The basics: Understanding gamification as an engagement strategy
Healthy way to implement gamification is to focus first on the user experience. Participating to the “game” must be rewarding in itself and must trigger dopamine release in the user. If we look to the most popular games all of them offer extrinsic rewards as well. When gamification is applied especially to customer loyalty and to employee engagement it’s of course recommended to give some form of extrinsic rewards but the whole program will be sustainable and efficient only if the intrinsic rewards and intrinsic motivation exist in the respective gamification implementation.
How the Gamification Motivation Model works is explain very detailed in this article by Eugen Esanu.
So the take away for a good and sustainable gamification implementation is to think from the start of:
- Intrinsic rewards – make the game itself fun, the challenges and tasks, the user experience
- Extrinsic rewards – make a mix of monetary (make them aspirational) and non-monetary rewards (like recognition, badges)
- A balanced game economy (make it hard but not too hard to progress through the levels, get ranks, privileges and rewards)