The 10 best examples of using Gamification in the enterprise, corporate workplace

Click here to view our full list of Gamification examples.

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

Continue reading The 10 best examples of using Gamification in the enterprise, corporate workplace

What is Gamification

Gamification Framework Octalysis

If you want to make Gamification actionable, Check out my Complete Gamification Framework called Octalysis.

What is Gamification?

What is Gamification? This may be an unfamiliar word for many of you. As a leading author and pioneer of the industry (since 2003), I’m here to help you grasp the promise of gamification and clear up some misconceptions in the industry.

Gamification is the craft of deriving all the fun and addicting elements found in games and applying them to real-world or productive activities. This is what I call “Human-Focused Design” as opposed to the “Function-Focused Design.” It is a design process that optimizes for the human in the system, as opposed to pure efficiency of the system.

Most systems are “function-focused” designed to get the job done quickly. This is like a factory that assumes that the workers within WILL do their jobs. However, Human-Focused Design remembers that people in the system have feelings, insecurities, and reasons why they want or do not want to do things, and therefore optimizes for their feelings, motivations, and engagement.

The reason we call it gamification is because the gaming industry was the first to master human-focused design. Games have no other purpose than to please the human inside. There are “objectives” in the games, such as killing the dragon or saving the princess, but those are all excuses to simply keep the player happily entertained inside. Since games have spent decades learning how to master motivation and engagement, we are now learning from games, and that is why we call it Gamification.

Games have the amazing ability to keep people engaged for a long time, build relationships and trust between people, and develop their creative potentials.

Unfortunately, many games these days are simply focused on escapism – wasting your life away on something that doesn’t improve your own life nor the life of others.

Imagine if there is a truly addicting game, where the more time you spend on it, the more productive you would be. You would be playing all day, enjoying it, and your career would be growing, you would be making more income, having better relationships with your family, creating value for your community, and solving the hardest problems in the world.

That is the goal I strive for and the potential I see that Gamification could fulfill.

What is Gamification in relationship to the Gaming Industry?

Many people think Gamification is a branch of gaming. Upon hearing the term, some people respond with, “Oh I don’t play games.”

That’s a complete misconception on what is gamification all about.

So what is Gamification really? Gamification does not involve games. It is simply absorbing the fun elements in a game (what we call Game Mechanics or Game Design Techniques) into real-world applications. When you see the progress bar on LinkedIn, or when you Tumblr listing out a Leaderboard on the best content, do you think, “Oh I don’t play games. This is not for me.”? Of course not! Continue reading What is Gamification

The Octalysis Framework for Gamification & Behavioral Design

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. Click To Tweet

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.

The challenges with Function-Focused Design

Continue reading The Octalysis Framework for Gamification & Behavioral Design

A solid presentation on Gamification by Sebastian Deterding

New to Gamification? Check out my post What is Gamification & my Gamification Framework: Octalysis

Gamification presentation/research from Sebastian Deterding

I recently stumbled upon some Gamification Research by Sebastian Deterding and I think it is a great piece of work in the industry. It shows a heavy amount of research and utilization of Gamification.
As you know, I have always been saying that Gamification is not really a good word to use (sounds very gimmicky and suggests it is created from games), but it should really be called “Human-Focused Design.”
Sebastian calls it “Gameful Design” which I think is appealing but difficult to gain significant traction.
I strongly recommend going through the entire thing.

Gamification Design: 4 Phases of a Player’s Journey

Gamification Onboarding

(Below is a manuscript snippet of my book, Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards. Please subscribe to the mailing list on the right to order the book when it launches. This post may be moved into a Premium Area after a certain period of time. For a video walk-through, check out: Episode 5, The 4 Experience Phases of a Game).

We have covered in much depth and details on how to apply Level 1 Octalysis and the 8 Core Drives to your projects. While I believe a great amount of projects can be massively improved just with a good understanding of Level 1 Octalysis, it does have its limitations.

This is where we introduce the deeper arts of Level 2 Octalysis, particularly how it relates to different phases of a player’s journey.

