How Gamification Can Make Your Team More Productive

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Just when you thought your game playing days were over and you vowed never to get sucked into another video game, a new strategy in making employees more productive has hit town.

So called gamification has been lauded as the next big thing to convince staff to work harder and foster healthy competition between individuals and teams with the introduction of online games. No, Angry Birds and Fortnite won’t be making an appearance in your office but games that offer an equally competitive edge just might.

The buzz around gamification has attracted a lot of attention, particularly as companies such as Microsoft and other big names have been using it successfully. “More and more organisations are turning work tasks into online challenges which are either fulfilled individually or as a team. There are tangible prizes for winners to encourage take-up. Companies are beginning to see real results and are encouraging more staff to take up the challenges”, says Andreas Irvine, a Tech Blogger at Writemyx.

Not Just Any Game

The secret to using gamification as a tool is to select tasks carefully. The games should encourage a behaviour that you want to see more of by rewarding players as the games progress. For example if you run a call centre, you might use games to drive up sales calls. The game would be specific to the industry, team and behaviour you wish to promote.

Within the game play, you might incorporate a leader board so the more competitive colleagues on your team can see how they are progressing each day. This will also encourage other employees to join when they see a colleague progressing up the ranks. Games should be straightforward to play, offer instant recognition of wins and offer the opportunity to ‘level up’.

If implemented properly the correct game will help motivate staff to carry out the behaviour you wish to see more of and to provide you with clear data on productivity. This data can then form the basis for performance review and help implement change in team and individual goals.

How To Implement Gamification In the Workplace

While many employees will jump on board with the idea of games as a tool for motivation, there will be some who resist this non-traditional way of working.

According to Serena Bourne, Writer at Originwritings and 1day2write: “Changing the culture of an organisation and how it works can be a difficult transition for many people. They are naturally suspicious of change and of the motivations behind that change. They might feel that they are being patronised with the idea of gamification but, generally, once the changes are up and running most people find themselves drawn in and even enjoying it”.

Implement a game by first identifying the behaviour you want to see more of, and then demonstrate how instant feedback generates instant results and develop clear goals. Once you include an award/reward system you should have the support you need to make gamification a success. Once one of your teams is on board, it may even be appropriate to roll it out to the rest of your organisation.

Remember too that game play isn’t just for motivating employees. There is every reason to incorporate gamification into your interactions with customers too. Though, slightly different in design, the idea is still the same: to drive a specific behaviour. This could be through a quiz, fun survey or other type of game but the key is rewarding the customer for their involvement with your online content.

Playing games at work is no longer something you don’t want the boss catching you doing. The push towards a healthily competitive workplace can only result in a more productive, happier workforce and a company that sees better results and more motivated employees. While the research around gamification is still evolving, it’s fast becoming seen as the kind of management tool that will continue to grow and develop. If the tech giants are doing it now, it seems clear that everyone else soon will be. Get in the front door and create your productive environment by making gamification part of your workforce strategy.

Originally published at facilethings.com.

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