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Gamification – What’s new under the sun?

Motivation and Gamification

Gamification_w300Measuring KPIs has always been a central task in workforce management, so honestly, what can gamification add to this? Isn’t it just another buzz word without any actual news value, much like the absence of clothes in the children’s tale, ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’?

We probably all know people addicted to Candy Crush or youngsters staying up all night, playing war games. But what does this have to do with real hard-core business? Yet, the Gartner research and advisory company predicts that by 2015, more than 70 percent of global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application. How on earth can this be true?

Motivating and engaging people to achieve goals instead of pushing and monitoring has been a clear management trend now for many decades. The former has simply proven to be so much more successful. One of the pioneers in this field was Jan Carlzon with his 1980’s book, Riv Pyramiderna (Moments of Truth). Since then, research has been delving into the matter, trying to answer the question why this works.

New, cross-disciplinary research in fields such as neuroscience, biology and evolutionary psychology has allowed us to better understand the human brain and behavior. Research suggests that we are guided by four basic emotional needs or drives − products of our common evolutionary heritage: to acquire, bond, comprehend and defend.

Engaging and motivating employees to achieve common goals through the use of game mechanics and techniques that tap into the needs of human nature makes getting to the next level so much easier! And, of course we all want to get to the next level 🙂

Designing gamification features that are based on our natural constitution of these four basic drives will not only improve performance but also construct a more humane work environment,  making working life so much more fun and enjoyable! As Gartner puts it: “Where games traditionally model the real world, organizations must now take the opportunity for their real world to emulate games.”

So admittedly, “gamification” may be more than just a buzz word…

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