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Future of Gamification

  • Amruta Bhaskar
  • Feb 4, 2021
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Gamification is not a new technique but recently, the buzzword has gained overwhelming prominence. With engagement and retention rates dwindling, and consumer attention span taking a downhill trend, gamification is posing as a timely antidote to these cases. However, today, replicating game mechanics in business scenarios is a hard nut to crack, especially with the budding gamification trends.

Already in early 2021, we’re seeing Gamification initiatives have their design elements be more structured around principles of intrinsic motivation rather than relying on external factors.

Experts feel that the use of extrinsic motivational factors in gamification are not fit for long-term gamification and it can only bring immediate results (nothing wrong with that if that’s what you need). Gamification designers need to consciously in-build the intrinsic motivational factors their players need, into their gamification initiatives for which they need to thoroughly analyze the player type.

Learners will initially get hooked to learning due to external factors like badges, leaderboards etc but will come back wanting more of it only when they enjoy the process of learning. Hence, the experts believe that the future of gamification will see an inevitable shift to more intrinsic motivation.

Experts predict that gamification will make deeper inroads within important industries, which have customary processes like education, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, financial services and so on. In such industries, the gamification of learning was implemented mainly in areas of compliance and important operations but with sustained results, gamification will find application in other areas of learning as well like sales training, onboarding and soft skills.

Employee onboarding is no longer an overseen aspect of converting new employees into insiders, as studies and findings report that new employees are 69% more likely to stick around for more than 3 years (Harvard Business Review) if you provide them with a well-formed onboarding process.

Productivity and project management tools have seen the biggest increase in gamification so far and there is more to come. The HR Tech market is exploring the benefits of gamification in employee engagement with a lot of effort and activity also in the recruitment space, where gamification is removing bias and providing the opportunity for 24/7 feedback.

A gamified onboarding program is a fun and exciting way for recruits to get to know the company and learn how to best perform in their job. The content is delivered in bite-sized chunks throughout the different onboarding stages. Team games can also be utilised to facilitate interaction and establish connections between employees.

The entry of millennials and Gen Z into the global workforce has presented a new challenge for small businesses. Keeping new entrants engaged isn’t easy these days. In fact, according to a Gallup survey, nearly 71% of millennials feel disengaged at work.

To address this challenge, small businesses are integrating gamification with mobile apps and social media. With most enterprise platforms creating mobile apps, shifting gamification to social media and mobile apps is a timely idea. This is because, mobile apps bring convenience and simplify access, for on-the-go employees.

Moreover, small businesses are reverting to bring your own device (BYOD) practice. As a result, adding leaderboards and gamification techniques to mobile apps are perfectly timed.

The use of gamification to engage communities and encourage spontaneous interactions between users was and still is the prime focus of forums. Popular forums sites such as Reddit, Gamespot, and others reward their users for their contributions with trophies, keep them aware of their ranking with clear progress bars, and personalize their experiences with personalized activity streams and cool avatars, or in some cases 3D models based on their photos.

Businesses took notice of the success of such techniques, and gamification started to make its way to the workplace as a way to engage communities and get employees to work and collaborate effectively. Classic gamification systems designed for such purposes are designed to integrate with an intranet, digital workplace, or productivity apps used daily. Different actions have different point values, and they are grouped in domains such as social relations, knowledge sharing, teamwork, and feedback. For example, posting useful information frequently, answering questions, or simply liking and commenting on posts can all result in points awards. These points are visible on leaderboards, with employees ranked based on their actions.

Gamification has been a permanent fixture in marketing, corporate learning, and training. However, gamification is slowly creeping into fields where people were sceptical about its adoption. For example, civic and political organizations were hesitant to embrace gamification. But it’s predicted that as gamification finds new meaning, its use in these fields will become more prevalent.

Moreover, gamification is going “deeper” in marketing. Marketers are churning out ideas that seek to make the desired behaviours enjoyable. Gamification practitioners are moving away from extrinsic to more intrinsic motivational design. As a result, gamification is approaching maturity.

Extrinsic motivational design thrives on the use of rewards and incentives. Even though the design can motivate the audience to start doing an action, the drive doesn’t last long. On the other hand, the intrinsic motivational design makes tasks enjoyable and rewarding. This way, the design guarantees long-term motivation and deliver meaningful results.

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