How Proper Use of Gamification Boosts Efficacy

How Proper Use of Gamification Boosts Efficacy

Black Hat Gamification in Long-Term Sales

When keeping up with the way to engage employees in their work, or have read other articles within this blog, you would know that gamification is the way to go if you are looking to improve the efficiency of your workers while at the same time furthering their motivation and engagement towards their work.

What most people fail to realize though, is that improper use of gamification can instead backfire and may even prove disastrous to the working environment.

How Proper Use of Gamification Boosts Efficacy

How Proper Use of Gamification Boosts Efficacy

illustration via source

Consequences of reckless gamification

A good example of such disaster is when former Hedgefund Manager and CEO of the company: Sears, Eddie Lampert, introduced rewards for well-performing Company Managers, in hopes of skyrocketing the managers’ motivation.

How Proper Use of Gamification Boosts Efficacy

How Proper Use of Gamification Boosts Efficacy

Image of Edward Lampert via source

What Eddie Lampert did not anticipate, however, is it instead tore apart all cooperation between managers, replacing it with a heated rivalry. Which, in turn, did not increase their work activity but instead, decreases it drastically.
This mistake cost Sears over 40 percent of its stock value and many of its branches. All because the managers begin to undermine each other for their own personal gain.

Common mistake of implementing gamification

The most common mistake is not thinking far enough, the consequences of implementing certain gamification plans, but also because some remain oblivious that there is no mold that would simply fit everything. Just because a plan works for another company, does not always mean it would work for their company.
A better example is when Target implements gamification by adding a timer to their cashiers’ scanner. When the cashier scans fast enough, the scanner would give them a flash of green color, but when they don’t, it tells them by how much and with a simple flash of red. A simple, seemingly feeble change that actually helped the Cashiers by giving them instant feedback unlike how their regular feedbacks are only scolding from managers or the such.

How Proper Use of Gamification Boosts Efficacy

How Proper Use of Gamification Boosts Efficacy

Target employee image via source

But when the pharmaceutical software development company: Omnicare tries to do the same—timing their employees—they instead experienced major fallout with their employees quitting in bulks, customers are less satisfied and their stocks plummeting. But the question is why?

Variables to think about when applying gamification

Often times, after hearing how effective gamification is, a company would want to try to implement them without thinking much about the work environment that they have.

How Proper Use of Gamification Boosts Efficacy

How Proper Use of Gamification Boosts Efficacy

Image via Pexels

What happened with Omnicare was that, unlike the employees at Target who never knew how they were doing, the Tech-savvy employees at Omnicare instead felt like the timer and scoring system felt like a ridicule to them, as though they were being monitored instead of given feedback.
Before implementing gamification, the company should first consider variables that may affect the end-result of doing such a thing, such as:

  • The types of employee they mainly hire

Types of employees can vary from company to company. And like Target’s Cashiers and Omnicare Techies, that difference can heavily impact which type of gamification would work on them and which would instead ruin them.

  • The environment in which those employees work

Whether they’re used to hands-on work with other people or stuck inside and alone, could also affect how they would react towards certain gamification plans.

  • The habituation levels of the employees

Another thing is the levels of habituation, Gamification would indeed pull your workers to be more engaged, but if they were already exposed to such a thing before, they might already be habituated and feel less engaged with the same level of exposure.

Finally though, going back to Omnicare, the executives learned from their mistakes and re-iterated their gamification plan.

How Proper Use of Gamification Boosts Efficacy

How Proper Use of Gamification Boosts Efficacy

Omnicare logo via source

Instead of focusing solely on timing and scores, Omnicare implemented an ‘objective’ system that begins at the start of a shift. Something like “Finish a report by the end of today” that, if done, yields a short-term reward, helped boost the workers’ effectivity and engagement at their jobs by up to 50 percent while completely negating the terrible outcome that their previous gamification attempt created.

So you see, gamification doesn’t really fail, they are only implemented incorrectly.

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How Gamification Improves Your Training

How Gamification Improves Your Training

How Gamification Improves Your Training

As we all know, training for employees in corporate is extremely important, yet tricky. Training is considered to be one of the most effective ways in order to improve employees’ competence thus improve the corporate’s competence for business growth. However, the efficiency of existing corporate training is questionable. Is the conventional way still relevant to how today business works? One of the ground-breaking solutions is to upgrade it by using games, through gamification. Then, how exactly gamification can improve the corporate training?

Voluntary Learner Learns Best

How Gamification Improves Your TrainingImage via source

This might be very familiar to you: people complaining about training they have to attend because the HR pushes them so, or people saying they don’t remember anything from training they just attended yesterday, or if your company already implemented e-Learning and heard that there are only a very few people who actually understand it, let alone use it. Well, this classic problem of corporate training—where most of the employees don’t enjoy—will unlikely get them to voluntarily join. Yet, we know that the best learning happens when the learner actually wants it. This is where games can help to prevent such situation.

The nature of games fills in the gap to camouflage the learning into a subconsciously designated desire. Naturally, people play games to have some fun which will lead their basic instinct to choose it over trying to engage in a less appealing situation. Through gamification, it is possible to create training games—a kind of game that is designed for the players to practice in a fun way. The highlighted purpose is so they will enjoy the training process thus can learn much better. In addition to that, the focus of the game can range from the very basic corporate knowledge to the divisions’ specific expertise.

Experience is The Best Teacher

How Gamification Improves Your TrainingImage via source

Most of the times, games storyline imitates reality if not creating an alternate one in which both gives the same thing: experience. One of many examples is The Sims. The game gives the player the experience of how challenging it is to build a beautiful house. In case of training gamification, for example, might be inducing corporate values. It can be presented with an engaging story of hows, to the dos and don’ts which will increase the immersive rate in the training process. Chances are, the employee will more likely to apply the proper company value in the daily work life since they have intuitively learned it through the game.

Simulation games also have a high potential for immersive learning. Agate has developed a simulation game that teaches and challenges the player to escape from a burning house. By playing the game, people experience directly how it feels being inside a burning house and doing anything to be able to escape. Through trial and error from playing the game, the player will understand and remember much better than just watching video or lecture about fire escape since the player has already experienced it through simulation.

Different Learning Pace to Each Other

How Gamification Improves Your TrainingImage via source

People are born with different capacities, including different learning pace. Yet, typical classroom training session treats all training audience the same way which we know won’t be very effective. People can learn most effectively if they are in the state of flow, in which they are fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. A well-designed game is important on bringing its players into their own state of flow. It provides a great balance between the challenges given to the players and the players’ skill. Unlike conventional learning method, games treat the players “differently”, as games provide the proper challenge right when the player ready for it.

For example in Agate’s made customer service training game, at the beginning of the game, the player will only face customers with a  type of needs – e.g. opening a new account. In this stage, the players need to learn about how to serve customers in the first place. When they have served enough number of customers well, players will start facing customers with more type of needs – e.g. activate online banking service, closing account, etc. When they have also aced that next stage, they will face more type of customers with a different level of patience, to make them learn to serve customers more efficiently. This kind of learning stage lets every employee learns according to each capability, in which everyone will have the same portion of processed knowledge.

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