Using Business Gamification For Improving Business Essay

Gamification is the idea of applying game-design thinking to non-game applications to make sure they are more fun and interesting. (Gamification Wiki, 2012) Though a relatively new field, gamification has been used in a variety of applications albeit in a simpler manner, from generating customer loyalty through loyalty details to improving worker engagement within the labor force using game titles such as "Employee of the Month" The second option is an exemplory case of organization gamification wherein corporations use gamified systems to bring about inner change. However most such systems are currently closely simplified and extrinsically focused, only looking to reward employees with badges, which leads to the danger of reducing the employee's intrinsic motivations. Also, lots of the enterprise gamification websites have only been created for used in the developed world and therefore the need to explore how these might fluctuate for an Indian audience using its different group of motivations and charm to them. Taking these into consideration, this paper appears to explore how gamification works and what exactly are the underlying psychological factors and exactly how Indian businesses can use it in their employee development process. The conclusions would lead to a proposed enterprise gamified platform for improving work environment motivations and the performance appraisal process currently being practiced in Indian organizations. Lastly we look at the possible limitations of experiencing such something set up at the enterprise level and explore areas of further development for future research.

Introduction

A common description of gamification is "the application of game elements in non game contexts" (Deterding, 2011) At the heart of gamification is the aim of getting the required behavioral response by appealing to the player's motivations. A repeatedly used approach is by using the credit scoring elements used in video games and use them in another context. Though the term is relatively new, this concept has been in application for centuries in the form of frequent flyer loyalty programs for customers, enterprise leader boards in the sales and customer support divisions. However, lately the concept has steadily seen an increasing no. of applications within the business. Some of the examples are listed below -

Intranet - The SAP community network is an internally used community network (intranet) where head boards for site experts in every domain is maintained

Productivity Augmentation - Call centers are employing gamification ways to improve representative performance by making use of leaderboards, levels, online badges and immediate reviews. The danger could be that maybe it's used as a tool to constantly monitor and pressurizing them.

Efficiency Advancement - Efficiency enlargement is about increasing general level of skill of employees and not simply the task related with their job. Helping employees package with their emails can be an example. Companies use gamification elements such as improvement bars, virtual details and feedback on time spent for emails to help them package with this. Seriosity is another company that has created a virtual money around the e-mail. This helps employees decide which mails to deal with first and make a decision the urgency of the email messages they are sending out to other employees.

Knowledge Management - Program called WhoWhatWhere is an enterprise collaboration system where consultants should share information about what they are working on thereby which makes it easier for consultants working on similar assignments to get in touch with them and seek help

Innovation - THE UNITED KINGDOM Dept of Works & Pension created the Ideastreet, essentially regarded as a trading system for ideas. Employees put forward ideas that have a inherent stock outlined price associated with them. Other employees have the choice of buying or retailing these stocks and shares so a several ideas have a higher market cap than the others. This has proved to be a well performing solution, with the no. of new ideas being put in place increasing by the melody of 54%.

Recruiting and Onboarding - Gamification is also being used for recruitment for several managerial positions using online simulation game titles that depict true to life cases and test the decision making skills of the players. This competition leads to a pool of best players who are then considered as potential individuals for the company.

All the above mentioned examples of enterprise gamification and gamified systems generally, can be broadly categorised according to what individual motivations they focus on, that could be intrinsic or extrinsic motivations. The nervous about gamified systems that are intensely extrinsically focused including the one currently used in call centers, is the long term negative impact that a lot of organizations have no idea of. This is something that shall be addressed at length in subsequent sections in this paper.

Organisations that offer gamification systems for employee engagement are growing in developed countries. Bunchball is currently one of the biggest which offers Nitro as a plugin gamification request to Salesforce. The Indian venture market however, is currently basically untapped and reveals huge opportunities for the same.

Most Indian employees find the current performance appraisal systems in most organizations highly inefficient and unsatisfactory. The current attempts of the HR experts to improve employee seem to flunk with place of work morale and productivity running less than desired. Taking these factors into consideration, this paper appears to propose an venture gamification model for increasing intrinsic work area motivations and the performance appraisal systems currently in place in Indian organizations.

Theoretical Background

What are Game titles?

