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Turning Gamification into True Business Value? 5 Top Tips for Playing It Right

Gamification is a hot topic in business life right now. Are games just fun and play or can they bring true value to employees and businesses? If the game is not planned correctly, there is a risk it is being played just for the sake of playing. The proper aim should be to make the game about the players and business objectives, not about the board.


How to build a game that achieves business results? At Sofigate, we played a year-long game called Sofipoly in 2016. Here is what we learned:


  1. Set your targets


Our goals were strategic: the game should be continuous and it should help employees to commit themselves to the company’s culture and concepts. Most of our colleagues work at our customers’ premises and see each other only once a month at the Sofigate BreakfastWe wanted to find an easy-going and inspiring way to help people create contacts, to share best practices and to learn from each other – as well as to adapt to our company’s evolving concepts.


  1. Plan the game


When we had defined our starting point, we composed a project team that never experienced a dull meeting! Our approach was well-thought-out – but also brave and experimental. Although we had already used gamification as a working method in our management team, we did not have experience in setting up a game with such a vast scope. We needed to accept right in the beginning that we would learn more along the way. Our theme became “Be a hero, play the game”. It was the same theme we used in our recruitment communications.


  1. Prepare the game


We decided to launch our game at our Christmas party as most of our employees where there – and in a receptive mood. What we learned was that one should prepare the upcoming phases of the game well ahead and also gather new ideas along the way, to be able to offer people something new all the time. A game needs regularly irregular surprises, so that the players remain enthusiastic and active.


  1. Start the game!


During 2016 we awarded altogether 4 373 points in our game. We had 232 active players in two countries. One should not take people’s motivation for granted but should instead continuously try to sense what works. We wanted to offer our people different ways to participate: our players could collect points both virtually and IRL.


  1. Cross the finishing line… but let the game go on


We wanted to emphasize that the things we brought forward by gamification weren’t ready or complete at the end of the game. Our culture is in constant motion, and all employees, current and new, play an important role in its creation. Every “Sofigator” has the main responsibility of developing his or her competence, also after the game.


About the authors

Tips brought to you by Sofigate’s Advisor Timo Savolainen and SVP Sanna Siniketo, part of the Sofipoly project team.