Gamifying cannabis cultivation and processing increases worker engagement through challenges and rewards.
Gamification is a technique that uses gameplay to enhance team member engagement in a cannabis cultivation or processing facility. With components such as storylines, challenges, rewards, and analytics, gamification is a strategy for varied cannabis industry training needs.
We all remember playing trivia games in elementary school. Classmates would face off, answer questions, and rack up points until there was an ultimate winner.
It was plenty of fun and a nice break from the typical lectures and lessons. In fact, it was often so thrilling that we completely forgot we were exercising our knowledge of a specific subject and actually learning. In our minds, we were simply playing a game—and soundly defeating our friends in the process.
That same concept has made its way into the world of work and careers. Managers across industries are incorporating gamification to drive engagement, improve performance, and help team members level up. Cannabis industry leaders have even begun to implement gamification in grow facility and processing settings, using the approach as a cheat code to ensure employees are well-versed in all aspects of cultivation and processing.
In this blog, we’ll flip open the gamification strategy book and find out how this relatively new phenomenon has grown in the adult-use cannabis industry.
What Is Gamification?
The term gamification was coined in 2002 by Nick Pelling, a British-born computer programmer and so-called Father of Gamification, who said, “the underlying idea of gamification [is] making hard things easy, expressive, near-effortless to use.”
People want to socialize. Beyond that, they want to learn something new, master that new thing, compete against others, and achieve greatness. While we may not be consciously aware of it, those are the things we want. Gamification in the workplace satisfies those wants while helping us complete otherwise mundane tasks.
Gamification can add layers of game theory and design to any task. The idea is to take what makes gameplay fun—overcoming challenges, solving problems, and earning rewards—and apply those factors to other tasks as a means of motivation and education.
How Does Gamification Work?
Gaming has played a major role in modern lifestyle since the late 1970s, when the golden age of video games sparked a period of rapid growth, technological advancement, and cultural influence.
From arcades to home consoles, games were suddenly everywhere. This has continued since the internet took over, with gamers inhabiting entire communities of like-minded players. In fact, the ubiquitousness of titles such as Candy Crush and Minecraft illustrates the popularity of gameplay in society.
Board games, trivia games, and video games were all created to captivate and entertain players. It’s not unusual for gamers to become fully immersed in gameplay, striving to achieve new benchmarks as often as possible.
Not to get too science-y, but games have also been linked to our brains producing high levels of the feel-good chemical dopamine.
Games with points, leader boards, and trophies encourage player investment. The wider gamification method implements these same reward features in both learning and work environments.
In order to truly make an impact in a work environment, gamification must include game mechanics, such as:
- Goals: Participants work toward a specific objective and receive rewards when they reach that objective.
- Status: Players work to achieve new levels through various modules to gain a higher standing among peers.
- Community: Colleagues form teams to achieve goals, raising camaraderie and morale.
- Education: Team members gain knowledge while navigating gameplay.
- Rewards: Points are accumulated and badges are earned. This fuels motivation and sparks feelings of accomplishment.
But what role can gamification play in a manufacturing setting? And more specifically, how does this method fit into cannabis cultivation and processing?
How Does Gamification Fit Into Cannabis Cultivation?
As state regulations continue to favor legalization, the facility design of cannabis companies looks more and more like other mainstream industries.
For example, very little separates the typical cannabis processing facility from packaged food facilities. There’s heavy-duty equipment and machinery performing a host of tasks—some automated, some operating by more than one individual.
As such, gamification fits into cannabis cultivation and processing the same way it fits into other manufacturing and packaging industries. For cannabis companies that add interactive, gamified elements to their facility processes, there are significant benefits:
1. Gamification creates a better learning environment
Cannabis industry team members who are more engaged in their work experience a higher level of recall and retention. Gamifying tasks in your cannabis cultivation facility injects fun into the process, which jolts the brain into remembering key steps in the operation. A fun learning environment is a better learning environment!
2. Gamified processes provide instant feedback
With gamification, learning is immediately reinforced. Friendly competition between workers to climb the leaderboard inevitably ends with one winner, but the instant feedback second- and third-place workers receive shows them what adjustments are necessary to come out on top the next time around.
