Tag Archives: Gamified Training Programs

Posted on Fri, Sep 20, 2013 @ 8:00 am

The concept of gamification is everywhere now, but actual examples of it are harder to come by. Read on to discover specific examples of how other businesses are embracing gamification to influence employee behavior and achieve their business goals.



10 Examples of Employee Gamification:

  1. Training- Deloitte Leadership Academy, a digital training program for 50,000+ senior executives in companies around the world, has inserted gaming elements into its online leadership development portal. Trainees get a feeling of accomplishment when they participate, submit comments and ideas, and complete course modules in the program because of the badges, leaderboard rankings, and rewards they receive. Their progress can then be shared on social media for further encouragement and praise. Within the first 3 months of deploying the gamified program, Deloitte witnessed a 46% increase in the number of trainees returning to the site daily.
  2. Training- Xerox’s management training program embraced gamification to better engage trainees and to combat high turnover. The company introduced a gamified application called “Stepping Up to Management” to complement its existing program. It allows management trainees to go on quests to apply their learned skills to real work scenarios. Quests can be done alone or with others for social interaction, and progress is noted on leaderboards, resulting in a more engaging training program and a lower trainee turnover rate for Xerox.
  3. Employee Retention- Live Ops, a call center outsourcing firm with more than 20,000 independent agents from across the nation who work from home, wanted to gamify its employees’ activities in order to engage them in their work and decrease their turnover rate. Andre Bourque of Social Media Today describes how the employees interact with their new gamified system, earning points based on their speed in completing customer service calls, the number of calls they take, and the level of customer satisfaction they receive. The new program experienced an 80% adoption rate in the first week! Adopters outperformed non-users by 23% in their call metrics and their length of employment doubled the company’s previous average.
  4. Employee Retention- OFS recently helped a client experiencing very high turnover rates with their customer service representatives, who have a repetitive, tedious job hearing and filing customer claims over the phone. OFS designed a gamified software system that incorporated points systems, badges, leaderboards, avatars, and ‘music in the ear’ rewards to increase the fun and encourage more active engagement among the employees.
  5. Attracting New Talent- Marriott created a hotel management simulation game called My Marriott Hotel in which players are appointed hotel kitchen manager and have to handle all the responsibilities and challenges that go along with the position. From ordering the right ingredients, to purchasing equipment, to hiring your own kitchen staff, the game exposes users to the hotel business and leaves an appealing impression on them as they earn points and rewards for successful gameplay. A “Do it For Real” button takes users to a Marriott job board where they can apply for real employment opportunities. Alexandra Berzon of The Wall Street Journal explains that through this game, Marriott is looking to attract the millennial generation to the hospitality industry, especially in developing countries as the company expands and needs to hire capable new employees quickly.
  6. Attracting New Talent- The Swedish Armed Forces created an online game comprised of various skill tests to encourage users to see if they have what it takes to join their military. The skill tests are engaging and competitive, requiring critical thinking, time management, and teamwork in order to successfully complete difficult challenges. Every challenge score is recorded, and users can see how they match up against other players. Links to officer role descriptions and how to become an officer are sprinkled throughout the game to entice users to learn more about joining if they excel in the challenges.
  7. Motivation and Productivity- The retailer Target has been successful in motivating its cashiers to improve the speed of their scanning through a simple form of gamification. Rachael King of Bloomberg Businessweek shares how cashiers receive a green, yellow, or red rating on their register screen after each checkout, depending on their speed. The immediacy of the feedback evokes a game-like experience, encouraging them to scan items faster the next time in order to get the highest rating.
  8. Motivation and Productivity- NextJump, a provider of loyalty and rewards programs, wanted its employees to be more active in order to improve their health and to lower healthcare premium costs. So NextJump opened a free office gym, but only 5% of its workforce was using it on a regular basis. It then set up a contest where the top 4-5 gym-using employees had a chance to split a $20,000 prize. This only led to 12% employee participation, however. Then it established cross-office, talent-balanced teams and a live leaderboard application, FitRank, to stimulate and track competition, as well as “WOWPoints” ─ virtual currency to incent the behavior. Now 80% of the workforce exercises there 2+ times per week. Check out their CEO’s presentation on the results, posted by Gabe Zichermann.
  9. Innovation- The World Bank created a gamified application called EVOKE, designed to encourage young people to devise innovative and effective solutions to real-world social problems the World Bank is facing, like hunger, poverty, healthcare, and education. The application utilizes appealing video game techniques and social networking to engage users as they work to find new solutions to these age-old problems. Top-performers win real-life scholarships and mentorships with experienced social innovators and business leaders from around the world to foster their innovative ideas.
  10. Innovation- The United Kingdom’s Department of Work and Pensions created an application called Idea Street to increase employee collaboration and facilitate the sharing of new project ideas. Jeff Lopez of Gamification Corp explains that the satisfaction of contributing ideas, getting quick feedback, receiving badges, and moving up on the leaderboard has motivated the department’s employees to use the application. Within the first 18 months, about 4,000 employees generated 1,400 new candidate projects on Idea Street. From this, 63 projects have been implemented by the Department. A case study on Idea Street’s success is available from Gartner.

