Say Yes to Gamification

In Technology by Meghan M. Biro3 Comments

Gamification is proving to be an effective tactic to help motivate employees and increase engagement. A dedicated workforce can be your greatest asset and — whether it’s because of lower employee turnover or increased productivity. That’s why
employers are often looking for innovative ways to improve their workplace culture, and some are even adding fun gaming elements to help stimulate their employees.

Think about our culture in general—we wear fitness trackers to motivate ourselves to move more. Many of us jumped on the “Pokemon Go” Craze this past year. We love logging on and tracking all sorts of progress on a digital screen to enjoy small, personal victories. So why shouldn’t the workplace capitalize on that mindset?

Who is using gamification? Companies like Nike, Codecademy, Duolingo, Mint Money Manager, and Starbucks, among others. Many more reputable organizations will implement it in 2017. Will yours be next? Here’s a look at why companies are looking to take their staffs to the next level with solutions that utilize gaming elements.

It gives employees a chance to “level up.” If there’s one thing that resonates with today’s generation of workers, it’s getting feedback and personalized attention about their contributions. A gamification app does this in real-time by tracking performance, sometimes awarding badges or giving employees pings and reminders when they’re close to a goal.

It helps them earn a high score. In this case, the “score” is the success of the company as a whole. Adding a gaming element to departmental projects can help workers understand how and why their contributions add up and in what ways they are impacting the team. Getting on board with gamification can help facilitate team-building by rewarding points for collaboration and encouraging workers to communicate new ideas. When implemented within an employee training programs, games can also motivate your teams to keep their skills updated.

It taps into our competitive nature. This is where companies need to tread lightly since the last thing you want is to turn a gaming application into a cutthroat war between staffers. However, friendly competition with fun rewards (like a free lunch for the highest performing team) or even acknowledging personal records, like someone’s best sales month, can boost confidence and build camaraderie.

It appeals to the digital generation. Millennials are all about being in control of their career destinies and understanding the outcomes of their efforts. Gamification can offer more of a personalized work experience for them. One example, as HRCloud points out, is Deloitte’s “Mass Career Customization” program, which allows employees to pick and choose their work preferences. Another company, Valve, uses a gaming platform to let employees select the projects on which they want to work. For younger workers, gamification provides the instant gratification they so crave but is often missing in a more traditional corporate structure.

It helps avoid “game over” scenarios. Gamification helps generate insights that HR departments can use to get inside the heads of their workforce. In other words, it’s a form of workforce intelligence gathering, in which employee performance is monitored so that potential pitfalls can be red-flagged and exceptional work doesn’t go unnoticed. When workers feel like their company is doing all it can to support their career growth, they are more likely to stay put.

It helps your employer brand. Not only can gamification help your teams internally, but it can also encourage satisfied staffers to become brand ambassadors. This can help with recruiting efforts and serves to demonstrate that your company culture is hip and modern—and that it puts employees first.

Gamification may not solve every workplace challenge, but it can give employees something new to be excited about. And only good things happen when your team is engaged and striving for a higher success score.

Photo Credit: jurvetson Flickr via Compfight cc

Meghan M. Biro is a globally recognized Talent Management and HR Tech brand strategist, analyst, digital catalyst, author and speaker. As founder and CEO of TalentCulture and Founder of #WorkTrends, she has worked with hundreds of companies, from early-stage ventures to global brands like Microsoft, IBM and Google, helping them recruit and empower stellar talent. Meghan has been a guest on numerous radio shows and online forums, and has been a featured speaker at global conferences. She is a regular contributor at Forbes, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur and several other media outlets. Meghan regularly serves on advisory boards for leading HR and technology brands. Meghan has been voted one of the Top 100 Social Media Power Influencers in 2015 by StatSocial and Forbes, Top 50 Most Valuable Social Media Influencers by General Sentiment, Top 100 on Twitter Business, Leadership, and Tech by Huffington Post, and Top 25 HR Trendsetters by HR Examiner.