Gamification: What It Is, and Why You Need It in Your Innovation Program

pawns on chessboard

Gamification is the utilization of gaming elements in a non-gaming instance—such as in corporate innovation.                                                       

Carter Liebscher|
February 24, 2020

It’s one of management’s biggest fears: Vast resources are funneled into gathering and acting on employees’ great ideas, but few employees are interacting with the platform. Tons of research went into choosing the right platform—whether it’s a department-specific or organization-wide instant messaging chat or a software suite—and you want it to pay off.

The real reason employees aren’t engaging with the platform you chose?

The platform itself isn’t engaging.

Sure, work is work. However, research shows that employees that inject some humor in their day boost morale and improve relationships with their coworkers. Morale and engagement go hand-in-hand.

So how can you incentivize innovative thinking in your organization, regardless of the platform?

Gamify your innovation process.

Writing for Forbes, Nina Angelovska defines gamification as “the use of game elements in a non-gaming context to drive user engagement, loyalty, and motivate the desired action.” One famous instance of gamification include Starbucks’ Star Rewards program, where users receive two stars for every dollar they spend, those stars adding up to real-world free products.

The same logic can be applied to a corporate innovation environment. In order to encourage employees to effectively offer their personal insight for actionable business processes, they should have a combination of intrinsic and material incentives.

With Ideawake‘s idea management software, users receive points for every act of participation—whether they submit an idea or comment on another’s. High scorers may receive real-world monetary prizes or more intrinsic ones, like a one-on-one meeting with the CEO or the potential for a near-future promotion.

When there are actual outcomes related to digital input—and they’re made familiar through competitive mechanisms—you’ll see actual results.

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