Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems.
At MultiView, we are all in sales, but for the employees who aren’t making phone calls to potential advertisers, there are times some staff feel they cannot relate to the thrill of a big sale. Operations staff are busy on a daily basis to create and maintain the products that the sales reps sell ads in and around, and sometimes may not be aware who the top reps are for the month, or how the past few days of sales went.
People are naturally competitive. Whether it’s athletics, problem solving, or just eating more than others, people don’t like losing. Playing games that everyone has a fair chance of winning evens the playing field, and it is up to strategy and a little bit of luck to beat your opponents. After hearing some employees discuss their Fantasy Football success over a weekend, the idea to use this concept at MultiView made too much sense to not act on it.
For anyone not familiar with fantasy sports, this is very popular concept where you become a general manager of a team of professional athletes for a given sport. You draft your players and earn points from a few categories of statistics from their games. In our case, we had 40 operations staff employees become GMs of a team of sales reps. They received points if their sales reps hit over 120 minutes each day, for sales under and over $1,500, and even earned points if their drafted sales team was the top team of the day.
The results from the season were better than I could have ever expected. Soon after the draft was over, each GM let their sales reps (players) know they drafted them, and instantly invested themselves as supporters (fans) of their players. They sent inspirational messages on a daily basis to their drafted sales reps (team), congratulated them on sales (points), and even rewarded their teams with food, coffee, and gifts (spiffs).
The operations staff began communicating with more people on the sales floor than they did before, while also engaging in friendly competition with opponents in their departments for a playoff spot. They began monitoring the sales dashboard and motivating their team to hit their minutes. Yells of excitement started coming from operations when sales from across the office or other floors were made, and that was only the half of it.
Players who were drafted received a boost of confidence in themselves, while also keeping in mind that they were earning money (playing) for someone else besides themselves and the company. They had a new fan to make proud, and were receptive to this challenge. Some players even told me that if they didn’t make a sale one day, stayed late to ensure they would hit their minutes to earn some points for their GM. Sometimes staying late those days turned into sales. Some players who were not drafted, said they had something to prove, and strove to have a big month to prove why they should have been drafted, which leads to a bigger effort to more money for themselves and MultiView.
This concept is called gamification, and basically it is the application of game-design thinking can make anything more fun and engaging. The MultiView study proved that this works, and now we can continue to utilize gamification across the company, or even outside of work. You can make anything more engaging, so why wait? Implement today, or run the risk of missing out on increased productivity and interest.