Gamification – Work, Rules and Fun!

What if working felt like playing a game? What if we had points, rewards and winners every time we hit the target? What if there were competitions between teams, just like in a game? Sounds like fun, isn’t it? Well, believe it or not, there are loads of companies out there who are working like it’s a game and it’s called gamification.

What is Gamification?

It is the use of game concepts and methods in non-game activities. In corporate world, it’s about adding fun to work that motivates the employees to give their best. The term ‘gamification’ was introduced in 2002 by Neil Pelling. It gained popularity only with the boom of social media in 2010. It is now a hot trend which is on a rise in many global organizations.

How does gamification really help?

Goals and deadlines are a continuous process. When one goal is achieved, there are new ones to chase. Even if we’ve got the right skills to get the job done, our motivation and our productivity levels don’t always remain the same and this definitely reflects in our work. This is where gamification helps.

When the goals become targets and the progress becomes points (or rewards), we can keep a track on our performance and get motivated to achieve more. It increases the competition between the teams, which then leaves no room for excuses. Gamification also helps to identify our areas of weaknesses and strengths through feedbacks. As an organization, it can help identify the key performers (team or individual) and know how everyone is faring. With increased motivation and productivity, it is more likely for the performance graph to shoot up.

The benefits of adapting to Gamification are not limited to employee engagement alone. It’s much beyond that. It can establish behavioural change in employees, improve the leadership skills, and it can also be used in training, recruitment, sales, environment, health, education and in many other areas.

• A 75-day gamification event called ‘Stepathon’ was held at Accenture to instill a healthier lifestyle. Participants (teams) advanced on a virtual map and travelled the globe by taking 10,000 steps in a day.

• L’Oreal set up three gamification tools for recruitment. It helped them to screen the analytical skills of the applicants.

According to Gartner, 40% of Global organization will adopt gamification by 2015. At present in India, less than 10% of corporate use gamification. Though the adoption of gamification has been very slow, the buzz is now on the rise and yes, it’s time to turn work into a fun game.

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