Gamification ensures better team performance

Gamification in education is about the smart use of all elements of a game in the education sector, such as competition and reward. Also, it is being used by the employers. It should promote the collaboration and productivity of employees and ensure that they get to know other perspectives. This can be done in seven steps.

According to experts, when changing the behaviour of employees, it is first of all important that they themselves gain new experiences in the workplace. It doesn’t make much sense for their manager to tell them how to behave. In addition, employees remember things better if they learn them in a playful way, i.e. if they enjoy it. Jan Dirk Fijnheer is researching for Utrecht University and Hogeschool Inholland how computer games initiate behavioural changes. According to him, you can get people to do the craziest things for a virtual reward.

1. Power of gamification

One tooth less is also enough. For example, sports enthusiasts can use the Strava app to keep track of how long it takes them to complete a route and how many kilometres they cycle or walk per hour. It is very important that they can see how others are doing it. For example, it may rain on a day, where an employee does not feel like going to work by bicycle. All he has to do is think of a colleague who might be doing that and others can see it too. The employee eventually takes the bicycle after all. That is an example of the power of gamification.

2. Competition

Office book store Bruna came up with a game for employees with, among other things, more customer loyalty and a higher turnover. Employees entered into a conversation with the customer and experimented with different sales techniques (‘That’s 10 euros, and you might want some memo sheets? They’re on offer.’). The franchisees and employees ‘competed’ via an accompanying app, in which the results per location were central. That worked great.

3. Emphasis on intrinsic motivation and autonomy

Gamification expert Yu-kai Chou expects that there will be more emphasis within games on increasing intrinsic motivation. Game design is increasingly focusing not only on rewards, but also on a pleasant gaming experience. The idea behind it is that it increases intrinsic motivation and in the longer term contributes more to actual behavioral change.

In line with this, Maarten Holland concludes that employees are increasingly being given autonomy. “More and more organizations are working with self-organizing teams. You don’t want to impose anything on them from above. For example, we recently developed a game for a large organization in which everything revolved around the theme of mountain hiking. Participating teams could choose several routes and determine for themselves how much guidance and coaching they think they need. By offering employees freedom, they are intrinsically motivated and come up with creative ideas faster.”

4. Pay attention to effectiveness

Is the software for engagement really more effective than measures without game elements? Fijnheer states that there is increasing scientific attention for gamification. “Research shows that a meaningful reward works better than a ‘standard’ reward with points. For example, consumers or employees who see how much money they save with certain behavior will be more inclined to adjust their behavior. Competition elements – where, for example, several branches of a company play against each other – also appear to increase the effectiveness of games.”