Is Gamification Right for Your Company?

by Robert Conrad

If you’ve ever received a lollipop after an unpleasant visit to the doctor, or received a gold star in Kindergarten for good behavior, then you’re already familiar with the concept of gamification. On its face, it can be considered complex and unapproachable, but in fact, its basic premise has been around longer than we think.

Now, gamification can be found in many different capacities, from game-based simulations for environmental science to monitoring and tracking employee wellness across various industries.

Gamification has the ability to inspire excellence and promote internal transparency, but it can also create an unhealthy level of internal competition. Depending upon how it is integrated and supervised, gamification can either become a burden or be just the right motivator to push your company to the next level.

Could gamification work in your industry? Here’s a few examples of companies who have successfully pulled it off.

DevHub

Launched in 2009 by Evo Media Group, DevHub is a website builder that used to have a serious problem with customer retention and feature sales. Not pleased with the initial turnout, CEO Geoff Nuval and his team spent three months revamping the site to include gamification features, such as:

  • Doling out rewards for completing tasks.

  • Competitions to win prizes.

  • Step-by-step site building process where users can “level up” for each step they complete.

  • Implementing a social feature that invites customers to “build a site with a friend”.

  • A systems that awards “points,” which can be used to make the site better.

Ever since DevHub enacted this new system, they have climbed from a 10% site completion rate to a staggering 80%. Through adding trackable progress and offering incentives for completion, DevHub has seen a tremendous turnaround and continues to experience success and garner rave reviews.

BlueWolf

Global consulting company BlueWolf was interested in increasing employee engagement as well as growing the company’s visibility. The thought here was that engaged and happy employees will act as natural brand ambassadors, thus helping to increase BlueWolf’s visibility.

Teaming up with Bunchball, BlueWolf began work on their #GoingSocial program utilizing these three steps:

  1. Measure baseline employee engagement on social networks and provide training resources.

  2. Create pack profiles that publicly showcase each employee’s expertise and interests.

  3. Award points to employees for completing profiles, sharing content and offering rewards for accumulated points.

Since BlueWolf launched #GoingSocial, they have doubled use of Bunchball’s Salesforce Chatter month-to-month, seen a 20% increase in traffic from social media, and increased internal collaboration by 57%. BlueWolf has even stated that they have experienced a total cultural transformation since they deployed gamification, and have sustained the levels of their increased growth.

Nissan

For use with the all-electric 2015 Nissan Leaf, Carwings is a smartphone app that not only allows you to control and monitor your car’s status remotely, but they also included gamification elements into it as well, such as:

  • Compare performance to other local drivers.

  • Earn “medals” for hitting certain ranks.

  • Easily viewable progress.

The app is available as a complimentary service for 3 years after purchase, and has even influenced how people drive. Where gas engine drivers tend to average about 6,721 miles per year, Nissan Leaf owners are driving an average of 10,307 miles per year. Nissan has certainly set new precedents in their industry for energy efficiency, gamification and mobile technology.

Is Gamification Right for You?

As the examples listed above show, many of these companies didn’t change their overall product or overhaul their entire vision to adopt gamification. Employing gamification doesn’t need to be a costly venture, but they all do show that making your product or service appealing and rewarding is the best way to ensure loyalty.

Take a look at your current business model. Is there a way that you could make it more interactive and entertaining? What elements of gamification do you think you could benefit from?

image credit: VFS Digital Design

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Robert Conrad is a former manager/trainer who has received multiple accolades throughout his career. These include invitations to company focus meetings and a handcrafted plaque presented to him by his team. Now, he is a mentor for at-risk youth and even cooks at a local detention facility. In his off-time, he enjoys playing video games and spending time with his family. Follow Robert on  Twitter and Facebook.