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Worth A Thousand Words

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Picture your elementary school days. Your teacher has brought in a Costco sized batch of shaving cream for the class. She spreads the shaving cream on each of the desks as you and your classmates roll up your sleeves to “play”. While spreading the shaving cream all over the desks certainly was enjoyable, our teachers had an ulterior motive as we found out later – we were cleaning the desks. By creating a game, our teachers were able to encourage us to actively participate in a task normally considered mundane. This is gamification.

Gamification is the process of taking typical elements of game playing, such as point scoring or ranking, and applying it to areas of activity in order to encourage engagement and participation. Companies have already been using gamification to encourage consumer engagement with varying levels of success. BJ Novak’s character on The Office, Ryan Howard, had the ill-conceived idea of adding a chatroom feature to the Dunder Mifflin website.

Conversely, Starbucks’s reward program within their app lures in customers with “Star streaks”, a promotion that has worked on me numerous times. With Star streaks, app users gain bonus stars for performing an action, i.e. purchasing a drink, several days in a row. On the third day, I often find myself going to Starbucks regardless of whether I want coffee. I just want the bonus stars.

These programs are incredibly effective at driving customer engagement. In the case of Starbucks, rewards members with the mobile app, although only representing 18% of Starbucks customers, were responsible for 36% of all of Starbucks sales in 2017.

Within an organization, gamification can also be used to encourage behavior. Human resource departments are starting to give employees “badges” for completing training or achieving verification. Companies are awarding points to different departments for compiling with certain initiatives. Firms are also encouraging friendly competition between employees by creating a company .

Traditionally leaderboards are used within departments, but the roadblock is comparing the performance of say an accountant with that of a marketer, it’s like comparing apples and oranges. Leaderboards can even pose issues within a department. For example, how do you measure the numbers of an employee selling a product with a short sales cycle compared to someone selling with a long sales cycle.

Photo Credit: Agile CRM

With unified benchmarking, the leaderboard will consider their primary task as well as how they are doing within the role. Theeaderboard will be able to compare how many support tickets the IT department handles as well as data tickets that developers manage.

One way Katalyst Technologies is exploring gamification is by encouraging employees to interact with our social media accounts. We can extract data from social media platforms and measure the number of interactions generated on posts. As the trend of gamification continues, it will pop up increasingly in different areas of the workplace.

About Katalyst

Katalyst Technologies Inc. is a best-in-class software, technology services, and solutions provider. Our business and technology experts are highly skilled and work seamlessly across multiple industries, geographies and technologies. Katalyst’s core areas of expertise are in ERP, supply chain and logistics, engineering & manufacturing, digital & e-commerce, professional services and publishing. Katalyst has offices around the globe with locations in the U.S, UK, and India. To learn more about Katalyst and the services we provide, visit

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