How Gamification Engages Employees in Transformation

We’re all kids at heart. According to a BVA survey conducted in 2018, two out of every three French people revealed that they like to play games. Nearly eight out of 10 said they were good at it. Video games, card games, table games, scratch-off games… people play all kinds of games in their personal time, so why not apply this logic in business? Many companies are doing this, as we’ve seen from the success of serious games, which combine fun with learning to help employees change behaviors through an entertaining process.

Applying gaming mechanisms to certain activities so that they become enjoyable, rather than a constraint, is called gamification. It is already used in various industries like education, marketing, recruiting, etc. and can also be applied in business settings as part of a transformation project. This is the vision promoted at InsideBoard: to drive a successful transformation, you have to use a positive approach that focuses on people and uses a reward system, rather than focusing on those who aren’t succeeding. This makes gamification an effective tool for lowering resistance and motivating employees to invest in a transformation project. But how and why do games work as an engagement lever? And what results will companies get?

“Gamification is a great tool for identifying those who stand out from the pack and considering those who move forward,” said Michaël Bentolila, CEO & co-founder of InsideBoard, at the How to Promote a Positive Transformation Approach, an InsideSuccess Lab held September 24

How Gamification Mechanisms Can Drive Your Company Transformation Project

Contrary to what you may think, games aren’t the end goal, just the means for getting there. The actual goal? To bring the focus back to the employee by giving them the confidence and desire to invest in the transformation project. Mobilizing your employees is the key for successful change, but this will only happen if they’re motivated. Games lend themselves to healthy competition among employees and teams and gets them more involved in the process.

While the social aspect is an important lever in gamification, so is the need for recognition. It’s the classic carrot or stick scenario: each person has a natural inclination to compare themselves to others and to seek recognition from their peers. With this in mind, companies need to focus on an employee reward system that can take several forms based on the employee’s motivations.

“This is a serious topic. We can’t deal with it by playing.” — heard from many of our customers

Just like with any game, there are several player profiles, each with different expectations: finish the game, explore it, enjoy a fun experience with other players, or play better than others and keep beating one’s personal best. You’ll have to identify what motivates employees at your company, and juxtapose that with a company culture that may be unsuitable, in order to set up effective and engaging solutions. There are several gaming platforms that correspond with different motivation levers. They can be summarized as follows:

  • points = gratification
  • levels, progress bars = status
  • challenges = completion
  • badges = recognition
  • rankings = competition

It’s up to each company to think about the social and psychological dimensions so they can set up effective gamification levers. Rewards play an important role and will be a key factor in the success of your project. Ask yourself: What really motivates employees? What do they expect to get out of the game? No matter what the reward (recognition from company, digital or tangible reward, etc.), the important thing is to find a win/win solution with employees that encourages them to fulfill the company’s strategic objectives.

While gamification has existed for several years, the rise of digital tools combined with advances in artificial intelligence have disrupted the way it can be used, particularly in a business setting. Today, gamification through a digital platform like InsideBoard allows companies to manage often complex transformation projects by generating friendly competition among users.

How to Use Gamification for Your Company

Gamification can be used in many ways as part of a transformation project:

  • Encouraging employees to adopt a new tool: CRM, digital workplace, service management, ERP, internal, etc.
  • Improving employee productivity: for example, thanks to competition driven by games, your company can motivate salespeople to sell more and highlight them.
  • Increasing employee skills: just like with serious games, learning in a fun way allows employees to better assimilate information in a more enjoyable way. This benefit can also boost your employer brand.
  • Jump starting company growth and performance or strategic plan implementation by successfully involving your employees in new processes and practices.
  • Tracking and evaluating individual performance with evaluation (rankings, levels or statuses) and reward systems that meet each employee’s need for recognition.
  • Encouraging knowledge sharing, develop team spirit and create healthy competition in order to promote a positive approach to transformation within the company.
  • Engaging communities of managers or ambassadors to make them change management representatives.

Game mechanisms can be used in various situations within companies. The InsideBoard change management platform allows companies to use two types of gamification to ensure employees are engaged throughout the entire project: ongoing gamification (continuous improvement actions) and challenges (one-time and time-limited actions).

Your ROI with Business Gamification

Companies are looking for an ROI from their transformation projects and employees want appropriate support for the change. Gamification offered by the InsideBoard digital platform is based on KPIs that enable you to motivate employees on one-time and ongoing bases.

In practice, the company’s strategy is broken down into metrics and individual and collective objectives with a view towards long-term engagement and motivation.

The platform enables the company to define, measure and share the project’s Key Success Indicators (KSI) to drive individual and collective practices. With one goal in mind: create motivation and maintain it over time.

How it Works for Our Clients: a Few Concrete Examples

Games continue to prove their worth in employee motivation. At InsideBoard, we support customers during their transformation processes by offering a platform with multiple engagement levers, including gamification. While most customers have doubts at first (too much fun, not enough time, doesn’t fit company’s style), concrete results can quickly become apparent.

“Within 15 days, all of the sales staff got into the game. The users were even calling the project team to ask why they hadn’t earned this or that point.” Morgane, InsideBoard Customer Success Manager for LafargeHolcim

At LafargeHolcim, sales teams got into the game in only two weeks. We hear the same positive feedback from The Adecco Group, who went even further by setting up local challenges. The goal: rely on local managers to be change representatives by giving them the opportunity to create challenges to motivate their teams. It was an effective way to strengthen inter-team competition and to positively engage middle management in managing change.

“Thanks to InsideBoard, all employees can get real-time access to their results and successes so they can create challenges among teams.”

“We were able to put together challenges over very short time frames that kept teams motivated.” Jérôme Audollent, Customer Experience Director, The Adecco Group

As a true engagement lever, gamification helps companies share a positive approach to transformation and generate employee adherence to a project. This motivational technique encourages employees to take actions that meet the company’s objectives by creating enjoyment and sharing. But incorporating games into your company isn’t an easy task and doesn’t always guarantee success. Project marketing is a key element of a successful transformation.

InsideBoard invites you to revolutionize your change management with a unique, comprehensive platform that will allow you to steer all your transformation projects. Its goal? Motivate employees with several levers, including gamification, that target individuals or teams and encourage them to reach objectives set by the company, thus guaranteeing the success of the transformation project.