5 Mistakes to avoid when developing your gamification strategy

James Glenn Gomez Published on October 12, 2017

wooden toy blocks showing x

Are you sure your gamification strategy will work?

Since the start of the recent decade, call centers have been using gamification, along with other employee engagement tactics, as a way to improve the quality of work life in the call center. By inserting game elements to the work, it combines work and play, ideally making working in the contact center a bit less dreary. However, it’s not that simple at all.
Gamification can go wrong. If a gamified strategy is poorly designed, contact center agents can get even more disengaged than they currently are. Poor design is what research company Gartner forecasted back in 2012 as the tactic’s major issue. They said that by 2014 most gamified applications won’t achieve a business’ objectives because of such, that the “novelty” will wear off eventually.

But gamification can work—if you make sure to implement it properly. Should you develop such strategy for your call center, avoid these five gamification mistakes to ensure success.

1.     Gamifying your system just because

bored employee pulling yellow paper by laptop at work

Just because you’ve implemented a gamification strategy doesn’t mean that employees will be automatically engaged. Think of it as “forced fun.” What seemed to be a dragging job for disengaged employees has become a dragging game. Think of what you need to gamify before you start developing such strategy for your call center. Otherwise, your efforts will only lead to a poorly designed system, which can exacerbate the engagement issue further than fix it.

2.     Failing to regulate the competitive aspect of the game

disappointed office worker woman holding gift box

Driving friendly competition is one of the key ideas promoted by gamification. But like in any other game, competition is a double-edged sword. When key performers are the only ones grabbing the prizes, it can demotivate employees or disengage them further. Not only that, when the competition is left unchecked, it becomes rife with toxicity. Some employees may even attempt to game the system just to get a prize.

3.     Incentivizing the wrong action

wooden knight chess pieces about faced

Another key aspect of gamification is the rewards. However, when your system is giving away badges for almost doing everything—bereft of any important meaning or feeling of achievement—it’s just the same as regular working. Only this time they get badges. Give them such for when it comes to achieving more challenging aspects of the call center processes. Add some value to it.

4.     Sticking to one kind of gamer type

confused bald office employee looking up

People have varying kinds of playstyles. If you’re implementing gamification, it’s important to take note of your audience—the ones who will be participating in it. Not all players are competitive. There are those who just play for fun and there are others who like to keep it casual. Strike a balance and ensure enough flexibility in the game to accommodate everyone’s playstyles.

5.     The tunnel-vision focus on winning

employees protesting in front of call center team leader

In every game, winning the game is a rewarding experience. What people tend to forget is that losing can be a similar experience as well. A video game encourages players to strive to get better. Similarly, a gamification system should be utilized not just for engagement, but for learning as well. Success shouldn’t be always defined as just winning; it should be defined as greatly improving as well.

 

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