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Game On: Leading Companies Are Using Enterprise Gamification to Motivate Employees and Improve Business Processes

Posted @ 11:00 pm by Tim Ross | Category: Community & Social Media, Digital Marketing, Strategy | 0 Comments

Last time we talked about gamification we were looking at the consumer-facing side of things, and how companies and organizations are using games to get people to do everything from buy more stuff to give them more information. The next big thing in gamification is to incorporate game mechanics—things like leaderboards, badges or points, and locked levels or content—into not just consumer-facing processes, but internal business processes. Although technically not a new idea (sales directors have been using games for years to incentivize their teams) today’s version of what’s being called “enterprise gamification” comes with the technology required to make it work well throughout an organization.

Not only have various enterprise platforms opened up recently to third-party applications, but also various business applications are themselves beginning to add gaming features. A number of companies have cropped up in recent years solely to help businesses gamify their processes. Badgeville, for example, is a cloud gamification services company that offers a portable gaming profile across multiple digital touch points, such as a company website, mobile applications, online communities, CRM systems, and support desk programs with matching analytics. Now that gamification strategies have been tested and proven on consumers, and enterprise platforms and software have evolved to incorporate gamification seamlessly, some early adopter companies are using these tools to deliver results.

Software company SAP AG uses a golf-like game to assign sales leads and has instituted various environmental challenges that award points for “green” tasks like carpooling. IBM incorporates game theory throughout various processes, and uses video games to simulate various business scenarios. Global consulting firm Deloitte uses gamification to guide users through its executive leadership program, which it uses both for clients and its own consultants. Users receive badges for completing various tasks in the program and have to complete one level to unlock the next. Bain & Company and Shell Oil are both piloting games developed by Israeli developer Knack that were built to test potential employees for the cognitive skills employers want.

Gaming features can easily be incorporated into almost any business process: hiring, HR paperwork, sales, environmental management, really anything. Tech-industry research firm Gartner estimates that by 2014, some 70% of large companies will use the techniques for at least one business process.

The key is pinpointing processes that lend themselves well to gamification—those that include time limits and specific deliverables typically work well—and using design and technology to create a game that’s more fun than the straightforward process. That last bit may sound ridiculous, but there have surely been game versions of business processes created that employees find more onerous than the initial process. With the right combination of design, technology, and strategy, however, companies can reduce wasted time and resources, improve recruitment, drive sales, and increase employee satisfaction … all while making work slightly more fun.

Author: Tim Ross is the President of SolutionSet, leading the digital consultancy’s efforts to help clients leverage digital technologies to engage customers, partners, and employees.

 

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