What is gamification? In the simplest terms, it refers to using the concepts behind game design to transform otherwise ordinary tasks into fun, inspiring competitions. Nike+ FuelBand uses it to engage users into tracking calorie-burning, and FourSquare uses it to motivate groups of friends to compete with one another to discover the best new hangouts.

With internal communications, gamification can be an effective approach to recruitment, training, and employee engagement. As one example, Hilton Worldwide’s transformation of their print-based Catch Me at My Best peer recognition program to a digital platform shows how gamification can promote corporate culture on a global scale.

Catch Me at My Best® is a seasonal program encouraging hotel guests and peers to recognize Team Members for great service using comment cards called “catches.” When Hilton Worldwide noticed that Team Member enthusiasm and property performance scores were both increasing, they turned to RSW to rollout a global implementation to more than 3,000 properties in over 75 countries in nine languages for 10 different brands.

Gamifying Catch Me at My Best included:

  • An online dashboard for managers that tracks catches made and received, establishes and tracks goals, and gives them rankings across their brands.
  • A leaderboard that places hotels into a global hierarchy.
  • A story wall that gives managers access to catches from across the globe and provides ideas for their own teams.
  • The story wall also helps foster friendly competition across departments, regions, and even countries.
  • Within their own hotel brands, managers can view top hotels and top Team Members, as well as real-time results as catches accumulate.
  • Running tallies of the total number of catches and total number of Team Members caught also helps establish pride within the entire company as managers get a sense of the breadth of talent throughout the organization.
  • Finally, managers can print out reports as customized posters they can post in Team Member areas. This inspires and builds momentum in their teams.

The results from this effort have been tremendous. Currently, there’s more than 90% participation from over 4,100 hotels. In fact, almost immediately after the launch, one of Hilton Worldwide’s individual hotel brands expressed interest in creating the same sort of buzz for one of their proprietary programs.