Gamification is making work more enjoyable, employees happier, and teams more productive. Though it might sound like turning work into a game could be counterproductive, the truth is that it’s an approach to work that uses the psychology found in games to motivate the team, engage them with their work, and improve business outcomes.
Here, we’re going to look at what gamification for employees is, how it works, and why you should be implementing it in your workplace today.
What is gamification for employees?
Though it’s not necessarily always technologically driven, gamification usually refers to the use of software that helps apply game-oriented thinking and psychology to work processes and goals. It’s had a long history in the workplace already. What is “employee of the month” if not a game where recognition is the goal?
Purpose-built software is making it easier to incorporate gamification than ever before. By increasing challenge levels, using point systems for rewards, and encouraging employees to utilize new skills and try new challenges, gamification can be the catalyst of real and worthwhile growth in the workplace. What’s more, it can genuinely make work more fun.
How does gamification work?
Lots of companies are using gamification to encourage, motivate, and engage their employees. Using game concepts, such as scores, achievements, rankings, and building points, you speak directly to the gratification-seeking part of our psychology that sometimes isn’t stimulated by work alone. There are three key elements at play in all kinds of gamification:
- The rewards or recognition required as motivation to complete a task.
- The means to break down the task into achievable, realistic, measurable goals.
- The cue to take the next step in completing a goal and progressing in a task.
When these three elements are implemented on the long-term, it not only helps employees better manage their workload but seeing their progress and achievements along the way can also make them more eager and engaged in completing those goals.
How do you introduce it to your workplace?
- Gamification education: Employees can be much more engaged in training and learning if they incorporate elements like leveling up throughout a learning path, points and scores on different parts of training exercises, leaderboards amongst those in training, and instant feedback on completed tasks.
- Measuring and incentivizing milestones: Having defined, measurable goals is essential for encouraging progress. By having a system that lays out milestones with larger projects, it can help them feel more engaged with both their long-term and short-term goals. This works even better if there are clear incentives for clearing those milestones.
- Daily quests: In longer-term gamification systems, often powered by purpose-driven software, you can incorporate frequent work goals, new learning opportunities, and more through a “daily quest” system. Productive, useful objectives that are a little different from their usual daily work can challenge them to grow used to new skills while keeping work a little more exciting and new.
- Making work rewarding: Tracking points, creating real rewards in exchange for them, offering badges for completing certain goals, and leaderboards. Gamification software offers all kinds of incentivization that can be used to make the various game systems all the more engaging for the employees.
What are the benefits of gamification?
- Motivation: Effective goal setting and incentivization is a crucial part of the gamification process. As such, laying out the steps that lead to success can greatly improve an employee’s drive to take part in the system and, as a result, to get their work done.
- Clarity of purpose: Good gamification also involves breaking down the expectations and goals clearly enough to be laid out in steps or individual tasks. As such, it can make it much easier for employees to understand what they’re working towards, short-term and long-term.
- Engagement: Improved motivation and a better understanding of their work and their goals mean that employees can be more easily engaged. This means they’re more likely to offer feedback, to communicate about their work more effectively, and to understand the broader goals from which their own objectives are derived.
- Creates a positive company culture: Gamification is best implemented with rewarding structures that clearly outline the steps to success. This mix of clear expectations and motivating work processes will create a happier, more communicative team when implemented well.
Is it time to gamify your workplace?
Although still a novel concept, there are plenty of examples of companies and teams successfully using gamification to its full potential. How you implement it in your own business depends on the type of company that you run, but there are plenty of gamification software systems that can help you get started.