Gamification: Turning Work Into Play

Emily Mui

The connected world offers limitless virtual entertainment options. In contrast, the four walls of a brick-and-mortar office building too often offer repetitive, tiresome tasks. Regardless of where you work, in the battle between productivity and distraction the latter usually wins. Because harnessing company resources is critical, gamification is a rising trend to promote employee engagement. Plus, with gamification, motivating your employees isn’t just attainable—it’s easy.

Meet enterprise gamification

Enterprise gamification is the use of game design elements in a non-game business context. Gamification comes in many forms and works across virtually every industry. In the corporate world, it can increase employee engagement, generate ideas, and encourage innovation. For many employees, this may be the one tool that truly engages them and makes them look forward to work.

Popular ways to apply gamification in the workplace include learning activities, training sessions, skill building, and employee motivation. For example, through gamification, sales and customer support employees can enhance problem solving or generate new ideas. Gamification uses psychology and human behavioral research to target a specific audience and tailor the game elements for them.

Gamification rewards employees with badges, special features, or access to new levels. It combines everyday actions with the elements we enjoy about games, creating a hybrid that is rewarding and beneficial. Public leadership boards in enterprise gamification make employees more competitive, driving them to boost performance. Incentives make a workforce more collaborative as a team and often increases their willingness to work even harder on an individual basis.

The benefits of gamification are hard to dispute. From bringing together the masses to going beyond key performance indicators (KPIs), gamification is making real-world improvements to the workplace. It sets learning and performance goals in a virtual reality while showing how these goals align with real company goals. The seamless blend of gamification in the enterprise has the potential to transform the way employees work.

Master the art of gamification for motivation

Successful enterprise gamification takes a bit of strategy. Start by setting clear goals with your team and establishing mission benchmarks. When your team members know exactly what they need to accomplish, you’ll have a better chance of channeling energy and ideas that come from gamification. Don’t assume incorporating gamification will immediately solve your business slump. Getting results with gamification requires a thorough understanding of the different techniques.

For example, if you need to improve your company’s social media skills, make this your gamification goal. Choose training programs that encourage mastering social media by letting end-users advance through the ranks. Teams can compete to see who achieves the “Master” title first. Monitor the results of your gamification strategy using platform analytics, and change your strategy accordingly. Measure your success rate with different programs to see which worked and which didn’t to ensure you aren’t wasting your efforts.

Gamification often requires integrating with different back-end applications and systems. With platforms such as SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP), however, gamification is easily attainable. Our gamification service makes it simple to introduce complex game mechanics to your employees. With cloud-based gamification, we meet the technological requirements of consistent game performance while maintaining enterprise-quality requirements, without making you change your enterprise. With cloud technologies, implementing custom gamification is straightforward and quick.

As the leader in enterprise business applications, SAP leverages gamification in its own business model. We use it to train our sales representatives, utilizing a game show-like program called RoadWarrior to simulate a real sales situation. RoadWarrior helps our team understand our complex product line and excel at customer service. We use a leaderboard to reward employees who correctly answer customer questions to promote a sense of self-confidence and pride in their work. We use gamification in many other applications as well; for example, to encourage quality contributions on our SAP Community Network and to engage and instruct our early talents.

Discover the benefits of gamification

No matter how you use gamification, the most important thing is to try it out before it’s too late. The corporate workplace can stifle employees. If your employees seem to lack enthusiasm, it’s time to make a change. The average person loses productivity with boredom and disinterest, ultimately costing you money. With the right technology, gamification can be an affordable, viable solution to boost employee morale and motivation.

Studies of enterprise gamification conclude that gamification can significantly boost employee engagement, invigoration, and productivity. It’s the ideal combination of work and play, optimized to get the best out of your workforce. From teaching employees new skills to encouraging collaboration, gamification intrinsically prompts end users to be active in their tasks.

For more employee engagement strategies, see How To Use Instagram For Employee Training.

Emily Mui

About Emily Mui

Emily Mui is Sr. Director of HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) Product Marketing at SAP with 15+ years of product management and product marketing experience in cloud computing, business intelligence and analytics. In her current role, she develops high impact awareness content and programs to educate customers on the value of HCP for innovating new business applications. At BusinessObjects and SAP, she led several successful product suite launches, managed number user conferences including key topic areas for SAPPHIRE NOW as well as serve as the lead BI contact with ASUG. Emily was also the SAP lead for the SAP dashboarding solution including building up the user community. Her areas of expertise include analytics, big data and cloud computing. Emily holds a B.S. in managerial Economics from U.C. Davis and an M.S. in Industrial Administration (MBA) from Carnegie Mellon University.