Why Gamification Works
Michael Hugos, a gamification expert and author of "Enterprise Games: Using Game Mechanics to Build a Better Business" says creating local gurus around a company is positive for the company but also for the mentality of employees. "Badges and points show you and everyone else that you are the go-to person when it comes to subject X," he says.
Becoming a guru is another way to be recognized, Hugos says. "If we are counting your knowledge sharing numbers, you start to get an objective record of what you are doing, not just if your boss likes you."
Hugos says a lot of companies are using things like gamification not only for motivation, but to get employees to understand the complex systems they implement. "Show them the complexity in bite-size chunks so they can learn it," he says.
"It's aimed at leveraging existing software and getting more use out of it." Hugos says this is how a company like Deloitte can earn future investments in cool software. "This is how people will be drawn in," he says.
Deloitte's success is contrast to a Gartner prediction that 80 percent of gamification systems will fail to meet business objectives by 2014. Deloitte has already seen a 47 percent increase in the amount of employees that return to the course portal on a daily basis since the platform was launched nine months ago. There has also been an average of three badges per active user, with one user collecting 30 badges in two months and another earning the Leadership Academy Graduate badge within three months.
Deloitte isn't rewarding employees with more than the pride of earning a badge, but it is looking into furthering the incentives. "We've had a lot of discussions about rewards and taking badges and tying that into performance bonuses," Farrall says.
In the future, Farrall says he is excited to see the potential of gamifying the recruitment process at Deloitte to motivate employees to refer candidates to jobs. "If you can gamify the process, you can make it more interesting," he says. "You are rewarding the behavior and it's like a dopamine release in the brain. Humans like a game."
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