Treat your product as Four different products

Most people see a product or service as one summed up experience – the product is good, bad, interesting, easy to use, funny or boring. That seems to be intuitive – after all, it is one product.

However, when it comes to user engagement design, I believe that’s a big mistake.

From a motivation standpoint, a user’s interaction and journey with a product is continuously evolving. The reason why a person is using a product on day one is often very different from the reason why this person is using this same product on day one hundred – the goal she is trying to fulfill is different, and even the features she sees are different!

People become involved with a game or a product, not as a single encapsulated event, but through a series of stages where they grow to understand it better. The user experience will develop gradually as familiarity with features and structure is gained.

If a product attracts people at the beginning, but as time goes by becomes boring and uninspiring, that’s a failure in design.

Similarly, if a game offers an amazing experience only after 20 hours of play, but prior to hitting the 20-hour mark it’s boring and torturous, then it almost does not matter as no one will reach that level.

A better way of think about the product is to view it as a user’s journey through evolving phases of product perception or experience. With each phase the product appears to be different – in essence, a unique, different product.

Therefore, a good Octalysis Gamifier can break the process into four distinct products, which emphasizes on the 4 Experience Phases of a Game: Discovery, Onboarding, Scaffolding, and Endgame.

A Level 2 Octalysis Gamifier will then gamify each of those 4 phases in an innovative way that adapts the 8 Core Drives.

In this chapter, we will look at a brief summary of each Experience Phase.

Note that the 4 Phases in Octalysis has certain overlap with UPenn Professor Kevin Werbach’s theories of Identity, Onboarding, Scaffolding, and Mastery.

In fact, I modified my original phrasing to sound more like his because I prefer to have a more unified language with less confusion in the gamification world. My framework is slightly different due to my own experiences but I do want to give Kevin Werbach credit for doing great evangelical and educational work in the industry.

The First Phase in the Player Journey is: Discovery

Continue reading Gamification Design: 4 Phases of a Player’s Journey

Five Examples of Gamified Crowdsourcing To Learn From

Image showing how crowdsourcing is powerful when combined with gamification

Crowdsourcing is a method of actionable community engagement that harnesses the collective wisdom, contributions, and capabilities of large numbers of people (i.e. the “crowd” in crowdsourcing). Crowdsourcing has been used to solicit, improve, and address complex virtual and real-world challenges. Some of these applications are in the areas of:

  • Innovation and creativity
  • Building accurate and vast knowledge
  • Solving complex multi-layered problems
  • Achieving complicated feats within a short span of time

Crowdsourcing utilizes several core behavioral drives that compel users to collectively work together to solve problems (sometimes by breaking them into tedious, and manageable tasks). Wikipedia is one example of a crowdsource information platform that utilizes gamification principles to entice users to curate and publish regular content while holding the community (and its content) responsible for accuracy and quality.

While different crowdsourcing application utilize a wide-range of gamification principles at varying degrees (and with differing success), the decision to implement gamification mechanics depends on the quality of experience the project seeks to offer based on the understanding of their users’ drives and motivations.

In some cases, people may be naturally inspired to contribute their time and efforts towards a particular cause (e.g. Wikipedia). In other instances, it may be beneficial to enhance the experience of the crowdsourced endeavor by making it more immersive and compelling through the integration of key game mechanics.

Here are several examples (in no particular order) which highlight the achievement of large scale or complex feats through the integration of gamification and crowdsourcing.

Continue reading Five Examples of Gamified Crowdsourcing To Learn From

Mini Case Study of FOREST

Click on the image–redirecting to LinkedIn for 10 slides

Another mini-case study, FOREST.

At its core is a gamified timer to decrease distraction from your mobile phone. In 2015-2016 this simple concept of “Don’t use this device or your plant will die!” was voted Google Best App of the Year. In 2018 it was nominated for Best Social Impact App and 2018 it was Google Play Editors’ Choice for Top Productivity App.

It has over 25 million downloads and over 2 million satisfied paying users. It is also responsible for planting over 600,000 real trees on Earth by their users (Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling) How does such a simple concept have such success? How do you feel about this short term engagement?

Will it keep you hooked in the long term? Would you pay for it?