It's a game – How to introduce gamification into the organization
1 September 2023
Michal Blumenfeld Sagi
Gamification requires minimal introduction due to its increasing recognition of its organizational value. Our journey of learning and growth through play begins in childhood, continues through adolescence, and extends into adulthood. As humans, the inclination to play traces back to our earliest days, reverberating within the confines of ancient caves. Games have consistently been and will remain integral, perpetually fulfilling a fundamental need and constituting an essential aspect of the human experience.
In fact, over the past decade, the adoption of gamification within organizations has surged. Management leads this movement, leveraging its innovation as a tool to embed and distribute messages and knowledge in a captivating and cohesive manner throughout the organization. The benefits are substantial, prompting inquiries into why gamification is less prevalent within organizations and how to unlock its advantages more extensively.
To address this query, I will recount the creation of a knowledge management-focused escape room prototype we crafted at Rom. Approximately six years ago, we designed a portable escape room that easily fits into two suitcases and assembles rapidly. This room adhered to established norms, featuring intricate puzzles, branded items intertwined with the storyline, and secured compartments.
The room accomplished success, prompting us to realize that an innovative approach for a knowledge management-themed escape room should encompass digitalization. With reluctance, we bid farewell to the physical space (participants truly cherished those branded shirts...) and embarked on the digital journey, constructing it on a computer this time. Through considerable dedication, we translated the room's components and puzzles into meticulously crafted screens designed in HTML. Consequently, the space has maintained its triumphant operation over several years.
Recently, we've designed digital escape rooms for clients, investing effort and expertise to deliver prosperous outcomes. Nevertheless, we once again arrived at the understanding that the investment level required to construct a digital escape room remains substantial.
Recognizing the need for a more streamlined solution that maintains maximum benefits while controlling expenses, we reconstructed our escape room. This time, we opted for a prefabricated tool (Genially, in our case). This platform facilitates room construction with relative ease, guaranteeing an impressive and efficient end product. For a preview of an escape room created on this platform, click here >>
A pang of regret accompanied every instance we parted ways with a heavily invested solution. However, the successes and advantages of the fresh approach acted as compensation, validating our judicious choice. Addressing the earlier question, the scarcity of gamification within organizations can be attributed to its demand for skills, resources, and substantial investment, which may only sometimes be readily available for such undertakings.
Transitioning from challenges to solutions...
How can we integrate our activities with enriching gamification solutions?
1. Tailor gamification to your available resources: Grasping the specific solution sought is crucial. Should it entail an ambitious endeavor, such as an intricately designed and resource-intensive escape room tailored precisely to our context, or could we leverage ready-made platforms like Genially? Do we opt for a streamlined version with a handful of puzzles, or should we invest in an elaborate narrative featuring nuanced characters and meaningful connections to relevant classics?
2. Contextualize the gamification solution: When designing a gamified approach, the field in which it's applied should be considered. If the goal revolves around captivating subjects like ChatGPT and its organizational applications, a less elaborate gamified solution might suffice, given the inherent allure of the topic. For instance, a puzzle could be devised with the answer embedded in an article's title. Participants would use ChatGPT to locate the article and solve the puzzle.
3. Nurture creativity: This counsel holds universally, but it's particularly pertinent when crafting a seemingly straightforward game. Even within a seemingly "light" framework, a rich world can be cultivated. This elevates the overall gaming experience. Investing effort in selecting engaging and meaningful names for characters and cultivating intriguing backstories proves fruitful. For example, we christened the protagonist of one of our rooms, "Advocate Pnina Poirot," alluding to Hercule Poirot, immersing participants in the realm of detective intrigue.
4. Embrace adaptability: Drawing from the startup vernacular, this term suggests being open to changing direction if the chosen solution falls short. It entails a willingness to explore alternate paths, even if past investments make the decision arduous. A concept from the realm of risk management can also apply, similar to our instance of adapting an escape room for knowledge management.
5. Even small games yield significant experiences: Once the expertise and skill to craft gamification solutions are honed, they can be seamlessly integrated into company meetings, conferences, training sessions, and lectures. Employing platforms like WordWall, a spectrum of gaming structures can be swiftly erected to engage any setting.
In conclusion, gamification constitutes a multifaceted realm where intricate and refined solutions can emerge. Yet, despite the limited investment, splendid and practical outcomes can be realized. Echoing Maya Angelou's wisdom: "People will forget what you said and did, but they will never forget how you made them feel." Similarly, individuals will forever recall the experiences and sense of playfulness you orchestrated.
So, why hesitate? Forge ahead and conceive your gamification solution with gusto.