Gamification has become a buzzword of sorts in recent years. Used to describe a variety of game-based techniques in non-gaming environments, it’s being successfully used in everything from exercise to education.
It can also produce some great results and prove highly motivating for teams when applied to employee engagement. Here at Raven360 our particular focus is on incentivizing training-based growth – but that’s just one way of approaching gamification.
We’re going to give you a rundown of our 10 ways to gamify employee engagement in your organization.
1. Associative Rewards
At the top of the list is adding a reward system. The old ‘carrot and stick’ approach. While this is nothing new when it comes to overall employee performance and KPIs, it can also work wonders when implementing, say, a new IT or communications platform.
For example, if word gets around that by completing a specific task, employees can get a discount or voucher, the rate of participation can increase dramatically.
Similarly, if rewards are handed out sporadically or unexpectedly, for the completion of routine tasks such as booking a meeting room correctly, or submitting a form on time, the fact a reward’s up for grabs can also be a great motivator.
2. Competitive Leaderboards
Productivity, team spirit, and engagement are all things that can be built through gamification - specifically through the use of leaderboards. You may already have this type of gamification in place within your sales team, where sales figures are available throughout the month to measure how much business each member of the team has brought in.
The friendly competition brought about by leaderboards can be a healthy way for your employees to try and outdo one another in their productivity or efficacy. On top of this, it’s a really useful way for managers to be able to quickly gauge progress and redistribute work if one member of the team is struggling to keep up with the others.
3. Achievements and Badges
A digital version of the scout badges? Why yes! While seemingly tokenistic in their value, as a representation of a particular achievement, badges help staff demonstrate their successes. The thought of achieving a tough badge could be just the motivation a person needs to hit a KPI or get a report out the door on time.
Making these sorts of achievements visible to individuals and teams alike can help draw out some healthy competition – the kind that propels everyone to higher levels of achievement.
4. Social Media Integration
Social media is a huge part of many people’s personal lives and continues to play a role in company marketing too. In fact, the power of social media is a great way to generate awareness and demonstrate advocacy in-and outside of the business.
For example, platforms like DSMN8 empower staff to leverage their personal social networks. Using pre-prepared social media messages which they can post on their preferred platform, they can easily draw attention to their employer’s latest development or announcement.
Not only that, but the platform has a built-in gamification engine – to reward employees with the most likes and shares.
5. Make Gamification A Part of Recruitment
If you are an organization set on using gamification then what better place to use it than at the very beginning of a new employee’s journey? It’s a great way of appeal to your audience and also is going to demonstrate the culture of your business effectively to any potential candidate.
Company websites have begun to feature games where employees can go on career journeys to understand where a chosen role could take them or how it could shape their careers. This adds an aspirational element to the onboarding process – which can go a long way in engaging any employee.
6. Leveling Up
Most of us hate watching a loading bar on our computer screens… but a progress bar showing our achievements and milestones can be motivating. Adding simple completion bars to larger projects that steadily progress, in line with the work carried out, is a fantastic way to keep your teams on track over a long period.
This option is particularly effective in environments where you have multiple team members who aren’t particularly competitive. Even if they aren’t interested in besting their colleagues there is a good chance that they want to be able to see how they are getting on as a measure of their success.
7. Competitions and Prizes
Social activities in the work environment are an excellent way of building stronger team bonds and fostering greater camaraderie.
Facilitating activities such as team quizzes, contests, or similar – and offering prizes – is also an excellent way of building your ‘employer brand’ – and feeds into staff’s overall perception of what it’s like to work for your company too.
8. Finding Leaders
Psychometric testing isn’t everyone’s idea of fun. But there’s no reason why a lighthearted, fun, gamified activity can’t be used to identify how employees perform in different scenarios.
This could be delivered through trivia questions that help gauge the characteristics or motivations individuals might not outwardly share within the team.
As long as these sorts of games don’t press for answers that someone might be uncomfortable giving them can help you get to know people better – and can also help you to determine leadership qualities, which can help when you’re looking to hire internally.
9. Add Gamification to Onboarding
At the heart of gamification is the aim of making processes and tasks more interesting and engaging for your staff. One of its best applications is in the onboarding process which is often littered with lengthy and sometimes dull tasks. Because of these boring exercises, it’s not uncommon for new starters to skip through their inductions.
This can have serious complications as many inductions feature sections on health and safety as well as data security. To ensure that someone has retained the information given, providing them with a quick game or quiz to check they have understood, is a great way of reinforcing all the key points.
10. Promoting Knowledge Growth
A problem that many businesses face, even those with well-thought-out communication processes, is data siloing. The passive separation of data by the disconnection of teams can cause all sorts of problems in a business. But gamification offers a great solution.
Most data siloing occurs because teams simply forget to use the mechanisms or systems in place that ensure data is available throughout a business. However, setting up a points system that rewards them for following the correct process of logging and saving data on a CRM for instance, encourages people to buy into and continue to use a process.
11. Bonus Round: Training-Based Growth
Here at Raven360, we’ve long realized that learning itself is a great incentive in its own right. Good people – those committed to their personal and professional success – are constantly looking for ways to up their game.
Our Learning Management System (LMS) takes this notion and builds on it. Gamification is a core part of that. It’s the same with our customer-led training. We aim to empower them to use our clients’ products in the right ways, making the process a fun, engaging experience at every stage.
Hopefully, this list has not only given you a better understanding of gamification but also some inspiration for how to apply it in your business. Keeping employees engaged through gamification will allow them to reach their potential and can massively add to the success of any business – big or small.
Let us know if you’ve already used any of these techniques or plan to in the future, or if you think we’ve missed any great uses of gamification.