Incentives are used to motivate individuals to perform specific tasks in exchange for a reward. In a very practical scenario, we can use a car seller. His objective is to sell 100 cars in one month for an extra amount of money on his paycheck.
Gamification works with rewarding as one of the tools for motivation. You complete a specific objective in a goal-minded game and win a reward. The big difference between incentives and gamification is the type of motivation that each tool provides you.
Let’s take a closer look at the types of motivations and their differences.
There are six variations of Motivation divided into two categories: Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Motivation.
Extrinsic motivation happens when we are motivated to achieve a goal or engage in a particular behavior to get a reward or to avoid an unwanted ending.
Take a look at some examples :
- A student studies hard to avoid his parent’s punishment.
- A student studies hard to get a gift from their parents.
Extrinsic motivation is any behavior that is the result of a possible reward or to avoid an undesirable outcome.
Intrinsic motivation involves engaging in a behavior because it is personally rewarding; essentially, performing an activity for its own sake rather than the desire for some external reward. Let’s look at some examples :
- Playing a video game because you enjoy the challenge.
- Participating in a sport because you find the activity enjoyable.
Intrinsic motivation involves engaging in behavior without any specific reward or punishment as the outcome.
The most significant difference between Incentives and gamification is that an incentive, although it generates motivation, it is only momentary. You feel motivated to achieve an objective until you reach it. Its boosts your engagement temporarily, it doesn’t turn you into an engaged person.
Gamification on the other end is a combination of both types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. It rewards you for reaching a goal or an objective with game elements and mechanics. It provides you the right challenge, making you want to play to outperform yourself and others. Just for the sake of it. This is the main advantage of gamification and incentive – the motivation given by gamification is a perfect mixture of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
This is why more and more companies use gamification as a resource, instead of the classical incentive programs.
Incentives create the wrong kind of motivation, the wrong type of engagement – gamification engages people, turning them into motivated employees, enhancing performance and changing the way people use the work environment.