Employees

Winning at Work: How Gamification Increases Employee Engagement

Gamification breaks monotony at a workplace and makes employees feel like they are a part of the team thus creating loyalty

When a given task becomes enjoyable, people tend to work harder and perform better. Schools and teachers have been using this principle to heighten the interest of young students in early childhood care and pedagogy. Integrating games into traditional teaching methods have been significant in enhancing their understanding and preparing them better for the next grade.

Companies across the world too have started seeing a lot of potential in the similar application of game-design elements in non-game contexts. This becomes extremely relevant in a time when millennials make for nearly half of the workforce. Given the accelerated pace of technological development, it is much easier to apply gamification methods in today’s workplace. Weighing its possible benefits, HR professionals and industry leaders are putting in place a set of fun activities driven by the characteristics of gaming.

Facilitating levels, rewards, competition, goal-setting, and success metrics, companies are increasing employee engagement and boosting the productivity of their employees. Let us look at how gamification is helping companies in doing so:

Leveling-up individual performance

When employees have a track of how they are performing as compared to their colleagues, they will be inclined to do better. Further, gamification enables employees to evaluate and improve their performance by giving them a clear picture of their strengths and weaknesses. For people’s love of instant rewards and recognition, gamification can provide them with extra motivation to keep on progressing, without experiencing burnout.

Effective training

When you integrate gaming mechanics into your usual workflow, you open doors to more interactive learning strategies. This turns everyday training into a fun-filled and more interactive activity, which connects employees in an engaging, non-preachy manner. Promoting friendly competition it drives employees to give their best. Its high engagement quotient helps employees acquire and retain knowledge, thus contributing better to the organization.

Impacts employee behavior

Gamification makes use of human psychology and triggers real, powerful human emotions. Offering positive reinforcement, organizations can give out achievement badges or rewards to employees for every favorable outcome on a particular project. This sense of achievement fuels desired employee behavior at the workplace, thus enhancing work quality with every passing day.

Transparent feedback in real-time makes employees feel a sense of control over their performance and keeps them encouraged to complete tasks on time. This increases satisfaction and a sense of completion.

Greater Retention

If the work environment is fun-filled, who would want to leave the organization? Gamification, which leads to higher engagement, also goes on to influence employee retention in a company in the long-run. A gamified approach to recruitment allows a new hire to feel a sense of independence and support while actively learning new skills to prepare for his/her new position. It is unlike traditional onboarding methods, which were passive and made the transition of new employees into their jobs very challenging.

Applying teamwork and collaboration

One way to steer any organization towards success is through synchronized teamwork. Coincidentally, a key psychological driver in gaming, is community and collaboration, which makes multi-player games so popular. This translates well into gamification at the workplace, making users feel like part of a team or community, creating loyalty on every level.

While it’s good to have gamification at the workplace, this space wouldn’t go justified without mentioning the counter-points to and shortcomings of the impact and efficacy of gamification. Behaviour in a game is not similar to real-life/ workplace situations as it’s quite difficult to replicate the game performance in the workplace setting.  Game based assessments can be unfair for certain groups (e.g., male vs. female, experienced gamers vs. non-gamers). Other important factors which might affect the game-based testing and be sources of unfairness are computer literacy, spatial abilities, and cognitive and attention skills which are usually higher in those who are adept in gaming.

Having said that, gamification is giving people a reason to celebrate their jobs at a juncture where employee stress levels are at an all-time high. Breaking monotony, this approach fills the recreational needs of people while maximizing their performance simultaneously. With a design ideal for the given dynamics of every company and its respective workforce, gamification is redefining work and workplaces all over the world.

By Mr Siddhartha Gupta, CEO of Mercer, Mettl

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