Gamification in Workplace on The Rise

Maybe you’ve heard of gamification in the classroom, with programs such as ClassDojo becoming more popular each and every year. But big and smaller businesses alike are starting to realize what they’ve been missing out on, too. Whether you manage a small locally owned restaurant and want to improve customer service or you’re the managing CEO of an enterprise and want to increase the performance of your sales team, gamification may help you do just that.

Sales Gamification Process

Incent Games, recently acquired by Microsoft, comes with a sales gamification process. Microsoft is integrating that process into its CRM software. Essentially, with this method the sales process is being turned into a game with the goal of making work more fun in order to improve the end result.

Gamification in the Workplace

Companies that don’t understand gamification can think about it in the following manner. Gamification is simply game theory applied to a non-game setting, like sales. The psychology of games is that people play to win. With things like power-ups, which are small rewards to be met, it makes the game more worth playing. This thinking is put into work to make tasks more enjoyable for employees.

Gamification is game theory applied to a nongame setting.

Microsoft is following this plan with their new Fantasy Sales Team program. Rather than rewarding the highest earners, this method focuses on the smaller rewards to keep people working towards their goal. Companies often use contests to improve their sales, but those focus on a final winner. With the results-based method used by Microsoft, it gives more people a chance to win and keep playing to earn.

Concerns with Gamification

Many are considering the concerns of gamification. Some believe that employees will focus too much of their time on the game, and not enough on the actual work they need to be doing. Critics believe that salaries, bonuses, and commissions are reward enough for doing the work well. They believe that a compensation management program based on data and statistics is far better incentive than a game.

The Fantasy Sales Team that Microsoft acquired is proving critics wrong. A pilot test showed that reps who tried the program closed their sales at a 200 percent higher value in contracts. They were also up 88 percent in total closed sales.

Microsoft is a little late to the game though, seeing as other businesses have been using gamification for several years. For instance, ON24’s virtual communication, webcast and event service company started using Hoopla in 2012. The result? Over 500 percent more meetings scheduled and a 100 percent increase in the number of meetings set for starters.

With processes of gamification on the rise, it is important for Microsoft to have finally joined the movement. While they may be late to the party, it is never too late to start using proven techniques to your advantage.

Veronica Davis is a former Marine, now a mom of two boys who has found a passion for freelance writing. She loves cooking and rarely misses something in the food industry, but she also enjoys writing about business, home and anything interesting.