Gamification: Playing It For Real. Playing with data. Getting better

Using game principles in non-game contexts - gamification - is becoming a conversation topic and even a point on your meeting agenda these days. With all that discussion we should be quite sure about the ways that “serious  games” can help us. But are we?

While the professional public has generally accepted the notion of gamification and its potential in business, some elementary questions regarding possible use of gamification resurface regularly in the community. Maybe you can find some of yours among these:

  • How do I innovate to draw the attention of talented people?
  • Is there a fun way to test the candidates for competences before the interview?
  • Are we helping our staff to improve real needs? in their personal development
  • How to motivate people in your existing work team?
  • How do I communicate all this with my colleagues, hiring managers?

If you find at least one of the questions resonating with you, the answer is universal:

  • Yes, well aimed and well designed application of game principles can really give you an edge in tackling any of these problems.

The advice, that also universally follows, is:

  • Just use a solution that gives you data about all that fun. Not just data but actionable recommendations.

That is because you want to make a good use of the extra benefits gamification can bring to your work such as the following ones and more.

Games attract attention

In the state of information overload we experience today, attention is worth gold. If you want to engage your audience, you have to choose an attractive and fresh form of communication and prove your deeper understanding of the target audience.

This is in fact the only way for you to have your audience perform the specific action you have in mind. Marketing specialists know their bit about this. As consumers we can actually watch them use a variety of gamification tools - such as competitions, loyalty programs,  prize collecting, or awarding digital badges. Just think about the possibilities in employer branding!

Engagement is key

Those in HR or L&D are facing an increasingly challenging situation in the job market.

It seems almost  more difficult to spark generation Y and Z members’ interest in an open position than to persuade them to make a purchasing decision.

Besides an interesting financial reward and benefits you need to clearly communicate your company culture and the meaning of the work people do there. This applies both for job your employees and applicants.

Cooperative mental exercises like games bring unique quality to team development. It releases tensions and creates a new space for reviving interest and enthusiasm for improvement. While all this surely sounds exciting it is in fact just a fraction of the real potential gamification brings to the table.

Games mean development not just entertainment

Discussions among HR managers, recruiters, L&D and marketing professionals usually boil down to the practical ways of using game elements for better team-work, learning or marketing ROI. We seem to understand there are all the good things at stake like engagement, motivation and performance. But we need numbers. Some meaningful data. Preferably.

Guess what - when you develop a gamified solution with data-collection and analysis in mind, you get a very powerful combo.

Closer to workplace reality

Sophisticated gaming simulations allow you to collect and analyze data about your users' actions.

The ability to perform, application of knowledge or skills, levels of key competencies and personality characteristics of the players come to the surface. That is a huge potential for training. Imagine a pre/post tests with a simulation game that would give you detailed information on the trainees’ performance.

From experience to the right decisions

Organizations need a catalyst to accept changes faster. Games - namely simulations - can play a significant role in making that possible. They can bring in a greater deal of personalisation and automation while contributing to the overall objectiveness, efficiency and, as a result, more satisfaction on both sides.

We can make good decisions if we are well informed. You do not want to estimate or guess. You simply need to know who your people really are in terms of competence.

To benefit from all the aspects above you need to look for purpose-built solutions that can serve both sides - the business with valuable insights and the people experience and feedback.

"You are not your resume, you are your work." — Seth Godin
Lukáš Macenauer, author of the article

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