GamEffective aims to change gamification by making people work smarter, not harder

(c)iStock.com/Sasa Komlen

Gamification has long been seen as a method for improving enterprise productivity. Yet if anything has been learned over the past few years, it’s that it can’t just be tacked onto projects on its own.

GamEffective, an Israel-based software provider, aims to combine gamification and e-learning with its new release, gLearn. The product enables learning materials to be delivered to users in ‘micro-chunks’ based on how employees are performing, and allows companies to create learning materials and personalise learning, as well as tying it all to performance and measuring it.

“We noticed that almost all of our gamification deployments have a strong component of e-learning in them,” Gal Rimon, CEO of GamEffective, told Enterprise AppsTech in an email. “Companies liked it because they were facing difficulties in engaging employees with knowledge and ensuring that they know their jobs well. Employees were also quick to engage with learning – especially if it is fun – since they know that ‘learning is earning’ and because it made work more interesting to them.”

The system for gLearn is based on what GamEffective calls a ‘science-based understating of the human operating system’. Rimon explained that the ‘human operating system’ is more around human motivation than anything else, particularly the works of Dan Ariely, author of ‘Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations’ among others.

“Human motivation is what drives us to work and to learn, [and] is what stands behind the satisfaction we feel at a job well done,” said Rimon. “We’re learning about it from science – we know what creates intrinsic motivation that is long lasting, we know what types of learning are more memorable and which learning is more engaging.

“At GamEffective we tie that into a theory of what motivates employees and apply it through our software – so we’re not talking about gamification as a game veneer at work; we’re really talking about what’s known to drive people to do their best.”

The company secured funding of $7 million (£5.2m) back in June to develop its sales, marketing, and research efforts. While the company had been planning gLearn for some time so the funding did not directly influence it, Rimon notes the good customer feedback so far. “Customers are happy with the content creation possibilities and the ability to use gLearn as an add-on to their current learning management systems – or a replacement,” he explained. “This means they can get more engagement on their existing learning materials.

“We’re awed by the fact that large companies are buying into the vision,” added Rimon. “They want to better communicate performance goals, personalise them and drive people to engage with them, with the same applying to their e-learning goals.”

Back in 2015, Peter Rogers, principal architect at Cognizant, wrote in the Mobile Enterprise Strategies blog about the problems with gamification. “Imagine a video game where the objective was to complete your timesheet and it had the most amazing reward system ever,” Rogers wrote. “Every time you played the ‘Timesheet 2000’ arcade game you were able to enter your timesheet score in a global leaderboard where the top 10 people in the world were invited to a televised timesheet multiplayer event.

“Would I now enjoy entering my timesheet every month? No, I categorically would not.”

Rimon agrees to an extent, but notes that gamification ultimately needs to revolve around giving meaning to work, rather than pushing people to work more. “It’s true that gamification can’t be lipstick applied to rote work, but in reality we’re seeing a huge move towards work re-design, to make work tasks more streamlined and engaging,” he said. “It really is like a fitness tracker for work – tying your personal goals in your quest to do better. With gLearn we’ve added something like a gamified learning app to drive you to know more.” 

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