This post is a high-level introduction to Octalysis, the Gamification Framework I created after more than 17 years of Gamification research and and Behavioral Design study. Within a year of publication, Octalysis was organically translated into 16 languages and became required literature in Gamification instruction worldwide.
What is Gamification?
Gamification is design that places the most emphasis on human motivation in the process. In essence, it is Human-Focused Design (as opposed to “function-focused design”).
Gamification is the craft of deriving all the fun and engaging elements found in games and applying them to real-world or productive activities. This process is what I call “Human-Focused Design,” as opposed to “Function-Focused Design.” It’s a design process that optimizes for human motivation in a system, as opposed to pure efficiency.
As a Gamification Pioneer, one of the most common responses I get when I tell people about Gamification is some version of, “Interesting. But how can something like video games really create value in real-world important things?” In other words, “I’m going to be polite to you, but I think this is a gimmicky fad that has no impact.”
Instead of trying to convince people with the same arguments over and over again, I’m going to settle this issue here once and for all – Gamification not only has real-life value and impact, it even saves lives and could ensure our future as a race!
Earlier I wrote about Old Spice’s Genius Gamification Marketing Campaign DIKEMBE MUTOMBO’S 4 1/2 WEEKS TO SAVE THE WORLD. While I think it is brilliant and does a lot of things well, I can assure you that it does NOT really save the world, outside of making more men smell like an adventure and bake gourmet cakes with the kitchens they made with their own hands.
But the 10 Examples below will blow your mind away and show you why Good Gamification, or “Human-Focused Design” (as opposed to Function-Focused Design”), undeniably has a role in “adding more lives” to our future.
Many thanks for the help of 周唯中 for making the work below possible.
Gamification Example 1: Puzzle Game FoldIt made breakthrough in AIDS Research that Scientists couldn’t solve
By 2009, AIDS has already killed 30 Million people, or close to the equivalent of the State of California. As of 2010, there are still 34 Million people that have contracted HIV. For 15 years, many of the top PhD Scientists in the world were trying to decipher a crystal structure for one of the AIDS-causing viruses called the Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (M-PMV), but could not solve it.
Luckily, the University of Washington’s Center for Game Science (yes, such center exists) collaborated with the Biochemistry department and created FoldIt, an online puzzle video game about protein folding. Foldit utilizes a game-like puzzle interface that allows people from all over the world to “play” and compete in figuring out various protein structures that fit a researcher’s criteria.
To everyone’s surprised, with over 240,000 “players” registering for the game and competing viciously against each other, a solution to the structure of the M-PMV was found in 10 days, creating a major breakthrough in the AIDS research field. 15 Years vs 10 Days? I would say for this alone Gamification added extremely concrete value to the world and could one day save a loved one.
Gamification Example 2: RPG Diary Game Pain Squad helps Patients Combat Cancer by providing both Purpose and Data
Technology is changing the face of healthcare as we know it. The typical habit of only going to a doctor when you have an issue is slowly fading. The medical field is now moving towards preventative care, and for good reason: according to the Partnership for Prevention, over 100,000 lives could be saved in the U.S. every year if the gaps in just 5 preventative health services were closed. Preventative healthcare improves general well-being and can save lives by catching a disease or condition before it’s too late.
And Gamification is making services more accessible, fun, and impactful through preventative healthcare games.
It’s no surprise that positively changing daily behaviors can help prevent disease and disorders. Eating healthier foods, maintaining an exercise routine, and remembering to complete a prescription medication regiment can ensure you enjoy a long, healthy life. While we intend to remain on top of these things, the reality is that most of us are likely to fall short of staying consistent with these habits. However, with the help of gamified tools and platforms, healthy regular activities can be fun and easier to maintain.
Here are 10 amazing companies that are changing and (even saving) lives through preventative healthcare games.
We all strive to be more productive: to have more energy, to accomplish more in a day, to hit our goals, to be the best possible versions of ourselves that we can be. But of course, we all face challenges that keep us from achieving our peak selves: we watch TV, we watch Youtube, we sleep in, we do everything possible to avoid the work that we need to be doing.
