Gamification Guru of the Year 2015 – the nominations

I’m delighted to announce the nominations for Gamification Guru of the Year are as follows:

  • Amy Jo Kim
  • An Coppens
  • Andrzej Marczewski
  • Gabe Zichermann
  • Gal Rimon
  • Jane McGonigal
  • Mario Herger
  • Michael Wu
  • Monica Cornetti
  • Victor Manrique
  • Yukai Chou

Gamification Guru of the year is awarded to the person who has contributed most to the field of Gamification during the past year, as voted for by the gamification community itself.

Please case your votes in writing to stating your affiliation by 2 November.

Please note – voting is restricted to individual members of affiliated groups as follows:

Votes will be weighted according to seniority. For example a high Gamification Guru October Score will weight your vote more highly, as will committee or former committee positions within GWM/GWC or GamFed. Each person may vote only once.

How to vote

Send an email specifying your affiliation and vote to

All votes are treated in the strictest confidence.

Voting opens 12:00 GMT 1 October 2015

Voting closes 12:00 GMT 2 November 2015

Result announced and awarded: 10-13 November 2015 at Gamification World Congress

This ballot will be run by Toby Beresford and will be overseen by the Gamification Gurus Stewardship committee. The decision of the Gurus committee is final.

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Toby Beresford

Toby is CEO of gamified performance management platform Rise. He was the 2013 founding chair of - the International Gamification Confederation and organises the UK Gamifiers meetup. As a gamification thought leader, he speaks at conferences and hosts workshops. Follow him on twitter @tobyberesford and Subscribe to this blog at Gamification Of Work blog feed

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Gamified Performance Management versus traditional Performance Management – 5 key differences

You can rapidly improve employee and business performance by adding a gamified performance management program on top of your existing performance processes.

That’s because gamified performance management is a complementary addition to existing HR tools rather than than a replacement.

I see 5 key differences between gamified performance management and traditional performance management:

1. Participation is optional

Employees choose to join gamified performance management programs because it will benefit them – they will get great feedback on the activities they see as leading to personal career success.

2. Rewards are non-financial

Any rewards given are non-financial – they cannot be converted to cash. E.g. digital high five for a job well done, enhanced status among peers or simply access to higher quality, regular and relevant feedback.

3. Social

While 360 degree reviews have gained in popularity, the fundamental HR appraisal still takes place between the employee and the company. In a gamified world, visible profiles, peer comparison and team performance take center stage. This brings opportunities for valuable social interaction and discussion of performance among colleagues.

4. Externally aware

Gamified performance management programs can recognise employee career goals that go beyond the current company. This means external metrics can be included and the program may even be run by a third party. For example the Rise Social Selling club provides sales professionals within comparative feedback on their social selling performance against both colleagues and those from outside the business.

5. Faster feedback

Gamified performance management programs offer digital, automated  feedback on an instant, daily, weekly or monthly basis. This leads to a faster feedback loop which in turn leads to more rapid performance improvement.

Toby Beresford

Toby is CEO of gamified performance management platform Rise. He was the 2013 founding chair of - the International Gamification Confederation and organises the UK Gamifiers meetup. As a gamification thought leader, he speaks at conferences and hosts workshops. Follow him on twitter @tobyberesford and Subscribe to this blog at Gamification Of Work blog feed

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Why Gamification Makes Onboarding More Effective

A guest post from Christopher Herbert at Technology Advice

Onboarding is more than just hiring people, and more than just increasing company output. Each new hire instantly becomes a participant in, and contributor to, company culture, and each new hire must become sufficiently engaged in their new job in order to reach peak productivity. If they fail to assimilate properly into the company culture, then every other employee will be affected, and you’re likely to eat the cost of hiring.


This is why gamification, and particularly employee engagement software, is best deployed early, during the onboarding process. If you fail to engage and interest a new employee, you’ll have a difficult time getting them to engage later. Remember, first impressions are everything. If you create a workplace environment that’s engaging from the beginning, then your new hires will carry that with them throughout their interactions within the company. But if you fail to establish a positive outlook from the start, it will be much more difficult to develop that mindset later on, and they will likely have left by then anyway.


Fortunately, you can apply gamification techniques to virtually any part of your onboarding process. The portions that gamification is particularly well suited to are culturalization, socialization, training, and new hire tasks.




If your company already partakes in competitive gamification techniques, such as a leaderboard, then injecting a new hire into that program can inspire them to catch up with their new co-workers in productivity. It will also give new employees an idea of what level of productivity is being achieved, which helps define their goals and expectations.


To get more co-workers directly involved in a new hire’s onboarding, organize team-based challenges that serve as introductions to your project management style. Such efforts provide incentive for seasoned employees to share tips and tricks.




If your company uses one of the many networking and social tools designed to increase employee interaction, then including a new hire in that network can help them feel like part of the office community.


Since these tools are designed to promote positive feedback, such as a virtual high-five for joining the company — or something more humorous like an award for surviving the first company lunch — any interaction should help the new hire form relationships with other employees.




The goal of training is to maximize retention, which is directly related to engagement. Companies with involved product categories or work methods can make the training more exciting by intertwining informational sessions (videos, tutorials, demonstrations, etc.) with quizzes and the opportunity to “level-up” while tracking their progress as they master various categories.


Spreading the training out over a longer period of time helps to keep the amount of information delivered at once to a minimum. Having smaller, more manageable bits of information increases retention, especially when you regularly revisit the material. Learning management systems can help you construct and distribute intricate curriculums. Instituting a badge or point system will guide a trainee through the materials, and, if the training is of high enough importance, you can implement performance based rewards to encourage higher engagement. New trainees will jump at the opportunity to show their capabilities and work ethic.


New Hire Tasks


The simplest way to gamify the onboarding process, and something many HR departments already implement, is to include a checklist of the tasks for a new hire when assimilating within the company. These could include getting their company photo taken, formatting their email signature, organizing their computer, etc. These tasks can be checked off a physical list, or done through an online project management tool. In order to add an element of fun to an otherwise boring checklist, consider making it a timed-challenge, rendering the tasks as a progress bar or unveiling a small reward at the end of the list.
All these factors of onboarding can be addressed with gamification either manually, or with full-blown employee engagement software. The cost of losing employees who struggle to reach peak productivity in your environment is too great not to consider ways to improve the onboarding of new hires.

Christopher Hebert

Christopher Hebert is a content writer at TechnologyAdvice. He covers gamification, project management, and business intelligence software. Connect with him on Google+.

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