Gamification – the secret to motivating your employees
How gamification in the workplace can make a positive impact on company productivity.
Happy employees will always be more productive. Staff who enjoy their work perform better, work harder and stay with a company longer. Therefore, we need to look at ways to make work more enjoyable. Gamification is one-way employers can use to making work fun and more enjoyable. Tapping into competitive spirit and our need for recognition, gratification and feedback, gamification is an effective way to engage employees, improve productivity and reduce staff turnover.
What is Gamification?
Gamification is the concept of using the operations, processes and competition of the gaming environment and turning those features into a system that encourages employee participation, engagement and loyalty. Specifically, in production departments like sales or helpdesks, gamification can make a big impact. I’m also a fan, of bundling with compensation rewards when you meet and exceed your individual or team goals.
The concept of gamification is to take something business-focused and make it fun, driving better engagement with your employees, vendors and customers while creating a community where they’re driven to participate. You will also get them results faster and even get more long-term customers as a result.
“Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.”
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
The 5 Step Process to setting up Gamification in your workplace
- Identify goals for each employee and department you want to reach through gamification. I would first recommend starting with your sales, helpdesk or service departments. Create both individual goals and team goals for the departments. Set the goals in writing and make sure everyone understands how to achieve them.
- Determine required changes in skills and behavior needed to reach the goals. This will help you gauge what training is needed before you implement. If the employees are not trained properly, gamification will not work.
- Design the game around the employee. This is a game for them, not the company. The company has goals, and we need to create the rules of the game around the employee so it’s easy to manage and to succeed. Create an environment whereby employees earn rewards when they completed extra training or hit goals and KPIs. The rewards normally are monetary, but you can also use gift cards, free lunch and or peer recognition. It’s important to tap into what each of the employee’s desire and what makes them tick! Friendly competition will also keep them motivated.
- Make the purpose clear to employees with weekly reinforcement and transparency. I’d recommend documenting the plan, then reviewing the plan with everyone in face to face meetings. You also want to continually share the actual performance of the goals daily or at least no less than every week. You can either share via dashboards if you have the right tools, or during your weekly team meetings.
- Reward on a timely, and consistent basis. When I say rewards, I mean both recognition and monetary compensation. Everyone enjoys hearing positive things about themselves, so be sure to share good news daily or at least weekly when applicable. Financial rewards can either be weekly, monthly or quarterly. For simplicity sake, I’d recommend monthly if you are new to this. Lastly be consistent with the rewards. If you promise to distribute them the 1st Friday every month, then do it!
Make sure it’s fun. Please don’t forget about this — otherwise, your effort will be for not. Involve employees in the process from start to finish. Consider creating a small group to present ideas, beta test and become advocates for the program when it’s been rolled-out. Try to always keep communications positive and encouraging. Share the total results with the team and point the top producers. You will be surprised how their peers will poke at the low producers, so you won’t have to.
When executed well, gamification can generate impactful results across an organization. If you’d like to implement gamification ideas in your practice, then give me a call. When implemented, it will give your business a positive boost while also making work more fun and enjoyable for your employees.
James Kernan serves as a Principal Consultant for Kernan Consulting and provides Coaching, Advising and Mentoring programs to IT business owners and leaders. They offer One on One Coaching, Peer Groups and Training.