If life is a game, then we can hack our lives using Gamification to motivate, drive, or trick ourselves into being more productive.
The following are the 10 best productivity apps that use Gamification to improve your productivity, health, and financial habits.
The 10 best productivity apps that utilize Gamification
10. Todoist Karma – gamified productivity app that uses Karma as a measure of progress
How it works: First in our list at #10 is Todoist Karma, a simple, easy to use task manager that utilizes a point system to rank a player and get them motivated to complete objectives. When tasks are completed, the player gets Karma. When tasks are postponed for later, the player loses Karma.
Why it works:
Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Todoist Karma does a great job at showing a player their progress over time. They have great charts and analytics that show a detailed view of how productive a player is. Players are motivated to complete tasks to earn Karma and improve their charts.
Core Drive 8: Loss & Avoidance: Players hate losing things that they’ve earned. The threat of losing Karma for postponing or failing on tasks drives a player to complete objectives so that they can retain their status.
9. Smarty Pig – gamified productivity app for finance
How it works: Smarty Pig is a personal finance app that helps you achieve your purchasing goals. Let’s say you want to buy a new refrigerator. Well, with Smarty Pig, you set the refrigerator as a savings goal and then automatically deposit money from your bank account to your Refrigerator account. You’ll slowly fill your progress bar (savings account) until you’re 100% complete and you can buy that refrigerator guilt free.
Why it works:
Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Smarty Pig uses CD2 very well in two ways: 1) it makes the savings process incredibly easy. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it approach that makes you feel smart and financially savvy; 2) instead of a meaningless progress bar, Smarty Pig replaces it with progress that leads to a real world purchase. When you hit your objective, you not only feel good, but you have something to show for it.
Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession: As you rack up the dollars in your savings account, you’ll feel greater ownership of your accounts and pride in your ability to save money. Furthermore, Smarty Pig does a great job at encouraging you to spend your money once you’ve achieved your savings goals.
8. Fitocracy – gamified productivity app for fitness
How it works: Many people want to work out, but they have to battle against sleeping in, eating chips, watching Netflix on the couch, or late nights at the office. It can be incredibly difficult to get motivated and head to the gym. Fitocracy aims to drive people to live a healthier life by gamifying fitness and nutrition. They turn working out into an RPG (role playing game), where you earn experience and level up the more you work out and eat healthy.
Why it works:
Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Fitocracy gives the player the feeling of progress and improvements through earning experience, leveling up, achievements, and quests. It’s their way of turning fitness into a game.
Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness: Fitocracy excels at helping players find small online fitness groups that encourage each other to work out and eat healthy. By being the platform where groups communicate and encourage each other, Fitocracy taps into the Right-Brain Core Drives of its players, driving them to workout for intrinsic reasons (for example, because they don’t want to let their team down).
7. Bounty Tasker – gamified productivity app for to-do lists
How it works: Bounty Tasker takes the concept of a real life RPG to the next level. At its core, Bounty Tasker is a to-do list, but what really sets it apart is its Gamification elements. As a player, you get to choose and customize your character and assign yourself tasks that give you experience upon completion. As you gain in experience, you level up and earn items to outfit your character.
Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback: CD3 is where Bounty Tasker truly shines. Players get to customize their characters as they level up and earn items. This loop of accomplishing tasks, leveling up, gaining items, and customizing characters keeps the player motivated to keep playing.
6. Challenge Timer – gamified productivity app for the Pomodoro Method
How it works: Challenge Timer uses the Pomodoro method to break large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks. Unlike most Pomodoro timers, Challenge Timer lacks a pause button, forcing you to finish your task during the given time period.
Why it works:
Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: like most productivity apps, Challenge Timer uses CD2 to drive users to complete tasks and objectives. When you complete a task, it gets marked off as “achieved”, making the user feel good about their work.
Core Drive 6: Scarcity & Impatience: the lack of a pause button creates a limited, forced window for you to complete your task. By limiting your ability to get distracted, Challenge Timer forces you to stay focused.
