Gamification has been a general term that has continued to gain traction and popularity in a lot of different categories, one of the most shining examples being the incorporation of game mechanics within Business practices. So, why is this the case?
While many believe Business Gamification to be a way in which to cultivate employee competition and ultimately manipulate an increase in performance. This is a rather old outlook on what Gamification within Business is capable of, rather it promotes and encourages behaviour that companies value. In fact we want to highlight 10 benefits to implementing Gamification within Business you may not have considered.
Creativity in Problem Solving
Lets face it, work can become a little robotic, a little uninspired, a little platitudinous in nature. It’s easy to zombie through the mundanity of routine work, and inadvertently become stale in both your work quality and performance.
Just talking about this type of work life is making me feel bored and unmotivated. Fortunately, Gamification has the ability to promote creativity and imagination by letting you explore new ways to get things done. With its problem solving and decision making tests, you’ll be creatively challenged at every level. Sometimes you just need those little challenges to inspire you, unclog the drain of your mind and see a new approach to better tackle your workload.
There are many Business giants, that spend a great part of their employees’ working day encouraging creativity through playful activities. It has been recorded that creativity and commitment seem to drastically improve with the workers’ participation in these kinds of programs.
Easier Workplace Assimilation for New Employees
When starting a new job it can be daunting. Everybody else seem to be well and truly settled into their roles, while you’re doing your best to get into the rhythm, shared by the rest of the office. New recruits are often overwhelmed with the amount of juggling and guess work they encounter when first entering their new role. Through Gamification, the game mechanic structures help convey and outline the workload that is expected from any newbies in the office, making the transition into a new work environment less intimidating and more manageable.
Gamification structures are like a beginner’s guidebook on how to seamlessly enter a defined culture, helping fresh employees gain a clearer understanding and familiarity of a new workplace environment, culture, workflow, expectations and how to fit in.
The possibilities offered by gamification are extensive, one of them being the possibility of internally transmitting, the corporate image of the company to workers. With gaming dynamics, business culture can be conveyed and understood easier by new employees.
Rational and Calculated Business Decisions
One of Gamification’s strongest features is its ability to both collect data and white-label it. Having business numbers wrapped in anonymity, means that any factors that can detract from making the right choice such as unconscious bias, are off the table. When it comes to business, wouldn’t you like to know that all decision you or your superiors make are grounded in data and logic. The right people are being assigned to the right roles and as a result the business is flourishing for it.
Outside of business decisions, gamification also helps employees identify and self-improve on areas of their work that is lacking. Many employees are required to perform different tasks which many times can involve conflicting expectations. For example, a customer service representative, being the first caller to customer needs, is expected to resolve issues fast, but at same time need to also receive a high customer satisfaction rate. Using gamification, it is possible to track many different elements and balance them. An employee can see that they are relatively fast, but have a problem with how satisfied customers are once they get off the phone with them. Seeing many KPI's at the same time can help employees get a snapshot of how they are doing overall, and alter what needs to be changed.
Tired of the sheer number of work meetings that take place week in and week out? According to a study from Bain & Company, Senior executives spend up to 2 days a week in meetings. Wouldn’t you like to breakaway from the slow grind of figuring out where everyone is up to in their workload? Gamification allows for this, offering game structures that can track both the progress of others and yourself, cutting out the need to have constant group huddles and catch-ups. This gives you the freedom to work independently while still contributing to the larger team.
The time saved with this process also allows for more productivity and a greater work turnover. Who would of thought?
Social Strengthening & Recognition
An essential part of gamification is not just your personal success. When you work with others, there will always be social elements at play, some are hurdles such as learning to work with others and some are escalators like being recognised at work for achievements. Gamification often has a structure within business that cultivates team strengthening practices through examining your collaborative skills, testing if you’re a team player and monitoring how well you move ahead in unity.
On the other side of social aspects at work, research has found that status at the workplace is just as important to employees as financial rewards. In other words, it is important for most of us to feel that we are doing a good job. Gamification is a great way to track the progress of employees and in doing so, reward them accordingly for their achievements. The real beauty is that it's all done automatically, and therefore is easy for managers to stay on top of.
Being recognised in the workplace for great achievements and reaching goals is important to employees and gamification can seamlessly record and make sure that no one is overlooked for their noteworthiness. Employee contributions never go unnoticed as they’re always aware of and engaged with the company’s objectives, goals and vision.
One of the main reasons for a business to integrate gamified work practices is to have automated data collection in place. As mentioned earlier in “Rational and Calculated Business Decisions”, If the indisputable numbers are being recorded, this will bode well for employees, as any preconceptions a manager may have about a team or individual, will not determine a poor business decision.
This data can be in regards to whatever the business sees as a priority and needs to have an accurate read on. This component of gamification is extremely valuable as it can hold a mirror up to a business and show for better or worse the general health of a business, along with its pain points.
Developing Skills & Mastery
One of the biggest drivers behind why we as humans enjoy playing games is the structured path for one to improve their skills upon. The feeling of developing a certain skill is one of the most important aspects of fulfilment in the workplace.
