Gamification is a new trend. It is being used in various purposes recently. One of the most widely used areas of gamification is management and as a management engineering student, I want to examine more detailed about the management applications of gamification in professional business life. You will also find the possible applications of this theory in Turkey.
First things first, we need to understand what gamification is.
We started to hear the name “gamification” recently, yet it is a new concept and it may not be fully understood by many people. Because of that, it is better to start with what gamification exactly is.
Gamification is the concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals. The term is based on creating an interactive environment by integrating game dynamics into non-game applications such as a brand, a business or a specific product. It addresses people’s fundamental needs and desires. The ultimate aim of this method is to increase the participation and encouragement. You can use the gamification method in order to increase either participation in business activity or the frequency of use of a website or service, or to encourage more users to share the platform that they are included or to detect active users.
Almost as important, as a definition of what it is, is a definition of what it’s not.
- It is not turning everything to the game… Each application can not create a new world. Mostly, you are in the real world. Gamification recommends improving the experience with game elements.
- It is not the every usage of games within the scope of business… Even if Mc Donald’s Monopoly promotion is relatively close to the concept of gamification, it is hard to say that it is a complete example. This promotion is a game of its own and it is not intending to gather the behaviors of the current system with game elements as gamification does.
- It is not only composed of PBL(points, badges, leaderboard)… It seems like a formula, but it is not, unfortunately. Gamification is a concept that is completely human and context oriented and it needs a continuous monitoring and improvement. For example, it is very clear that the leaderboard element which can be useful application in marketing will be more harmful than beneficial in pre-school education.
Why gamification in management ?
“Gamification unlocks a new category of incentives for organizations to use in encouraging and celebrating preferred employee behaviors.”
Richie Etwaru, Director of Social Enterprise at UBS
As Etwaru mentioned, if you are looking for a new and better ways to engage your employees, gamification is the solution that you are looking for. Gamification can guide your employees to challenges that grow their skills and knowledge.
For example, CPM (corporate performance management) is perfect tool for executives with rapidly growing reputation in management world. Gamification can do the same job for your employees. Because generally, employees are left with no CPM. Yet, the same process and detailed encouragement to reach targets is, in almost all cases, completely absent from the lives of lower degree employees.
Gamification make easier to understand business agendas and goals for every employee in a non-pushy fashion, making it part of the daily life. Instead of trying to convey to your employees what the organization is striving for using old-fashion techniques, you let the game lead them smoothly towards personal achievements that contribute to the business and to their own success.
At the end, it is possible to mix fun and management targets together, to accomplish increased employee participation and better sequence with corporate targets.
Is it reasonable to use gamification applications in Turkish business environment ?
First of all, it is not logical to talk about specific applications of gamification in the field of management in Turkey. Because, management is a global term that every company’s issue, no matter which country it is, but we can discuss whether it will be succesful in Turkey.
As I mentioned before, gamification concept is relatively new in business world and it has not started to be widely used by Turkish companies, yet. While we are discussing possible success of gamification as a managment tool in Turkey, we need to consider both the demographic characteristics of Turkish people and the core idea behind the gamification.
There is widely used anonym phrase in Europe “Start as Turkish, continue as German, finish as English.” Turkish people can be motivated very easily at the beginning but generally we are not good at continuing at the same desire level when we work. Additionally, we like to compete with each other and we can not accept defeat easily. When you combine these characteristics with basics of gamification which are motivating and engaging by fun, it is quite possible to have success with gamification in the field of management.
Briefly, with a good application of gamification, Turkish managers can be able to keep motivated their employees by creating a competitive and funny environment in the company.