Engaged employees are clearly more valuable to your company than disengaged ones. According to a Gallup poll, disengaged employees cost American employers about $350 billion dollars each year. According to Mario Herger, a leading gamification expert: “When studies show that over 70% of employees are not engaged at work, and everything else has failed, businesses need to look at industries that successfully manage to engage their users. One of them is the game industry, and this is why gamification is such a crucial concept for making work more engaging and fun.”
More than 70% of the world’s largest 2,000 companies are expected to have deployed at least one gamified application by year-end 2014. Most companies who attempt to implement a strategy centered on gamification fail to do so in an effective way. In the same study by Gartner, they predict that 80% of current gamified applications will fail to meet business objectives primarily due to poor design.
Gamification’s main objective is to make working and learning in the workplace more fun, thus increasing productivity. Productivity isn’t the only byproduct of using gamification in the workplace, but this strategy is also proven to increase engagement, commitment to the job, and motivation. The idea of “winning,” whether it be a promotion, new job, social status, virtual goods, or an extra vacation day, works well in keeping your workplace happy, but only works if implemented successfully.
The secret behind gamification is applying a game element to a non-game setting. By doing this, companies are able to generate amplify engagement and drive business objectives in the workplace. A well-designed gamification platform is about to leverage the ability to overcome challenges. Applying game mechanics have been associated with basic human desires and when combined contribute to a fully engaged and stimulating work environment where your employees are able to feel a sense of accomplishment.
Using gamification to re-engage employees is not an easy task. There are several moving pieces that need to be developed and explained before a strategy like this is implemented.
Have a measurable goal: Most companies forget this first and crucial step in the process. Unless you’ve developed a clear objective for implementing a gamification strategy your company will get very few benefits, if any at all. Focus on encouraging certain behaviors in your workplace. For instance, if you’re looking to develop backlinks to your site, increase engagement on social sites, or make twenty sales calls in a day. Having a clear objective will jumpstart your gamification strategy and make sure it’s developed successfully.
Reward a current behavior: When you start this strategy it might get some time getting used to by your employees. Focus on a behavior that is already in practice and slowly implement new behaviors that you want to see in your employees.
Measure your success: Create benchmarks and measure where you want to be by quarter or every six to 12 months. This will help you determine if your strategy is successful or not.
Make it fun: Gamification is all about creating a fun work environment. Open it up to social environments, or your company’s intranet. Promote it all over the company and use it as a tool that your employees will take great pride in being No. 1. People inherently like to win and by making it social they’re able to compete against their fellow co-workers.
Use these best practices to help develop a gamification strategy that fits your company or department. Make sure that you’re building a strategy that will promote fun and healthy competition.
Does your company use gamification in the workplace? Are you looking to implement a gamification strategy? Why or why not?
Karthik Manimozhi is president and COO of 1-Page. Prior to 1-Page, he worked at SAP for 13 years in various sales and business development leadership roles across Europe, Middle-East, and North America. In his last role, he was head of channel development for North America, where he was responsible for channel strategies, partner recruitment, and indirect revenues.