It’s no secret that your employees are bored.
Implementing elements of gamification is a great way to improve employee morale. One recent study found that 90 percent of employees were more productive when their company uses gamification.
By providing dynamic and exciting new ways to engage your staff, you’re helping your employees feel more excited about their work and, in turn, this will make them more productive and willing to go above and beyond. Happy employees can indirectly improve your revenue and other KPIs.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to implement gamification strategies to improve workplace productivity and enhance your overall customer experience.
What Is Gamification for Business?
Gamification for business takes mundane, everyday processes and makes them fun using game-like elements. These elements can apply to both internal employees and customers outside of the business.
There are several ways you can go about this, such as offering rewards, holding competitions, keeping leaderboards, and hosting actual games.
According to Zippia, the gamification market is expected to surpass $30.7 billion by 2025. It’s growing at a rate of almost 27 percent, primarily due to the growth of mobile devices being used for work purposes.
It might seem unnecessary to add gaming elements into your business from an operational standpoint when everything seems “just fine.”
However, Spinify tested this belief out and found that gamification resulted in 72 percent higher employee motivation.
If you’re a marketer and your goal is to implement gamification in your marketing campaigns, we also have a post for you.
Why You Should Consider Gamification for Your Business
The gamification market is growing at 27.4 percent, with recognition of employees being the major driving factor.
What does this mean for you?
It means that your competitors are adopting gamification into their processes (and creating an attractive company culture), and you should too. Think about gamification from a B2C perspective as well.
If your competitors are gamifying their procedures, they’re not only creating a more enjoyable place to work, but they’re also indirectly developing a more enjoyable experience for their customers.
Here are some of the main reasons why your employees and prospective customers need gamification for business:
1. Improves Success Rate of Onboarding Programs
As many as 60 percent of companies fail to set attainable milestones for employee onboarding. Think about that for a second. That means that your new employees are almost doomed from the start.
If you’re not setting targets and following up with new employees, how can you know how they’re doing, how they feel, and how their training is coming along?
One great way to combat this issue is with gamification for business training and onboarding.
Doing so can increase the likelihood of retaining employees while also ensuring that they get the training they need and meet the targets you set for them.
Think about the customer journey as well. Where do you find your leads and how do you guide them through the process of learning about your business and eventually becoming a customer?
You can add gamification to the customer onboarding process as well by providing them with a place to share their wins and achievements along the way.
2. Increases Work Speed
Every business owner wants their employees to work faster while also getting the job done correctly.
The keyword here is “efficiency.”
Adding gaming elements to mundane processes makes the workday go by faster, resulting in higher productivity. When your employees are engaged in what they’re doing, the chances of them completing a task on time is much higher.
3. Boosts Morale
Approximately 36 percent of employees in the U.S. are active and engaged with their work and workplace. That means a whopping 64 percent of people are no longer engaged at work.
If your employees aren’t engaged at work, it’s not always their fault. Sometimes management and company culture is to blame.
It’s your job as the business owner to provide optimum working conditions for your employees, and if they’re not engaged or interested in what they’re doing, you need to do something about it.
Gamification is one simple but effective way to improve this. By adding gaming elements into everyday tasks, you have the potential to shift things in the right direction.
What Businesses Should Try Gamification?
Keep in mind that everyone can use gamification in business processes. If you fall into the category of the following four business types, here are some reasons why you should use gamification.
Working in the healthcare industry can be daunting and stressful. Medical burnout is a serious issue, with as many as 55 percent of workers reporting as “burnt out.” They become burnt out due to mental and physical exhaustion from unrelenting stress—and a simple app can help them track their overall wellbeing.
Adding gamification elements to your healthcare workers’ days can be a great way to make the day go faster and give them something to look forward to during periods of high stress.
Retail is another stressful work environment. While many retail businesses focus almost entirely on the customer, sometimes managers and executives need to think a little more about their employees.
People in this line of work could benefit from gamified rewards systems and leaderboards based on customer service and sales. The same process works for customers as well. Rewards programs that pay customers back for their loyalty are incredibly popular in this industry.
When there is a lack of motivation from employees, everyone suffers—including the customers.
Quick-service restaurants work tirelessly to pump out orders for what many would consider low pay and under poor working conditions. Efficiency is crucial to managers and owners in this business.
By adding gamification for business to things such as order taking and food running, you’re creating smoother working processes and helping employees to enjoy their work more.
