Enterprises today face a new kind of challenge. A disengaged workforce and a transactional customer base has resulted in productivity loss as well as higher customer churn. Not surprisingly, the Gallup Survey 2013 found that 70% of the workforces is not engaged, which leads to the loss of between $450 and $550 billion per year.
The ‘Millennial generation’ is the single largest contributor to this, as they are more transactional in nature than compared to the loyal ‘Gen X’ or ‘Baby Boomers’. Millennials (~25% of US workforce today) are impacted the most from the ‘Sunday-Monday disconnect,’ i.e. switching between a highly inter-connected, real-time, device dependent and collaborative social world to a monotonous enterprise landscape. They have a harder time disconnecting, and expect work to be an extension of their normal routine.
Turning transactional millennials into loyal customers isn’t a onetime effort, but rather is achieved over a period of time. Tapping into ‘motivators’ and identifying fundamental employee ‘motivators’ enables stronger engagement and true loyalty!
Companies have deployed various measures to bridge this gap like BYOD and gamification. In simple terms, gamification refers to the application of game techniques to non-gaming environments for a desired ‘result’. Gamification is a very promising tactic, as it deals with human psychology. As Rajat Paharia says in Loyalty 3.0: “Functional isn’t good enough anymore; business technology now needs to be usable, simple, and engaging”. Engaging with millennials requires keeping up with constant changes and evolving trends. There is no ‘Silver Bullet’ when it comes to Gamifying, but the variables in the equation more or less remain the same and they just need to be tailored to suit the landscape.
As Gamification is in the early adoption stage and deals with human psychology there are many chances of it going wrong if we don’t understand exactly what it means to the users.
According to Gartner, by 2014, 80 percent of current gamified applications will fail to meet business objectives primarily due to poor design.
The four quadrant view indicates that a successful gamification journey starts with understanding the expected business outcomes, current landscape and defining KPA and KPI based on them. Irrespective of the business, geography and user/customer demographics the following 10 key considerations can help safeguard your gamification initiative from getting derailed.
- Failing to plan is planning to fail, have a gamification design phase
- Set realistic and measurable KPI
- Start small but have a constant feedback loop
- Keep it simple but with some surprises, as not everyone loves a complex game
- Showcase real-time, transparent user progress and comparison charts
- Training based on-boarding programs
- Make it interesting, do not let the game be predictable or easy to cheat in
- Set high targets, but make sure the rewards and recognitions are worthy of the work put in
- Have short-term and long term missions and competitions
- Employees and customers are diverse, make sure no one is left out
Gamification can only be fruitful if an employee wants to change his/her behavior; hence a Gamification initiative should tap into the deep human psychology, and allow for employees to approach the workplace the same way they approach life.