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How gamification can boost user adoption
Tags: Human Factors  services  Business Factors  business relevance  usability  gamification  Quiz  ROI  business impact  user experience  collaboration  CISCO  educational resource  online resources 
Every year, million euros go wasted on un-adopted information systems and tech. We’ve previously seen that the implementation of a new IT solution or the launch of a successful ERP project depends more on human factors rather than on its technical features. Indeed, what good is your technology if nobody is using it? User adoption is one of the key elements here. If you’ve never thought of using gamification and collaboration tactics to increase employee adoption rate and ROI, here’s why and how to do it.
High adoption is the key

Because the days when boards approved new IT projects without blinking an eye are long gone by, CTO had better secure serious Return on Investment (ROI) to keep their job and their company’s books in order. That mostly translates as a high adoption rate: Basically, the more employees use the technology, the easier it gets for IT managers to justify their spending.

Achieving high adoption rate is somewhat of a complex process involving multiple factors, ranging from prior knowledge and personal attitude to effective managing. Theorised in the 1989 , the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and its more recent upgrades (TAM 2 and 3), suggest that a number of internal factors and external variables influence users’ decision about how and when they will use the technology, notably its perceived ease-of-use (PEOU) and perceived usefulness (PU).

The active involvement of managers and their efforts in pushing the technology in front of the user community as well as monitoring the training phase and team’s progress are certainly essential. Adoption rate can also be increased with appropriate documentation to facilitate and enhance the learning process. However, what’s coming from the product’s manufacturer isn’t always adequate. A technology -no matter how great- that comes with a 400-page pdf manual tends to put off employees from using it and is likely to increase user resistance: A nightmare for IT managers and employees alike.
Games to the rescue

To address the issue, specialists have looked at a field that boasts a high engagement rate even without financial incentives: video games. How can enterprise software provide the same motivation for people as games do though? The strategy is to capitalise on humans’ fundamental needs for reward, status, achievement, competition and self-expression that get people to play video games and retain them.

This tactic known as “gamification” is described in psychology as “[applying] the mechanics of gaming to non-game activities to change people’s behaviour. When used in a business context, gamification is the process of integrating game dynamics (and new game mechanics) into a website, business service, online community, or marketing campaign in order to drive participation and engagement ¹”.

Tactics involving game mechanics usually consist of points, virtual reward badges, levels, challenges and ranking boards, as well as virtual goods and spaces in the most advanced cases. Creating playful competition between employees as part of a team acts as an incentive system to engage with the technology further. Moreover, it also bolsters collaboration and communication among employees, even when they’re spread in different offices across the world.
The business value of gamification

Successful examples and case studies show gamification’s positive effects on engagement metrics, whether it concerns intranet, CRM or According to a German study on Gamification Effects on User Acceptance Constructs², “[…] gamification approach yields significant improvements in latent variables such as enjoyment, flow or perceived ease of use”. Overall, gamification is effective in influencing user behaviour to drive user engagement by helping employees to get accustomed to the new technology and to return more frequently.

With gamification improving collaboration for everyone and providing faster ROI for the company, it is no surprise that this tactic is accelerating in the business world. Interested? Then rejoice! Frink has developed Frink Collaboration Academy, a range of tools and services to implement game dynamics into your collaborative environment and get your employees engaged with the technology and eager to complete their goals.
Gamification as a tool to reach a high user adoption is available as a the Frink Collaboration Academy. For more information please get in touch here.
Editorial team: Manon Pierre, Claudia Kaefer


References:
¹ Bakker, A. B., & Demerouti, E. (2007). The Job Demand-Resource Model: State of the Art. Journal of Managerial Psychology 22:309–328.

² Herzig P., Strahringer S., Ameling, M. 92012). Gamification of ERP Systems - Exploring Gamification Effects on User Acceptance Constructs, Multikonferenz Wirtschaftsinformatik, http://bertzerspace.de/wordpress/MKWI_final_draft_sst.pdf
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