To Engage People through Gaming, You First Have to Understand their Behaviour

By September 20, 2011
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Badgeville rewards visitors to a site for their loyalty via a system of badges and rewards. Transposing this gaming approach to a company environment works well, under certain conditions.

Interview with Maarten de Zeeuw, Director of Badgeville Europe.

L'Atelier: Badgeville now offers solutions for companies: how can the process by which gaming enthusiasts are engaged and rewarded be adapted to the world of work?

Marteen de Zeeuw: When we work with acompany, we concentrate on social gaming as a tool for fostering interaction within the company. First of all we send an expert to the company to see how it works and observe the online behaviour of its staff. Then we put in place a social rewards programme, rewarding social action undertaken by and between employees. So, by quoting a colleague in a tweet, or getting in contact with another on a particular social network you win a number of points, which can be used to obtain various rewards. These rewards clearly depend on what kind of company it is. In this way we endeavour to encourage contact within the firm, and so foster teamwork.

So you see gamification as just another way of getting staff to ‘buy in’?

That’s right. From our point of view, what counts is above all being able to identify individuals and their motivations in a precise manner. What we’re trying to do in a wayis to  categorise the consumer, in the widest sense of the word. Once we’ve managed to do that, we have what we need to put an effective strategy in place. Gamification may be part of this process, but it’s only one means among others of capitalising on the information we’ve obtained and motivating staff.  A very effective means, certainly, but not a revolution in itself.

Isn’t it potentially harmful to put a points system in place? Especially in terms of teamwork?  

Everything depends on the way it’s done. So, for example, we need to adapt the way the system works to the gender of the user. The men will generally be more motivated if we set up competition between them. By contrast, women will above all seek to develop social contact. To sum up, we provide companies with the tools to get their staff more involved and to optimise their work methods. The challenge for the company is then to integrate in an effective manner this new way of managing staff.

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