Gamification has increasingly become concept implemented in the workplace nowadays. Investopedia defines it as the action to incentivize people’s engagement in non-game contexts using game mechanics. The concept of gamification leverages people’s natural tendencies for competition, achievement, collaboration and charity.

This scheme is more than just a concept. It is has market share today. The gamification market will grow from $421 million to $5.5 billion by the year 2018. In addition, companies that invest gamification have more highly engaged workers that grew revenues two and a half times.

When companies invest in gamification, or in a recognition program experience 44 percent in employee performance. By gamifying the workplace the company will see greater retention, collaboration, motivation, and a sense of community.

In the next sections will cover in more detail the applications of gamification in the workplace and how they are improving workplace environments.

Making an employee-driven organization with gamified environment

The gamification process is more than just about integrating gaming elements into the workplace. It is about enhancing the work experience and really driving up the confidence of employees.

Gamification cannot be done effectively without cementing a strong company culture around a product or service. Second, the company has to have strong leadership in order to execute an effective gamification program.

According to an article about employee motivation by Australian company Corporate Prepaid Gift Cards, here are three ways to boost performance at the workplace:

  1. employees want to feel appreciated for the work they do. i.e. Public acknowledgements inside the company at meetings, or in official blog posts on the company blog, or on the social media channels of the company.
  2. employees want to feel that they are part of the organization. i.e. They will often identify with the company mission and jump in to show support, if given the opportunity.
  3. their personal needs are taken into consideration. i.e. Paid medical leave or bereavement leave, parental or short-term disability leave. Increasingly more companies such as Facebook and Mastercard are expanding the “employees’ time to mourn”, for example.

We know an organization or a business cannot survive if it does not recognize the work performed by members of a team. This leads to turnover and performance issues. So, ensure that the management team is recognizing the effort on a regular, and consistent basis.

Elsewhere, human beings we need to feel part of a greater mission and a purpose. This is also true for getting employees involved in other affairs besides work. Of course you want them to be involved in other projects once they have demonstrated an interest in what the company does, and worked enough time with the organization.

When taking into account the personal needs of employees it means acknowledging their personal matters outside the workplace. This does not necessarily mean giving them leeway by any means. It is another way of connecting with your staff and understanding they have living situations that are different from one person to the next.

When you personalize how you treat your employees and make the interactions unique to their situations the rapport improves for all the members of a company or organization.

Putting up an appearance and treating them in a superficial manner will yield an environment that is fake and unproductive. You want everyone to a certain degree be sincere, cordial and professional at the workplace. All of this creates a strong company culture with staff that is comfortable around each other.

Getting the principles of gamification right

Once your company understands gamification and how it fits into the organization you can move into the implementation stage. So, how do you get gamification right from the beginning? The following infographic explains the intricacies:

The section of interest is the one after the “Impact of Gamification”. It outlines these following steps:

  • Take a long-term view
  • Identify goals and metrics
  • Gamification is not about making games
  • Use behavioral analytics
  • Gamification does not work in silos

When gamification is developed or rolled out into the organization it has to be conceived for the long-term. It should be more than just a mundane initiative to try to keep staff engaged. Gamification should be created around organization specific goals and variables (culture, employee demographics and technology integration).

The more specific the goals and metrics are the better the gamification platform will work to perfection. Use key performance indicators to see the areas that need improvement and offer perks to everyone irrespective of the targeted goals.

You do not want gamification to be a distraction. You want it to be inserted into existing processes or specific departments of the company. When you do this you have to think about the goals and how a gamification scheme fits naturally into the process.

If you implement gamification in operations, marketing, manufacturing or human resources, how will you do it? One size fits it all approach will not work. You have to look at the department goals and use an element of gamification that makes sense within the context of the department of an organization.

When you utilize behavioral analytics you will identify the intrinsic motivations for your employees. Once you know what peaks their interest you can introduce game elements that are relevant to them. Having this information on hand is a powerful tool and will help with the growth of your staff in the long-term.

Finally, gamification does not work in silos. This means a mindset within certain organizations where a department does not wish to share information with others, and should be integrated into the enterprise architecture.

In the context of gamification, sharing information within all levels of an organization helps build connections between employees. Furthermore, it helps build trust within the entire institution.

Takeaways and conclusions

Overall, gamification is a valuable concept that is applicable from organizations in the private sector to organizations in the public sector. What is important is how gamification fits into the organization’s goals.

Additionally, Learningsolutionsmag.com points out powerful gains from this process:

  • Gamification satisfies fundamental human desires
  • It bolsters a sense of community
  • Gamification forges an emotional connection
  • gamification relieves cognitive overload
  • Individuals will keep playing

Gamification taps into human desires and unleashes the potential of employees within the workplace environment. It organically builds a sense of community because people within a business or entity have to learn to get along with others by excluding the workplace context.

Emotions at the end of the day are what drives your employees. When you have a gamification platform with a powerful and relevant narrative it will attract employees to try it out. Make sure the concept of your game is original and fits to your organization’s goals.

Employees are going to be burned out at some point in time, so gamification helps see work tasks in a more engaging way. And in the long run it is possible your staff will keep playing the gamification game and as longs as they are looked after too.

Image Source: Cognizant

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