Have you ever participated in a rewards or mileage program, dutifully filled out a punch card to get a free coffee or oil change, found yourself on a leaderboard, or gone ahead and filled out that last step in a profile so you can get the completion bar to 100%? Then you are proof that gamification – the application of game design elements to things that are not games, like businesses – works and that it has become an intrinsic features in just about every part of our lives.
If you use Scoreboard Buzz, then you are likely aware of the value of gamification. If you don’t use Scoreboard Buzz, and have somehow stumbled on his blog, then you are probably interested in gamification. And why not? Though no longer surrounded by the hype of a few years ago, gamification is a proven practice that has been demonstrated over and over gain to be a valuable tool for engaging and motivating employees and business teams on all levels. It has become so ubiquitous that we rarely notice it in action.
It is easy to think of something like Gamification as a separate and new thing from what a business has done before – like teaching a team of rowers to play volleyball. But it doesn’t actually involve implementing a brand new process or scheme. Dramatic applications like that are frequently the ones that fail to get the results gamification promises. Success comes from the application of game mechanics to business practices already in place. So just what are these mechanics? And how do they help a business team increase their performance?
Here’s a handy list of the some of the top gaming principles commonly applied by gamification platforms.
Transparency and Competition: Knowing where everyone stands
Your team needs to know where they stand compared to other team members. No one – no matter how motivated or dedicated – gives their best effort in a vacuum. Think of the last time you played a good “friendly, no point” game of Cards Against Humanity – or whatever your game of choice is. And it was friendly, until you totaled up the points and found that you were just one point behind your best friend. You have to know where you are in the overall standings to know how hard to compete. That’s why leaderboards are essential to any competition – whether on the field or the Xbox.
Games like our Player Competition game are terrific for this. They can give your team a real-time leaderboard that updates instantly to display who is top gun and who is falling behind. It instantly raises the stakes and is a powerful source of motivation, conveniently displayed on a screen.
Goals: Short- and long-term milestones to achieve
Goal setting is an essential part of any enterprise – whether is running a business, beginning a new exercise routine, or changing your time or diet management habits. Anyone who works out, whether to play a sport or just personal fitness, knows that you don’t start a workout telling yourself “I’ll go as far as I feel like going,” because that might be just to the closest chair. Setting goals that are both challenging and achievable is a key tool for engaging either yourself or your team on an emotional level.
With Scoreboard Buzz, you can set goals on a daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly basis. Short term objectives give your players more immediate gratification of a job well done, and long term objectives keep the bigger picture in mind. Both are important for a motivated and high-performing team.
Teamwork: Working together to accomplish goals
Make your team members feel like a part of something larger by given them a goal they can only achieve together. There is a reason that so many sports are team sports. Working as a team teaches skills that working independently just cannot, and a strong sense of collaboration and mutual support is essential to a business team. Scoreboard’s Team Tracking game is perfect for this – allowing you to set an overall office goal that each player contributes to. Not only can this further inspire players by revealing how they are contributing to a larger goal, but it also motivates them not to let their team down. No one wants to be seen as the weak link in the chain.
Points: Measurable proof of achievements
There is a reason that keeping score is essential to any sports game. Imagine any sport without a points system. The final of Wimbledon, your 2 top players swatting the ball back and forth with no one to call the games or sets… and in the end no one to call the match. The U.S. Open with no side bar showing the overall standings. Imagine the Superbowl without a scoreboard. A point system is essential to motivate athletes – and it is just as essential to motivating a sales team.
Scoreboard Buzz gives your players several ways to see the “points” – either on Scoreboards displayed on a TV through our Fire Stick app, or in their handy color-coded Expectations section. They will always know where they stand, so they know where they need to be.
Immediate Feedback on Performance/Rewards
Part of the beauty of Scoreboard Buzz is that you don’t have to wait till the end of the month to evaluate your players’ performance trends, and neither do they. If you have daily games running, then they can tell at the end of every day where they stand. A zero-ed out Scoreboard is it’s own kind of reward for a great day or week! But extra incentives and bonuses are also a good idea to work into your current system. Set a monthly activity bonus that they only reach if they achieve every individual expectation you’ve set for them. There are any variety of ways to leverage Scoreboard to help you with the feedback and rewards your players receive!
So there you have it – a handful of the powerful gaming mechanics at work behind tools like Scoreboard Buzz. What are you waiting for? If you aren’t utilizing all these powerful game principles, now is the time to start!