Some people go through the motions every day just to get a paycheck. Others are lucky enough to enjoy their job roles. Even if your team is in the latter category, it’s still common for routine or workplace disruptions to make people unmotivated every now and then.
Thankfully, there’s a trend that has proven effective in getting people back on track. It’s efficient, it’s fun, and it helps employees look forward to getting their tasks done. We’re talking about gamification; and regardless of your industry, it may benefit you to look into what it entails and all the benefits it can bring to your business.
What is Gamification?
You’ve probably heard something about gamification over the past few years. The term gamification refers to implementing the competitive elements of gaming within non-game scenarios. For example, let’s say that you work at a publishing house and your team is striving to promote a book until it’s on the New York Times’ bestsellers list.
You can set up a points system where different types of promotional activities earn the team member X number of points. Whoever gets the most points can earn a prize, such as a gift card to a high-ends electronics store, an extra day of PTO, or anything else that may give them that extra push to want to win it.
Or let’s say you’re running a social media campaign. The team members who get the most engagement within a specific time period can earn a badge. Collect enough badges, and they also get some sort of reward—like an extra day off or bonus pay.
6 Benefits of Gamification
While on a superficial level gamification may seem like a practical way of injecting some fun into daily tasks, there are also several specifc benefits to using the practice, including:
Improved Employee Training
Whether it’s an onboarding process or continued education, there’s always a mix of interesting details and more mundane activities that could easily cause them to either lose attention or that they’ll forget quickly.
However, gamification elements can provide your employees with an incentive to pay closer attention or come up with ways to retain information long-term.
More Employee Engagement
Gamification can be a powerful tool for employee engagement and performance improvement. By incorporating elements of game-playing into work tasks, gamification can make even the most mundane tasks more fun and engaging. In turn, this will have a direct impact on employee satisfaction—which is as crucial for business as customer satisfaction.
As employees are more engaged in their work, they are more likely to complete more tasks than if they were unmotivated or bored by routine. The key is in structuring the gaming elements in a reasonable way that leaves room for flexibility (say, a team member is feeling unwell and needs a day off, or there are a lot of meetings within a day).
You want them to be excited about earning their points; not stressed out about it!
You can introduce gamification elements based on collaboration and team productivity. For example, in order to get a bonus or gift card, everyone on a team has to generate a specific number of points. Having individual incentives is useful; but adding the team element ups the ante — everyone wants to be part of a winning team!
Foster a Learning Environment
Every single industry goes through updates, continuing education courses, and new technologies. And while some individuals may look forward to learning all about them, others may find the change onerous — especially when they have to take the time to learn new things. Yet, the competitive nature of gamification can spark that enthusiasm to get those additional certifications sooner rather than later.
Greater Customer Satisfaction
By incorporating gamification into customer service, businesses can encourage customers to provide feedback and stay engaged with the company. You can incorporate it within your team (e.g. giving them points, badges, or including them on leaderboards) for every positive review they can get.
You can also implement them with your customers (e.g. by giving them points for every purchase they make from you, that they can later use for future purchases, such as how JetBlue allows travelers to use points from previous flights to book new flights).
How to Use Gamification for Employee Performance Improvement
Gamification is a great way to improve employee performance. By adding game-like elements to work tasks, you can increase engagement and motivation. Here are some tips for using gamification in the workplace:
Set Clear Goals
Employees should know what they need to do in order to succeed. Give them feedback along the way so they can see their progress.
Make It Fun
Add elements of competition and recognition to keep employees engaged. Get their feedback on what they would find most motivating, and strive to implement what they are asking for.
There are many gamification platforms and apps available that can make gamifying tasks easier. Look for one that’s user friendly and that integrates with your tech stack.
Think outside the box when it comes to adding game-like elements to work tasks. Nostalgia is great to get your teams excited, but look for current trends to add variety to the mix.
Gamification should be inclusive, so that all employees can participate and benefit from it. However, be mindful of those who aren’t motivated by games and ask what would work for them.
The purpose of any business is to serve their target audience and be profitable. But achieving those goals requires a committed team of people who actually enjoy their work and who would enjoy staying with your company long-term.
Looking for creative ways to keep them motivated is a good way to make them feel valued and gives them reasons to look forward to work.
Need help engaging employees? Reach out to us today to get started!