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Project News – 10th April 2017

The Erasmus+ funded project enGaging has reached the point where a number of tools are already available for public access online: https://www.engaging-project.eu/intellectual-outputs/

Press Release 31st of October 2016

International Award for Gamification Nation

At the Gamification World Congress, Gamification Nation’s recent recruit, Andrzej Marczewski, won the prestigious ‘Contribution to the Industry’ Award. The Gamification World Congress was held in Madrid, Spain, at the end of October.

andrzej-anAndrzej won the award for his work with player types. This involved developing a questionnaire on player profiles, which was validated by researchers in the academic world.

Nominations for this award included An Coppens, founder and CEO of Gamification Nation; Yukai Chou of Octalysis Group; Kevin Werbach of Wharton Business School, and Pete Jenkins of Gamification Plus.

An Coppens says, “It was great to see Andrzej win the Contribution to the Industry award. Andrzej only joined us in August this year – because of the fast growth that Gamification Nation is enjoying.

“As Andrzej’s employer, I’m delighted that he’s scooped this award – and mega-proud. I’ve been using Andrzej’s profiles for years. They’ve served my clients extremely well and I’m sure they’ll continue to do so, going forward.”

Gamification Nation is the leading provider of employee and learner engagement solutions through gamification. It has worked with several well-known brands to achieve improved motivation and engagement.

Its core philosophy is to provide solutions that appeal to clients’ employees – through extensive user research, inclusive design for both gender and various age groups (if applicable) and player profiles.

At the Gamification World Congress (GWC) in Madrid, An Coppens presented her methodology of testing for the gender and age inclusiveness of game designs. Andrzej Marczewski gave a presentation about the purposeful use of play in business.

GWC, in its fifth edition, is currently the largest worldwide conference covering digital engagement and is seen as the ‘must attend’ event for gamification professionals. Conference attendees, drawn from around the world, heard a selection of top international speakers and companies talking about the latest methodologies, projects and trends to boost engagement with learners – and society – through games.

According to the international e-learning think-tank, The Company of Thought, the gamification industry is experiencing continued growth in EMEA and Asia Pacific. Market Watch estimates that the global gamification market is set to grow from USD 1.65bn in 2015 to USD 11.10bn by 2020, at a CAGR of 46.3%.

Commenting on the current growth in the gamification industry, An Coppens says, “As a company, we’re experiencing this growth first-hand.

Gamification Nation has almost doubled its annual turnover each year since it was founded, in 2012. In the current quarter, we’ve already booked as much work as we had in the whole of our previous year (August 2015 to July 2016).

“After Brexit eradicated most of our pipeline in June, it’s great to see our efforts change our own game,” adds An.

 

Press release: 2nd of August 2016

Alliance Enterprises Partners with Gamification Nation
Maker of employee engagement software extends reach
in Europe and the Middle East with new affiliate agreement

Alliance Enterprises continued to expand the company’s international footprint today by bringing on board Gamification Nation, a London-based human resources and management consulting firm. The new affiliate will market Alliance’s employee engagement software, MyObjectives, throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Gamification Nation is a leading provider of gamification design for government organizations and companies seeking to create a more energetic workplace and to spark greater employee engagement. The firm’s leader, An Coppens, is a frequent speaker at gamification conference around the world and she’s published a book on the subject, Gamification in Business.

“This is a great partnership because our company and theirs strongly believe that it’s time to blow up the broken system of performance management that centers on annual employee reviews,” said Alliance Enterprises CEO, Chris Pieper. “It’s time for more fun, and better communication and collaboration among teams at work. Humans have always loved playing team games, and we offer a science-backed solution that taps into this elemental passion, resulting in higher employee engagement and greater productivity.”

In 2015 Alliance released MyObjectives, a software program that adds game elements to traditional performance evaluation models, like the Balanced Scorecard. MyObjectives features real-time team scorecards, dynamic progress charts, and ongoing rewards that provide instant feedback as employees work toward achieving their objectives.

“Studies show that employee engagement is very low, particularly in Europe,” said Coppens, whose titled appropriately as Chief Game Changer at Gamification Nation. “Thanks to games and social media we’ve grown used to having immediate feedback, but that’s not happening with annual appraisal process once or twice a year. We love MyObjectives because employees receive input in real time in a fun way.”

Alliance released in June the latest version of MyObjectives to the European market – and to more international regions. In the new release, MyObjective customers benefited from better real-time scorecard functionality, and a new messaging platform, as well as enhanced real-time dashboards for business leaders. For more information on MyObjectives 2.0 release, read the full news release.

About Gamification Nation – Gamification Nation, founded in 2012, is the leading provider of gamification design for learner and employee engagement. The firm has worked with public service organizations across Europe and the Middle East to promote climate awareness, set up learning communities, increase employee engagement and internal achievement and enhance their internal learning experiences. For corporate clients, the company has enhanced sales through gamification, innovative recruitment, employee engagement, policy compliance and learning and development. Gamification Nation is among the top 10 in the gamification guru leaderboard. For more information, visit https://www.gamificationnation.com/

About Alliance Enterprises – Founded in 1981, Alliance has a rich history of developing and maintaining market leading software solutions for enterprise records management and goal management applications. Alliance’s Aware solution is the number one choice for records management, data analytics and cloud services used by more than 12,000 rehabilitation service providers across 33 state agencies and 26 tribal nations. Alliance’s new goal management software, MyObjectives, helps self-directed teams achieve better outcomes by integrating goal achievement, engagement and gamification within a process that is rewarding and fun. For more information, visit www.allianceenterprises.com .

Press release: 8th of March 2016

Gamification Nation Scoops Major Contract Win and Award

Gamification Nation, a leading business gamification design consultancy, has recently won a contract from a globally known sports clothing and equipment provider. Under the contract, Gamification Nation will help this company to boost its gamification strategy for its learning and development departments.

The announcement, from the sports clothing and equipment provider – that it had selected Gamification Nation as its partner for its learner-focused gamification strategy – coincided with the kick-off of a pan-European collaboration to develop an innovation brokering solution for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with dynamic new gamification techniques.

This solution uses growth-hacking and gamification techniques to support start-ups and its mentors. The project is supported by Zadra Nova (Croatia), the Metropolitan City of Milan (Italy), Bicero (Slovenia), SPI (Portugal), The Hive (FVB – Italy), Grad Zadar (Croatia), and NDA (Bulgaria).

Meanwhile, Gamfication Nation’s founder and Chief Game Changer, An Coppens, was honoured as one of the “Most influential HR Tech Leaders” recently at the World HRD Congress, held in Mumbai, India. She also addressed the conference on the topic “What’s next in gamification for HR?”

An, who is the author of books such as ‘Leading the Boss in the Mirror’, ‘Attracting IT Graduates to your Business’, and ‘Gamification in Business’, received the HR Visionary Award at the event.  An’s writing, along with the solutions she develops are all designed to encourage winning behaviours and improve results in various areas – from sales and recruitment to learning and productivity.

Moreover, the blog that An writes three times a week has been shortlisted for the second consecutive year among the finalists of the UK National Blog Awards.

The games people play: Is gamification a useful tool or passing fad?

This article first appeared on Thomson Reuters- Risk Solutions on October 5th 2015 Written by Tim Hitchcock

Tim

Tim Hitchcock

Offices are serious places, so the idea of getting employees to play games there has raised more than a few eyebrows. In practice, what is called gamification is not as outlandish as it may seem. Many organisations already use it without people realising: even some critics have unwittingly enjoyed it. Now gamification’s proponents think its subtly addictive allure has wider applications.

Human drives

“Gamification is the use of gaming psychology, methods and technology in business with the object of increasing engagement and performance in processes that are perhaps less interesting than they might be,” said Gary Browning, chief executive of the HR consultancy Penna. “It works because humans love playing games; they love competition, points, rewards, cooperating to win prizes. What gamification does is apply those human drives to a business environment.”

Browning pointed out that gamification was not a novel concept. Retail companies have used it for years in the form of loyalty cards that cajole customers into spending more by offering collectable points that earn rewards. The classic management technique of driving sales teams’ performance by awarding the quarter’s best sellers a prize such as a weekend away is typical gamification, albeit not often described that way. The new factor is that digital technology and the spread of online gaming have made it easier to gamify processes.

