Gamification vs retention: Play to win.

Gamification 101

I like to play, you like to play, he/she/it likes to play… It’s human nature, we’re wired to seek rewards from our actions – and gravitate towards good times. This is why there’s a buzz around gamification, with everyone from schoolteachers to governmental bodies trying to employ it.

Gamification harnesses the motivational potential of gaming by using elements of ‘game design'(aka. fun) in real-world settings and environments. Put simply, it is the process of designing things to be just enough fun to keep you engaged, motivated and itching to improve your performance.

Gamification: GIF of a boy on a PlayStation.

Don’t hate the player…

Feedback is a core element of game design. While we do get feedback in the real world, it can often be infrequent – like quarterly or annual reviews at work. Gaming is special in that it provides gamers with frequent, outcome-focused feedback. Game design usually includes a mix of positive and negative feedback, so players know what they need to more or less of to reach a desired outcome. Brought into a work context, providing more regular feedback, like daily stand-ups, can keep a team motivated and focused.

We’ve harnessed the feedback element of game design in our app to make winning retention business feel even more fun with gamification elements.

Whenever a client is retained, we’ll throw a little confetti at the screen, just so our brokers know how awesome they are! It’s a party over here.

Gamification: Gif of a character piloting a spacecraft. Caption reads: "Don't hate the player, hate the game, son."

“What are the scores on the doors, Isla?”

Progress indicators – things like points, badges and leaderboards – are another huge part of gaming. These create a sense of competition and ownership. They even offer players the opportunity to reflect on their performance and compare it with others.

To encourage improved staff performance, managers can harness the power of progress indicators by setting up firm-wide initiatives; giving points for reaching certain targets or announcing leaders in weekly round-ups. This visibility and social connection will encourage staff to push themselves to reach targets and objectives.

Chart showing the monthly breakdown of expiries.

Some say that comparison is the thief of joy, but it’s a fantastic way to make sure you’re a top performer. That’s why we built a Reporting tool in the app; brokers can find out how they’re doing and managers can compare the performance of everyone in their firm.

Gamification: Gif of an enthusiastic woman saying "It's time! I'm getting on the scoreboard!"

Get your head in the game

Gamification works because it triggers real, powerful human emotions such as happiness, intrigue, excitement and accomplishment.

At a basic level, we all want to feel that our work is valued. Whether this value comes from comparing yourself with others, reaching a target, or having a good performance celebrated, it doesn’t matter… but adding elements of game design to your workday is an easy way of boosting gratification.

Gamification: Gif of Jimmy Falon limbering up and saying "Guess I'm getting in the game sooner than I thought!"



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