by Emily Constantini
Gamification has recently become a popular topic within enterprise collaboration platforms — so much so that I think my spell check now accepts the word as valid. As with many other social technologies, gamification first gained adoption in the consumer world with apps like Foursquare, so it isn’t a novel concept. But applying it in a business setting is still fairly new to most people. The key difference is that there’s more to gamification in a business setting than badges and points — it can actually be used to solve critical business problems, such as employee engagement.
As Rajat Paharia points out in his new book “Loyalty 3.0,” 70 percent of people who go to work every day aren’t engaged in their jobs, which costs the U.S. economy up to $350 billion per year in lost productivity. Done right, gamification offers a unique and effective way to mitigate this problem by giving employees a way to gain recognition for their contributions as they work.
Recognition is the root of gamification. People want to be recognized for their contributions; in fact, they feel they deserve to be recognized. As an informal poll, I asked some of my friends, all under age 40, what would make them happier about their workplace. Although “more money” was the response that would make them happier personally, “more recognition” was the response that made them happier at work.