The Employee Engagement Blog

The Employee Engagement Blog

Examples That Show Gamification Works

Posted by Stephen Spiegel on May 8, 2019 9:30:00 AM

If You’re Not Using Gamification for Your Business, You Could Be Missing Out

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The proof is in the fun

It’s no secret that gamification works, but how does it work and how do companies use it to excite their employees? Gamification can be as simple as “do this task, earn this reward,” or it can be more involved to really dig into the fun “do this task to earn these points you can save up to get even better rewards.” These rewards encourage employees to strive for better work because better work rewards them with more points. Even better, gamification excites employees to complete tasks that are often less than exciting. Work gets done.

In this article we dig deep into gamification with:

  • Examples of gamification in action
  • How and why gamification improves work
  • Gamification as a powerful learning tool
  • The psychology that supports gamification
" When test subjects tried gamification for work purposes, 87 percent reported it helped them feel more productive, and 84 percent were more engaged with the work at hand."

Gamification makes products and services better

As recounted by one Lyft worker, ratings get more jobs, and those ratings are determined by reviews that clients leave. To get better reviews, some drivers turn their car into a luxury experience with the offer of beverages, snacks, and music. While on-demand work already gives their workers the benefit of flexible schedules – work when you want, if you want, and for how long you want – they’ve taken it a step further by gamifying the experience. This allows the driver to earn more money by landing more customers because of excellent reviews.

While Lyft is using customer reviews to improve their rides, Domino’s is using customer feedback in a completely different way.

There’s only so much creation a handful of people can continue to put out in a company. It takes fresh minds with a new outlook to stay ahead of inventions, and Domino’s realized this. By utilizing gamification, they took pizza creation to their customers, allowing their patrons to build their own perfect pizza. But Domino’s didn’t take the pizza and run away with it. The pizza’s creator will earn rewards for each of their prized creations sold!

Gamification helps the learning process

Gamifying work isn’t just about getting work done. If an employee is struggling with something, gamification will help them learn. Our brains are wired for fun, and when we turn a challenging project into a game, it engages more parts of the brain. For example, a Spanish teacher used video games to teach Spanish.

The benefit of work training here is obvious. We may have a great employee who isn’t catching on. We don’t want to let them go, but we also know they must improve their work to stay.

When we’re playing games, we often know right away if the choice we made was the right one. We see the character on the screen lose health if we made a bad decision, we see the ball miss the pocket in pool, we watch our dart bounce off the metal framing the bullseye. Gamification at work is the same way. We get instant feedback on the work we do, and we know if our choices were spectacular, or if there’s something we missed that needs to be worked on. Gamification fosters better work through better rewards and timely feedback to correct poor decisions.

Gamification is supported by psychology

No matter age, gender, or race, gamification has shown to improve engagement and productivity. When test subjects tried gamification for work purposes, 87 percent reported it helped them feel more productive, and 84 percent were more engaged with the work at hand.

The two psychological terms to remember when thinking of gamification are intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. If you’re intrinsically motivated, the drive to do better, rise higher, and complete what you start comes from values within you. If you’re extrinsically motivated, the motivation comes from outside in the form of some kind of reward. If they’re put together, the urge to complete the work becomes even more powerful. This is what makes gamification so effective.

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