Gamification allows us to learn new things, while also tracking our progress along the way. Before we know it, what used to be extremely challenging is now completed with ease, thanks in part to the ability to read any pain points and areas in need of improvement. This is what researchers at the university of Chicago have called "flow", and it turns out to be an important factor in employee well-being.
Recent studies have shown that Millennials rank training and learning as the most important benefit a workplace can offer. Organisations are cottoning on to this fact as the increase in organisations offering their employees different personal and professional development routes is steadily rising. Organisations are now more capable of doing this than ever before, using eLearning platforms that are cost effective, and that can be integrated in to other aspects of work.
Through different mechanics such as quizzes and simulations, this type of learning is also more engaging and more enjoyable. Finally, eLearning also allows employers to easily measure how their employees are doing and progressing in the learning process.
Thanks to gamification, companies can focus on improving or developing specific skills on their teams. Gamifying training programs will be useful to make employees improve those essential aspects to progress in several areas: leadership, stress management, communication skills, negotiation skills, etc. While employees have the ability to push themselves towards mastery within the areas of their work and education, helping open doors to future work prospects.
Have you ever felt anxious in the workplace? The uncertainty of where you stand in the office, leaving you to ponder whether or not your superiors are happy with your performance. In the past, people would walk blindly into their performance reviews, only to find that they are not tracking like they thought they were. This leads to a stress filled season of work ahead with the employee hoping they’re taking the right actions in order to get back on track.
Performance reviews can often be delayed as they usually occur quarterly, mid-year or at the end of the year. Thanks to gamification, feedback on your performance is instantaneous, consistent and in real-time. This way your work performance can progress in a more linear fashion, instead of a jolty and reactive performance effort. Gamification’s data collection allows for you to learn faster while now always being aware of whether your performance is on track or not, and what needs to be improved to rectify the situation.
Gamification is a great way for employees to receive constant, up to date, and automatic feedback. By using leaderboards of different kinds, it is possible for employees to see how they are doing compared to benchmarks they had set for themselves in the past, or compared to other individuals and teams in the organisation. Feedback is one of the most important elements of gamification, as it allows users to constantly understand how they are doing and what they can do to improve.
The strength of any high performing team is the collective effort and alignment of their abilities, personalities, traits and skills. Knowing your team member’s abilities and skills is essential and through gamification you can gain much insight about each team player. You’ll learn how to adapt yourself around people’s personalities and traits and how best to utilise their abilities to ensure you come out winning.
When it comes to completing tasks at work, sometimes the motivation simply isn’t there. The mountain of tasks before you can seem too much to even warrant any real attempt. Now they say the best way to approach a big task is to break it down into smaller more achievable tasks that you just keep knocking out, one after the other until you’ve managed to finish the whole thing. This is sound advice but it doesn’t tackle the root issue at play here, being Motivation.
It is no secret that the more motivated we are, the more productive we become in our workplaces, so how do we motivate our employees or even ourselves? A classic business approach to motivation is to throw money at the problem, and while incentivising employees with financial reward may yield results, it will always be a short term solution to a long term problem. Using game mechanics to increase the skills of employees leads to an increase in productivity, as a result of generating a relaxed and collaborative environment.
Gamification, using a goals, achievements, and rewards based system, makes for a practical and immediate solution to an employee’s approach towards everyday problem solving. These structures encourage employees, through making workloads seem more digestible and ultimately motivating them to progress in their efforts, improving their individual productivity and ultimately effecting the culture of the office, which can expand across the whole organisation.
Gaming techniques encourage employee engagement through psychological principles that the human mind holds at its foundation. By applying gamified techniques to employee training, workers acquire a greater understanding and commitment to the organisation, along with an increase in the sense of belonging to a team. Through game-based learning it is easier to generate a greater identification with the company’s goals.
Lets be honest, it can be quite draining to constantly go from completing one task to blindly finding your next one. A strong quality of business gamification is its ability to communicate and convey to employs what is expected of them next in their chain of work. Whether being utilised as part of the onboarding process, the internal learning system, or the project management system, gamification offers a simple way to communicate what the next stage is.
Something as simple as integrating a "Next Best Action" function into your gamified software can maintain workflow momentum. The term implies that wherever an employee is currently positioned in their workload, a particular task or action could potentially propel them forward in a positive matter, “Next Best Action” is a way of implying an immediate “to do” list.
This knowledge can help employees feel more motivated towards their goals, having more of a forward thinking outlook on where the business is heading and what part they play in that, aligning themselves with the greater work vision.
When gamification is executed correctly within business, there really is something there for everyone. Working against personal benchmarks, being recognised for a job well-done, offering training narratives – gamification really can cater to everyone's needs in the organisation. Together with the ability to view feedback at any given time, gamification allows everyone, and not only those at the top of leaderboards, to enjoy the possibility of improving their performance.
The underlying theme of business gamification seems to be tapping into human motivators and building and autonomous structure. At the end of the day, isn’t that what every business wants?