Gamification is using the elements, thinking, and
mechanics of games in any business or professional practice
for business purposes such as marketing, training, recruiting
and retention of clients and customers, vendors, staff and
other team members.
Sound crazy? It did to me too. I’m not gamer. But….
Once I started reading and researching, I became
intrigued. And once I tested it I became a believer and
I GOT RESULTS!
And here’s what I did, what gamification really
is, and why it works so well.
In case you’re wondering, I’m not alone in my
conclusions. Companies like Disney, Aetna, Verizon,
Deloitt, Playboy, Spotify, and many many more are
now using gamification in recruiting, retention, training and/or
Often used in training and human resources, the application of
Gamification has been proven to improve learning, task completion,
data quality and Return on Investment in many aspects of business.
According to industry research summarized by Rob Peterson
in a recent blog on companies using gamification:
- 50% of companies that seek funding for consumer software
applications mention game design in their presentations
- 70% of the top 2,000 global organizations, will use “gamified”
applications for marketing, employee performance, training, and
health care by 2014
And while he notes that many gamification programs fail, due
to a lack of clarity of objections, he cites 21 examples of large companies
that are achieving dramatic results in a variety of applications.
So what are some of the most important elements and mechanics
of games and how have we or other companies been testing them?
Gabe Zicherman is editor of gamification.co and chair of the Gamification
Summit and has cited the following as proven uses of gamification.
The Gamification Revolution: How Leaders Leverage Game Mechanics
to Crush the Competition
Recruitment and Hiring
Gabe described Google’s use of a billboard in Silicon Valley with a tough math
question that led users through a series of game-like challenges, and eventually
to a special job application queue. essentially, those who could solve the puzzle
were “pre-screened” in a fun way. Gamification took some of the stress out of the sorting
and prescreening and probably got some better candidates that might not otherwise
have applied or even known of the job openings.
He also cites Domino’s Pizza which developed a game called Pizza Hero.
The app lets you order pizza for delivery based on your design and apply for a job
at your local Domino’s – if you get a good enough score.
So gamification can reduce recruiting costs AND get a higher level of candidate.
we did our own version with a gamified job announcement that required candidates
to produce videos, write “chapters of a book” and to perform tasks that would be required
in the job. One of the principals of gamification is to create a fun, safe and engaging
place where people can perform at a higher level and learn as they go.
Employee Training & Retention
According to Gabe again, “…Marriott needs to hire upwards of 50,000 people per year to
fill positions in its hospitality division – and those employees also need training.
So the company developed a game called My Marriott Hotel that lets you play various
hotel roles, develop a basic understanding of how they work and apply for a job.
The simplicity of My Marriott Hotel led to over 25,000 players joining in the first week,
and is part of a major growth cycle of similar training games that are as easy to play as Angry Birds.”
Siemens uses Plantville to train plant operators; GE Healthcare’s Patient Shuffle game teaches health
care workers how hospitals work; and Sun Microsystems built an adventure game to replace its
Here’s a link to Igamify’s Benjamin Bressiington on how gamification can create better
and more effective employees (contrary to popular opinion). Fox Interview
I’ve been documenting job descriptions and training for some time now.
We’re too small to invest in an app for it but I can definitely make the use of training
videos more gamified by offering rewards for performance after training and
having different levels. I’ll keep you posted.
Bottom line? For many companies, gamified training has lowered costs and raised engagement
by over 50 percent.
And, engagement and fun in the workpalce probably leads to retention.
Employee and/or Customer feedback
For many companies, the old fashioned annual review was the only way to gather
employee feedback and it often just went into a file never to see the light of day or to be
applied in any meaningful way.
And clunky customer feedback forms are often ignored by customers and the
But some formalized gamification-based recognition systems like Work.com , DueProps
and PropstoYou are changing that on the employee side and we’re exploring a
gamified customer feedback system where they can use an I pad or their mobile device
before they leave the office.
The employee or customer can then be rewarded for participating and for
achieving certain levels or badges (when they go further, stay engaged longer
or offer ideas that matter).
They have worked so well for some companies, that they are replacing the annual review.
Improving Marketing & Creating Profit
Just as Google used the billboard to lure qualified applicants, a well designed marketing campaign
using the principals of gamification can attract, retain and engage great ad well qualified and pre screened
And, it can be used to facilitate referals when ethically permitted.
Now without going into too much detail (because this secret project is still
in the works, I used the gamification model to improve some copy and scripts used in an
automated system with dramatic – actually very dramatic results.
The gamification elements make the call so interesting, that people who were not een current
customers of the company stayed on an longer than we ever imagined and took action at a very high rate.
Now these results are based on limited testing. But they are so promising, that
we’re going to boost the advertising spending AND test again soon.
I’ll keep you posted.
Coming soon….. the actual principals and techniques of gamification
that we used and more on how to apply them.
“Grand Master” of Persuasion and Influence
Want to learn some of the secrets used by Dave in the copy, sales process and
marketing that he mentions? Persuasion2Profit.com