The novelty of a new innovation initiative is enough to supercharge change… at first. The initial excitement of any new scheme will draw in users and propel adoption. However, once your shiny innovation toy is no longer new to your workforce, you can lose momentum and see engagement start to plateau.
So, how do you prevent this? Incorporating engagement methods like gamification into your culture can make your innovation campaigns a lot more “sticky” and combat disengagement. Stay tuned for some recommendations on the use of gamification to make your innovation initiatives a success!
What is Gamification?
Gamification is the addition of game elements – such as point scoring, badges, and leaderboards – to non-game environments, for example, your innovation software. Recent research has found that 90% of employees say gamification makes them more productive.
It’s designed to encourage engagement by rewarding people for taking desirable actions and facilitating healthy competition (who doesn’t love the thrill of accumulating the most points!). Many companies double-down on this by offering physical rewards for those who top their leaderboards, such as lunch with the CEO or, a recent example from one of our customers, a ride in the cab of a new train.
Why is Gamification Important to Your Innovation Efforts?
Over the years, we’ve heard many arguments against gamification, so we’ve grabbed the mic in order to set the record straight. Here are some of our favorite doubts, and our team’s informed responses.
“Serious business needs serious behaviors”
We understand the importance of maintaining business performance but putting that responsibility on your user base won’t always encourage them to engage. Innovation software goes a long way to breaking down the barriers of position and status, giving everyone the chance to have their say and make their opinion known. Innovation should be fun and freeing!
Take it from us, climbing the innovation leaderboard for all to see, will not distract users from adding meaningful submissions. Quite the opposite! It will encourage them to submit valuable concepts, which will gain the approval of peers and superiors far and wide.
“Not everyone’s opinion is useful”
Even if there are doubts relating to the ability of large workforces to pick out good quality ideas, it can’t hurt to give them a chance. Data from our integrated Microsoft Power BI Reports can measure the success of any given idea against its popularity amongst users – an easy way to assess how general opinion aligns with company objectives.
Sometimes, your vote or star rating doesn’t have to be worth its weight in gold, but the act of giving or receiving good ratings reinforces interactivity with innovation, breeds a sense of camaraderie and builds esteem.
“Engagement will be high because ideas are so plentiful”
It is a common misconception that users will take part in innovation campaigns because they have a new idea every week. Put it this way – you don’t use social media just to update your own status. You scroll through to entertain yourself and see what Linda from accounts has been up to. It is therefore essential that we give users more than one reason to interact with innovation systems.
Alongside adding their own concepts, gamification features give users multiple reasons to interact with innovation platforms, and the dopamine released from online validation will keep them coming back for more.
How do you encourage innovation with gamification?
Here are some top tips from our team for getting the most from gamification:
- Identify your goals for gamification, then select the behavior that is meaningful to your company and reward it, such as:
- Logging in the platform
- Submitting ideas
- Leaving comments
- Don’t shy away from Leaderboards – a good healthy competition between teams and individuals will make it real. No one wants to lose their dose of dopamine, right?
- Be creative with your rewards and try to find a way of tying them into your overall goals. We’ve seen customers offer treats like:
- Lunch with a board member or partner (a great opportunity for more junior members of the team to get some mentoring!
- Funding for projects
- A hard-hat tour of a construction site.
How does edison365 innovation software support gamification?
Our enhanced engagement tools are fully configurable and include a comprehensive range of features, designed around boosting participation and providing a fun experience for all users:
- 🌟 Users can vote and star-rate each other’s submissions.
- 🏅 They are awarded medals per number of interactions with the platform.
- 😎 Ideators accrue points based on the popularity and success of their submission, allowing them to climb the ranks of our level system.
- 🏆 Their hard-earned points can be cashed in for awards and prizes.
In fact, check out what happened when our customer implemented gamification for the first time:
As you can see from our beautiful Power BI report, after they started using gamification around September 2020, the number of ideas rapidly spiked. Not only that, but even after the initial hype had worn off, idea submissions remained high.
Ultimately, it’s our goal to provide cool software that helps you keep traction with your innovation campaigns. We know that utilizing our gamification features can harbor long-term engagement and keep adoption high. Consequently, allowing innovation to become second nature to all users, no matter where and who they are.
Find out more about our gamification best practices.