Get in the Game: How to Build the Case for Gamification

"By 2014, more than 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application" (Gartner 2011). Gamification has long received certain hype, but now it is entering the mainstream.

If you have not already jumped into gamification, now is the time to get a running start. To begin, you will need a compelling business case for gamification.

Here are two approaches we've seen organizations take to build their case. 

Business Objectives

A winning gamification program is one that can be explicitly connected to broader company priorities. So, before launching such a program, you should follow this series of steps: 

  1. Identify company priorities. What is on the CEO's scorecard?
  2. Connect frontline metrics to company priorities. What happens at the frontline that impacts priorities?
  3. Discover how gamification can drive those metrics. How will gamification motivate the actions and behaviors of frontline employees?

Take the example of customer experience, something that the CEO has on her ‘company priorities’ scorecard. At the frontline level, you’re tracking (and impacting) Net Promoter Score (NPS). You can use gamification to create a monthly challenge that recognizes the employees that earn the highest average NPS. Or, you can award people with a CSAT-tastic badge whenever they receive ten 'Perfect 10' NPS scores in a row.

Business Results

Alternatively (or as a complement) use the results of gamification early adopters to bolster your argument. Organizations have seen measurable results across three dimensions that impact operations: 

  1. Faster onboarding of new hires. By trading in classroom training for structured gamification tasks, organizations have reduced 'time to productivity' by up to 90%.
  2. Additional skills. Gamification is so engaging that about 70% of employees will complete training and skills development beyond what is required. A more skilled workforce can help you get closer to your customers.
  3. Talent retention. Studies show that employees are 68% more likely to stay with companies that recognize and reward their behavior through programs like gamification.

All of this translates directly into cost savings due to the creation of a more engaged workforce that requires less training to be more productive.

Gamification isn’t about the game, but the underlying mechanics that motivate people and drive business impact. Now is the time to get in the game, and that starts by building your business case. 

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