In the workplace, it can be difficult to find unique ways to encourage your employees to go above and beyond in their work. It isn’t uncommon to administer positive reinforcement such as free food or parties, which will keep your employees happy and motivated. You can also follow a negative reinforcement method, though that is usually far less effective. A third, and more underutilized, method is gamification. This is a great way to get your more competitive employees to compete with one another, thus increasing productivity and creating a more fun, lighthearted work environment.
What is Gamification?
Gamification is defined as the process of integrating game mechanics and thinking in order to solve problems and engage users in non-game related areas. Essentially it’s a way of taking otherwise mundane or repetitive jobs and applying game-like elements in order to encourage participation and productivity.
How does it Work?
Gamification essentially functions by exploiting the natural human love of competition, trivial challenges, status building, sense of pride, and desire for rewards. It’s important to note that gamification isn’t about playing games, but rather about driving business objectives. Gamification maximizes three primary areas of productivity in the workplace: Education, Creativity, and Enthusiasm.
Gamification can be a great way to educate your employees on different policies, procedures, and other work-related knowledge. You can implement some sort of activity to keep your sales representatives up to date on all of your company’s latest features and products, or to train new employees on your company guidelines.
Activities such as brainstorming, crowdsourcing or idea generation can benefit significantly from gamification. Your company’s creative output will increase because a) more people will be willing to participate, and b) once those creative juices start flowing, the ideas will start generating exponentially. People’s ideas will build off one another and your team as a whole will start to think more creatively.
Gamification is a great way to offer enthusiasm to otherwise monotonous tasks. Jobs such as cashiers can often feel disconnected, but you can remedy this by having competitions between cashiers that test who can scan the most items efficiently. This will invigorate your employees and increase productivity for your company all around.
You can often utilize your payroll and HR software to implement gamification. If your provider does not have this feature, other companies focus solely on providing this option to your business. Either way, it’s definitely worth looking into if you feel like gamification could improve your business.