Is Gamification the Solution to Productivity Woes at the Workplace?
Gamification, an industry that has been around before 2003 but only gained a lot of traction recently. However, what is gamification? Do we need it and how does it benefit ones overall professional productivity? Essentially, gamification is a design process that takes into account the behavior of human beings and their efficiency instead of taking a look at the effectiveness of the entire system as a whole. Imagine a factory, that follows a standard protocol that is designed to complete the tasks at hand as efficiently and quickly as possible. The biggest issue with systems that are designed like this is that they very rarely take into account the fact that workers are human beings at the core level, and have emotions, insecurities, and reasons as to why they want to get things done and why not. Gamification goes much deeper than just assigning points and badges to workers. Let’s take a look at some of the productivity benefits that can be derived from adopting gamification in the workplace.
Boost Employee Morale
Before we dive into the benefits that can be drawn from gamification, let’s discuss the principles and critical mechanics that build up the gamification philosophy. Which are: goals, badges, leveling up, onboarding, competition, collaboration, community, points, goals, transparency, fast feedback. While we won’t discuss each mechanic in detail, it is important to note that for gamification to properly work, employee participation must be voluntary. However, employees that adopted a gamification philosophy are less likely to leave, more likely to put out more effort, and perform better, leading to improved happiness and profitability within an organization. The accumulation of stats, points, rewards, and etc. help keep employees more motivated and engaged in the workplace.
By introducing gamification to an organizations workspace, employees and relevant parties will have to quickly become familiar with the latest technology out there that can be used in their professional fields. However, in an engaging and fun way. Combining this exposure with point and reward systems commonly used in gamification processes, individuals are sure to become much more productive in the workplace and more creative as well.
Encourages friendly competition and reduces stress
The point and reward system that is commonly used in many gamified business structures promotes a competitive yet friendly culture. Employees become motivated by the recognition they receive through these rewards, which acts as a driver for better performance and results. This also encourages collaboration between teams and a company as a whole. Deloitte has used gamification principles to improve the partnership between their worldwide consultants significantly.
Improves Sales, Human Resources, and Marketing
All quality sales representatives are naturally competitive. However, occasionally, sales personnel may be left without a reward after spending a significant amount of time tackling leads, cold calling, and trying to get their foot in the door. Though, rejections are statistically just as vital as successes. The principles of gamification encourage management to reward compliant and hardworking individuals. Additionally, gamification creates an excellent system for monitoring performance, holding peer reviews, and recognizing employee achievements by the human resource department. Hiring processes are also improved as recruits tend to feel engaged and interested in a corporate culture that has adopted gamification. Employees who work in a gamified environment show greater social advocacy towards their professions and organizations. Gamification can automate and boost natural marketing to a great extent.
Which companies have seen great success with gamification?
Samsung is a company with strong brand advocacy that prides itself on its ability to create value, and user accepted content. Samsung launched a loyalty program known as the Samsung Nation. The Samsung loyalty program allows users to participate in sweepstakes, answer questions, watch videos, and become engaged with the organization. For their efforts, users are rewarded with cool badges and achievements. After implementing the loyalty program, Samsung saw a massive increase in site visitors, comments, and great product reviews.
Google decided to make some effort towards improving employee travel expense submissions on time. Instead of just sending out email warnings, Google decided to gamify the submission process totally. The company offered employees the possibility of either getting paid out based on the amount of travel allowance that was unspent, saving it for a future trip, or even donating their allowances to a charity of choice. Following this gamification process, Google’s travel allowance compliant rate shot up to 100%.
Microsoft is continually facing the issue of language localization in its product line up. However, it is quite challenging to ensure that all of their translations are entirely accurate and make sense to native speakers. How did they gamify this process? By creating a language game, which allowed its employees to view translation screens on their devices and make sure that the translations were accurate. Microsoft’s game attracted over 4,000 users who were able to verify over 500,000 screens and provide sensible language corrections for the company and its users base.
Do we need more gamification?
Gamification allows employers to compensate and motivate employees without changing all of the aspects of a professional environment that most employees have grown fond of. Employers all over the world are turning their attention towards gamification to make their work environment more productive, fun, engaging, and enjoyable for all people involved in the process. Even small and simple things such as leaderboards, point systems have been shown to improve significantly overall productivity, competitiveness, and teamwork. But is gamification only a good fit for companies that are in some way directly related to the tech industry? The answer to that is no. Regardless of the industry in which it is employed, the world needs more gamification. When gamification is well designed and introduced to the workspace – everyone benefits from it, going from salespeople to engineers, marketers, managers, and accountants. A well-designed gamification system can significantly improve overall productivity, happiness, and efficiency. Therefore, well-designed gamification is an answer to common workspace woes.