“Look at the popularity of gaming apps on smartphones and tablets,” Browning said. “[The game] Candy Crush recorded 93 million daily users and over 1 billion games played a day, and that’s just one game. Gamers aren’t the stereotype teenage boys in bedrooms people assume they are either: women over 45 are the largest group. People really like games and are familiar with playing them. You can use that to make mundane tasks, [such as] filling in timesheets, more engaging by setting achievements and rewards.”

Disappointingly for some, gamification does not mean passing the day online zapping multi-coloured sweets to an exciting soundtrack. Most applications work simply and discreetly to encourage people to start and finish something they might otherwise shun. Gamification expert An Coppens cited the example of the social network LinkedIn adding a progress bar to the webpage where new members were asked to give a detailed profile. Each piece of information they provided moved the bar closer to completion.

“It’s about keeping people involved in the process and needn’t be something complicated or expensive,” Coppens said. “Some people will love having a progress bar and some will hate it, but it was effective for LinkedIn. When they added one, it increased their profile completion rate enormously.”

Recruitment and onboarding

Gamification is being exploited in graduate recruitment because holding twentysomethings’ attention with traditional media can be hard. For example, Penna designed an online “balloon race” game for KPMG. It raised potential applicants’ awareness of the firm’s career opportunities while requiring players to use the kinds of skills and behaviours successful candidates were expected to possess. When PwC Hungary used a website game which involved solving business world problems, it found candidates who played it were better prepared for live interview and knew more about working at the firm and its culture.

PwC Hungary recruits who had played the game also found onboarding easier, and both Browning and Coppens suggested this process could benefit from gamification. Coppens said HRs could sometimes forget that managers might only receive a new team member every one or two years. She said compiling a checklist with a red-amber-green light scheme to show managers how they were progressing with preparations for a recruit’s arrival might simplify the task for them and reduce errors. Browning felt it might help to reduce the number of hires that failed.

“Most companies are appalling at onboarding and the number of people who are lost early in their tenure now the job market has heated up is terrible,” he said. “Gamifying recruits having to meet certain people, learn about a company’s strategy and values and so on with a points system or league table could make it more engaging for them.”

Resistance

There has been considerable resistance to extending business use of gamification, however. A report by Penna found that while 52 percent of HRs were “massively interested” in gamification, 44 percent said their organisation was “not at all interested” in it. “Industry culture” was given as the main reason why. Browning suspected HRs thought that suggesting gamification to the board would be an awkward experience, and one which would not reflect well on them. Coppens agreed that the very name, with its connotations of play, was problematic.

“I have bumped into the argument ‘we are a serious business; we don’t play games,’ which I always find funny because most c-suites play games, from golf to, even during work hours, a bit of Solitaire or other casual games as part of their thinking time: a staggering 69 percent of CEOs globally,” Coppens said. “However, when I use … ‘engagement’ and ’employee engagement with assistance of persuasive game elements’, then nobody questions the work-play dynamic.”

Perry Timms, director, people and learning, at the digital agency Media Zoo and social media advisor to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said gamification was an inelegant word which had unfortunately initially been adopted by the learning and development fraternity. He said the tool itself, however, was well-suited to motivation in people performance, and that those HRs ignoring its potential were missing out.

“They see it as another fad, yet we’ve been playing games for thousands of years,” Timms said. “It’s in our psyche to be competitive and spurred by a challenge. Psychologically we all get a rush of adrenaline to do something and dopamine when we’re happy with what we did.”

Trump card

Nevertheless, hyped expectations for gamification coupled with rushed implementation have produced disappointments; according to the technology consultancy Gartner, 80 percent of schemes fail due to poor design.

“Points, badges and leader-boards equally give a superficial view of gamification, as if you can add a layer of sprinkles on top and, as [if] by magic, people will enjoy their work more, which isn’t true,” Coppens said. She said gamification would not fix broken processes or bad content in a learning environment, and that applying it to them would increase employees’ frustration.

“Overdone, [gamification] would become tiresome and lose some of its impact,” Timms said. “It’s like a trump card: only play it when you should, not because you can.”

Author Biography:

  • Tim Hitchcock is a freelance journalist and former practising barrister. He has written for a wide range of publications including the Guardian, Observer, Financial Times, Telegraph and Sunday Business as well as several magazines. In 2009 two of his newspaper pieces found their way onto A Level course papers for business and English.

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