Although once deemed as ineffective, the concept of gamification is showing that it has serious potential to expand a team’s productivity. Consider a few of these factors:

  • Lack of motivation among employees can be the death knell for a growing organization.
  • Studies have shown that gamification can improve both engagement and effectiveness among adults.
  • The gamification market is poised to expand to 5.5 billion dollars by 2018.
  • A majority of tech influencers believe that gamification has significant future potential.

Gamification is coming, and the savviest companies will adapt it to transform their workplaces into productivity machines. But how? The mechanisms behind how gamification works and how startups are capitalizing on it might not be immediately apparent. With that in mind, let’s delve into the how and why of this cutting-edge workplace strategy.

How Gamification Works

At first, it seems counterintuitive. How can turning work into a game make employees more productive? Gamification taps into some basic human psychology to positively influence behavior. The founder of Stanford University’s “Persuasive Tech Lab,” Dr. B.J. Fogg, notes that three factors must be present for something to change behavior: motivation, ability and a trigger. Gamification provides all of these in ample supply.

Gamification gives employees motivation in the form of rewards and recognition, and the chance to distinguish themselves from their peers. When the gamification system allows employees to “level up,” they feel an intense sense of progression and growth. The up-to-date feedback on their performance feeds a need for validation. These are techniques that game designers have long used to make their games more playable, and they are just as applicable in the work world.

Gamification provides employees the ability to complete their work in an ordered and methodical manner. By gamifying work, it is divided into smaller sub-tasks that are much more manageable. This also feeds into the motivation factor, giving employees attainable goals that keep them engaged better than one giant, daunting project can.

As for the triggers, those are built into the gamification interface. Deadlines and leaderboards give employees the spark they need to jump into action. Most people are competitive by nature. Harnessing that competitive spirit to achieve results only takes a small nudge.

How Comapnies Integrate Gamification Into the Workplace

Obviously, it would take considerable time and resources to create a system of gamification from the ground up and research which methods are most effective. That’s why companies rely on third parties like Hoopla, who have already created the mold on implementing gamification the right way.

What’s their secret to success? These companies have found that visual communication is one of the best mediums for folding all the main elements of gamification into a central hub. By broadcasting information onto digital signage and televisions throughout the office, these companies help their teams stay energized and motivated, and focused on cooperating.

The metrics on digital leaderboards provide instant feedback to employees about how they’re doing and what they are contributing to the team’s efforts. However, the power of digital displays goes beyond showing employees numbers.

To continually motivate employees to do better, companies can use displays to broadcast celebratory messages when a milestone is reached, a digital “sales gong” when a deal is closed, or personal walk-up songs to keep teams energized. Companies can also stream online tutorials and motivational quotes, and transmit background images to further enhance the employee experience.

The end product is a company culture centered on teamwork, positive motivation, and — above all — results. The statistics bear this out, and it’s in the best interests of every organization seeking a long-term strategy for transforming its workplace to check out what gamification stands to offer.

Interested in trying out gamification for your team? Start a free trial to get more productive and motivated today.