8 Gamification Pitfalls to avoid
8 minutes read
Gamification, as you know, is the process of taking game mechanics and applying them to non-gamified situations. It involves using fun contests or systematized rewards and incentives to drive the behavior of the players and achieve the desired results.
Although this technique has been used in some way or another since time immemorial, in the past few decades it has become a discipline in its own right because of technological advancements. Technology has enabled gamification to take off and be utilized in new, innovative ways.
For example, in today’s day and age, virtual contests have digital badges and rewards which are highly effective in motivating the players. And also the whole gamification process can be automated to minimize cost and effort.
This led to a lot of companies adopting the gamification strategy to drive the performance of their employees. Due to its proven positive effect on employees’ engagement and motivation, gamification has become a popular initiative that has been introduced in various workplaces around the world.
Due to its simplicity, gamification is really easy to implement at your workspace. However, it can also go wrong if mistakes are made. That’s where this blog post comes in. From our experience of gamifying work for employees at a lot of reputed companies, we have gathered the top 8 gamification mistakes that people usually make while implementing gamification.
Learning from these mistakes will help you to introduce your gamification initiative seamlessly into your business. Keep reading to find out what they are!
1. Not having clear gamification goals
Ask yourself this question: ‘what is the objective of my game?’
If you don’t get an answer to this question, then you are not likely to engage and captivate your audience.
2. Having complicated game mechanics
Since the primary purpose of gamification is to achieve desired outcomes through a designated pathway, game mechanics should be simple and straightforward. You don’t want to complicate matters with point systems that are hard to comprehend or leaderboards that involve a complex set of rules and criteria.
Gamification doesn’t need to be complicated in order for it to work. In fact, a lot of workplace gamification experts advocate for the simplicity of the games.
The design of gamification should be in such a way that
- It is easily understood by your players
- It increases their engagement at work
- And produces desired results for them
3. Inspiring too much or too little competition and frustrating the beginners
Like most things in this world, balance is the key in gamification as well. So, if it inspires too much or too little competition, you simply will not get the desired results you hoped for.
So, avoid having overtly ambitious or overtly easy targets which could turn your gamification into “shamification”.
Instead, build missions, levels, categories, and even handicaps into your gamification initiative so that the employees of all experience and skill levels feel that progress is attainable. This way, everyone gets to win something or the other.
4. Prioritizing rewards over results
At SmartWinnr, quite often, when we work with clients and help them plan their gamification campaigns, we see that a lot of them get fixated on focusing their campaign on the “Rewards” aspect of their game. Because they think that is what is going to attract their players to their game.
No doubt, rewards are an important part of any gamification strategy, but they are not the centerpiece. They are merely there as one of the many motivators to help your players achieve the desired results. So, it’s not ideal to place the rewards above the results in a game.
5. Allocating the Wrong Rewards for tasks
Wow, it seems like rewards are a root issue for a lot of gamification pitfalls. In this case, choosing the wrong reward is on par with putting rewards above results.
6. Focusing on results but ignoring the behavior
People often emphasize the outcome of the game so much that they forget about the behavior which drives that outcome.
Therefore, when you focus solely on results instead of behaviors, you run the risk of discouraging necessary behaviors or reducing customer satisfaction by driving the wrong actions. So, while it’s important to incentivize the achievement of the ultimate goal, you must not forget to incentivize the behaviors leading to that goal.
7. Creating visually unappealing leaderboards
It seems strange that I even have to talk about this but a surprising amount of people create competition leaderboards and themes that are just hard to look at.
8. Making it all about the money
The most obvious motivator is a cash award. While money is important – especially in sales environments – employee engagement is a complex beast. Things that may seem trivial can actually be incredibly important and rewarding.
Learn about the basics of gamification
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Published on Fri Jun 17 2022