When professional or everyday tasks become a burden and the fun in the activities is missing, it is time to rethink. Gamification then sets new incentives and thus boosts the motivation of employees and customers again. Read here how to make gamification work for your company.
Gamification – definition and origin
The term gamification is derived from the word “game”. Alternatively, the concept is also known as “gamification” or “playification”. The English term describes the transfer of game-typical elements into non-game contexts.
The gamified approach to unloved tasks has its origins in the so-called “token economy.” This behavioral therapy method from the 1960s was originally developed for use in psychiatric institutions, prisons, and homes for dissocial youth. The goal of the “Token Economy” was to create a systematic reward system (using tokens) that would condition the desired behavior of individuals. In this system, tokens are awarded according to a set pattern, which can then be exchanged for rewards.
So, the idea behind gamification is not new. Today, however, it is used in a wide variety of contexts and proves to be extremely effective time and again.
How gamification works
Like the “token economy”, the goal of gamification is to increase the motivation of users and thus bring about a desired change in behavior. For the time being, it does not matter whether the users are customers, business partners or employees. Gamification is applicable to all target groups and projects. Gamification aims to breathe playful life into monotonous and monotonous processes. This works by integrating playful elements into otherwise uniform tasks.
For gamification to work properly, the user must feel gripped by the content and the story. To create good entertainment and intensive storytelling, the most important point is probably to know the target group exactly. Here, everything revolves around the player. Only if the game is conceived and designed from the player’s point of view will it achieve maximum success.
Gamification is not only aimed at gamers. Rather, the method serves all target groups.
Whether it’s an educational game in the education sector, bonus points for particularly loyal customers, successful marketing of the new product, or exciting challenges with game spirit for the team – gamification knows no bounds.
These are the most important elements of Gamification
Participants are often lured into giving satisfaction surveys or evaluations by the statement that this would be done quickly. However, if the participant is sitting in front of the survey, has already filled out the second page of questions and still has an uncertain number of further questions ahead of him, impatience quickly sets in. As a result, the task is perceived as time-consuming and tedious, and questionnaires are often abandoned prematurely.
This is a classic example of a context that would benefit greatly from gamification. One element of gamification that works against participant demotivation from the start is, for example, the classic loading bar. This shows the participant how much of the questionnaire he or she has already completed. The display can be designed as a percentage display or colored bar. It is important that the participant knows from the first question how much he has already completed. This way he is much more motivated to answer the questions until the end.
Other elements of gamification are e.g., the awarding of stars, coins, vouchers, or similar. The “player” can win these when completing smaller tests or tasks. If a bonus beckons to the participant, he is much more willing to stick with it. An appealing storyline can also be decisive for the successful completion of tasks. Developers can thus actively keep the game motivation alive and influence the course of the game. However, it is important not to integrate too many locations or different reward systems. It must always be clear to the user where the game is headed. If the variety is too great, there is a chance that the player will not stick to the desired behavior pattern.
Successful examples of functioning point systems in the sense of gamification are the Miles & More program of the Star Alliance, or the rail bonus awards of the DB. But Payback is also a well-functioning example of using rewards to retain customers in the long term.
Gamification helps you get to the finish line faster
Gamification becomes important where the mandatory character for employees or customers begins. If this is to be reduced, gamification is a simple but effective tool to motivate users to use applications and channels again. But gamification is not just a short-term motivational tool. Rather, it encourages long-term planning.
A good strategy, like a unique reward system, is not just fun. Much more, it allows companies to retain their customers for the long term and get them excited about the brand. Likewise, it encourages employees to be creative, engaged and collaborative, for example, by competing for places on various leaderboards. Through the boost generated, employers benefit permanently from the playful elements.
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