One Word - Gamification

I’m so behind the times. I was reading Laurie Ruettimann’s blog Cynical Girl the other day and one of the commenters stated that her company was implementing gamification to induce employees to work better.

“My companies marketing department has now decided to embrace something called "gamification". It seems to have something to do with awarding employees "points" for desirable behavior or something equally as banal and mind numbingly infantile. Shoot me now.”


Because I too thought it was a totally stupid idea, I did some reading.

It seems that gamification is a way to engage Millennials in the workplace. Since they grew up using computers – and computer games – they are wired to look for the wins, badges, levels, recognition, so they will do their work.

And I say, B.S. And why are Millennials inducing companies into certain workplace methodologies so that we keep them engaged? Weren’t they hired to do a job?

As I am a regular reader of Cynical Girl, I found this post – that says it the way only Laurie can.

But, I’ve been reading further. And since I’m in the business of helping agencies and marketing departments implement software – to manage the day-to-day work – I’m wondering how much gamification will engage staff and actually get them to pay attention to what they have to do; how well they do it; and get them to pay attention to the work itself.

I don’t know much about gamification.

So, I’ve been wondering how adding this extra layer of mayo to the work-day sammich will truly ‘engage’ the Millennials, and why / if it ‘turns-off’ the rest of us.

I come from the generation of expectations and meeting them. Not earning badges because I did what I was supposed to do.

But…in light of something I have read about gamification, I’m doing further ‘research’.

Why would I ever research something I think is stupid? Well, it is hard enough to get everyone in an agency to use the tools we need to use every day in order to manage work efficiently. I wonder how well gamification apps engage, keep engaged, and truly provide relevant data to determine what’s gettin’ done.

What do you think? Is your agency, marketing department, company implementing gamification? If so, what flavor are you using? How is it going? What does your staff think?

I’m going to give the guys at Bunchball a call.