3. Team members will excel at their assigned tasks
A gamified work environment doesn’t merely award points, badges, and a higher position on the leaderboard—it also makes each individual better at their job. Repeated gameplay can also help flush out bad habits, making behavioral change in the workplace possible.
4. Multiple generations are drawn to gamification
Whether your team members are Gen Xers who grew up with Nintendo and Sega or Gen Zers who can’t get enough Fortnite, gamifying cannabis cultivation and processes appeals to multiple generations.
5. Gamification boost your bottom line
Elements that increase productivity, efficiency, and the overall quality of production will positively affect your bottom line. The cannabis industry as a whole stands to rake in significant gains by gamifying processes. But the benefits of gamification are not limited to the cultivation and processing end of the spectrum.
Let’s look at how gamification can power up consumer engagement with cannabis brands.
Consumer-Facing Gamification in Cannabis
As the cannabis market grows and expands, upstart companies are adding interactive, gamified elements to their product offerings. These consumer-facing gamified elements increase engagement by adding entertainment value and a sense of playfulness to cannabis products. Cannabis products are skyrocketing in popularity, particularly among Generation Z—digital natives who want interactive, entertaining elements in the products they purchase.
In response to the consumer desire for gamified entertainment, cannabis brands are dialing up the interactive components of their products and business models. Here are a few of the most noteworthy gamified cannabis branding ideas from established adult-use cannabis companies.
Wana Brands Adds AR Experience to Cannabis Products
Colorado-based Wana Brands forged a collaboration with August Allen, a specialized augmented reality (AR) development company, to launch a new type of packaging for its next cannabis gummy line—dubbed Wana Spectrum AR.
Featuring web-based augmented reality (WebAR) experiences, the cannabis gummy packages allow users to interact with the gummies in a virtual world. After scanning a QR code found on the packages, users will be able to view floating Wana Brands gummies in their real-world surroundings through the phone. Users can then tap the virtual gummies and collect them in a gamified experience. In addition to this game, users can see product details, view YouTube videos, and receive information surrounding the brand’s upcoming projects.
Cannabis Brand and Pizzeria Cook Up The Ultimate Partnership
The world’s most famous power couple got gamified last year as cannabis retailer Superette and pizza shop Maker Pizza joined forces to mark National Pizza Day. The giveaway event, hosted on social media by both Toronto-based brands, granted winners free pizza for the next year.
In order to enter, contestants had to like the Superette x Maker announcement and post and tag their go-to pizza compadre in the comments. To qualify, pizza and cannabis lovers also had to follow Superette Shop and Maker Pizza on Instagram. This type of marketing gamification is accessible for brands big and small, since practically everyone has an Instagram account, especially the types of consumers targeted by cannabis brands!
Time Machine Cannabis Brand Courts Gamer Culture
Sourced from Pacific Stone’s family of California farms, Time Machine offers greenhouse-grown hydroponic flower. The fledgling company’s packaging furthers the brand’s values with interactive, graphic novel-themed packaging that immerses consumers into a fantastic tale about an ancient plant. This ode to gamers comes in the form of QR codes printed on the product’s packaging.
Time Machine’s gamified experience is the perfect demonstration of the advantages inherent in deploying custom packaging. A gamified package helps you control the narrative of your product, gearing consumers toward even more opportunities to make purchases across the vast multi-verse of cannabis products in your stash.
Now, back to the gamification of operations-based cannabis equipment….
How Green Vault Systems Built In Gamification
Green Vault Systems’ cannabis processing equipment was conceived and constructed with the possibility of gamification intuitively built into the machinery. For example, the Green Vault Systems Precision Batcher allows two operators to perform tasks with the equipment simultaneously, flawlessly weighing and packaging cannabis flower without damaging the delicate trichomes and other precious elements.
The Precision Batcher serves as a central hub for this gamification initiative, with teams potentially working together to ensure the ultimate success of the batch. By tracking and measuring key performance indicators, such as the accuracy of feed and the speed of the team, Green Vault Systems has created a measurable and trackable system that encourages employees to work together and strive for excellence.
With this approach, employees are motivated to improve their performance and productivity, leading to higher-quality products and increased profitability.
The Precision Batcher and our other purpose-built cannabis equipment bring an all-new dimension to your processing and packaging operations. Let’s talk about outfitting your facility today!