Over the last six months, business operations have undergone an unprecedented transformation. Employees are no longer commuting to their workplaces. They aren’t collaborating in real life, sitting at cubicles or meeting in conference rooms. There are no working lunches, and no office happy hours. At least, not in real life.
Instead, employees are working from home. They are at kitchen tables and make-shift desks, with spouses and children sharing the space. Happy hour may happen, but it is through a Zoom call. Business may be conducted in pajamas, via video conference. There are new stresses, different challenges, and an unpredictable landscape ahead.
For managers and business owners, keeping your workforce engaged and optimistic may be more difficult than ever. And where your bottom line is concerned—that is a major problem. Happy, engaged employees are productive employees, ultimately bolstering the success of a business.
It has been proven that without widespread employee engagement, businesses won’t thrive. Even before COVID-19, research showed that 70% of business transformation efforts failed due to lack of employee engagement. (Forbes.com) In an era where change and evolution in the digital landscape is happening at breakneck speeds, it is more important than ever that businesses find ways to engage employees and promote a culture of motivation, satisfaction and positivity. Employees that are happy in their work environment are 5x more likely to stay, and at a time when the business sphere is shifting daily, employee retention is more important than ever.
How, then, do we keep remote and displaced employees engaged in their roles, and invested in the companies they work for? With everything that has been thrown our way in 2020, employee motivation has taken on a whole new dimension.
Hello, Workplace Gamification.
In an effort to boost morale and employee motivation, companies across the globe are looking for creative ways to keep their workforce engaged. This is where gamification software comes in. Don’t be fooled here– gamification is NOT turning work into a game. Rather, it is the process of utilizing game-based elements like scoring, rewards and competition to encourage employees to actively engage in their work.
Gamification lets your employees see, in a fun way, how they compare with their peers when it comes to working towards goals, and gives them that insight in real time, rather than having to wait until the annual performance review. They can participate in a transparent way, with targets that can be measured, and receive feedback from senior management at the same time.
Additionally, gamification gives managers and owners important data and feedback that can help them support their staff, identify potential, grow talent, and make important business decisions.
Why Does Gamification Work?
Gamification ultimately plays on the psychology that drives human engagement. It isn’t just a gimmick—it triggers real and true human emotion like intrigue, competitiveness, happiness and gratification. People, by nature, like to be in charge of their own destiny, and gamification allows them to do that in multiple ways. Whether it is through leveling up and advancing on a leaderboard, or producing stats that will help managers identify them as workplace standouts, their success is there for the taking.
Even more importantly, research has demonstrated that employees really want to know that what they are accomplishing in the workplace matters. Gamification software allows employees to receive real-time feedback that motivates and encourages them. Things like competition, points, rewards, achievements, rules of play, self-expression and status are leveraged to give employees the feedback that all of us humans seek.
Another point to consider—the workforce is now comprised of Millenial and Gen Z individuals who have literally grown up with the concept of gamification. They were introduced to digital technology at a young age, and they have been conditioned to respond to—and even expect—game mechanics in everything that they do.
What are Game Mechanics?
Game mechanics are the components of a game that engage and motivate the user. In the workplace, the following mechanics are used in various combinations:
- Fast Feedback
- Leveling Up
How to Introduce Gamification Successfully
The benefits of gamification are hard to ignore. But, how do you unlock them? These corporate gamification tips are a good place to start.
- Clearly communicate the goals and processes of the game. Whenever gamification is applied, the rules of the game should be crystal clear to all participating employees from the start. After all, no one wants to compete in an unfair race!
- Offer desirable rewards. The rewards on offer for high achievement in gamification in the workplace need to be relevant and desirable to employees. But prizes aren’t the only reward to consider. Every employee that emotionally engages with their work craves recognition. With ZiZo’s leaderboards, news ticker and rewards store, employees
- Track the success of gamification in the workplace. ZiZo makes this easy, with its business intelligence dashboards and easily trackable data.
- Reflect on performance. Managers can utilize the data obtained to connect with employees on both their successes and failures, and ultimately help shape longerm career paths for their team members.
The world is changing, and businesses are going to have to find ways to get ahead of the curve. Workplace gamification is the wave of the future, especially in our post-COVID reality, where team collaboration and connection is going to take a completely different shape.