Gamification has become more and more prevalent in business as a way to not only keep employees happy and engaged. It also helps them adapt to the changing ideas of how a business should be run and how employees should be treated.
However, what is Gamification? While it, unfortunately, isn’t a system where your company will let you play poker online or kill a few hours playing Playstation, it does take elements of games to build skills and boost creativity and productivity.
What is Gamification?
Gamification is a concept that takes elements of games and gaming and changes them to fit a workplace and project space. A great example of Gamification that many would be familiar with is an app like Duolingo, where you score points for completing classes and logging in every day.
Another form of Gamification is offering gym-goers a free smoothie every ten times they swipe in to use the gym. A beneficial action is rewarded, and therefore it will be repeated; in this case, resulting in a gym always being full and constantly getting new clients.
Reasons Why Gamification Works
There are multiple benefits to including Gamification in the workplace environment, with some being far more familiar than you may think. The most common being employees winning a prize for selling the most of something, like a product or service, or an award for being an employee of the month.
Depending on your sector, education may play a vital part in training new and existing employees. Much like the Duolingo example, Gamification can be used to encourage employees to do the courses and do them well.
The rewards can be anything, but what happens is that employees take the training far more seriously if they know there is a prize on the line. The situation ends up being a win/win as the staff is better trained, and employees are rewarded for hard work more often.
Improved problem solving can help almost anyone in most sectors. There is always a new situation that has never been encountered that requires a solution that hasn’t been thought of yet.
With many workplaces being a bit stale and boring at times, it’s easy to fall into a repetitive thinking cycle. Gamification tests put your problem-solving skills to work and allow employees to figure out brand new ways to handle problems.
Again, Duolingo is an excellent example of how Gamification can help build new skills. Training is one thing, but learning a new skill is a different story altogether; Gamification makes it more fun and encourages employees to take on the challenge.
Gamification also allows you to track your progress, meaning you always know how much you have left and how far you have come.
As mentioned, the workplace can get very tedious, and employees will begin to lose focus and attention if they are doing the same task over and over or have nothing to do at all. Gamification can help keep employees engaged in work and drive progress.
Companies can lose millions, if not billions, due to employees not being fully engaged. Having leaderboards and progress trackers means employees are constantly working towards their next goal and, therefore, always engaged.
Engagement is one thing, but you still want your employees to be motivated and have fun. Considering Gamification provides goals and a timeline, it will inspire employees to achieve their goals on time or be the first to do something.
While this should be kept in check as you don’t want employees to become a little obsessed, it provides the daily motivation that might otherwise be lacking depending on what they have to get done.
Gamification can be used outside the workplace and also to benefit your community. A utility company has a leaderboard on its Facebook page that encourages its clients to post their power usage; the less you use, the higher up the leaderboard you go.
This can be done for almost anything; if you sell a product, you can give away a hamper to whoever does a particular task like picking up litter or walking a certain distance. Engagement in your brand is increased, and loyal customers are rewarded.
As mentioned, Gamification can make work and the office environment more fun. Adding an aspect of fun to boring or repetitive tasks won’t necessarily make the job more enjoyable, but it will give employees the boost they need to get it done quickly and effectively.
While Gamification can’t work in every business or sector, there are elements that can be adapted and used to ensure your business stays productive, your employees stay motivated and happy, and you all progress and move forward together.