A formal broad definition applicable to all forms of video games suggested by Zimmermann & Salen, 2003 says that "A game is something where players engage in artificial conflict, described by guidelines, which cause a quantifiable outcome. "

However, what this definition lacks is the notion of a feedback system. The feedback system may take the proper execution of points, levels, progress bars and assists to quantify the progress made by the user, how close/considerably an individual is from the goal and provides inspiration to keep on playing.

In addition to the is the idea of voluntary participation. Be it indoor games such as monopoly, public games, alternate truth games to the most popular sports enjoyed today, voluntary contribution requires that every one plays the game willingly, accepting the rules and goals of the system with the freedom to enter and leave the overall game whenever desired. This ensures that the artificially created challenging environment is not found threatening and can be experienced as a playful, safe and pleasant activity.

All these characteristics of this is of a game are essential and are modelled by Dignan in the physique below (Dignan, 2011)

A classification of a casino game (Dignan, 2011)

What makes Video games so Engaging?

Before we delve further, it's important to explore the facts about game titles that is so engaging and why it seems to be the response to current workplace engagement and productivity issues regarding to us. A significant research conducted by McGonigal to explore how doing offers leads to human pleasure has answers to this question. Regarding to McGonigal (2011) studies have actually shown that "people are in their happiest when doing hard work at the edges of their skill level". Only when people are continually challenged according to their skill levels and continually receive feedback on the work will they have a sustained engagement, otherwise they will finish up getting bored. C:\Users\mica\Desktop\Circulation. png

This is also discussed well with a central model for the charm for video gaming - the idea of flow. According to psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, people feel best when they are neither underchallenged nor overchallenged but at the right degree of skills. And as people learn with time and repetition, difficulties have to increase to keep up with growing skills.

The research continues on to state that almost all of the usually considered comforting activities such as viewing television, are in fact mildly depressing. She argues that is basically because companies often neglect to continuously issue employees at the right level in a organized way without giving them frequent feedback. In short, it goes on to proclaim that "The Opposite of Work is not Play, it is Depression".

Empirical studies show how the responses that video games elicit are very similar to true to life emotions, if not similar. Even if the pay back might be growing more crops in Farm Ville, the compensation though solely fictitious elicits an psychological state that happens to be no different from a genuine life scenario. In summary there are multiple proportions to game titles that cater to different needs of the players and also have been segregated as follows -

When it involves the work place, at a simple level we're able to conclude that the task alone not the demotivating factor for workers in an group. It is also having less one or more of the above needs that results in a decrease in their morale over time. For example a rigid company framework could finish up stifling the worker's need for freedom or autonomy. More so, the absence of a continuous challenge that provides employees an possibility to excel at their skills and a more regular, robust feedback system that helps them physique where they stand happens to be lacking. A gamified system would provide the solution because of this through continuous responses on the current skill set and quantifying their range of improvement. An option provided to an individual at various levels to create their own goals means that their need for autonomy is also offered to. Throughout this newspaper, we'd henceforth look at building a construction considering these factors.

Using Game titles as a Form of Behavioural Change

Dr. BJ Fogg of Stanford School developed a behavioural model which identified three elements Determination, Ability and Trigger that are essential for behavioural change to occur. In essence, the greater the user desire, more the likelihood of difficult to do abilities being performed. In the same way if the desire for the user is suprisingly low, the power demanded to execute the duty must be also suprisingly low ie easy to do. C:\Users\mica\Desktop\Fogg. png

Even when both desire and potential are sufficiently high to reach the threshold, a result in becomes necessary to be able to change an individual behaviour. The model is supposed to help designers identify what prevents people from doing the intended behaviour.

Game elements go quite a distance in making use of this model to change user action in the next manner -

1. Game dynamics use positive feedbacks in the form of points, scores, progress, social status etc that assist in improving individual motivation.

2. Through training and expert of skills, they boost the perceived ability of users by making difficult careers simpler and even more manageable.

3. Game dynamics place sets off in the road of determined users at the perfect level of customer ability to induce a behavioural change.

