While the third entry into our Gamification Success Stories series was intended to be the final addition, we had two more responses since that time that we couldn’t leave out. Monica Cornetti was kind enough to recount a great example of how her company, Sententia, used gamification to help put an end to “boring corporate training”. We also spoke with the founders of Ambition, which is a company that created a software platform that helps businesses build a culture that drives revenue. They integrate data sources, codify and track performance benchmarks, and broadcast the-real time metrics most relevant to team members and their managers.
Founder and CEO, Sententia Gamification
“Do you remember that boring corporate training you attended? The one where you wanted to put a pencil in your eye within the first 10 minutes? Well, at Sententia, our goal is to ensure that no one else suffers the way you did.
Our greatest success in gamification has come through our work with corporate trainers and talent development professionals to create programs that are not only engaging, but that are also memorable and compelling.
Because we have been developing successful gamified learning programs for clients since 2008, we received many requests from L&D colleagues asking us for “Train the Trainer” sessions on gamification strategy design. As a result, working with organizations such as HRCI, SHRM, and ATD we now have an offering of gamification certifications for talent development professionals that are also recognized by these accrediting bodies for recertification credits.
Sententia has three levels of gratification certifications for human resource professionals, corporate trainers, learning designers, and talent development professionals. These workshops are the only programs on gamification that offer continuing education credits through applicable associations.
We invite talent development professionals to remember how much time and energy they applied to games as children, and how little interest they have in lectures. We then invite them to apply the aspects of games that engage them to corporate learning programs and environments.
Close to 1,000 trainers and developers have gone through Sententia programs. They’ve learned how game mechanics and dynamics can be applied to non-game environments to engage and make sure information sticks. L&D professionals in companies such as Amazon, Audible.Com, Cameron Oil, Citizens Bank, Harley-Davidson, American Cancer Society, Wal-Mart, JB Hunt, BNSF Logistics, FM Global, Harte Hanks, and MD Anderson are now using our trademarked and proven process for gamification strategy design in their learning programs.
Best of all, employees now enjoy learning. They remember better the information shared. And they are able to apply concepts to their workday as they develop skills, advance in autonomy, and move towards mastery.”
Q: When did the idea of gamification become known to you? Obviously the principles have been around for thousands of years, but in terms of digital engagement, when did that find its way to you?
Travis Truett (Co-Founder and CEO): We’d always known about gamification – in fact, we incorporated it into a previous startup we’d worked on, Fireplug, which gave you points for reading articles online. We all grew up playing games and still play things like fantasy football, so we’re big believers in the power of games to drive human behavior – just look at Pokémon Go.
Q: When you came up with the general idea for Ambition, was it met with any outside resistance? How did you convince people that this would be worthwhile?
Jared Houghton (Co-Founder and CSO): So the idea for Ambition started with ‘Fantasy Football for Sales,’ which was already occurring in Access America Transport, a local logistics firm. People seemed to really get behind it and our investors [thought] it would be very smart to create a platform that takes this concept that seems to work and try to apply it to a broader model. And sure enough, we got accepted into Y Combinator and have since built out Ambition into a massive sales performance management system used by companies like UPS, Lyft, and ChowNow.
Q: What’s been your biggest surprise since putting the platform together?
Brian Trautschold (Co-Founder and COO): The most surprising thing has been the diverse ways clients are using our products. The Harvard Business Review performed a case study on Clayton Homes, one of our clients, and found these amazing results that were being driven by the team sales competitions and TVs. Conversely, another client of ours, West Corp., performed its own internal review of the product and found that top-line results were being driven just by the performance scoring and visibility – they weren’t even running competitions or using the TV.
Q: What’s been your biggest success story with gamification?
Travis: The Harvard Business Review and West case studies have been big, because they are independent studies that really prove the value of the platform. The West case study was run against a control group within the company. We also have very high client retention – most companies not only renew with us, [but] they [also] expand us into their account management, client success and channel sales teams – ChowNow, AfterCollege, and TQL being a few examples.
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