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Game it up with A Spoonful of Sugar [opinion piece]

November 26, 2012 at 8:43 by Mark Comments

In Mary Poppins, just before they start the arduous task of cleaning up the nursery Mary chimed in with this gem “In every job that must be done there is an element of fun. If you find the fun, then, snap, the jobs a game. Then every task you undertake becomes a piece of cake.”

Wouldn’t it be great if all our jobs were games and we just played away our days. Even the most mundane positions would be worth turning up for.

Garbage collectors scoring 80 points for slam dunking a rubbish bag, a hospital cleaner earning 50 gold coins for not missing a spot while mopping, an account director getting the CEO’s pay for a day for cracking the brief. Gamification of enterprise internal comms is becoming big business for motivating /rewarding staff, creating less churn and increasing learning’s/knowledge of the business and brands. All this leads to a much more productive workplace and happier staff, which means increased profit. So if gamification is the answer to office misery, then what is the question?
If it were for a large organisation with multiple brands the something like “How do we personalise the business strategy?”

Beyond points and leader boards
How do we use the tool of gamification to connect with people’s inherent interest in…

- human stories

- sense of belonging

- personal reputation

- social recognition

- self expression

- sense of progress

An example is holding a staff BBQ day and inviting the star cast from your latest marketing campaign to pose for pics with staff for their latest profile picture and status update. All fun, all good. The reward is social recognition from peers saying things like “Hey saw that picture of you, Ketut and Rhonda – awesome!!” That makes you feel good, makes you feel like the place you work at is cool and your shoulders go back and your chest puffs out. All for the price of a sausage sandwich.

Taking it much further
To truly gamify your internal comms you must apply this to all of your assets all the way down to lowly pdf’s about that new thingy that XYZ department just did. To do this you must get group buy-in from HR, IT, Internal Comms, Finance, and senior execs. Here is an example of how it would work. Each brand from within the business has an online destination that is surrounded by a big creative idea. Let’s say that it is a mall and each brand has a shop. Employees would be able to enter each brand’s shop and browse around. If you went into the marketing section of the shop you could view the latest video’s and earn points for the length of time you watched it for. 18 seconds earns you 18 points, 30 seconds earns you 30 points etc. Once the video is over you would be prompted to answer a quiz or mini game that asks you about what you just saw. Getting it right would earn you more points. Commenting on it, more points. Sharing it with your network, more points. All these points go onto your scorecard and moves you up the leaderboard which leads to more peer recognition and a sense of achievement. Throw in a few competitions and rewards for people’s efforts such as milestone achievements and you have a platform that delivers brand knowledge across the organisation to corners you never knew existed. The more shops/brands that you visit quickly adds up on your scorecard and before you know it you are becoming an ambassador for your business, talking up all the CVP’s to co-workers and friends. Make it mobile accessible and you could be gaming all the way to and from work J

Given companies serving clients with gamification solutions range from education / HR companies to technology driven gaming companies to creative communications agencies like us why are we best placed to do this well? Because we think insightfully about audiences, our creative ideas have meaning (ie are more than simply fun) and we understand how people are interacting with technology.

As Mary would say “you know that a song will move the job along.” Start singing the benefits of gamification within your business and you won’t be disappointed.

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