Gamification for Motivational Design

At the core of the gamification system is tapping into the right motivational factors that drive users. Since the motivators change for different people, game systems needs to be customized accordingly. Broadly speaking, motivators can be divided into extrinsic and intrinsic motivators. Extrinsic motivators are powered by external rewards like the desire for vitality and position. Intrinsic motivators are motivated by the inherent enjoyment of doing the duty itself rather than using any exterior prize mechanisms. Such motivators at the office might include autonomy, mastery, curiosity and feeling linked to the entire cause of the business.

Traditionally, most corporations have essentially made use of extrinsic motivators to motivate employees and boost productivity. But studies also show that excessive concentrate on external rewards ends in users getting rid of their intrinsic determination to perform the duty that previously existed, which is not in the best interests of an individual itself. If the organization starts using gamification founded upon exterior rewards and then can stop the rewards program, it will be worse off than when it started as users will be less inclined to go back to the behavior with no external pay back (Deci, Koestner & Ryan, 2001).

Good gamification practise however emphasizes on intrinsic motivators to help them succeed in work life. Hence the idea of meaningful gamification needs it an even further through gamified designs, with an individual at its centre, appealing to his/her intrinsic motivations and with a concentrate on providing consumer benefits without any adverse effects over time.

Reiss' Sixteen Motivators (2001)

Despite the many ideas in the field, few are based on actual technological research. One of them was Steven Reiss who in his publication "Who am I" arises with 16 types of motivators which can be collected in a statistical manner using which he attempts to explain human being behaviour. On the list of 16 we found only 11 categories to be highly relevant to the office as the rest were found to be related to basic physical needs such as eating eating which is outside our scope. The 11 categories are presented below with a brief description of their desire account and segregated into intrinsic and extrinsic motivators appropriately

The dominating motivators among this list would vary for the many profile sections, hence research would be essential to figure out the most important motivators at work for Indian employees which will form the main of the gamification platform to be designed.

Research Methodology

A quantitative methodology was adopted by means of a survey to capture the relative need for the 11 Reiss' motivators found to impact human tendencies in a office environment. The test size for the study was 36 individuals working in various organizations across India. Respondents were asked to rate the value of the motivators on their behalf over a Likert Range. After their replies were captured, a regression was run to establish a romance between your respondent's degrees of desire in a place of work and the various motivators. The comparative need for the motivators was then set up by comparing their standardized coefficients. The procedure then led us to the motivators which were considered most significant by Indian employees in the context of a work environment environment.

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Research Strategy Process Resulting in the Gamified Framework

These dominant work area motivators and obstacles to adoption insights would then be used to design the correct game technicians and produce the ultimate gamified system as shown in the number above.

Findings

Analyzing the results of the review exhibited us that Indian Employees are motivated by factors such as 'attention', 'independence', 'social contact' & 'status' rather than factors such as competition or ability. This implies that the gamification framework that is established needs to have game layers that targets group jobs and freedom of players involved in the game. The overall game layers also need to highlight on increasing potential since 'curiosity'is an important motivator for Indian employees.

On the basis of the results obtained we make the method of design a gamified framework. Since there currently does not exist a fixed means of creating a gamified system we have given our suggestions based on these results and the theoretical construct identified above.

Choosing the proper Game Mechanics

The biggest problem with today's work place is the absence of any structured goals offering an optimal concern, real time reviews of your respective own performance and how the contribution comes with an impact at an organizational level. With this context game technicians serve the purpose of increasing either capability or motivation to accomplish the desired behaviour for the employees through real-time feedback by means of points, progress bars etc and other components.

Since the major motivators in the Indian work area framework have been found to be 'attention', 'communal contact' & 'position' and 'self-reliance/autonomy', care and attention must be studied to notice that different game mechanics are in destination to focus on these motivations. Hence the next proposition comprising three different features that serve some other purpose, appropriate mechanisms would be used -

1. Personal Efficiency Model - For Curiosity & Autonomy Motivators

To-do lists and progress bar map to trail the employee's personal goals such as time management, emails cleared, level of project completed etc both to increase ability and motivation. This is done by assigning improvement to create bonuses for players to complete goals they place for themselves. A sample diagram depicting the same is as given below

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Sample Visible Map of Individually Place Goals and Status of Completion

To cater to the employee's drive for curiosity, a couple of interactive quizzes and challenges of different levels testing his/her knowledge in the site would be necessary. The levels would be of adaptable difficulty (such as with GMAT exams), predicated on the performance of the staff member in the previous level.

