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Enterprise Gamification: impact on company processes and people’s engagement

Brian Sutton-Smith is an author and successful professor who has devoted most of his life studying games. In one of his books he states:

"The opposite of the game is not work. It's depression. ".  

Let's start from this sentence to raise a new topic about gamification; a trend that has established itself in recent years also in the business world.

Smith's sentence makes us reflect upon an important thing: the game is not to be considered in contradiction and antithesis to work. The two activities, adopting appropriate strategies, can go hand in hand. In fact, gamification is a tool that if connected to strategic business objectives could contribute to improving the performance of any company. If we look at the market data relating to gamification and a survey carried out in the USA, we note that:

The global market for gamification tools, services and applications is estimated at around $ 5.5 billion by 2018 (M2 Research)

  • 63% of respondents believe that making daily activities similar to a game would contribute to fun and gratification (JWT INTELLIGENCE)
  • 51% of the people interviewed think that if a pinch of competition were included in daily activities, they would be more likely to maintain a closer vigilance of their behavior in those areas (JWT INTELLIGENCE)

Gamification results can be just as relevant. A famous example is Nike +, an app for mobile and Facebook, created by the well-known sports shoe company, which allows users to set their own personal goals for running. The app rewards users when they reach fundamental goals with congratulatory messages from famous athletes. In 2011, the number of Nike+ members increased by 40 percent, helping to rise corporate revenues by 30 percent in the Running category.

Have you ever wondered why is gamification a privileged tool in business? Bruner and Huizinga in their studies show how games are intrinsically characterized by a dimension of experimentation and simulation: they represent a free action, different from the usual world, which engages the player in a pervasive and complete way. The games present obstacles that we players voluntarily decide to face. They drop us into a simulated reality that allows us to act freely, aware of applying rules and criteria that we believe are appropriate to win and finish first in the rankings.

There are various applications of gamification to business processes. Among these, we see those that apply to the Human Resources function:

  • Recruiting and talent attraction
  • Induction of new hires
  • Review of performances
  • Rewards and incentives
  • Learning processes.

Gamification by leveraging behavior leads us to internalize the teachings and to become more effective and efficient in pursuing corporate objectives. It is no coincidence that gamification intervenes precisely on the engagement and motivation of staff in order to make them more involved and aligned with company processes. The use of motivational stimulation mechanics and the activation of enabling factors, adds to a strategic proposal that allows today to accompany companies and brands in innovative and more effective paths.

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