Gamification: remedies the fatigue caused by relentless internal change

If you thought that the word gamification sounds like one of those terms that has the potential to be used often and without real interrogation, you are probably right. It is a term that is trending big time on Google Trends data with about a 43% lift in interest since this time last year.

Equally, you could be forgiven for thinking that all this interest isn’t being translated to genuinely new applications of gamification. Many examples simply take some game mechanics and apply them to existing marketing communications efforts.

These examples are least likely to be more then short-term campaigns to generate interest and engagement in a brand and its offering.

Examples of truly creative uses of gamification to engage audiences beyond simply sticking some points and leader boards onto existing programs are still a bit thin on the ground.

However, beyond the potential to over-hype or get ahead of ourselves on the value of gamification, there is an interesting reality emerging.

Organisations use of gamification to motivate and reinforce behaviour of their own staff is on the rise. It may be that talking to your own people represents the largest share of investment in gamification in the near future, completely overtaking consumer-facing programs.

Predictions from M2 research suggest that by 2016 gamification programs designed entirely for internal audiences will represent 62% of all activity in this market. Does this mean that the excitement of this new marketing and technology shooting star is misdirected? Is the most fertile audience for changing and maintaining desired behaviour through an injection of fun already inside the tent?

With international figures of engagement placing only 30% of the workplace properly engaged this might well be the case. This lack of engagement is not too surprising given the extent of change within organisations.

Continuously rolling out change programs or new technology platforms is contributing to an increasingly cynical audience and one that has the potential to be fatigued at the slightest hint of a new company message on their vision for the future.

Here are three reasons why the people within your organisation would welcome gamified tools to help them learn, share and get more involved with company strategy:

1. Technology has revolutionised the access and distribution of information and ideas within a company however many companies report that engagement and participation of staff remains low.

2. Change feels relentless, whether a company is rolling out a new technology platform or announcing strategic changes in the business. As a consequence of this volume of change new messages or required changes to process are not cutting through.

3. Gamification programs that have proved successful have tapped into more intrinsic rewards that motivate people to participate. For example providing people with a platform to improve their sense of personal progress or amplifying their connectedness to others in the business significantly lifts engagement.

 

Peter Hosking
BY Peter Hosking ON 27 September 2013
Peter Hosking is Director of ghosydney.com.
gho works with organizations in retail, banking, education and the public sector. Increasingly gho is seeing more investment in new technology and creative communications to protect and grow quality people to, in turn, become strong advocates for their brands.