Doing so directly benefits the customer but adding external gamification elements can make it even better. Many fast-food restaurants are using apps to purchase their food before they’ve even reached the drive-thru window. This makes it easier for both the customers and the employees.
Setting sales goals is an integral part of managing a sales team. This might be the industry that could benefit from gamification the most. In reality, sales is a game.
You can implement elements of recognition each time someone makes a sale, leaderboards, and rewards systems that allow salespeople to rack up points that they can exchange for virtual and physical prizes.
With the growth of more and more remote car buying companies like Carvana, we’re seeing gamification really take center stage. Now you can test drive and purchase a car without ever leaving your couch.
Customers can design and customize their own vehicle and have it show up in their driveway.
Ways Businesses Can Use Gamification
Let’s talk now about some of the specific ways you can use gamification for business. These five methods should help you entertain and engage your customers while motivating and driving your employees.
1. Points and Rewards Systems
It’s no secret that employee recognition is one of the major driving factors for good performance. Most employees want to do a good job; they just stop doing it when they don’t feel that it makes a difference.
One way to help recognize your employees is through rewards and recognition systems like gamification.
A study performed on 1.7 million employees analyzed how recognition impacts performance, and employees who felt properly rewarded are 2.2 times more likely to accept innovation.
What better way to show your employees that you appreciate them than by allowing them to recognize themselves for a job well done?
Add gamification elements into everyday accomplishments by having employees accumulate points that they can use for company swag, extra break time, free snacks, pizza parties, and even time off.
The best part about this strategy is that it doesn’t require a ton of intervention from you because as the employee completes tasks, the rewards accumulate on their own.
Don’t get ahead of yourself though. Some tasks are simply expected of an employee, and you don’t have to incentivize all work. Only offer points and rewards to employees who go above and beyond the line of duty.
Just keep in mind how this will impact employee productivity. Employees need goals and targets, so be sure they know what reward lies at each accomplishment.
Points and rewards can also be used from a customer standpoint. One great way to keep your customers coming back is with a loyalty program. You could develop an app that racks up points each time a customer makes a purchase. They can then use these points for free items and merchandise.
2. Onboarding and Learning Tools
How much do you spend on onboarding procedures?
Are you like the 35 percent of businesses that spend zero on onboarding and $11,000 on recruiting and turnover? If so, buckle up.
Onboarding is an incredibly important part of the hiring and customer acquisition process.
For employee onboarding, you’ve found a qualified candidate, likely put them through multiple interviews, and now you’re ready to train them in their position.
For customer onboarding, you’ve agreed to work with someone, spent hours marketing and selling to them, and now you need to acclimate them to your business.
How could you not invest in this?
Proper onboarding will set you up for success by gradually training and teaching others about what you do and why you do it. If you’re not onboarding employees correctly they can become frustrated which can have a negative effect on the employees around them as well.
If you’re not properly onboarding customers, they won’t fully understand what they’re paying for and how it impacts them, which can result in decreased customer retention.
Gamification in onboarding starts with the training process. Make it fun. Develop games that keep the employee engaged as they learn about their new job. Virtual reality is a great way to do this.
Training new employees in VR gives them the full experience of being in the field without the risk of them making a mistake. Not only will it give them the best training possible, but it will get them even more excited about getting out there and implementing what they’ve learned.
From there, you should be using gamification to track and report the results of their training. For example, you could award badges when certain trainings or tasks are completed.
Doing so will increase the likelihood of them finishing the training program and successfully meshing with existing employees who already know their job.
A training program performance sheet is a great way to do this. It can keep a running tally of the trainee’s score on various onboarding tasks. Once they reach a particular goal, they can move on to the next task or practice that they’ve learned in the field.
As humans, we thrive on competition. While some of us may agree with this more than others, it’s especially true in certain aspects of business; sales is one of them.
For example, a car dealership could use a digital leaderboard to gauge the competition and see how various salespeople stack up to one another.
This type of “visible” goal charting can increase sales by as much as 33 percent.
Don’t think that this is exclusive to employees, either. Your customers can benefit from leaderboards as well.
Take a non-profit for example. Perhaps the goal of your non-profit is to plant one hundred trees in a specific metro area. Gamification would be a huge motivating factor in this case for all the customers and clients assisting in the process. Each time a tree is planted, that person gets another tree next to their name.
Leaderboards can apply to customer service, too.
You can use digital leaderboards to highlight the employees who have received the most positive customer feedback. Using a virtual bucket is a great way to do this without it being your standard leaderboard.
