HR Puts Gamification to Work
There’s a lot of buzz about gamification these days, particularly in terms of motivating Millennials and Generation Z employees entering the workforce. But gamification is more than fun and games or “kid stuff” reserved for young guns in Silicon Valley. Top-level business leaders in many industries now recognize that gamification in the workplace is more than a trend; it’s a powerful business tool when wielded correctly.
is Gamification Anyway?
to Jeanne Meister, founding partner of Future Workplace,
essence of games and applies these to a range of real-world
processes inside a company. ”To
drill the definition down: gamification is simply a method
of incentivizing work by turning it into an engaging game.
are many examples
in the workplace,
resources teams are leveraging the
as a way to attract, engage, train,
and retain employees.
Although applying the label of gamification is a newer way to describe certain motivational tactics, human beings have responded to the power of games for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians played board games and sets of dice were found in excavations in Iran. Since the dawn of humanity, games have been a source of social engagement. In the business world, the concept of using competition in the workplace is not new. Today’s high-tech version of gamification has its roots in the use of sales quotas, leaderboards and key performance indicators (KPI).
HR Is Leveraging Gamification
a cross-functional team at
Cox Communications set
out to encourage employees to learn more about the company's
products through engagement, recognition and skills building,
Terese Farmen was determined to infuse fun into the effort.
As the Recognition Program Manager, Terese succeeded by
introducing gamification into the initiative. Upon launch,
the first effort, Gamified Quizzing, garnered 50% participation
among employees. Today, an average of 30% of employees
play a game each month to learn about product knowledge.
Employee product knowledge among the back office, non-customer
facing employees has increased significantly for base
offerings, technology changes and pricing strategies.
program is so popular that in the first half
of 2018, 94% of all Cox employees received recognition
for work tied directly to company goals and competencies.
"It's not just about software or points or online recognition," Terese said, "It's about engaging employees, building competencies and giving them the tools and confidence to serve our customers.”
companies have achieved great success by integrating gamification
into the recruiting process. PwC’s
allows candidates to virtually test their readiness for
working at the firm by working in teams to solve real
world business problems. Gamification can also be used
in the onboarding process and to sharpen the skills of
your existing workforce. In addition to promoting
engagement and product knowledge, Cox Communications uses
gamification for some sales incentives and learning activities
such as diversity and inclusion, living the Cox values
and safety initiatives.
Gamification Really Boost Engagement & Productivity?
A recent Gallup poll reports employee engagement is sluggishly improving. Still, 51% of employees report they’re disengaged from their job and have been for some time, while 16% report they’re actively disengaged. Over the last decade, those numbers have barely changed. Employee disengagement is a huge problem leading to lower sales, poor customer service, higher turnover and decreased productivity. Gamification can be a new way to battle employee disengagement.
plays into employees' psychological need for recognition
and acknowledgement. As David Cherrie, the founder of
business gamification platform, Arcade,
reported in Forbes:
makes gamification so effective
is not the badges, tokens or even the friendly competition
but it's the way it taps into our psychological need for
Implicit rewards are internal: unlike a cash bonus or gold watch, they are valuable mainly because of what they mean to us. Often, they have very little real-world value, but they may be priceless to your employees. If you ever received a gold star as a child by a teacher or parent, you know what the simple joy of an implicit reward feels like.”
In fact, when employers use the power of gamification in the workplace, they see an increase in engagement and, consequently, an increase in productivity. Engaged employees outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share.
Gamification scratches the fundamental human itch we all hold for recognition and acknowledgement of a job well done. By fostering a culture where employees are consistently recognized for their hard work will improve engagement and productivity. Get in the game!