Core Drive 8: Loss & Avoidance: if you get distracted or need to stop your task, then you have to click on the “Forfeit Work Session” button–admitting defeat. Players don’t like to lose or get defeated, so this drives them to stay focused and complete the task.
5. Beeminder – gamified productivity app that puts your money on the line
How it works: At it’s core, Beeminder is quite straightforward:
Set a goal
Did you complete your goal?
Yes: great, keep it up!
No: we take your money
What!?!?!… yup, that’s right, if you don’t hit the daily or weekly goals that you set with Beeminder, then they take $5 from your credit card (it’s their business model). Sound extreme? Maybe, but it’s quite effective for people that only get motivated when they’re about to lose something.
Why it works:
Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Beeminder uses a “yellow brick road” to keep you on track. Everyday it asks you if you accomplished your goal and to quantify it (quantification is key). If you’re on track, then you stick on the yellow brick road. If you get off track, then you have 24 hours to get back on track or else Beeminder charges you $5.
Core Drive 8: Loss & Avoidance: CD8 is a big part of Beeminder. If you get off track and don’t hit your objectives, then you get charged $5. For some players, they need skin in the game and the thought of losing something to get them motivated to take action.
4. Epic Win – gamified productivity app for those that want to level up their life
How it works: Epic Win takes the concept of a real life RPG and makes it super fun with great artwork, fun animations, and a system that truly feels like a game you would pay for on the app store. The character designs are imaginative, fun, and quite customizable for a productivity app.
Why it works:
Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: In Epic Win, the player creates tasks and assigns them experience points. As the player achieves tasks and levels up, the player can customize their character with loot.
Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession: the more that you customize your character, the more ownership you’ll feel for them. This drives the player to keep making progress and upgrade the character even more.
3. SuperBetter – the gamified productivity app for recovery and wellness
How it works: SuperBetter was designed by Jane McGonigal to help players live a healthier, more fulfilling life. To accomplish this goal, SuperBetter is a game where players design their “epic win” and go on quests to accomplish objectives. Players design their quests, team up with allies, identify “bad guys” or actions that are counterproductive, and create power ups throughout their journey in real life.
Why it works:
Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: SuperBetter utilizes player stats to motivate players to take action and accomplish their goals. Players can create their own quests to move towards accomplishing their epic win.
Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness: CD5 is where SuperBetter really shines. Not only can you add friends as Allies in the game, but Allies can add Quests to your Quest Board. In the video above, Jane’s friend knows that she is trying to recover from a concussion. He creates a Quest on her board to walk together on the Embarcadero, knowing that this will help her recover from her concussion.
2. Forest App – the beautiful gamified productivity app that helps save the world
How it works: When it’s time to focus, open the Forest app and plant a seed, signifying that it’s time to focus. If you stay focused on your task, then the seed will grow into a might tree! However, if you leave the app to check on something like Facebook, then your little seedling will whither away.
Why this works: Forest app is an amazing app because it utilizes many core drives to Gamify your life:
Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession: the more you play the game and be productive, the more trees you’ll plant and the bigger your forest. You’ll want to keep playing because you feel ownership of your forest and you want it to keep growing.
How it works: Similar to other real life RPGs listed above, Habitica aims to gamify your life. Habitica has earned the #1 spot on our list because it boasts over 2,000,000 users and is a completely open source project. In Habitica, players create their character, create their Guilds where they team up with other players, and take on quests and defeat monsters to accomplish their objectives.
Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness: this is where Habitica truly shines. Because it has over 2,000,000 players, it’s easy to get involved with a Guild and go on quests together. The community, camaraderie, and opportunity to meet others truly makes this game stand out.
Did we miss any Gamified Productivity Apps that should be on our list?
Let us know if you have created a gamified productivity app or use one that you believe should be on our list and we’ll review it. If it blows us out of the water, then it could make our top 10 list!
Shopping has evolved so much from traditional market exchanges. It completely transformed from acquiring of needed goods into a rich experience that integrates deeply into every single culture of civilizations that can afford to power such an activity. People shop for fun, and for many (ahem, me not included), shopping could still be an epic win after spending 3 hours in a mall without buying a single item. (In the rulebook for my game, if I am shopping for over an hour and I bought nothing, I felt that I have failed. No Win-State for me…)
As shopping went online, a lot of the fun, interactive, and social experiences of shopping disappeared. However, it opened up a whole new world of other fun and exciting activities that could make shopping even more addicting than ever – except this time within the comforts of my home, and I can achieve my win-states much more often.
