Gamification stuff we love: Gamification in HR

Gamification Stuff we love: Gamification in HR

The 2nd Gamification in HR congress is taking place in Vienna for the last 2 days and today. I am honoured to be part of both editions and to see the progress of both speakers and the audience and their thinking and questions about gamification. Last year the conference in Paris showed us a lot of examples, which would have been probably more serious games related and this year we are seeing a lot more just game thinking and game design applied to non-game situations.

The quality of questions from audience participants definitely shows that HR people are more and more aware of the possibilities and also questioning the limitations and consequences, which is a positive development. What is also great is that we have seen a number of examples of what has worked as wells the learning points the implementers took away from it.

So far the highlight for me on day 1 was the talk by Ivo Wenzler where he shared the tools and design thinking used by his practise in Accenture to design simulations and serious games and how the impact in fact is very comparative from what I understood with gamification. He also asked us to play a game and most people including myself didn’t listen well enough to the instructions, and got totally swept away by the card puzzle game instead of listening to the client. He had given the main clues away in the instruction, but from the 2nd sentence onwards and although I recollect hearing it, I didn’t register the true message until the debrief and that was the same for most of the room. It is so tempting to just get stuck into playing as opposed to working out the best way to satisfy the client’s needs.

Today the 3 case studies by companies really stood out to me from KLM, Zurich Insurance and Rabobank. It was good to see the experience from a client perspective and what they learn in this kind of process. Last year I spoke to some of the people from KLM after my workshop and throughout the days and they took away the need to define objectives/goals and the game design thinking process, which was clear from the example of their on-boarding app is that they also had gone a few steps further to internalise this. I loved their approach with vendors with having a concept day with multiple vendors coming together and the product owner from the HR team explaining their objectives and wants for the various selected providers to take part in it.

The Zurich story was one I hope I don’t ever experience due to my questioning and process towards gamification, but it showed how a provider and client may omit essential steps in a design process and totally miss the requirements and objectives they want to achieve. An extremely powerful message and one I think we will hear occasionally because of the relatively new field of gamification and also the heavy reliance on gamification designer’s expertise in the process even when the client is unclear about what they want to achieve.

Rabobank also shared some key lessons which I quite liked: 1. develop a system, 2. content is king, 3. make it social, 4. chose mandatory or not, 5. patience is a blessing and 6. best practise is still evolving in this field, so take it on board but don’t let it stop you. Their iQuest game is being played voluntarily by a good percentage of the workforce, even if the design team would like more and often it is played outside of working hours, which triggered a question about workers councils. I always find it fascinating that this is such a European conversation and yet often one that makes you think differently and more creatively about the situation from a win/win point of view for each party.

I have to say, conferences like these always give me inspiration and interesting stimulating conversation to keep learning and sharing more of what is happening and what is possible.

Let’s hope the final day becomes the icing on an already great cake.

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