Gamification is the integration of game-like elements that can help businesses achieve their goals.
How Can Gamification Help Your Small Business
It can improve an existing experience simply by using the same motivational methods that make people love games.
Since the employees tend to strive more for achieving the goal and win the proposed rewards, productivity is promoted. So, use gamification in business to boost your team’s productivity.
Gamification in the context of a workplace offers a gaming element to tasks or tools that you ordinarily need to complete on a working day. This might involve reward or recognition, reaching levels, success metrics, goal-setting, and competition.
The primary idea is to promote behaviors that you would like to see more, just by taking advantage of human predisposition for engaging in gaming.
Benefits of Using Gamification in Small Businesses
Business gamification is simple enough to be adopted by small businesses. This isn’t a trend that is exclusive to large organizations. You can simply apply different game mechanics to your workflow and enjoy the following benefits.
1. Better Engagement
Through gamification, your employees can build on an existing work culture using tasks that are mutually exclusive.
2. Better Alignment through Gamification
It can encourage the preferred behavior that will help in aligning the goals with the goals of your business. The software element is all that is required to bridge the gap between the objectives or the company and employees.
3. Improved Adaptation
Business is done in dynamic environments, and a business that fails to adapt to change is unable to flourish. Gamification in business serves as a tool that will help the employees of your small business adapt better.
So, gamification in small businesses is an elementary asset, as it encourages employees to work towards a specific goal.
How Does Gamification Work?
Do you think gamification will not work for your business? Well, think about the millions of people who have downloaded games like Minecraft or Candy Crush on their smartphones or tablets.
These games are completely recreational, but generate greater revenue for the creators.
People always like competition. When you give them a problem to solve or a quiz for testing their knowledge, they are going to rise up to the task.
Obviously, you do not want your employees to spend several hours playing games; you can develop a mini phenomenon for the customers. Put up a gamification campaign encouraging them to compete against each other, level up, and test their skill and knowledge.
People love competition, but they also love rewards. This is how society works. At work, when you outperform your colleagues, you get a raise and a promotion. In a relationship, you are rewarded with loyalty, trust, and love when you take the time to nurture it.
The same thing is applicable to marketing and e-learning. If you are able to engage the customers with gamification, you should also try it out.
No, you don’t have to spend a large amount of money to get a detailed app. For instance, M&M launched the Eye Spy Pretzel game in 2013.
The concept in this was quite simple. Users just had to look at images that are filled with M&M candies and find out the pretzel that is hidden between them. The company just developed the graphics with a hidden picture.
This graphic might have taken about 30 minutes to develop. However, the company had been rewarded with impressive engagement.
How Can Gamification Help Small Businesses?
Gamification is a tool in the teaching and marketing arsenal. It helps small businesses by transforming old content into something that is rewarding, interactive, and motivational.
For example, many small business owners want to target customers for sharing the content with family members, friends, and colleagues. Nevertheless, you cannot compel people to share your content, but you can motivate them to do it.
For instance, you create an online course on fitness. You can develop a gamification system where people who are publishing their fitness goals and achievements on social media use your brand name as a hash-tag to earn points or win some reward.
The more they achieve their fitness goals and the more they share the messages, the more rewards they can earn.
This way, you can transform sharing and goal setting into a game. But for this, you are not developing a new game for serving the customer; rather, you are using the existing content and goal with a twist of gamification.
Gamification need not be expensive or complex. It just takes some imagination.
What is Gamification Strategy for Small Businesses?
Pitfalls in gamification can lead to a negative impact on the business objectives and results.
Check out what works with using gamification in the workplace.
1. Take the Long View
Irrespective of what or who you are trying to gamify, it is necessary to take a long view. It’s easier to get people riled up and in every group of people; there will be people who like competition and those that don’t.
One of the things you should avoid when using gamification for your small business is going too deep early on. Whatever you are doing should be applicable for the customers and shouldn’t be a one-and-done program.
2. Make the Playing Field Level
When you gamify your employee advocacy program, you should share the scoring framework with the users. It helps people understand how the game functions, what the goal is, and how to succeed.
Gamification in the corporate environment needs to be about a larger goal and making the rules open to all. This enables everyone to participate in it, no matter who wins.
3. Don’t Overemphasize Rewards
If you think that people are only going to participate in the program if the rewards are flashy and big. The top gamification programs in a business are about competition. But there are two problems with big rewards,
- You cannot keep funding big prizes over the long term.
- It might create false incentives.
4. Do Not Just Celebrate the Top Performer
All participants should be considered of some value. Performance needs to be measured at least in parts on the basis of the participation of the players.
If 90% of the participants are completely engaged in the program, that in itself is a great win, irrespective of the top 10% driving the majority of the outcome. Gamification in small businesses is about the team.
Sure, you should reward the top performer, but make sure that you reward the participants, too. In case you don’t, eventually, you will notice a significant drop in engagement.
5. Include Creative Rewards
When it comes to rewards, there is a great difference between what works and what doesn’t.
Prizes and various other material rewards that are not connected to business are not actually effective. Remember, it is a competition for professionals in a corporate environment.
The top gamification rewards are the ones that are connected to professional advancement and recognition, such as a LinkedIn recommendation from the Vice President or an invitation to write a guest blog on the company’s blog section.
As you can see, these rewards are no/low-cost. These can connect gamification back to business.
6. Track Performance and Report
If you don’t track the gamification programs, it will fail to hold any value.
Tracking is crucial for various reasons,
- It helps the leader of the program to understand if the program is driving the business goal you have decided on.
- It enables the participants to know where they stand and how they can improve.
Gamification is not going to go away anytime soon. As a matter of fact, it is on a steady rise. In case you have not used any game mechanics element in your marketing efforts, it is time you use it. Take gamification as an added layer of marketing platform for your small business.
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