The bucket fills up each time an employee receives positive feedback. The amount it fills up with is based on the level of feedback. Slightly positive feedback equals a little bit of water in the bucket. Incredible feedback equals a lot of water.
When the bucket overflows, the employee receives a reward.
4. Internal Social Sharing
Gamification in business doesn’t have to be all about rewards and competition, sometimes it’s just about achievements for personal growth. One great way to recognize individual achievements is by sharing them with other professionals across the company.
More and more businesses are implementing their own social networking platforms from within the company. These are often referred to as “enterprise social networks.”
Many studies show that more than half of employees in companies feel unenthusiastic about internal communications because they’re stagnant and boring. Adding gamification elements to internal communication is a great way to get the conversation going and to keep it interesting.
You can do this by creating company-specific emojis, for example. As you’re discussing work-related issues, adding unique emojis that only exist in your business can be a cool way to spice things up.
It’s also important to use the social network as a way to highlight achievements and accomplishments for employees. A lot of companies use badges as a way to do this. It’s also a great way to showcase new customers. When someone comes aboard and achieves some sort of result, take a picture and create a post with the customer tagging them so they can see it. Elements of this are highly present in businesses such as car and real estate sales.
For example, if a certain employee reached a platinum level in the training program, they could receive a platinum badge next to their name when they join a company chat. If a customer closes on a house, you could post a picture of them with the keys in front of their new home.
There are endless ways to gamify internal communications, but it’s important that you do everything in your power to keep the conversation interesting and fresh.
5. Transform Recognition Into Swag
We’re visual learners and this is one reason why gamification can be so powerful. It’s one thing to have your manager say “when you reach this goal, you’ll get this.” It’s another thing to see your name on a leaderboard moving towards a visual goal.
In addition to simply using number-based leaderboards, why not use physical rewards to motivate employees to train, work, and advance through the company?
As many as 65 percent of employees actually prefer a non-cash reward as opposed to receiving more money. Keep in mind that a few slices of pizza does not count.
Customers should also be motivated by swag to stay loyal to your business. For example, you could create a rewards program that gives a company sweatshirt to the first customer to reach a certain goal.
Offer up company swag, a personal coffee machine, gifts for their house, and other physical items in exchange for verbal or monetary recognition.
Example of Gamification for Business
One of the best gamification of business examples is McDonald’s collaborating with Nintendo to develop their eCrew training program.
This training program teaches employees how to cook and serve items at Mcdonald’s. The game offers simulations, customer interactions, tests, and performance statistics.
While the Nintendo game is no longer used as a means of training employees, McDonald’s has developed its own eCrew training program that is based on the original game.
Of course, it’s not always feasible for a business to hire a development company to help them build a training game, but this could be used as a benchmark for you.
What types of training processes are you using currently?
How could gamification improve them?
Start using gamification elements in training, quizzes, and reporting and track how it impacts your onboarding process. You can also monitor how it impacts employees moving from their training period into the workplace—calculating whether or not they’re better equipped to do the job.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gamification for Business
Is gamification good for business?
Gamification is nearly always good for business because it makes completing tasks more engaging. Many studies show that gamification is the future across various industries.
Is gamification for business expensive to set up?
Developing your own gamification can be expensive, but there is plenty of software and tools out there based on what you’re trying to do. Many of these require nothing more than a moderate monthly fee ranging from $10-150 per month.
Do I need to hire a marketer to use gamification for my business?
You don’t need to hire a marketer to help with your gamification, but it can’t hurt. Click here to contact us and see how we can help you implement gamification into your business processes.
How do you create a gamification business strategy?
There are five main principles to consider when creating a gamification strategy. Keep in mind that this is a long-term strategy and not something that can happen quickly:
1. Expect to spend many months working on this.
2. Don’t focus entirely on rewards.
3. Make sure everyone involved has equal access to earning recognition.
4. Don’t only celebrate the top performer.
5. Be sure to come up with unique rewards to keep things fresh.
Conclusion: Gamification for Business
Utilizing gamification for business is a great way to boost productivity and keep employees engaged.
You can start introducing gamification into every aspect of your business, from onboarding to training and even goal setting.
Every business owner wants their employees to be happy and fulfilled, and, adding elements of gamification to mundane activities is one great way to improve the quality of life for staff who give you so much.
What do you think is the most powerful gamification method in the workplace?