Let's Talk About Gamification

Receiving rigid specifications and working oneself through protocols is a thing of the past. Today’s employees think for themselves, develop ideas independently, and get involved. It’s just what companies require. Employers nowadays want to create inspiring work environments as well as invest in innovation processes.  Along with this goes the approach of gamification - taking advantage of playful elements and processes and thus enhancing peoples’ motivation to work and creating a strong bond to the company.  

Gamification was first used in the area of advertisement and the entertainment industry, but it has spread vastly into all industries over the last years. The idea is simple: getting in contact with the employees’ emotions through triggering the affinity to play.  


Flow, Intrinsic Motivation and Engagement Loops

The theory of gamification knows three central elements: flow, intrinsic motivation, and engagement loops. 

  • Flow is understood as a condition when a person is completely absorbed in a momentary activity that is not too difficult to result in giving up, but also not too easy to get bored when doing it. People in a flow, forget the world around them and joyfully sink into whatever they are trying to complete or fulfill at that very moment.
  • Intrinsic motivation explains for what reason people do things. It’s intrinsic when they are convinced, they want to do it, it is good for them – rather than they do it because somebody has instructed them. Studies show that extrinsic factors tend to have a counterproductive effect in the long term.
  • The term engagement loops means that intrinsic motivation can be maintained over the long term via feedback. The employee achieves a goal, possibly gains access to special benefits. The positive feedback triggers new intrinsic motivation. Engagement loops are considered to function as the engine of gamification processes. 


The KICKBOX Program: A Gamified Approach

At rready, the flagship KICKBOX program makes use of a gamified approach too. Here, the engagement loop consists of a  three-stage structure:

To begin with, participants receive the RedBox that contains a starting credit of 1,000 Swiss francs and a time budget of 20 percent of their working time. After two months, participants prepare pitches; those who succeed receive the BlueBox and have thus successfully reached the next step. The time limit then is two to four months, with an increase in the monetary budget as well. The goal is to receive a GoldBox – given only to the most convincing and promising ideas. Whoever achieves this, is free to dedicate themselves to their own idea, full-time.

The actual receiving of a Box itself unleashes intrinsic motivation: who doesn't enjoy getting a package containing nice things? The Box contains a budget, a time voucher, documents, contacts, candy bars, and merchandise. Additional motivation comes from KICKBOX coachesthe regular feedback, exchange with- and contact to external service providers, the incentive to compete with others, and becoming a member of a selected circle of staffa KICKBOXER 

Dave Hengartner, co-founder at rready and developer within the KICKBOX team, finds that gamification plays an important role from the start: „It appeals to the play instinct in people and since we all like to play, it helps strengthen the connection to the ecosystem.”

rready has been helping organizations build innovative, supportive work environments for years. We can guide you through developing and implementing an effective employee engagement workplace strategy, creating a culture that will continuously drive productivity and improve your bottom line. Recognize your team, their hard work, and give them the tools for success. If you're rready to motivate your employees and transform your business, Contact us today

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