Gamification: the business benefits and the backlash

Is gamification an overhyped and underperforming technology? Not according to our recent survey.

The findings of the Sunrise Software Gamification Survey show that the gamification of business apps has been proven to deliver increased productivity and customer satisfaction.

The survey of 134 respondents from a range of commercial and public sector organisations that run Service Desks shows that 13% of organisations are using gamified applications and a further 71% plan to introduce them in the future.

Perhaps it was predictable that all the managers responsible for implementing gamification reported that it had resulted in more engaged employees while their staff were a bit more cynical. Although 86% of managers said gamification had benefited their organisation with increased productivity only 25% of workers said they felt more engaged and motivated.

We have already adopted gamification techniques on our own Customer Service Desk and been excited by the results. It’s basically a software tool that aims to motivate the team by using competition and challenges to help develop our skills and achieve our goals.

Gamification is a relatively new concept so many businesses are still learning how to get the best from the technology. The survey shows that expectations are high from both managers and staff in organisations that plan to introduce it. It’s no secret that motivated staff are more productive, provide a better service and are generally happier at work.

However the future of gamification has been questioned by many industry leaders recently. There’s been something of a backlash against the term “gamification” with some staff thinking it’s all about playing games at work and others complaining that the “fun” element actually trivialised important tasks. Maybe it’s not the concept that’s at fault but the terminology that needs rebranding.

Certainly both the survey results and our own experiences show that gamification can and does work, but the devil is in the detail. You need to think very carefully about how you implement.

The below infographic highlights some of the key points identified in the survey: