How Gamification Won




I remember hearing Rajat Paharia on a panel discussion some years ago denouncing the term gamification. He was at the time dubbed the Father of the strategic technical discipline. Logically, the commodification of the behavioral practice wore him out.

We've been talking about gamification in the human capital management space for ten years, mostly in attempt to simplify the concept to form an opinion for or against it.

A decade later, gamification is less a buzzword, but unavoidable as a business strategy.

Expelling the G Word

Take away the badges, levels and comparisons of Call of Duty to business process. Eliminate the g word from the lexicon and we can better extol the virtues of gamification.

You start with 5 intrinsic motivators:

  • Autonomy
  • Mastery
  • Purpose
  • Progress
  • Social

Then take a look at how said motivators birth game dynamics:

  • Competition
  • Collaboration
  • Community
  • Achievement 
  • Progress
  • Exploration

And finally, create program initiatives that are measurable while scaling the aforementioned diversity of behavior models:

  • Points
  • Levels
  • Missions
  • Badges
  • Quizzes
  • Extrinsic Rewards

A little more expansive than a video game!

Without Intrigue Engagement Is Impossible

We can seek to develop our workforce in 3 ways:
1. Carrots (rewards)
2. Sticks (certification)
3. Gamification (intrigue)

You can dismiss the theory because your tech doesn't do it. You can pretend gamification is infantile. You can bat your eye at technical developments.....

In reality, if you are unwilling to scale, you will fail!   

If the rule structures in our performance metrics turn from manager control to social amplification, the silos burn down. 

Leaderboards have the ability to promote introverts as a secret weapon!

Badges give employees a sense of purpose and a renewable application for long term success.

... neither are more important in application than the long term effect they have on process. 

The end never justifies the means.

Winning with your best players is a short term transaction. Developing every player is a long term strategy for sustainable success!

Game On!

The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

Add new comment

Please enter the text you see in the image below: