“That’s what games are, in the end. Teachers. Fun is just another word for learning.” – Ralph Koster, Theory of Fun for Game Design

The wise words of American Entrepreneur and game designer Ralph Koster. Who wrote his 2004 critically acclaimed how-to, The Theory of Fun for Game Design to inspire designers to create and improve their gamification experiences to incorporate the highest level of fun. Where Koster was largely talking about the incorporation of gaming into academics, the same theories can largely be applied to workplace culture.

In academics, the role of gamification focuses around understanding which game elements can drive learning behavior. Gamification can motivate students to engage in the classroom and give teachers better tools to guide and reward them. Students will see the education process as a positive experience and the blurring of boundaries between informal and formal learning can inspire students to learn in a multitude of ways.

In the workplace, the same theories can largely be applied. Business Leaders have already proven that gamifying their processes not only boosts morale but also strengthens company culture and overall productivity.

NTT Data is using gamification to help develop leadership skills and workforce talent. NTT brought in Head of Gamification, Naureen Meraj to develop a strategic leadership skills-building game, Ignite Leadership, which allowed their employees to experience a variety of immersive Leadership Scenarios.

Users can learn more about new management subject areas, about the role they aspire to be, collaborate with fellow colleagues and gain instant one-on-one feedback from managers.

Ignite Leadership allows users to develop 5 core leadership skills, negotiation, communication, time management, change management and problem-solving. Based on employee responses and gameplay, management teams were able to identify potential leaders.

Deloitte’s Leadership Academy, (DLA) is an online, on-demand service used to train its employees. It embeds badges, leaderboards and missions into a user-friendly platform alongside video lectures, in-depth courses, tests and quizzes. The virtual academy encourages and promotes the skills of its workforce, building employees into potential Leaders and managers. As learners complete each online learning program, they receive badges to mark their achievements.

The DLA Platform encourages a unique onboarding phase before users go on to view the learning content. Users watch a 3-minute video, which explains how to use the website, they are then instructed how to personalize their individual learning priorities and bespoke content to their specific needs. Upon completion, learners receive a badge for onboarding and then have the option to connect to their personal networks on Linkedin and Twitter so they can share their achievement with their social communities.

This onboarding first step helps ensure the multi-platform engagement of users, and the level of customization strengthens that engagement. Deloitte then applies the principles of gamification and behavioral science to motivate learners to achieve their learning goals.

Gamification, as part of an engagement and performance solution, can give you all the tools you need to create a positive employee experience, by encouraging team-based engagement, building a culture of encouragement and fostering productivity – It’s a new approach to the Digital Workplace. Gamification takes something that already exists – a website, training tool, an online community or other enterprise systems – and integrates game mechanics to motivate participation, adoption and loyalty towards specific processes or systems.

We’ve analyzed the tangible business benefits that can be derived from gamification. But how can gamification impact your business directly and what can you take away from the examples set by NTT and Deloitte? Here are five essential considerations to take away.

Five reasons why you should use gamification in your workplace

Feedback: Gamification is a great way for employees to receive on-demand, responsive feedback from their peers and managers. By using leaderboards of different kinds, it’s possible for employees to see how they are doing compared to KPI’s they had set for themselves in the past or compared to other individuals and teams in the organization. Feedback is one of the most important elements of gamification, as it allows users to constantly understand how they are doing and what they can do to improve. WATCH how the ADOPT Feedback module can be used across your organization.

Motivation: When gamification is executed correctly, there really is something for everyone. Working against personal benchmarks, being recognized for a job well-done, offering training narratives – gamification can cater to everyone’s needs in the organization. It can allow everyone, and not only those at the top of the leaderboard, to enjoy the possibility of improving their performance.

Training: A recent survey conducted by PwC has shown that Millennials rank training and learning as the most important benefit a workplace can offer. Organizations understand this, and more are offering their employees different personal and professional development routes. Organizations are now able to do this, using eLearning platforms that can be integrated into other aspects of work. The ADOPT platform satisfies this need for on-demand training at the point of need. Through different mechanics such as quizzes and simulations, this type of learning is also more engaging and more enjoyable. Finally, eLearning also allows employers to easily measure how their employees are doing and progressing in the learning process.

Recognition: Research from Albany University has found that status at the workplace is just as important to employees as financial rewards. In other words, it is important to all of us to feel that we are doing a good job and that this is being recognized by our superiors. Gamification is a great way to see who is performing especially well, who has made huge progress in comparison to themselves, and who may need further support in their role.

Favours Employee Engagement: Perhaps most importantly of all, gamification encourages employee engagement. By applying gamified techniques to employee training, workers acquire a greater commitment to the organization and their sense of belonging to a team increases. Through game-based learning it is easier to generate a greater identification with the company’s goal.

How can you use gamification across your business to benefit your employees – Learn more about the ADOPT platform.