Gamification in the workplace

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I was listening to a podcast in the RSA Bridges to the Future series last week. In episode 172, Adrian Hon was interviewed about gamification in the workplace.

As well as the horror stories about gamified bonuses there were a few core elements which I think we need to pick up in learning terms.

Firstly, recognise gamification has become associated with products or services which are manipulative or badly designed. If you don’t understand this, you will hear people express dissent before you launch.

It’s essential people have the opportunity to opt in, not be enrolled and then opt out. The people expressing interest in points-based competition, support them but don’t make taking part a mandated activity.

Language matters. What is the difference between a quest, a pathway, or a series of tasks?

Keep rewards small. Over rewarding leads to dysfunctional outcomes and perverse behaviours.

Finally, and most importantly, evaluative practice is missing. There isn’t any evidence it works so why do it?

Be clear, there is every chance your work will be treated as a novelty and that’s not good practice.

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