Businesses are struggling to engage their staff: Only 21% of global employees are engaged at work according to the 2021 Gallup survey institute report. Even more interesting, 63,3% of companies recognize that retaining workers is actually harder than hiring them (Zenefits). Is that down to the staff themselves? No: nowadays they expect their employer to use any necessary means to restore their love for the job. A business transformation is required to meet people's expectations and address their issues.
It's time to explore gamification as a solution for companies. Gamification is a way to gain loyalty and appeal.
But what does "gamification" mean? Gamification is adding game mechanics into non-game environments.
Gamification is everywhere you look. Sign up to LinkedIn and there's a progress bar on your profile from start to completion. Download the Waze app and you get an avatar that changes as you rack up the miles. The idea behind gamification is to improve the user experience to maximize engagement and motivation. The concept also applies to the world of business and could help gain staff loyalty.
We'll tell you all the pros and cons of gamification in business and how to use them.
The pros of gamification in business
Motivate and engage staff
Businesses can positively affect their staff's motivation with gamification and encourage them to complete tasks by triggering enjoyment. It's a powerful tool that makes staff more attentive and receptive. For example, gamify your engagement survey and you can be sure more people will take part as it takes the sense of obligation out of the picture. Conduct a quiz-style monthly report to get more colleagues involved who may not be interested in the subject.
Boost team spirit
Gamification also helps build relationship skills such as goodwill, empathy, listening, adaptability, stress management, and management.
It's a great way to boost teamwork and encourage them to come together as a community. For example, you could run a team-building event with challenges. That way you focus on teamwork and communication whilst accounting for everyone's skills. It helps build relationships and breaks down any barriers between staff from different departments/levels of authority.
Showcase your business culture
Gamification can join forces with an internal communication tool to convey a message with a fun twist. You can count on your staff's participation as this process gives them a starring role.
They become part of the business strategy and can make its values their own. It creates a shared vision with a shared objective. Your business culture could revolve around innovation, digital transformation, or even the company's CSR policy.
The trend is also an asset for recruitment in companies and helps attract the best talent.
We've created a calendar to engage your employees and communicate your corporate culture and values. 📣
Gamifying training courses
According to HRexecutive, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in helping them learn by providing advanced professional and personal development courses. This works out well since gamification is a great tool in corporate training. The interactive format brings learning and entertainment together. It also focuses more on what participants achieve over failure.
This obviously has a positive impact on staff performance. It is easier for them to remember content, but gamification also sparks their creativity. It helps build new soft skills. The gaming concept enables staff to explore their creative skills and use innovative and different ways to solve problems.
How do you nail gamification?
Don't just focus on performance
If you just base your gamification method on performance, you risk your employees focusing solely on their results. They will try to achieve their goals at all costs and that may create frustration and stress at work, resulting in day-to-day pressure.
💡 Top tip: you must use several other criteria such as motivation, team spirit, and innovation. Gamification is all about enjoyment, building new skills, and more playful ways to explore subjects.
Encourage intrinsic motivation
Ensure the game doesn't take over from the objective and that staff isn't just after the reward. If this occurs, extrinsic motivation takes over and employees will only take part to get the reward at the end.
💡 Top tip: it's best to focus on intrinsic motivation to encourage people to do something to achieve personal satisfaction. If this occurs, the reward isn't something of material value but instead boosts self-confidence and the joy of achieving a goal/completing a task.
The gamification system can only showcase a small proportion of staff i.e. the winners. So you have to keep an eye on staff members not losing confidence or becoming discouraged.
💡 Top tip: diversify rewards. Celebrating as many people as possible is vital: individuals or teams, the best or most consistent as well as the most original performances!
Provide an inclusive system
Gamification may leave staff who are uncomfortable with the concept feeling left out. It can be hard to meet everyone's expectations and even harder to convince everyone of the project's relevance.
💡 Top tip: when you plan your gamification project, ask your staff about their expectations, needs, and thoughts. That way you can design a strategy that suits them and they can feel a part of.
The mechanics of gamification in business
A challenge enables staff to set a goal and give their all to achieve it. Overcoming a challenge provides a sense of satisfaction and boosts confidence in their skills. Team challenges encourage social bonds and build team spirit. For example, you could run a connected fitness challenge encouraging your colleagues to walk 10,000 steps a day over the course of a week (WHO recommendation). It could tie into the latest news, a campaign, or a special event.
Why not have a leaderboard so your colleagues can enjoy a bit of healthy competition? Split them into teams based on their department and boost team spirit. They'll give it their all to take their team to the top. That said, the leaderboard should be based on several criteria to be as inclusive as possible and not leave staff feeling discouraged or you may dampen their motivation and affect their wellbeing.
As we said earlier, it's important to diversify rewards. You could offer staff discounts at partner companies or badges to celebrate a specific task. The more rewards your staff get, the more motivated they will be. That's why every success should be celebrated to put the best and most consistent participants in the spotlight.
Staff can create their own avatar that changes based on their success and performance. Let's take Waze as an example: the more driving users do, the more their avatar grows. This encourages them to use the app on their journeys. Staff can be represented by their character and they will be even more proud of the end result.
Staff can join a community with the same hobbies as them. It's a great way to build team spirit and get people together. They can interact and plan group sessions together. For example, you could create a running club or film club.
A dashboard enables colleagues to set goals. This personal space centralizes all their activities and provides them with an overview of their progress and not their weak points.
Content manager @Sport Heroes