Customisation components to choose personal goals in several competency areas. This provides workers with a feeling of freedom and autonomy.

2. Online Stock Market Model - For Position and Sociable Contact

Idea Source - A game where individuals produce impressive ideas in their domain which are stated on the online stock exchange. Employees is now able to buy/sell these ideas using in game money so that each idea now has a market cap too.

Resource Management using in-game money as extrinsic rewards once and for all idea suggestions

3. Peer Acceptance and Community Features - For Friendly Contact and Status

Community features to encourage unpredicted positive reviews from peers and improve drive when specific contribution levels have reached. A similar software to elicit positive peer feedback on the software called Rypple is shown in the amount.

Social Badges to focus on the player's dependence on appreciation from co-workers and show off their status

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Social Reputation Feature Utilized on Rypple. com

Designing a Gamification Framework

There are three major frameworks and models included in this paper for the purpose of creating a gamification framework. There are Dignan's "Game Body" which details all the necessary components of a behavioural game (Dignan, 2011), Dr. Reiss "Sixteen motivators" which identifies what motivates the player (Reiss, 2001) and last but not least Dr. Fogg's "Behavior model" which examines what sort of new behavior is realised (Fogg, 2011).

Dignan explains a behavioural game as composed by ten components which together design the construction "Game Framework" (Dignan, 2011). The Game Framework allows the designer to look at any behavioural game from the very best down, understand its essential parts and observe how they together constitute a casino game.

In this newspaper, Dignan's "Game Structure" is employed as a framework to describe the situation. This structure needs to be filled up with information based on our research.

However, to design how the game is enjoyed and the available tools for the players, one needs to know what kind of behaviour that is supposed (outcome). Before making how it is enjoyed, what currently inhibits the planned behaviour (the obstacles) were looked into from the review results. The characteristics of the obstacles are then categorised in terms of lack of ability or desire with Dr. Fogg's "behavioural model" to investigate what sorts of mechanics that will be most efficient to promote the new behavior. We have now take each component of the Dignan's frame to explain the overall gamification construction for our system.

The Objective and Activity

The objectives of this recommended gamified platform will be to encourage employee invention at the work area, improve the intrinsic desire of the staff in position with the organizational targets and to put in place a more sturdy performance responses system. Reinforce good behaviors and real-time identification and rewards. Understand accomplishment publicly or give real rewards in the discount coupons.

The main activities of the game will involve stepping into logs, giving feedback to peers and/or submitting ideas apart from setting custom goals.

The Player Profile

Based on the results that people obtained using our research, an effort was designed to create a profile for players mixed up in system i. e. Indian employees. Since 'curiosity', 'position', 'Freedom' and 'communal contact' proved to be the main indicators, certain inferences were attracted about the patterns of Indian Employees

Peer recognition and appreciation by fellow employees were significant

Learning and development of new skills functions as a robust motivator

Employees remain powered if given the liberty to choose their own goals and rate to accomplish those goals

Team activities or tasks that involved the business as a whole generates a great deal of interest

.

Outcomes

The last framework in Dignan's "game shape" is the final results that are produced along the way of the overall game. The short-term benefits should generally be to get individual feedback on every day activities at work. The long-term final results are to obtain a clearer picture of the career progress, improve worker morale through reviews. The final results of the overall game are to receive immediate individual opinions about the organizational impact of these contributions also to visualize the career progress.

Defining the Feedback Cycle

A significant feedback would be in the proper execution of the community-like feature where employees can provide responses on each other's personal goal statuses. The motivational factor will be increased by community-driven feedback and intangible rewards. These rewards should maintain terms of in-game money, and badges for reaching a certain personal success.

One important area of the competence model would be that the employees calculate their own performance. In terms of the responses, which means that the employees need to calculate the value of their own performances in this system as well. Hence, when logging a task, the employee must estimate how valuable that one action is.

Defining Resources and Skills

Resources will be the individuals of game using which a new player moves forward within a game. The resources in the stock based platform for ideas is the virtual currency that players are allotted to buy/sell. Because the money allotted to players is bound, players must be sure that they allocate it judiciously for ideas that they think will work best. In case there is the Gamified reviews system, resources are the badges and items that act as motivators and used to show appreciation for your efforts.