There is where eCommerce Gamification comes in place. Awesomely, many eCommerce gamification examples out there have actively improved sales and conversions by double or even triple digits towards the right direction, and some helped eCommerce sites become $Billion businesses!
Below I present to you 10 stellar eCommerce Gamification examples that will revolutionize shopping.
eCommerce Gamification #1: eBay’s Bidding and Feedback System
When it comes to early good gamification, few can match eBay’s ability to bring out our Core Drives.
If you were to just think of creating an ecommerce store, it’s not necessarily intuitive to have a competitive bidding system, real-time feedback, and stars for leveling up that eBay introduced.
The power of eBay is that buying items on eBay isn’t just a “purchase” like most ecommerce sites (Core Drive: Ownership & Possession in Octalysis), but when you buy something on eBay, you felt that you WON! Even though you might have paid 10% more compared to what you initially wanted to pay, you felt that you beat the other bastards who were bidding against you, sealing your victory. This is enormously a good example of Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment.
Add that to trying to improve your seller’s %, getting more stars, improving feedback scores, and constantly checking back to see if you have gotten new bids or competition (Core Drive 6: Scarcity & Impatience as well as Core Drive 7: Unpredictability & Curiosity), finally leading to NOT wanting to lose the deal (Core Drive 8: Loss & Avoidance), no wonder everyone keeps saying, “eBay is so addicting!”
eCommerce Gamification #2: Woot.com Daily Deal System
The online retailer, Woot offers only one initial product per day in
limited quantities at a special sale price. A new product will be
offered only after the supply of the first product has been exhausted,
or by 12:00 AM Central Time. Each day people will wait for the next
product to be introduced, often at the midnight hour.
Since each product is limited and unknown beforehand, there are a
combination of factors which influence the site’s shoppers. They know
that the next item up can be desirable and yet limited in quantities.
They also know that they could be disappointed in the particular
product, and have no desire to acquire it. Thus, Woot’s users are
attracted by the motivation to find out what will be offered and how
“rare” they might perceive it to be.
Often times, when people log onto Woot.com at 4PM, they would see that amazing deal, but unfortunately sold out. After a few days, they feel a stronger desire to finally be able to get the deal. As a result, a bunch of people starts to go on Woot at 11:59PM, constantly refreshing their page, so they can immediately see the new deal, and potentially scoop it up if it’s appealing.
When you get users to change their daily habits before going to bed like Woot.com, you are demonstrating an amazing utilization of Core Drive 7: Unpredictability & Curiosity, as well as Core Drive 6: Scarcity & Impatience.
Get ready to learn, the fun way! We have scoured the internet and app stores to find the 10 best educational apps that use Gamification for adults. See how companies and organizations are making learning languages, music, coding, art, history, and more fun and exciting for everyone!
10. TEDEd – gamified educational app to create actionable video lessons
How it works: TEDEd creates amazing, fun, entertaining educational videos for all ages to enjoy. In addition to their videos, they’ve created a web app that allows users to create video lessons that are actionable. Choose a video, add a description, add a quiz (multiple choice or open-ended), and prompt some discussion.
How it works: Khan Academy is an educational platform where students can learn math, science, computer programming, history, and more. What makes Khan Academy standout is their mission: they aim to provide this education to everyone around the world (currently in 36 languages) completely for free forever.
They’ve accomplished some amazing results:
Students who complete 60% of their grade-level math on Khan Academy experience 1.8 times their expected growth on the NWEA MAP Test, a popular assessment test.
Student use of Khan Academy correlates with score gains on standardized achievement tests.
20 hours of practice is associated with a 115-point average score increase from the PSAT/NMSQT to the SAT, nearly double the average gain of students who do not practice on Official SAT Practice.
