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How Gamification Helps Employee Engagement

By Lisa Hays, Fresh Perspective and Susan Spaulding, Recalibrate Strategies
Posted June 24, 2015

Image of smiling employees For a business to succeed, the productivity of its employees is key. Fully engaged employees will help a company achieve all it’s capable of achieving. However, if productivity in your business or department is off, you might have employees that aren’t accomplishing as much as they could. Simply put, they aren’t engaged.

To remedy the problem, increasing employee engagement is a must. One recalibrating strategy to do that is gamification. What is gamification? It refers to applying game-like designs and strategies to non-game applications or tasks.

Games are not new. Applying their motivational techniques to business is. An increasing number of businesses are using various gamification applications to create brand awareness, grow customer loyalty and drive employee engagement. It’s all about tapping into the psychology of motivation.

How Gamification Works
Gamification as applied to business management and marketing was founded by Bunchball founder and chief product officer Rajat Paharia. “It works because it leverages the motivations and desires that exist in all of us for community, feedback, achievement and reward,” he says.

The 10 key mechanics of gamification are:

  • Fast feedback
  • Transparency
  • Goals
  • Badges
  • Leveling up
  • Onboarding
  • Competition
  • Collaboration
  • Community
  • Points

Essentially, the mechanics named above are critical for getting employees (or “players”) engaged in the task at hand (or “game”), resulting in high levels of motivation and desire to perform well.

Rewarding Employees through Gamification
The first thing that should be understood about implementing an employee rewards system through gamification is that there are different types of “players.” Richard Bartle names the four player types as:

  • achievers (those who play to win or compete)
  • explorers (those who love to create and discover)
  • killers (those who will cheat or heckle)
  • socialites (those who play for the community benefits)

Each of your player types—or employee types—will respond differently to different types of gamification strategies as well as different reward types. Choose rewards for your employees that will best incentivize them to achieve business objectives.

Gamification Applied toward Employee Engagement
Today there are many examples. Target, for one, uses gamification to give its cashiers more motivation to be quick and accurate. They are given real-time feedback of how quickly they scan goods at checkout—the more efficient the cashier, the higher the cashier scores.

Keas, an employee wellness program, is used by different companies to help keep employees’ health insurance costs low. When employees log information about their health—like the number of steps they’ve taken that day—it appears on their profile. Employees can earn points and rewards, and view their own stats, as well as that of other employees’ within the company.

Implement a Gamification Strategy Today
Employee engagement is multifaceted. Between collaboration, productivity, motivation, ideation, learning, training, and support, there are multiple components of employee engagement that gamification can help energize.

The benefits of implementing a gamification strategy are numerous. To get started, choose a manager or supervisor to be the lead for a gamification plan. Then, consult with your point person to identify key issues in employee motivation and productivity. Together, you can develop and implement a gamification strategy. It could be just the ticket for getting more of your employees actively engaged.

What can you expect? Things like greater ROI, greater employee retention, greater employee satisfaction, improved safety and less absenteeism. You’ve got a lot to look forward to.

Recalibrate Strategies
Recalibrate Strategies help companies grow their business. We apply proven marketing systems to recalibrate their business and their brands by collaboratively creating a success blueprint. We facilitate a process that harnesses insights, generates new ideas and provides a strategic roadmap. Our founder and lead consultant has 30+ years of experience as a CEO, entrepreneur and marketing expert with exceptional leadership and facilitation skills.

Susan Spaulding, Recalibrate Strategies
Twitter: @Spaulding_Susan

Fresh Perspective
Fresh Perspective helps business leaders make key strategic decisions. We adeptly research, analyze and synthesize results to deliver only ‘need to know’ insight to leaders so they make the right decision the first time. Lisa Hays, founder and CEO, gained considerable experience from widely varied roles in large corporations. She combines her 30+ years’ experience, expertise and objective viewpoint to directly help business leaders.

Lisa Hays, Fresh Perspective, Inc.
Twitter: @Periwinkle4Lisa



Meet Lisa Hays, President/CEO