Here at Tenfold, we’ve made it no secret that we’re fans of gamification. It’s been proven to increase revenue, productivity, and morale. It works in business and sports settings, and over the last few years, it has become a popular avenue for companies to boost employee engagement.
In an age where businesses are constantly adapting to the ever changing digital landscape, gamification is one of the many tools that can be used to gain an edge. Samsung, Omnicare, and others have already seen the benefits, and shared their success stories; but what about other examples?
We were lucky enough to speak with a wide range of gamification experts and industry leaders, and they offered what have been their biggest, and most successful experiences to date.
Founder GAMIFICATION+, Chair of GameFed
“Our biggest win from gamification was for a start-up telesales client. We had set them up with a CRM built around gamification which we used for onboarding the users. After 9 months of trading, they were taken over and given triple the monthly sales targets to hit.
Oh yes, and please achieve these new targets with the same number of staff. Of course, there was no budget for the monetary rewards for the staff. Indeed, at this organization, the staff have a fixed wage with no commission element or bonus scheme.
The sales manager thought the new targets were way too high and unachievable. So, we got the go ahead to put some redeemable rewards into the gamification system to help them reach these new targets.
We decided to track every element of the customer contact and sales process. So we were able to reward staff for any and all activity, letting individuals play to their strengths.
We kept the reward selection simple so that we could get it up and running quickly. We went live purely with some time off based rewards. Staff could cash in points for: 1/2 hour off work; 1 hour off; 2 hours off; 1/2 day off; 1 day off. We applied a simple rule that the maximum you could redeem was one of hourly rewards per day, or 1 of the daily rewards per week.
We expected it to take at least 3 months for the first person to have saved enough points to take a whole day off. Plus, that assumed they weren’t cashing in points for the odd hour off along the way.
What actually happened?
We had a short launch briefing to get staff excited about the new rewards. Then, great news, the tripled targets have been consistently achieved month after month since. To our surprise, the first whole day off was earned and cashed in within a mere 6 weeks. Every member of [the] staff has since earned a day off too.”
Principal Consultant, Choragus Consulting
“My friend, Deb, faced difficult challenges for her early January technical training. The sales reps are required to have detailed technical knowledge for brief drug presentations to physicians.
The training was scheduled to take place the week of the NCAA’s Bowl Championship Series (BCS). Alabama fans in her small group already had their tickets and were vocal about missing the training to attend the National Championship game.
The BCS event was incorporated into the gamification design for her two-day training. Deb had footballs, turf, and yard markers. She also had the sales reps wear their team’s colors or sweatshirts to foster competitive rivalry between the respective school’s fans.
Training workshops usually take a break every 90 minutes or so. Each break was designated as a quarter, with the lunch break designated as half-time. The segmentation of time built in scarcity and provided a familiar framework and context for the day.
The gamification part had each member of the team at the 11-yard line, so they had to gain at least 10 yards for a first down and a chance to score a touchdown. In practical terms, reps had to correctly answer questions formed from content information Deb delivered during the session.
Each question was given points and indexed to yards. That meant when the easy questions were worth 1 point, the player gained 1 yard on the gridiron. Difficult questions were worth more points, and players (reps) would gain more yards when they answered them correctly.
The two players gaining the most yards were deemed to ‘win’ the first day’s playoffs. These two players had the autonomy to choose from the remaining players to form their teams for the Championship game to take place on the second day of the technical training workshop.
Deb reported the training was a great success with the sales representatives thoroughly enjoying a day that could just as easily [have] been a day of dry and technical information about the various drugs from the company.
I count this as a big success because of the additional insight into gamification I was able to learn. The cyclical use of big sporting events can easily apply the context, framework, rules, and game play for gamification of recurring events, like quarterly training workshops.
Examples beyond the BCS are: NFL Super Bowl, NCAA’s March Madness, PGA’s Master’s Golf Tournament, NCAA’s World Series for College Baseball, etc. Each of these could easily be adapted using gamification designs.
By setting the arena for a gamification effort, the event’s context and framework allows player game play interactions with game mechanics, emergent dynamics, motivation or incentives, competition, collaboration, or another element drawn from the gamification design tool set.
Although narrative is often a design element, narrative lacks the richness drawn from events like those above. And, while the design of the gamification arena is often overlooked in gamification discussions and designs, the arena provides the foundation for most of the other elements to function. Besides, fun is the name of the game.”
Founder & CEO of Rise
“I think Rise.global itself is the biggest success story. I conceived the platform in March 2012 as a universal scorekeeping tool and ‘success tracking network’. The idea was that anyone can be a gamifier as long as there’s a trustworthy intermediary tool between game maker and game player. Rise has since been used on a self service basis to deliver 1000s of scorekeeping and tracking programs via the web for everything from school tests and clan gaming to corporate sales motivation programs.
Of the programs, I’m particularly proud of the ‘[United Nations] Social 500’ www.unsocial500.com – a social media tracking and recognition program for employees and contractors of UN agencies worldwide. With a goal of encouraging a digital connection between the work of the UN and the world’s citizens the program now reaches over 650 UN’ers with an aggregate follower tally of 1.8 [million] people. It is now sponsored by a UN charity, and is being managed by a team of UN volunteers helping to improve the social media output of the individuals within the UN. It’s a very successful, highly impactful and cost effective employee advocacy program costing just a few thousand pounds a year.
Owner/Co-founder at Art of Light and Motion Studio
“I’ve designed gamification solutions for many types of businesses. An e-learning platform, a local social network, etc. But this one is my most meaningful work [up until] now that I’m [most] proud of.
Lately I’ve been working with one of the pioneers of Fintech in my country on a mobile app for paying bills and buying credits for mobile. There [have] been many attempts from other companies and all of them tried to engage people with lotteries and things alike. In our approach, we tried to implement a meaningful gamification in addition to extrinsic awards while building a reliable company app with the usability in mind.
We encouraged users to compete while we didn’t put any leaderboards and users found beautiful ways to compete without [them]. All the growth we see is organic and with the referral system within the app that has built a simple but vital engine; the retention rate is higher than 90%. And most amazingly, people prefer to see their improvement in this journey rather than winning some prizes. I’ve always wanted to design a gamification solution that’s meaningful and useful for both sides of the business and [until] now, ‘ManaPay’ has been my biggest success in this path.
We’re monitoring and improving the gamification solution everyday based on the needs and behaviors of our amazing users.
Virtual Supervisor at Colony Brands Inc.
“The biggest success that I have had in gamification is playing a significant role in the creation of the new gamification platform Catalyst. This product was created with Playlyfe for sales and customer support teams. Large enterprises such as HP are currently using it now, and I am excited to push the product and my knowledge further. The creation of Catalyst led me to partner with Playlyfe and am the exclusive US distributor.”
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