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Gamification Blog

Gamification news, tactics, case studies and more. The official blog of Bunchball.

Beyond The Hype: IBM Proves Real-World Value Of Gamification

Dr. Prabu Ayyagari


At first it may seem counterintuitive, but the truth is, too much hype and too much buzz can put even the best new business solutions at risk. After all, it’s difficult for innovation of any kind to live up to accelerated expectations once terms like “silver bullet,” “supercharged” or (my personal favorite) “secret sauce” become part of the mix.

But part of my job as a business development executive at IBM is to be able to distinguish hyperbole from reality, and over the years, I’ve been able to establish a rather straightforward litmus test.

So, how do I differentiate between a passing fad and technology with genuine staying power? It’s easy. I start by asking this:

Can this new technology offer true business value?

And from my perspective, when it comes to gamification, the answer to that question is a resounding “Yes.” Here’s one of the reasons I think so:

Want To Motivate Hourly Employees? Answer These Three Questions

Erika Blaney


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a whopping 75.3 million US workers are paid by the hour. That amounts to 59 percent of the American workforce –or nearly three out of every five wage and salary earners in the country.

Unfortunately, though, many employers find hourly workers difficult to engage, motivate and retain. Why? Because most wage earners don’t aspire to “climb the corporate ladder.” Many work only part-time. Few have opportunities for bonuses or promotions. As a result, companies are left struggling with less-than-optimized workforces and high turnover rates –which can drain resources, tarnish reputations and create a variety of other problems.

Is there anything that can help turn the tide? Is it possible to improve productivity, loyalty and overall job satisfaction among hourly workers? Absolutely! At Bunchball, we’ve seen again and again that integrating gamification into the work environment can enhance efficiencies, reduce churn and even drive innovation. For instance:

Gamification and Big Data as Business Drivers

Rajat Paharia


More than a distraction

Many people just hear “game” when they hear the word “gamification,” and misinterpret it as a distraction or unproductive workforce entertainment. But smart media coverage, and industry events like Dreamforce 2013, has started to focus heavily on some of the chief principles of gamification, including employee engagement and loyalty. Key takeaway from these articles and events: “gamification” has officially arrived as a secret weapon for the successful business. 

In 2008, Harvard Business Review OnPoint published an article titled, Putting the Service-Profit Chain to Work that clearly articulates the value of employee engagement. Key points, adapted slightly here, include: 

'Tis The Season: Gamification Trends To Watch in 2014

Dan Katz


With the Holidays sneaking up, the tradeshow/conference season is (thankfully) winding down.  Looking back, the highlight for me was definitely JiveWorld, Jive Software’s annual customer conference.  This past October, the show was particularly strong, with a great venue, strong keynotes, excellent networking opportunities and a targeted focus on customer stories.

Looking ahead to 2014, here are three themes that emerged at JiveWorld 2013, which I plan on watching closely in the New Year.

May Cartoon Stars Shoot From Your Eyeballs

Molly Kittle


There are kudos, and then there are bombastic, cartoon-stars-shooting-out-of-your-eyeballs kudos. The kind of kudos that put your career on a completely new trajectory because you’ve done something spectacular and unforgettable to benefit your company’s bottom line.

Think that kind of stuff doesn’t happen? Read on.

Take This Job and Love It

Erika Blaney


By Erika Blaney, Vice President, Marketing

About 100 million people hold full-time jobs in the United States, but only 30 million of those employees say they are engaged in their work.

This is not a reassuring statistic. In fact, to anyone responsible for the bottom line, top line, or any line in between, it is terrifying.

Guest Post: 4 Ways to Make Employee Learning Memorable

Jason Silberman


The purpose of any corporate training strategy is to help employees achieve the knowledge and the set of skills they will need in the long run. However, it must be mentioned that for the best results, the training has to be memorable and effective - one of the biggest mistakes many large organizations tend to make nowadays is that they put emphasis on the financial aspect of training, rather than focusing on making the training as memorable and as effective as possible. Only this way the employees can make good use of what they have learned. Having said that, here are 4 efficient ways to make employee learning hard to forget: 

Trivializing New Technologies Can be a Costly Mistake

Rajat Paharia


I'm in the process of banning the use of the following three terms from virtually all of our Bunchball materials: Badges, points and leaderboards. 

Why? Because, while they are an important part of the mechanics involved in gamification, they can act as a detriment to the general understanding of the breadth, depth and the overall value of a gamification solution. 

How many times have I seen people become totally fixated on these terms, when their focus should remain squarely on the business drivers and business benefits of gamification? 


From SAP, A Lesson on Engaging a Community

Erika Blaney


When it comes to online communities, 2004 was a lifetime ago.  Back then, Facebook was still known as The Facebook and was just busting out beyond Harvard.

It was into this primordial soup that software giant SAP dropped a new online community for its developers.  Within a year, the community had 100,000 members. To keep them engaged, SAP added a simple gamification mechanism – points – to recognize and reward member contributions and participation.  It was one of the earliest examples of gamification – all of it developed internally, and all serving as a kind of laboratory for those who want to build engagement and collaboration through gamification.

Guest Post: Gamification for the Agent—and for Contact Center Success

Natasha Oxenburgh


Nearly 90% of CEOs cite customer engagement as their primary initiative in the next five years, yet most businesses capture only a fraction of their opportunities for customer engagement. While the entire company must be enabled to deliver on customer engagement, customer service and support is tasked with the all-important front-line customer interaction and problem solving.

I’m a big believer that customer engagement begins with employee engagement. What does that mean when you bring that concept down to the contact center? It means that the catalyst is agent engagement, which can be achieve with the right knowledge, technology and processes, and with the right motivation.

There are different ways to approach the ‘motivation’ piece. And since Gartner estimates that more than 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application by 2014, I am focusing today’s blog on three specific ways to motivateyour agent workforce through game mechanics: