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Gamification at Workplace: Everything HR Needs to Know

Gamification at Workplace: Everything HR Needs to Know_Yellow Spark Blog Photo by Daniele Franchi on Unsplash


Gamification at Workplace: Everything HR Needs to Know

Elements of gamification have found places in our personal lives in different ways. One of the most common examples where we see it often is the customer loyalty industry where customers can earn digital reward points once they achieve the set criterion. This is very common in the aviation and retail industry, where flyers earn miles and shoppers earn points; all of which are redeemable towards certain goods or services.

Gamification has proved to be a great catalyst to enhance employee engagement just as it has transformed customer engagement. This same concept is now making its way rapidly into organisations learning space, simplifying the learning and making the implementation of employee training far more engaging. It has recently also gained popularity in the recruitment industry. Gamification is a valuable technique to bring about behaviour change among employees in the workplace. And when done right, it can aid to achieve just about every organisational objective.

What is gamification?

Gamification is the implementation of game elements in a non-game context such as at the workplace where point scoring, winning rewards, maintaining of leaderboards, encouraging competition, etc. are deployed as ways to inculcate the desired behaviour or results among employees.

According to a gamification survey, 80% of employees enjoy the use of gamification software, 87% of employees feel more productive, 84% feel more engaged and around 82% feel happier at work.

Here are 6 areas in which your company can deploy gamification in the workplace:

1. Gamification to boost employee performance

One of the best ways to use gamification at the workplace is by introducing it to increase or upgrade employee performance. Salesforce is one great example, to enhance their employees’ performance game-based learning was introduced called the ‘Big Game Hunter’. This program was launched to increase the use of its complex CRM system as well as to increase employee engagement amongst all sales representatives. The employees started as learners but soon found their way towards rewarding statuses as they had now aced at their new CRM features. The outcome of this program was a great success as the compliance increased by over 40% among customers.

For your organisation, identify a low-performance area and explore how it can be gamified to boost employee performance.

2. Level up the employee engagement with gamification

Gamification has proved to play a pivotal role when it comes to employee engagement, and this is important because research has proven time and again that engaged employees are more productive employees.

With the intention to increase knowledge sharing and adopt the internal knowledge management system, Accenture, deployed gamification to encourage the behaviour of sharing important content among peers. Employees earned points for sharing blogs and re-usable documents with their peers; for completing their online profile and for sharing content, etc. The accumulated points were converted to rewards and this led to an increase not only in productivity but also led to an explosion of innovative ideas and Accenture excelled at their engagement process.

For your organisation, ascertain the employee engagement priority and explore what gamification element can help you boost your employee engagement.

3. Gamify your onboarding process

As you are familiar, the onboarding process is primarily to introduce newly hired employees to the organisation’s rules, policies, processes and behaviours (read culture) so that they can quickly become an insider. Often onboarding processes are bypassed and even if one exists, in my experience they lack creativity and usually, the process turns out to be a waste of time. Defeats the purpose, wouldn’t you agree?

Here’s how Deloitte made the most of gamification. They created a video game which gave a virtual office tour to the new employees. The process began with an arena at the airport where visitors (new employees) are allowed to choose their destination like Hong Kong, Beijing or Shanghai then the visitors fly to that city and arrive at their local Deloitte virtual office, where they can engage in a conversation with the employees and learn more about their office culture. Is it not fabulous?

For your organisation, map the current onboarding process in detail and explore ways to introduce gamification to accelerate learning, even if it’s just for one module.

4. Make your learning & development fun and interesting

Leaning and development are of utmost concern to the organisation. To have your employees up to date with the latest tools and platforms as well as the required skill is a must. But having every employee undergo the learning process by using the old school way can prove to be a little lengthy.

Cisco addressed this problem by using gamification principles in one of their social media training. The training was divided into departments where the marketing team learned to use Twitter as an extended service to their customers, the sales team were trained to use LinkedIn to reach new customers and the HR team learned to use LinkedIn to search for candidates. They measured the learning process by having three different levels of certification based on badges for completing different challenges. All in all, the learning transpired and Cisco gained higher productivity.

For your organisation, jot down the learning agenda for the coming year. Pick at least two learning objectives and apply simple gamification principles to transform the learning process.

5. A cool way to build the company culture

One of the crucial aspects of organisational success is its people. It’s eventually people who are custodians of the company culture. The company culture must be understood, imbibed and fostered among employees. It can’t be assumed that any new employee will automatically adopt the company’s culture. And gamification is an outstanding way to train employees w.r.t company culture and values.

Continuing the Deloitte example, they digitalized and gamified their training where the newbies had to team up with other new joinees and learn about company’s privacy, ethics, compliance, values, culture and procedures online. Of course, it also embedded gamification elements like badges, leaderboards and missions to engage the new employees.

For your organisation, recognize the gap in the knowledge and understanding of your company culture amongst employees and identify ways to gamify culture and value-based behaviour.

6. Game up your communication

Poor communication is typically the root cause of a variety of organisational difficulties. And the WFH scenario is adding layers of complications to the mix. Whether it is briefing, appreciating, giving feedback or simply giving an update or checking in, to have a smooth functioning at different levels in the organisation, it is important to have clear, timely and frequent communication as a lack of communication can very quickly lead to disengagement.

Target introduced a non-digital way to communicate real-time with their managers as it was noticed that the cashiers were rarely receiving feedback from their line managers. The company decided to engage the cashiers in a game while billing for customers. With the gamified system, a red and green light was installed at the cashier’s post to indicate if the items were scanned optimally. This helped the company to reduce errors, the managers were able to give live feedback and this in turn boost their employee engagement.

For your organisation, identify various communication touchpoints at different levels in your organisation and strengthen communication with gamification.

The important key to the successful execution of workplace gamification is to first understand the need and objective. The adoption and execution of gamification can be easy for one organisation and a struggle for another depending on the objective, the number of employees as well as the mode of execution. Gamification doesn’t mean to simply turn the workplace into a game, but understanding the psychology of your employees to motivate them, drive engagement and improve the business results, whether it is to attract new talents, educate employees, optimise workflows and even retain employees.

At Yellow Spark, we develop simple customised HR processes & training with built-in gamification elements for our clients which enables them to fast track the desired results. To know how we can help you, write to us on – contact@yellowspark.in

About the author: This article is conceptualised by Yellow Spark and first published on the Let’s Buzzz blog. Let’s Buzzz is a comprehensive reward and social recognition product designed for both small and large enterprises. To know more about Let’s Buzzz or to get a demo click here.