Look out for our next blog post on how to engage customers through gamification!



Posted on Fri, Mar 8, 2013 @ 1:46 pm

gamificationbanner-resized-600As gamification continues to gain momentum in the business world today, it’s not surprising that M2 Research predicts the gamification market will reach 2.8 billion in direct spending in the US by 2016.  But what is it that businesses are looking to have gamification accomplish for them? Gamification, the application of game design and mechanics to non-game activities, is enticing businesses with its ability to encourage skill development, to influence behaviors, and to enable innovation.  Let’s take a look at how gamification can achieve positive outcomes in these areas for your business.

1. Employee Skill Development

Add the word “challenge” to any activity, and people, through our competitive and goal-seeking human nature, become intrigued.  The use of game-like elements can transform a corporate training program from something employees have to do, to something they want to do.  Today’s emerging workforce has grown up with video gaming, therefore making it a promising channel for promoting job training.

The two main approaches to gamifying a training program, according to Gartner:

  • Create a game layer to be played after the lesson material is presented, incorporating points systems, levels, and badges to encourage competition.  This approach tests the knowledge the employee has gained from the lesson.
  • Turn the lesson itself into a game that uses not only points, levels, and badges, but also simulation and animation in order to create a virtual environment where trainees can acquire and practice new skills.  The Army, CIA, and FBI all utilize this type of game with great success, as they create simulations designed for new recruits in order to prepare them for actual scenarios they will face on the job.

2. Customer and Employee Behavior Change

Games are appealing to people.  By using a game as a way of interacting with a target audience, a business has a greater chance of influencing their behavior in ways that satisfy their business goals, since people are drawn to and encouraged by games.

Engage Customers:

  • Use gaming elements to get customers to interact with your products, whether online or in a store using geolocation on their mobile device.  Award them points, allow them to virtually customize your products, and let them spend points towards getting new products.  This can increase their loyalty and turn them into advocates for your brand.
  • Use gaming elements to change customer behaviors so they can bring down your costs. Health insurance companies have created games that inspire their customers to get healthy, thus reducing medical bills the company has to cover.  Users track their progress and record key health metrics like blood sugar levels and weight loss.  Based on whether they reach their health goals, they can win rewards.

Engage Employees:

  • Motivate your employees to complete mundane tasks like filling out timesheets, expense reports, and employee feedback forms by turning it into a game.  Create employee profiles, choose avatars, and reward desired behavior.
  • Employ gamified competition across your enterprise, as sales departments have long been doing.  Include results-tracking, leaderboards, and rewards as ways to stimulate productivity.
  • Use social networking elements to immerse your employees in the gamified experience, making it one of shared success and competition.

3. Business Innovation

Businesses can use game mechanics to motivate and inspire their teams to participate in innovation.  Gartner says games designed to enable innovation are set up as a defined space of play, with specific game rules and tools, but which have an end-point that is deliberately unknown.  That is because the company wants to challenge employees to think outside the box in order to solve the problems in the game, promoting critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity. Accomplish this by:

  • Setting up an open-ended game that allows users to arrive at their own conclusions. By not leading users through a scripted game path and end-point, you allow users to explore new ideas and possibilities that can lead to so many different innovative outcomes.
  • Having lots of players engaged in the game in order to allow more possible ideas and solutions to be uncovered for the business.
  • Ensuring the challenge is well-articulated and directly connected to your business’s goals and objectives. The motivations of the enterprise, the stakeholder, and the teams involved must all be aligned in order for gamification to succeed in stimulating innovation.

Whether it be to revitalize your corporate training program, to engage with customers and employees, or to encourage innovation, gamification can be applied across the enterprise to positively impact your business operations.

For more information and ideas on gamification in the enterprise, attend next week’s gamification event organized by OFS and hosted by the New Jersey Tech Council:

Gamification and the Enterprise: Perfect Together

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Woodbridge, NJ

Look out for future postings from OFS on gamification and how to ensure your gamified apps won’t fail when put into use!