Gamification: What's All The Excitement About?

Gamification has been a recent growing trend amongst businesses who are quickly coming to realise the benefits, however many people are still unaware of what gamification actually is?
17th March 2016

Cubiks Team

By Martha De Troyer, Analyst at Cubiks Belgium

Recently Tom Verboven, Cubiks Country Manager for Belgium, spoke at the universities of Antwerp and Brussels on the subject of gamification. This recent trend has received a great deal of attention in the last few years and businesses are increasingly tapping into the benefits it can offer. But a lot of people still don’t know much about it. So what is gamification?

Gamification describes the trend of using video game elements in a non-game environment. In a business setting, this means using gaming principles in everything from recruitment and selection through to management, training and career development.

These programmes have tremendous power to enhance user experience, motivate people and influence their behaviour. Adding gaming elements to everyday processes helps stimulate creativity and improve people’s engagement with a given subject or area.

Why are businesses getting excited about gamification?

There are three main reasons for the popularity of gamification in the business world. The first is that the group of people raised under the influence of video games and consumer technology is growing. Secondly, it supports businesses that are making on-going efforts to improve performance and process execution through technology. The third is that it fits easily within the mobile, social and cloud technologies that are seeing colossal expansion all over the world. 

A recent example of gamification is L’Oréal’s online selection programme, ‘Reveal’ (www.reveal-thegame.com). A project team involving L’Oréal , communications specialists TMP Worldwide and Cubiks worked together to develop Reveal, a web 2.0 multi-site game that allows candidates from around the world to experience a number of scenarios set in a virtual L’Oréal office. In these episodes, candidates are given the opportunity to learn more about various aspects of the business. They are then able to match themselves to the company’s requirements by completing a series of online tests and compete with one another, sharing their scores via social media. The game secured a number of industry awards including the UK National Graduate Recruitment Award for the 'Most innovative way of attracting graduates'.

Why is gamification so effective?

Gamification fits perfectly into an age in which gaming is so popular that the video games business makes more money than most other areas of the entertainment industry.

The concept draws on academic study into the power of play. Experts such as BJ Fogg show how the effectiveness of gamification lies in the simple psychological constructs of motivation, ability and triggering. According to Fogg, gamification plays on all three of these; ‘motivation’ being desire to engage and willingness to participate, ‘ability’ a person’s skill and mental capacity and ‘triggers’ the stimuli that initiate a reaction.

Businesses use gamification because it encourages people to interact with their organisation, thus promoting higher levels of engagement. Technology researchers Gartner have identified that gamification drives engagement because:

  1. It provides an unusually rapid feedback cycle. Normally in business surroundings people expect feedback loops to be fairly slow (e.g. annual development plans) with long periods between each review. Gamification gives feedback to the candidate or employee quickly, in many cases instantly, helping maintain engagement.
  2. In the real world, where goals can be unclear and rules selectively applied, gamification provides clear goals and well-defined rules of play to ensure players feel empowered to achieve goals.
  3. There is a compelling storyline. Gamification builds a narrative that encourages people to participate and achieve the aims of the assignment.

 

What the future holds

Experts believe that within the next few years a huge number of organisations will be gamifying a range of processes in all areas of the business and consumer environment. According to Gartner, by 2014 more than 70% of Global 2000 organisations will have at least one gamified application.

At Cubiks, we are starting to see more employers interested in applying gamification to aspects of their HR processes - in particular for recruitment. Have a look at our L'Oréal case study to find out about the outstanding results produced by gamifying online selection.

For more information about online selection and gamification please email info@cubiks.com.