Why it works:
Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling: Khan Academy truly utilizes CD1 to motivate donors, teachers, and volunteers on its quest to accomplish its mission. Because of their mission to provide free education to everyone forever, they’ve gotten companies that have donated over $10,000,000 each.
How it works: Coursera is an online learning platform that provides universal access to the world’s best education from top universities. Universities add their courses onto the platform and students can use Coursera to pay for and take a course.
How it works: Udemy is an online platform that allows educators to upload courses and for students to purchase these courses and learn online. Anyone from anywhere in the world can upload a course: you can learn anything from coding, to languages, to fashion, and even parenting.
Why it works:
Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: on the student-side of the platform, Udemy utilizes progress bars to indicate the student’s progress and to encourage completion of a course. They also dangle a trophy at the end of the course as their reward for completing it.
Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback: Udemy truly excels on the teach-side of the platform. Anyone from anywhere in the world can create their own online course. They have the complete creative freedom to choose any topic and use their video editing skills to make their course stand out.
6. Tinycards – gamified educational app for learning with flashcards
How it works: Tinycards (by Duolingo) makes learning with boring old flash cards actually fun and enjoyable through the use of Gamification. Pick a subject: language, science, movies, and start to learn with flash cards.
Why it works:
Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Tinycards makes boring old flash cards fun by adding a gamified layer on top of them. As you progress through a deck of cards, your progress bar fills up and you earn accomplishments.
5. Blinkist – gamified educational app for reading non-fiction books in just 15 minutes!
How it works: Blinkist is for the professional on the go, the person that is super busy, but that desperately wants to carve out a little bit of time to learn something new. Blinkist summarizes over 2,000 non-fiction books to give you content that you can easily digest in 15 minutes.
Why it works:
Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Blinkist isn’t using a bunch of fancy avatars or leveling up systems; instead, it focuses on making the user feel incredibly smart and effective. Blinkist is a master at utilizing CD2 to help its users read more, learn more, and become a more educated person
4. Memrise – gamified educational app to learn a language through locals
How it works: Memrise is a gamified language learning app that utilizes a myriad of gamified techniques (including over 20,000 native speaking videos) to teach a new language. Players can learn English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, and many more languages. In addition, Memrise has courses for art, math, and history.
The app is incredibly fun to use. You are an astronaut, going on your journey to learn a new language! As you learn and progress, you gain in levels and your pet alien evolves as well.
Why it works:
Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Memrise uses CD2 in a myriad of ways: from earning points for completing lessons to leveling up your little alien pet, the app continuously shows the user their status and progression.
Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback: Memrise has the “point and translate” mode that allows players to turn on their camera, point to an object, and get the object translated in real-time. It’s a phenomenal way to get creative and capture your own vocabulary library.
3. SoloLearn – gamified educational app to learn how to code
How it works: SoloLearn aims to gamify the way we learn how to code. As an educational app, SoloLearn naturally has lessons that teach players how to code, but that’s just the beginning. SoloLearn utilizes player challenges (players can compete head-to-head in a coding challenge and the winner earns XP), a Code Playground where players can show off the code they’ve created and get feedback from other members of the community, and a leaderboard that shows the top coders.
Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback: SoloLearn truly shines in the way it uses CD3 to drive player engagement. Players can create their own code and apps, upload it to the playground, and have players from around the world upvote their product and even play with it. This provides immediate feedback for the player and encourages them to continue engaging with the platform.
Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness: SoloLearn has an amazingly vibrant community (their Q&A discussion forum). The community is completely gamified, allowing players to upvote topics and get EXP for answering questions.
2. Yousician – gamified educational app for learning a instrument
How it works: Yousician is a Gamified educational app to learn a new language. When you’re ready for your lesson, you turn on the app, select your instrument, and choose a lesson or song to play. The app will play the background music, display the song tutorial, and listen to you play to give you immediate feedback about how you’re doing.
Why it works:
Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment: Yousician is structured like a game: you start off as a beginner with easy levels (easy songs). As you progress and get better, you unlock stages that get progressively difficult and you level up in level. You can also see your progress through the in-app analytics that shows how you’re improving.
Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback: This is where Yousician truly shines. The key to Yousician is that it listens to you play and gives you immediate feedback. If you struck a chord too soon, it will visibly let you know immediately and track your progress. In addition, you can upload your own music to the app so that you can learn to play your favorite songs.
1. Duolingo – gamified educational app for learning a new language (and it’s free!)
How it works: Duolingo is a free language learning app on your mobile phone. There are a ton of languages to learn: Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, and the list goes on and on. In fact, more Americans are learning a language on Duolingo than the entire American school system! It’s quite an impressive feat.
Duolingo is proud that they infuse Gamification into every lesson. From in-lesson grading, to streak counts and hearts, Duolingo has done a terrific job at making language learning incredibly fun and easy.
Why it works:
Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling: As stated in the Duolingo Manifesto: “There are over 1.2 billion people learning a language and the majority are doing so to gain access to better opportunities. Unfortunately, learning a language is expensive and inaccessible to most. We created Duolingo so that everyone could have a chance. Free language education – no hidden fees, no premium content, just free. Duolingo is used by the richest man in the world and many Hollywood stars, and at the same time by public schools students in developing countries. We believe true equality is when spending more can’t buy you a better education.” When you use Duolingo or pay for the premium version, you are contributing to this grand mission.
Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession: There is a currency within Duolingo called Lingots which allows players to buy Power Ups (such as streak freeze) and buy attire for your avatar.
Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness: Duolingo has social language learning clubs within the app that encourage players to learn with each other. Although it sounds like a great idea, it’s actually implemented weakly–not much conversation is happening amongst club members, resulting in empty rooms.
Core Drive 6: Scarcity & Impatience: In order to play (to learn a language), you need lives. If you run out of lives, then you have to wait until you regain life to learn again.
Core Drive 8: Loss & Avoidance: In Duolingo, players get lives. Every time you fail a lesson, you lose a life. Run out of lives and you’ll have to wait until you can continue learning.
Conclusion: Education Gamification is here to change our future
Even with all the great examples above, this is just the tip of the iceberg of all the great education gamfiication examples. Education gamification is here to stay and here to change the world.
What about you? Do you know of any great education gamification examples that can really impact our society, not just for this generation, but also future generations to come? I look forward to learning about that in the comments!
Can Gamification really turn traditional drudgery into productive engagement within the enterprise?
In a world where creative and innovative tasks are becoming an increasingly greater part of the world economy, it seems the archaic carrot and stick tools of motivation used throughout the Industrial Revolution are un-evolved tactics that fail to truly engage the modern day individual. Perhaps one of the biggest indicators of a lagging workforce culture can be seen in how the U.S. loses nearly $370 BILLION annually due to disengaged employees according to a Gallop Poll.
With such staggering disengagement and worker dissatisfaction, I can’t help but wonder… what if I could harness that zen-like focus I get when I’m fully immersed in a video game for twelve hours straight onto my real-life work instead?
Well, it turns out a hoard of start-ups and large corporations have also caught a whiff of what’s cooking and have started to build gamification applications and programs which have turned into a $100 million industry overnight that is expected to grow to $2.8 billion by 2016. Although there are many successful gamification examples that have cleverly incorporated game mechanics such as leaderboards, badges, and progress bars to provide real-time feedback and increased engagement, you have to wonder how in the world could you possibly make the most mundane tasks intrinsically motivating.
Despite the huge risk that 80% of current gamified processes may fail by 2014 due to employers simply replacing one extrinsic reward (money) for another (badges), there are actually quite a few enterprise gamification successes that have spawned from carefully applying game mechanics to fit the unique needs of each organization. As you’ll soon see, even the most mundane tasks can be successfully gamified to increase engagement. It’s time to take back that $370 billion and make a dent in our national deficit.
Enterprise Gamification Example #1: Salesforce with Nitro/Bunchball
If you have ever worked in any sales related role ranging from door to door soliciting or the dreaded cold call, you know firsthand how demotivating a multitude of rejections can be. Although thick skin and a narrowed focus on the prize can get you through the day, in the end it’s team competitions, leaderboards, and rewards that have typically had the most success in motivating sales forces.
