Just imagine that your mission was to help bakers with their business all over the world. In all bakeries, on all fronts. However unachievable such an ambition may appear, Gamification can bring it a little closer. This blog gives you a glimpse behind the scenes of Bakman.
Gamification is a powerful method for achieving behavioural change. By introducing gaming elements into the workplace, you can stimulate people to do new things – repeatedly, and for as long as it takes to master the task. It’s no wonder that an increasing number of organisations are discovering how effective a game can be in the workplace. And we’re only at the beginning of what Gamification can achieve. Within the world of consultancy, we still have a lot to learn. For instance, a supplier of raw materials to bakeries recently knocked at our door to ask how they could actively reach out to further their mission. Their ambition was very clear: they wanted to help bakery organisations in the Netherlands and the rest of the world with their business.
It turned out that learning how to be better at selling was an important issue for the participating bakery organisations. They wanted their staff to not only take the correct payment for the white crusty-topped loaf that the customer had requested, but also to tempt the customer to try an additional product. Or for the staff to deliberately position certain products in a different place on the counter – for example, because the cream slices were on special offer.
To keep a long story short, we worked with the client to come up with a game that we called Bakman. This online game can be offered to bakery organisations along with the promise that stores will perform better when they play it. We’re talking about direct goals such as increased sales, enhanced customer loyalty, a greater sense of team spirit, knowledge enrichment and learning from one another. As well as containing all these elements, Bakman challenges bakery staff to make more of their capabilities.
Missions, tasks and a whole lot of fun
The Bakman game consists of missions and tasks for which individual participants and teams can win points, badges and a position on a leader board.
To give you an idea of what’s involved, the teams have to post a photo of the counter every day. This stimulates them to keep the counter looking neat and tidy, and to organise the display in the agreed way. There’s also a knowledge quiz that you can repeat as many times as you like until you score 100%. Posting a selfie with a happy customer gives you extra points, and so does sharing your successful strategy to bring in new customers. There are also points to be earned by setting – and reaching – team goals.
It’s important to have fun playing the game, because it’s good for team spirit and it motivates you to keep playing. This is why not every Bakman task is equally serious, although of course the underlying concept certainly is. The game also continually challenges members of staff to look at and assess each other’s contribution. In this way, we stimulate people to compete among one another at the same time as learning from and inspiring each other.
Do games like this really work?
Yes, they do. During the pilot phase, it became clear that the participating teams achieved an 80% higher score on all indices: improved team performance, better collaboration, enjoyment of the game, and greater pleasure in work. We also saw a noticeable result in terms of hard data: the participating teams chose ‘increasing the sale of muffins’ as their goal in the game, and they sold 142% more than they usually did.
Games as a source of management information
Although it’s not the primary goal of Gamification, a game such as Bakman also gives you insights into how things are actually happening on the shop floor. You can see which teams are really putting all their efforts into the game, which team leaders are the most active and creative, and which concrete results the shops manage to achieve. If you know how to unlock this data bank, Gamification can also provide you with a wealth of management information.
As I’ve already mentioned, at House of Performance we are learning more about the potential of Gamification every day. It has proven to be a good tool for supporting clients on their own shop floor and helping them to improve their performance. What’s more, it’s not only more efficient, but also far cheaper than organising on-the-job training sessions.
Would you like to get an idea of what Gamification could do for your own mission? Read our case study about Gamification in the Performance Cup, a competition lasting 12-16 weeks consisting of short contests linked to relevant themes in the workplace.