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Grow Up Not Old: What is Gamification and Why It's For You

by David Burkett, Sep 12, 2016

As industries battle innovative ideas and technologies as well as artificial intelligence available to us one area has recently stood out to us. Increasingly the term "Gamification" is being thrown about by not just software developers but also senior executives of multi-national companies.

Gamification is when game elements, as well as digital game design techniques, are applied to non-game context problems, which include both business and social impact challenges.

When a system, application or process is gamified it is not just for the fun of it, the purpose of gamification is to solve a problem; for example: getting employees more engaged with formerly known dull tasks such as data entry.  If the gamification of a process or activity solves a real world problem, it will minimise resistance to adopting the tool or app.

Typically consumers have choices when it comes to using a gamified system, process or website, unlike employees who have limited to no choice in the decision. When using the gamified system becomes a requirement, the pleasure derived from said activity quickly turns into an additional negative stress. In order to avoid this potential problem, companies who intend to use gamification for its own employees, need to make the process or application employee orientated.

There are a number of positive outcomes that can result from the use of gamification. In contrast to social networks (that display only the information individuals choose to make public) gamification reflects the actual achievements of individuals or teams within an organisation in real-time.  This data is more valuable and useful than any performance feedback that today's metrics display. Gamification has the potential to increase transparency during processes such as selecting which employee gets promoted, laid off or even how to strategically  allocate budget. The key to remember is that when you apply gamification to a process or application it has to be functional already. Gamification does not make bad applications better.