While I’m not particularly excited about these extrinsic rewards and believe that there’s a lot more intrinsic tactics that we have not fully tapped into yet, I do agree that providing real-time feedback and visibility into tasks is a first step. Remember how in the Disney animation Monsters Inc., Sullivan and Randall had a competitive rivalry to be on the top of the leaderboard? It was apparent that the tracking and real-time feedback significantly affected the monsters’ behavior in speed and focus on the job.
Salesforce Motivation uses these same proven techniques to replace manual processes with a user-friendly sales application that displays a team leaderboard, a progress bar, and a featured challenge that can be customized. Team standings display which teams are leading in points and progress bar while the rewards tab offers either real life or virtual goods selected by employees. Moreover, Salesforce Chatter allows for teams to easily exchange info and keep each other updated in a collaborative manner. While many sales jobs have not typically screamed of intrinsic motivation, let’s face it, we all have to sell every day in some shape or form. Now with this tool, sales teams can get a steady diet of real-time feedback to keep them gunning on achieving their short and long-term sales goals.
Enterprise Gamification Example #2: Badgeville with Yammer
What do you get when you combine one of the largest gamification companies with one of the leading social media plug-ins? Yammerville… I made that up but in all seriousness, Badgeville has become a dominant force in enterprise gamification with over 150 major deployments with major companies such as Deloitte, Samsung, Dell, and my own company Accenture. Similar to Salesforce Motivation, Badgeville provides an out of the box SaaS service that has many customizable options for companies to configure any type of goal ranging from task related goals such as completing expense reports to learning goals such as leveling up a key industry skill. With the integration of Yammer, companies are able to leverage gamification and social reputation so that when badges are achieved from a goal, these achievements can be published through social media to provide visibility throughout the entire company.
While I personally have never cared too much for posting an accomplishment through social media, I have found myself twiddling on my own Accenture profile and seeing how I can complete certification trainings or volunteer events in order to get the added bonus of a virtual badge. Although badges run the risk of sapping intrinsic motivation and creating gaming/manipulation of the system behavior, I have found that these badges can actually enhance intrinsic motivation, serve as a pseudo resume, and expose me to other skills/interests that I already have a liking towards.
When extrinsic rewards such as badges are paired carefully with a goal that you already have intrinsic motivation for, the effect can be positive. If extrinsic rewards such as prizes or money are large enough that they supersede intrinsic motivation, then all the unintended behaviors I mentioned are likely to occur and the benefits of gamification are lost. Because of this fine line and need for customization, Badgeville has created a gamification framework that can apply to a myriad of companies. Whether this is just a scheme to boost revenues or an effective methodology to improve productivity in enterprise remains to be seen.
Enterprise Gamification Example #3 SAP Community Network
This post was written by contributing writer Erik van Mechelen.
Collect till you can’t anymore
There’s something about collecting things that is an essential part of the human experience.
It’s in our nature.
We organized in groups to hunt and gather. Okay, we needed to survive.
But now we continue to collect.
Sure, there’s a counter-movement (minimalism), but even minimalists are in the business of collecting, often collecting experiences or relationships or something else they consider more valuable than material goods.
We collect stamps, rocks, feathers, books, ideas, friends, relationships, experiences. There’s something about it that we can’t avoid. Collecting can be about ownership and possession, or wealth and status, but however defined, you know it when you see it.
There’s a downside to collecting too much (perhaps). We all laugh or shake our heads when we see true hoarders in action, or people trampling one another on Black Friday. This could be some deranged form of the collecting mindset gone astray.
But it’s hard to make a case against the value of collections, whether inherent to themselves or to produce time savings or personalization.
Collections can be added to experiences, like my biology teacher in high school who had us collect 20 insects during our insect study (yes, it felt like Pokemon in real life). I get the same feeling as I collect knowledge and ideas from lectures and edutainment on YouTube.
When you interview for a job, the hiring manager will ask you for a collection of your experiences to discover if you have the skills and mindset to do the job and fit the culture of their company.
At bottom, life is a collection of experiences. Our past and present and future experiences coalesce to make a life. Collections matter.