Skills are customized abilities one that places to use in a behavioral game and can be categorized as physical, mental and cultural. Our gamified set up requires players to use their mental skills for technology of ideas and continuous learning and public skills that help individuals get their ideas to be popular and well exchanged.

Triggers

Certain activities work very well as triggers. For example simple activities like sending notifications to employees that tell him of his weekly performance in a area vis- -vis another employee who is doing work in a similar site could action a cause for the worker. Notifications could also tell the worker of his regular performance over his/her previous week's performance. The direct comparison is certainly cases may help employees placed the rate for all of those other week.

Transparency

Should an employee's performance be discovered to other employees? It is a question that requires serious consideration. Often employees don't like the comparison that comes with the sharing of another employee's progress and such comparisons could end up being fatal. A good example will be a gamification system predicated on leader boards employed by Disney because of its laundry workers. The real time posting of information in regards to a worker's performance and the continuous comparisons hampered worker performance and created a feeling of nervousness between employees.

On the other hand sharing information can be an integral area of the feedback mechanism which allows one to comment and obtain reviews on one's progress. A possible way to the problem is always to let the staff decide by giving him the decision to show his/her private information to whomsoever they need.

System Limitations

The recommended gamification system has its own strengths and weaknesses. One of the most obvious thing that needs to be ensured is permanent engagement. Gamified setups are made to achieve both short term and long-term objectives and for that reason needs to be consistently developed and managed to ensure that players don't get bored. Emphasis must lay on increasing capacity of the players and changing the motivational elements within the structure which involves attracting new game elements and tweaking existing game mechanics

Another limitation of a currency markets like setup for Ideas is that there comes a period when shares might be traded due to their relationship with people rather than with ideas. There can be an inherent threat of the system learning to be a personality driven platform rather than platform being idea driven. The other risk which has already been stated is that of a new player getting too involved in the game and restricting his concerns to reaching an increased stock price for the ideas determined by him/her and not the ones that can bring a change.

Finally there is the question of involvement. Video games require voluntary participation from all its players. A system meant simply for ideas that does not land within the purview of the employee's personal responsibility might not exactly encourage players to voluntarily take part. Employees may however be inspired by their superiors to part of such a set up but this operates the risk of an employee engaging in the system with very little interest. Any public game requires involvement and lack of interest to participate can prove harmful to the set up.

Ideas of System Future Potential and additional Development

Even if the advised game layer attempts to market each activity with the addition of motivational elements, a big concentrate on increased capability has permeated the choice and design of the overall game mechanics.

To achieve a greater impact, organizational elements at the work place have to be included in the system so that in-game rewards have a definite connection to the consultant's career. One part of that direction would be to incorporate projects as part of the game layer. That would allow log entries to be linked to specific task entities and the connection between the system and the actual consultant do will be clearer (instituting a more relevant responses loop). It could also create a great way for project leaders and management to give feedback. The down side, and the key reason that it is not proposed, is that it could bring yet another dimension, raising the dedication and time needed to use the machine. There is also great probable in adding team founded mechanics into the system. These could be project based groups or comprised teams. There are several examples showing that the public aspect in team-based activities is a robust way of impacting behavior.

Dedication does take time but enables more ways to build relevant reviews loops, honours more strongly linked to the consultant's professional situation, in-game money that may be spent in various ways, team-based framework and challenges etc. It is all a question how deep the gamification system is permitted to permeate through the company.

Another essential requirement that needs to be considered prior to the implementation of the gamified system is to identify how it will impact the level of skill of employees. Worker skills can be labeled into -a) Primary skills i. e. those skills that all employees in the business are expected to get, b)Unique skills i. e. skills that are unique to a person and c)Future skills i. e. skills an employee wish to have in the future. A gamified create works best in situations where employees can put to use their core skills to be part of a team-based activity for the higher organizational good or in situations where individuals can develop future skills as part of their personal responsibility.

While it is very important that organizations look directly towards data, staff habit and organizational culture to make a gamification structure that can best support its aims; it must do something to ensure that an employee remains encouraged to fulfill his duties and does not get lost in the game.

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