Fun, Friends and Feedback on the workfloor

If you experience these three F's on the workfloor, you could be a gamechanger in your profession! Organizations are getting more conscious of this opportunity. Game elements and mechanics in workplace learning are in the spotlight. Business as usual can be more fun, engaging and productive. Continuous feedback - in combination with rewarding systems - derived from the gaming industry reinforces motivation and engagement.


Good game design starts with our core drives.

The game industry knows for decades that our core drives determine what activates us. Our behavior, motivation and feelings are of great significance for game design. If you know them, corresponding,  personalized and tailored game elements and mechanics can be developed. So ask first why and then the how and what. Sales, Marketing and Communication use human-focused design in campaigns, while learning designers seem to start with learning outcomes, not knowing why their 'personas' are driven to strive to them.  But now 'Customer experience' and 'Employee experience' are aligning and integrating more en more. Behavioral change - which is tough to accomplish - becomes now also an opportunity in proactive and interactive blended learning. Multi channel online learning experiences, provided with personalized game-elements and mechanics can be delivered just in time, mixed with performance or production targets.
Which core drives motivate us to take an action and get us engaged? Ask this question and it will serve you well in designing and developing a gamified learning journey in any given context.


Beyond Points, Levels and Badges

An "open door core drive" is development & accomplishment. I already wrote an earlier blog about it. It is the internal drive of making progress, developing skills, and eventually overcoming challenges. Mechanics as Points, Levels and Badges are often used here to challenge, experiment and reflect.
Of course we have many more drives.
 You may find it very important to do something greater than yourself and to have impact on an social issue like sustainability or inclusion. Other drives could be becoming more creative, getting more ownership or having more influence.
If you map these core drives around your personas, it will support you in selecting and experimenting with the right game mechanics- and elements. I wont list those here. The amount of possibilities and variants is infinite.  Combine your results with the learning objectives (such as more collaboration, more motivation, more knowledge sharing, more customer loyalty, more awareness, more turnover, more mutual inspiration, more subject-matter knowledge etc.). Keep the design process cyclic, agile and flexible, by continuously co working and with your team and target group in short design thinking cycles.


Use cases

Learning a new  language with Duolingo addresses many more motives than development & accomplishment alone. Research shows that it brings you in a  very effective learning journey to your desired language level. Use it a few times and ask yourself which gaming elements appeal to you and why.

If a combination of social impact, meaning and cost reduction are important drives  The Powersaver Game is a good example. It is designed to support you in being more conscious of your energy consumption in your household. Together you are challenged to save at least 15% energy on your current consumption.

Game-based Sales skills often involve challenges and group quests as a game element to improve customer experience, product knowledge and team engagement.  Core drives here are social Influence and relatedness. You want to be part of the club! An environment like this should appeal to curiosity within a set of clear - not too complicated - rules and performance indicators. Participation must be voluntary and it must be an environment of trial and error. Leaderboards will not only aimed at sales results alone but many more dimensions.

What are your core drives at work and are you in for a gamified online experience?


Yu-Kai Chou (2015),   Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards
Streck, Horst (2016), Gamification, The Power of Experience