing their behaviour. Fijnheer is researching for Utrecht University and Hogeschool Inholland how computer games initiate behavioural changes.

Behaviourism in Gamification expert Maarten Holland of House of Performance notices that organizations are increasingly using games in the workplace itself. “Games developed by us are increasingly taking place where people work. We can then, for example, reward better cooperation or working on concrete goals.”

2. More individual focus

Games are adapting faster and better to the individual user because of the increasingly advanced machine learning techniques and algorithms. “For example, different people are often presented with different assignments that match their specific profile. The use of unique, personalized avatars that resemble the player is also becoming increasingly popular,” explains Fijnheer.

3. Gaming for a better climate

Climate is a hot topic all over the world. Fijnheer says that gamification appears to be an excellent means of eliciting climate-friendly behaviour. Owners of a Toyota Prius, for example, can earn more points if they drive more economically and environmentally consciously. Ford and Nissan similarly reward their customers for ‘green’ driving. “I myself am involved in Powersave Game, an app with which we challenge participants to save energy at home,” says Fijnheer.

Organizations are increasingly using gamification in the office for a smaller ecological footprint. For example, they reward employees who turn off their computers in the evenings and on weekends. Holland talks about a game that House of Performance recently made for a large Dutch multinational. “One of the goals of the game is to make people more aware of their mobility or to collaborate online as much as possible. We do this by introducing them to alternatives for on-site consultations in a playful way.”

4. Analog gaming techniques and the real world are advancing

Analogue game elements, such as playing cards or board games, and ‘braiding’ the real world into the digital world are becoming increasingly popular at work, according to Fijnheer. “Then you can think of brainstorming sessions, for example, in which playing cards are used to encourage people to think out of the box. Or assignments that have to be performed at specific locations, as you also see with Pokémon GO.”

Holland emphasizes that people learn 70 percent of what they learn on the work floor. “That’s why the offline component of workplace games is so important. Game elements on the work floor are then supported by a good online platform, for maximum results.”

7. Fun

Finally, fun is perhaps the most important element in gamification platform. “We notice that our customers are increasingly looking for a change method that brings a little more fun into the organization.

We round off every design of our games with the question: how can we make it even more fun? Sometimes that is in a cool overarching storyline that appeals to the target group. Other times it is in small things, such as adding little physical extras such as postcards or chocolate bars,” says Holland.

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