Driving higher levels of employee engagement are turning into a major challenge for organizations across the globe. As organizations explore different strategies and methods to attain this objective, some yield better results than others. One such strategy for enhancing employee engagement is the implementation of the concept of gamification.
Organizations can use it to motivate and empower their listless workforce to enhance their productivity and performance efficiency. Research has shown that gamification in organizations can enhance engagement, productivity, and happiness of the workforce by more than 80%.
Contrary to the popular belief, gamification is not about turning a workplace into an arena for playing games. It is about using elements of gaming in a non-gaming environment such as business to drive workforce engagement. Gamification focuses on human psychology for driving engagement and uses technology to put it to work in a business environment. It taps into common motivating factors such as recognition, competition, and rewards and leverages various game elements such as collaboration, opportunities, and progression. In fact, it is one of the few engagement strategies that can be used across key areas within an organization.
Implementing gamification can provide great benefits for organizations. Hence, it is a popular choice for bringing about transformation in workplaces with large number of millennials.
The most important of these benefits are listed as follows:
1. It offers real-time feedback as employees don’t have to work toward annual goals. Instead, they can work toward real-time, measurable, meaningful targets, similar to a game.
2. Gamification helps to eliminate fears of favoritism by making the system transparent using gaming scoreboards and leaderboards.
3. Since psychology is integral to gamification, it makes work-life more enjoyable, as if the employees are actually playing a game.
Implementing the concept of gamification within a business environment is slightly more complicated than creating a rewards program. Organizations should design it strategically to cater to the distinct employee dynamics within a specific work environment.
That is why it is important to take the following key parameters into consideration to ensure its successful implementation:
1. Understanding employee needs
Implementing an engagement strategy with gamification needs careful assessment of the needs, goals, preferences, aspirations, and behaviors of employees. Obtaining this information provides an organization with the necessary insights for identifying issues that gamification needs to address.
This, in turn, helps the organization to clearly define the basic framework for designing and implementing the concept. Organizations also need to define employee behaviors with respect to the processes for the effective integration of gaming elements.
2. Establishing the business case
Establishing a robust business case is essential for the successful development and implementation of a gamification program at the workplace. Hence, this requires proper identification of organizational goals for gamification, the key metrics, and the business impact.
Therefore, for this, organizations need to define expected changes in employee motivation, behavior, and attitude that the program should bring about. This is essential for defining KPIs relevant to the gamification process and the expected return on investment.
3. Ensuring the involvement of all stakeholders
Implementing the gamification program requires the contribution of various stakeholders within the organization. So, ensuring active involvement of various stakeholders is essential to get the desired outcomes from the implementation of the program.
Hence, for this, the organizations need to align the program with the core objectives of the organization. Importantly, employees, who are the biggest stakeholders in the process, should be aware of the expectations from the program.
4. Measuring progress – repeat and refresh
Also, measuring the outcomes of implementing the gamification program through various pre-defined KPIs is essential for ensuring its success. Project leaders also need to interact with various stakeholders to gain a proper understanding of their experience with the program.
This information along with the program KPIs can be used to fine-tune the program. Hence, this approach of repetitive feedback and refreshing the program can help the organizations get the maximum out of it
When done right, gamification has the potential to create the outcomes that it promises in the form of changed behaviours and attitudes, significant improvement in employee engagement and rise in productivity and efficiency, leading to business growth.
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