These days all “Top 10 technologies to look for this year” lists invariably have the mention of Gamification. After all stakeholder disengagement is a major reason for productivity loss across functions & industries. No wonder, enterprises are willing to know more about gamification and how it could help in better engagement, sharing & collaboration and also how it could add to high-value interactions with customers, employees and partners. Gartner predicts that more than 70% of the world’s largest 2,000 companies are expected to have deployed at least one gamified application by year-end 2014.

Industry experts are all gung ho about the value adds gamification brings to an enterprise. While there are many case-studies on how gamification could help in building better engagement loyalty, there are words of caution too! 80% of current gamified enterprise applications will fail to meet their objectives, largely due to poor design says Gartner.
Big question is how to have the right gamification strategy and reduce the risk of failure?
Is there a framework for enterprises to succeed in their gamification initiative? Follows the best practices for enterprise gamification.

Have well defined objectives– Every industry has its own pain points and performance metrics. In order to set the objectives right it’s important to understand the key metrics of a business that are critical for success. Once such ‘critical business factors’ are identified setting goals around it becomes easy. For example-

a) Contact Centers would be interested to improve on the metrics like CHT (Call Handle Time), FCR (First Call Resolution) etc.

b) A Banking or Insurance firm would like to improve on CuSat, TAT (Turn Around Time), better recovery, improved subrogation yield etc.

c) A telecom firm would like to improve on its ARPA ( Average Revenue per Account)

d) A Health Care firm would be interested to reduce load on the critical care services.

e) A power utility firm would like to reduce its energy losses and improve customer safety.

Any improvement on the metrics which could directly impact a business and add to the bottom line would immediately attract executive buy-ins. Top Management’s sponsorship is important for the success of any initiative.

Identify the challenges in meeting the objectives– Have a clear understanding on why is the service levels not met. Best way to start is to ask the stakeholders write their top business challenges on a whiteboard and identify the ones that could be solved by better engagement. Most of the pain points mentioned above are pure engagement problems and could be due to one or more of the following…

a)       Lack of required knowledge/skills to perform

b)       Difficulties in connecting with experts/ mavens

c)       Poor process/ system adoption/ deviation from set procedures

d)       Low customer loyalty/ higher customer churn

e)       Poorly engaged and less motivated workforce/ High attrition rate

f)       Lack of new ideas & innovation

g)       Boredom & Lethargy

Spot the motivation factors– Try to find out why someone would like to engage, complete the tasks and show specific high value behavior. The psychological behaviors make motivation factors vary from groups to groups. Understand why someone would like to score points or top the leaderboard. Reasons could be…

a)       Showcase the medals on ones lapel (as a matter of pride)

b)       Get recognized as an expert/maven in the network

c)       Compete with others and be a leader.

d)       Teaming up with new colleagues.

e)       Explore new skill areas & interests.

f)       Get monetary benefits & gift vouchers.

Design to keep players perfectly challenged– People will be motivated only if they find something interesting & challenging.  It’s important to keep the players always in a “perfectly challenged” state.

When challenge is current skills it may result in boredom;
When challenge is current skills it may lead to frustration.

Use the right game mechanics and program design. The system should automatically configure difficult tasks as the player’s skills are enhanced. This is critical in keeping the players engaged & focused always.

Measure and iterate– Measure the improvements in engagement and the benefits achieved.

a)  Use Heuristics- Make intuitive judgment on how gamification is improving engagement. Talk to the stakeholders and have their views.

b)   Get analytics reports/ dashboards generated by the software/ platform to understand on what motivates the players.

c)    Check the KPI & metrics to see the % improvement in objectives as we identified in the first step.

Be ready to improve the design based on inputs and the performance reports.

Enterprise Gamification could help in barreling through the problems related to disengagement of the stakeholders. A successful gamification strategy needs a detailed understanding of the enterprise needs and the objectives to be met.