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The Future of Gamification

Cary Harr is obsessed with learning what makes people tick. He stumbled onto this passion as a public school teacher, and now as a senior manager with Deloitte Consulting. Harr works with the Deloitte immersive learning center. There, he and his team work on games, simulations, videos, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality to study and learn how gamification be used to improve employee performance. Cool stuff right?

Describing Deloitte as being “bullish on gamification,” Harr’s talk at the 2017 Propelify Innovation Festival focused on the future of gamification and three key ways gamification will help improve employee performance in every industry. Read on.

1. Relevancy is King

Gamification has traveled around the hype circle— the life stages of a new technology: first the intense excitement, then a mass jump on the new bandwagon, followed by a precipitous fall in popularity, and ending with a few sticking with the tech. But despite the cycle around the circle, Harr and Deloitte firmly believe gamification is here to stay.

Why? When gamification is used correctly and relevantly, the principles can truly motivate and help people. Harr used fitness apps as an example of great gamification in action:

“A fitness app engages people, gives relevant information, helps you set relative goals, and gives feedback over a long period of time. This is relevant,” Harr said. “That’s useful.”

Giving people badges for everything is out – relevant gamification that actually engages people and makes them want to improve is in.

2. AR and VR

Emerging technologies are primed for this,” Harr said in his talk. He points to Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality as two prime opportunities for gamification to be used in the future to improve performance in the workplace.

“By immersing someone in an environment – gamifying that environment will engage them. Then if we flash forward to AR, to layering information on a real world object, the possibilities for gamification are huge.”

By incorporating gamification principles in an accessible way into the AR and VR landscape, in instances like employee training or for team building, users will learn to solve conceptual challenges, persist past failure, and boost confidence in a fun, exciting way. The result? Improved employee performance in the workplace.

3. Provide Useful Info for Long-Term Gains

Deloitte believes gamification can be used in the future to not only motivate employees, but to also provide them with useful information that can improve  their daily, monthly, and yearly performance. For example, a chain restaurant could create a gamified app tied to their point of sale system. The app would provide all employees continually updated information about specials sold, leaders in turning tables, or focus on any other goals a particular chain wanted to push that day.

This information would provide a short-term motivational kick in the pants, sure. But maybe even more importantly this information would provide relevant info, over a long period of time, to let an employee know they’re operating in this particular ecosystem. In the future, an employee could take this information, notice any positive or negative trends, and make changes to continually improve over time.

Watch highlights from Cary's talk at the 2017 Propelify Innovation Festival:

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