What is gamification? Gamification is a process where mechanics that are typically associated with games are added to non-game concepts. These mechanics include things like leaderboards, points, levels (think silver, gold, and platinum “memberships”) and progress bars. These mechanics cause participants (players) to compete against others and themselves in order to fulfill goals (missions) they’ve set for themselves, or that you’ve set for them. So how and why would you gamify your incentive program?
The benefits offered by gamification are numerous:
- Higher levels of engagement
- Higher levels of participation
- More performance of desired behavior
- Increases product/service adoption and loyalty
- Increases profits
Those are great benefits that every business owner/manager should want. But you have to think your process through very thoroughly in order for your program to end up in the winner’s circle. In fact, 80% of gamified projects fail due to rushed/poor design and planning.So let’s move on to how you set up your own gamified program. Here is a list of questions that you must answer that will help you establish your own successful campaign.First you must do the following:
- Define the objectives of your program
- Assign roles for players/participants
- Determine behaviors you want to see and behaviors you do not
- Create activity loops/routines for participants to engage in – and make it fun
- Provide the tools they need to participate
Let’s break each of those down.In order to define the objectives of your program, you must:
- Answer why you’re gamifying
- Determine the end result your program must achieve
- Define what metrics you’ll use to measure your success
Then you move on to your participants:
- Who is participating?
- What motivates them?
- What rewards will work best to induce desired behaviors?
Speaking of desired behaviors:
- What activities will your participants be engaging in that “put them on the board?”
- How do those activities help you fulfill you objectives?
- How do you measure if those activities are making you successful?
Then you create the activity loops, or behaviors which constitute the “game”:
- How do new participants get invited into the program?
- What method do you use to allow participants to progress?
- What kind of feedback/reward do you provide to keep them playing/participating?
And lastly, you provide them with the tools they need to play and “win.” These tools typically come in the form of an incentive program with all previously discussed game mechanics.