Gamification is a big part of what we do at Passle, so when I found out about Green Hat People, a company founded in Sweden in 2006 that uses gamification to make training and employee communication more fun, I wanted to find out more!
Georgie Mann is the Director of Green Hat People UK, a company that designs interactive experiences that enhance corporate communication and learning.
Claire Trévien: What makes gamification such a powerful concept?
Georgie Mann: Gamification taps into our love of competition and achievement. It is also about reward, giving us that feeling of satisfaction and happiness. It’s why playing games can be so compelling and so much fun. It doesn’t feel like work – unlike many meetings and events.
You may have been influenced by gamification already without realising it. Perhaps through posting reviews on a platform like TripAdvisor to get that next reviewer’s badge or you may have a store loyalty card.
We think that people learn best through play. Think about what you learned through play as a child. But it isn't just what we think, there is a growing body of evidence. A survey by the Aberdeen Group found that organisations who use gamification techniques improve engagement by 48 percent and turnover by 36 percent.
CT: What are the biggest misconceptions about gamification companies and organisations have when you approach them?
GM: A lot of people still aren’t clear what it actually is – although this is changing. The techniques have their routes in the computer gaming industry (we all know how compelling many people find computer games!). However, it isn’t all about sitting in front of a computer screen and it doesn’t need to be gimmicky. We start with the organisation’s business need and go from there, using gamification where and when appropriate for the task in hand.
CT: Can you share your top engagement or gamification tip in meetings?
GM: One of the great things about gamification is that it facilitates team working. It works well when teams are given a challenge that relates to their everyday working life. Perhaps a business challenge they are facing or a message that needs to be conveyed. The gamification approach adds an element of fun competition.
CT: Who inspires you?
GM: Game designers at big game studios are extremely good at creating engaging experiences for individuals. We try to “steal” their ideas with pride and use the best stuff that could work in a business environment.
CT: What gamification trends are you seeing now or do you predict for the future?
GM: People are recognizing that gamification works and is a serious methodology for engagement and learning. The gamification industry is in its infancy and is rapidly moving from trying out crazy ideas to implementing things that work.
We have talked about reward, but effective gamification is also very much about the journey to get there, again that comes from the computer gaming industry but traditional family board games also employ the same tactics.
As it becomes more established, the focus will be on ways of keeping it fresh and exciting.