For some time now, gamification has been the buzz word for businesses seeking to increase employee engagement, interaction, and productivity within their organization.
What exactly is gamification? You may not be aware of it, but you have been using the basic concept of gamification for a long time. The simple “early bird” contest during events or even the “employee of the month” competition are just some examples.
What is Gamification?
Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. It can also be defined as a set of activities and processes to solve problems by using or applying the characteristics of game elements. It commonly employs game design elements to improve user engagement, organizational productivity, flow, learning, crowdsourcing, employee recruitment and evaluation, and more.
Why Do You Need Gamification?
Put simply, gamification helps boost productivity in the workplace. Studies show that 71% of companies implementing sales gamification tools reported between 11% to 50% increases in measured sales performance.
Use gamification to:
- Motivate –Almost everyone has a competitive streak and everyone enjoys rewards and prizes. These basic elements (competition and prizes) are great motivational tools for employees.
- Engage – It’s one of the easiest ways to engage employees. The game mechanics and dynamics make gamification fun and enjoyable for them. It’s also a good bonding exercise for the employees.
- Educate / Train – Gamification can be used to drive learning and training. You can use it to inject an element of fun for onboarding, product training, and any other application that requires imparting knowledge and information to employees.
- Initiate changes – You don’t use gamification just to play games. The games are implemented to meet certain workplace objectives, prompting behaviorial changes among them. If you want to improve work attendance and reduce tardiness, for example, gamification can be used.
- Improve bottom line – Gamification’s direct impact on productivity also positively affects your bottom line.
What Does Your Gamification Need?
Gamification’s most basic element is points—participants, for example, get points for completing tasks or a “mission” or finishing the game first. But you can add other elements to your games. Here are other features you can add to train the new age workforce:
1. Goals: Goal-setting helps keep “gamers” in the proper headspace and motivated.
2. Progress Bar: Another thing that motivates is a progress bar: it shows exactly how far you’ve come and will constantly challenge you to reach 100%.
3. Badges: A prize like a virtual badge—or a real one—is one any employee would proudly display.
4. Challenge: Scale challenges to introduce different kinds and/or levels of learning.
5. Level-up: Similar to a progress bar, level-up motivates by showing a participant’s development.
6. Rewards: A real reward, like a gift certificate or discount card, is a great incentive.
7. Characters: Creating an avatar helps a participant connect with the platform and encourages deep engagement.
8. Live Chat: Real-time chat helps generate instant feedback.
9. Leaderboard: This generates the most competition and excitement. It ranks all participants, with employees with the most points ranking highest.
10. Expert Zone: Have an expert involved in the platform for instant coaching/training.
11. Feedback: Have a mechanism within the platform that provides instant feedback. This helps motivate and further challenge participants—which can help drive better results.
How Do You Effectively Implement Gamification?
Identify your goals. You are most likely doing gamification to initiate development, boost efficiency, and prompt behavioral changes within the team. Do you want to use gamification to increase sales this quarter? Make sure you know your reasons and objectives behind the game(s).
Communicate the goals and processes to your team. You need to tell your members the goals of the game, the rules and/or criteria, rewards and prizes, and what you hope to ultimately accomplish with this game (e.g. increase sales this quarter).
Customize to what your team/organization needs. Pick elements and mechanics that make sense for your team. Do you want to reward teams or individuals? Do the mechanics work given the current work systems and processes? Those are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself.
Come up with rewards that will really incentivize. There are many different kinds of prizes. What kinds of rewards would they respond to? A recognition? A hotel voucher?
Encourage everyone’s contribution/participation. It’s easy for most employees to ignore games especially if you downplay the importance. Make sure you communicate the importance of the games and encourage all employees to participate.
Keep it fun. That’s one way to really encourage participation. You should also keep it fun to keep the competition healthy.
Track it. Monitor the success of the games. Get feedback. Review results and discuss with the team members so they can learn from the experience. For example, if you used gamification to create a healthy competition among your sales reps so you can boost sales, post-game, you can discuss the winning strategies and the losing ones.
Gamification may sound complicated but it really isn’t. Lucrativ, for one, has a built-in gamification feature, and games can be modified to enforce positive attributes among your peers. You can also track your team’s performance through an intensive leaderboard that displays ranking in real time.
Gamification is a win-win strategy for sales teams. It encourages fun dynamics within team members. It’s a happy exercise for them. And you do know what they say: a happy employee is a productive employee.
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