Understanding ‘Facebook generation’ is critical to implementing successful Gamification techniques

UK-headquartered Service Management company Sunrise Software has published an article offering practical advice on introducing gamification into the workplace. Despite analyst reports predicting that 80% of gamified applications will fail to meet business objectives by 2014*, Neil Penny, Product Director at Sunrise Software argues that managers should persevere and devise a gamification strategy that reflects the needs of today’s social media savvy generation to encourage employee engagement, boost productivity and improve customer service.

According to Penny, “Call them what you will, today’s Facebook generation, Millennials or Gen Y are tomorrow’s business leaders but are completely turned off by the staid user interfaces of some of the older business applications we rely on today. Companies looking to recruit and retain the best talent need to radically re-think the way they manage their workforce by introducing effective gamification techniques and rewards that our younger colleagues can actually relate to.“

To help organisations introduce a successful gamification strategy, Sunrise Software has put together a 3-point plan that offers practical advice designed to turn gamification theory into practice.

Gain buy-in
• Don’t assume everyone understands the concept of gamification and make sure to position it as a motivational reward and recognition system rather than just another fad
• What’s in it for the players? Linking rewards to something tangible like cake and coffee, or even monetary gain, will grab their attention
• Recognise that not all players are the same – challenges and rewards need to reflect differences in roles and function
• Don’t commit to promises of rewards you can’t keep – a sure-fire way to demotivate your team

Start simple
• Wait until everyone is familiar with gamification before introducing more complex, longer-term goals and rewards
• Go slowly to build up confidence and keep players keen – start with simple challenges and rewards that encourage healthy competition between players such as ‘highest weekly customer satisfaction rating’, ‘lowest service level agreement stats’, ‘lowest number of re-opened incidents’ or ‘highest number of approved knowledge base articles submitted in a month’
• Decision criteria for determining winners should be based on measurable statistics such as being ‘rated 5 out of 5 by a customer’ rather than just ‘closing 10 incidents a day’
• Make first-time rewards attainable to keep new players motivated
• Create tiered rewards that motivate players to continually do better
• Mix it up – apply different rewards for different Service Desk groups at different times but make sure players are competing against colleagues performing similar tasks
• Don’t be ‘out-gamed’ – minimise the opportunities to cheat by keeping rewards criteria clear and strict
• Align gaming scenarios with business objectives to keep them real and meaningful – after all, gamification is all about supporting the business!

Monitor and Iterate
• Continually review the effectiveness of your gamification techniques – is everyone participating? Are there enough rewards and challenges to keep players interested in the long term?
• Listen to staff feedback – more often than not, they will know what works, what does not and come up with fresh ideas
• It’s an evolving process – constantly tweak and roll-out new challenges and rewards to keep up momentum

Neil Penny concluded, “In today’s collaborative world, using clever technology that integrates the concepts of game theory is essential to gaining the support of younger staff members. Engaging them in a way that entertains and educates is vital to creating a dynamic and thriving work environment. {{By introducing gamification successfully, companies can look forward to increased employee motivation that boosts productivity}} and impacts positively on customer service and ultimately the organisation’s bottom line.”

For a copy of the article ‘Three simple steps to introducing Gamification into your organisation’ please contact Andreina West, PR Artistry Limited, 01491 639500 or email:

For more information on Sunrise Software, its products, services and customers, please visit www.sunrisesoftware.com

* “Gamification Trends and Strategies to Help Prepare for the Future”, Brian Burke, research vice president at Gartner.

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