Gamification 2.0 might sound like the latest buzzword in a long line of Internet trends that has gained widespread use, particularly in the technology and enterprise industries.
At its most basic definition , gamification is the application of  game mechanics and design techniques to improve non-game applications, encouraging better user engagement for higher productivity in daily tasks.
That might sound like we’re just giving a fancy name to something we’ve been doing since childhood. But since we’re talking about the next generation of this trend, just what exactly is the difference between gamification 2.0 and 1.0?
Gamification 2.0 Versus 1.0
Gamification really started to gain popularity in 2010. Gamification 1.0 was a revolutionary concept when it started seeing widespread adoption in the enterprise. Almost immediately, however, it became obvious that it was lacking, primarily because of what it focused on.
“Gamification, as we see it implemented in most organizations today, has largely been about implementing a points-based economy, coupled with leaderboards and badges in order to drive motivation or engagement within an assigned user group, whether employees, students, or customers,” says Siddesh Bhobe, CEO of eMee.
Gamification 1.0, in the truest sense, focused on user engagement. The problem is that engagement is not the primary goal in the enterprise, productivity is. What has been the result of this misguided focus for 1.0? Mr. Bhobe explains:
“This has seen mixed success with many early implementations bringing great value to users and helping businesses drive desired objectives, while on the other hand, poorly designed programs have failed miserably and have been criticized as a waste of time.”
To address this shortcoming, Gamification 2.0 shifts focus to where it needs to be: productivity. Again, Mr. Bhobe expounds on this:
“The next wave of gamification will be about taking business problems and mapping them to game play, improving trainability, and increasing effectiveness and results of core business-related actions and workflows, through the game play. This is especially relevant where the business tasks are repetitive or process driven and game play can help in decision making, increase productivity and make the work fun and therefore, efficient.”
The Biggest Thing Since Sliced Bread
What does this mean for you and your organization and how can you effectively use Gamification 2.0 to improve your organization’s productivity?
“The age of industrial capital has given way to one centered on human capital,” writes Neil Niman, Chair of the Department of Economics at the University of New Hampshire. “Success in today’s economy is becoming more dependent on the ideas and innovations that reside in intellectual rather than physical property. Hence human beings rather than machines are once again at the forefront of the value creation process.”
When implementing gamification into your organization, remember that your goal is not merely to engage your employees, but to sponsor productivity. In the age of the knowledge worker, a company’s employees are often its single greatest resource. As a result, gamification should be implemented in a way that encourages them to reach out, to push their limits and be more productive.
Writing for PCWorld, Robert Strohmeyer outlined four things  that your gamification should incorporate:
- Simple, recognizable cues for next actions,
- Clear, instant feedback for actions taken,
- Easily identifiable markers for ranking and performance,
- Streamlined, accessible paths to further achievement.
With that in mind, take a look at your company’s technology and workflows and evaluate what’s working and what isn’t. Are your processes simple and intuitive? Do they give immediate and clear feedback to the user? Are they easy for the employee to see and measure their progress against in the form of rewards and rankings? Most importantly, do they provide intuitive feedback on how they can improve their performance and increase their productivity?
Properly implemented, Gamification 2.0 can help your company cut through the clutter and increase productivity.
Game  Photo via Shutterstock