3 Ways to Leverage Gamification in B2B
Using Gamification to Motivate Behavior
The online gaming industry is a $24B global industry. The reasons that consumers are attracted to online games have been creeping their way into the enterprise. Rather than motivated by fun, C-suites are motivated by productivity gains attributable to the mechanics of gaming. Let’s look at three ways a B2B enterprise can use gamification productively.
Let’s start with a credible definition of enterprise gamification:
“Gamification describes a series of design principles, processes and systems used to influence, engage and motivate individuals, groups and communities to drive behaviors and effect desired outcomes.”
Naturally, gamification in the enterprise stems from the same principles of the consumer gaming industry where gamers of all ages have become fanatically loyal to language and metaphors used in games. Gamers are accustomed to intense competition with people around the world where they get instant feedback, set goals for levels of achievement and chase other forms of reward and self satisfaction through accomplishment and influence within their gaming community. Online gaming is a human phenomenon that has transferred into the office with alarming adoption and success.
There are generally 3 primary ways to leverage gamification in a B2B organization.
1. Create Employee / Customer / Partner Engagement
Imagine you want employees to participate in a community to share knowledge with other employees to spark new ideas that might improve operations or even result in new product ideas. Or, you want employees to engage with customers and partners on relevant topics. By adding an element of gamification, employees and customers are more likely to engage in the process to produce the desired outcome.
Look at how EMC gamifies elements of their ECN – EMC Community Network. Their community is five years old and 280,000 strong. Members of their community are their highest value customers with a 250% purchase rate over non-members. EMC uses gamification as one way to keep the experience fresh and exciting. Community members earn points for their participation in the game.
2. Motivate Employees
Have you ever rolled out a new software system that was the culmination of months of planning with a big budget and resources allocated to acquire, configure and launch it only to learn that a small percentage of employees are willing to use it? This is a common pain point in the enterprise. By gamifying the rollout, you can greatly accelerate adoption among employees.
3. Reward Employees
If you think the only thing employees care about is their paycheck and perks, think again. Employees can participate in friendly competitions with leaderboard displays that offer non-monetary rewards which are measured through prestige and influence. A good example is gamifying participation in LinkedIn and Twitter to convert employees into social brand advocates. Employees are often resistant to participate in social in part because they don’t know how. With a gamified approach, employees participate with more enthusiasm and an acquired acumen. There is also an obvious recruiting and retention benefit to this approach.
Take a look at how PeopleLinx social business software offers employees a gamified approach to using LinkedIn and Twitter. The leaderboard allows employees to see how they compare with each other in their social media advocacy for their employer. This example also overlaps with motivating employees (#2 above).
Gamification has come of age in the B2B enterprise. Whether you have 10 or 10,000 employees, the motivating factors don’t change. The level of scale changes according to employee size. But, the fact remains that people are motivated to behave in ways that provide reward, achievement or influence.