With the advent of technology, a lot of business organizations are looking into gamification concepts to optimize customer reach. This strategic use of game-like designs and mechanics is increasing globally, and companies have used it successfully to achieve certain objectives.  

Hence, in this article, you will learn more about gamification features and their seamless integration with innovation activities. 

Let’s begin.

What is gamification?

The Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines gamification as “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (such as a task) to encourage participation”.

The meaning of gamification according to the Merriam Webster's Dictionary

In the world of business, gamification happens when a brand applies game-like features, design, mechanics, and principles in programs and other activities to reinforce customer engagement and loyalty.

It is also a creative strategy that businesses apply to solve different issues in the workplace, such as:

Because of its benefits, 70% of the companies listed on Forbes Global 2000 incorporate gamification techniques in the workplace, and 50% of them plan to gamify their innovation processes within the next few years.

How gamification helps with different phases of the innovation process

Incorporating gamification features in innovation’s phases and procedures is not only helpful in promoting innovation within the business.

It also leads to other benefits like:

With gamification, employees from different backgrounds, knowledge, and expertise get to understand one another and participate in tasks with disinhibition and engagement.

How gamification helps with different phases of the innovation process

As a result, jobs do not only seem lighter and more fun to do — creative thinking is also achieved.

Specifically, an organization can apply gamification features in:

  • Enhancing creativity-inducing activities. Putting game-like mechanics in different innovation sessions will boost creativity and output, particularly in the ideation phase.
  • Improving co-creation between leaders and employees in the organization. Due to the nature of gamification, ranks and barriers between managers and employees are broken. Because of this, suggestions are easily communicated despite differences, and collaboration is optimized even further.
  • Starting innovation projectsMissions and other challenges can be set to identify new avenues to delve into.
  • Optimize hackathons for innovation. Giving shared challenges stimulates competitiveness and motivation in groups, leading to better results.
  • Going beyond traditional training formats. Routines can sometimes be uninviting at work. Stepping up your innovation training format with gamification principles will not only upskill your employees. It will also help them become more creative and innovative in learning various methodologies and other related concepts.
  • Recognizing innovation project profiles. Serious games often show innate qualities other than competitiveness. In a sense, playing reveals leaders, strategists, empaths, and other characteristics that would determine rightful roles in the innovation process.

By the way, if you’re interested in learning more about the innovation process and how to manage it,  come and join us on our regular innovation webinar. It’s completely free to join.

How to implement gamification

Integrating gamification features can be a way to achieve goals and desired results.

When organizations fully understand why there is a need to incorporate gamification in their processes, they can promote and communicate their objectives well, including the attitude and behavior that is necessary to accomplish them.

As such, applying gamification features go beyond engagement and entertainment.

Here 7 different ways to do it:

1. Concentrate on what you want to achieve

The goal of gamification is to keep your employees engaged and motivated. Presenting them with rewards is just a way to do that.

However, more than the incentives that come with winning, it is imperative to remind employees of the organization’s true goals and expected outcomes.

This way, your included mechanics can help them see the gamification side of the activity in procuring productive results.

2. Give out points for progress

Gamification can be challenging to those who are new to it. It can seem complex if you’re not used to how it works. But there are a ton of great resources on the internet that can give you all the explanations you need to understand it.

You can combine your game navigation with your employees’ individual progress. For instance, if they are trying to fulfill a particular task and successfully complete it, give them points for it.

In addition, integrating gamification features also gives them an understanding of where they are in relation to their ultimate goal and what steps need to happen in order to get there.

In short, they get to assess themselves and formulate the strategies required to accomplish their tasks and objectives.

3. Use gamification to assign roles

Gamification can be used to engage people more deeply with a product or service, particularly in improving customer experience and creating a highly interactive community.

Generally, in a gamified world, you’re engaging with other people. You end up working together to progress throughout the game and win it. The same goes true in business. Many people adopt different roles in the organization.

But regardless of ranks and hierarchies, both the employer and the employee have tasks to fulfill.

Some companies are hesitant to include gamification strategies, believing that this might be a waste of time. However, tweaking the game’s dynamics to build social roles and opportunities for every person in the team can significantly improve workflow.

4. Aim for realistic outputs

To make gamification work, it’s important to design goals that are actually motivating enough.

Create high-intensity goals that people are likely to achieve. It is important to avoid setting unrealistic expectations, as they will likely lead only to failure and disappointment.

Every game has a certain set of goals to achieve.

Communicate with the rest of the team and discuss with them the goals and objectives you are trying to accomplish as a business. Ask for their suggestions and agree on benchmarks to track progress and expectations.

Address all of these before you proceed to the last two steps.

5. Implement gamification, but don’t dwell on it too much

Competition is a difficult feeling for many to handle sometimes. Remind your employees to perceive gamification initiatives as a method to entice competitiveness.

But they should always do so while constantly focusing on the goal of improving innovation experience and customer engagement. Competition can be both stimulating and motivating, which can push people to new achievements.

However, too much competition can cause problems for your business, especially if it’s limiting your team’s capabilities to grow.

Some people might not want to be motivated by competition. Try motivating those employees with something else, like a sense of achievement or a sense of community.

6. Stick with the basics

When implementing gamification, your goal should be to encourage desired behaviors in the workplace. Gamification can help drive employee engagement by getting employees’ input and feedback on company initiatives and practices.

Furthermore, gamification can inspire healthy competition between teams and give everyone a sense of purpose and accomplishment to work  — all of which is critical for a high-performance workplace.

Making your gamification process simple is key  — you should focus on providing a straightforward experience.

Keep it fun and simple, so your team would find it intuitive and easy to use. Keep your desired results as you do this to implement effective gamification mechanics and incorporate gamification features in your innovation pursuits.

There are available platforms and technologies in the market today that can help you integrate gamification principles into your innovation activities.

An example of this is Accept Mission, a powerful and attractive innovation platform for teams who want to take their innovation projects.

Here are some examples of Accept Mission’s incredible gamification features:

For engagement and creativity:

  • Undercover mode. Some employees are not comfortable sharing their thoughts. This feature allows your team members to contribute their ideas anonymously.
  • Timers. Timers measure time intervals and periods to track schedules and deadlines.
  • Goals. Executives can set up goals within a specific period and generate missions for participants to do and resolve.
  • Experience points. These points are given whenever certain tasks are performed successfully.
  • Leaderboards. Leaderboards show ranks of groups according to the number of points acquired and tasks completed.
  • Teams. Employees can group themselves and team up to solve missions quickly.

For idea generation and feedback:

  • Ideation campaigns. Ideation campaigns are useful in generating ideas. Several themes can be used as the basis for different groups to create concepts about — an activity that can be designated as missions for innovation participants.
  • Comments. Depending on the organization’s settings, employees can leave their thoughts and suggestions regarding the ideas presented by their colleagues.
  • ScoresInnovation managers can enable the rest of the team to score suggestions based on an agreed set of criteria.
  • Likes. Employees can also show their support and interest in a certain concept by liking it on the dashboard.

Implement gamification easily

Gamification is a way to foster innovation through engagement and participation.

With gamification, employees from different backgrounds, knowledge levels, and expertise get to understand one another while participating in tasks with disinhibition, which leads to more creativity.

When organizations fully understand why there’s a need for this type of technology infusion into their processes, they can promote it accordingly and communicate its benefits effectively — particularly the potential impact on the bottom line.

If you want to know how your business could benefit from incorporating gamification features into innovation management phases, book a demo with us today and see how our platform would be able to help you.