The role of gamification in employee engagement

Gamification is a growing trend in employee engagement that uses a digital environment to help employees reach certain goals and objectives. The employee plays a game that offers points, status, and rewards as they improve the skills, goals, or objectives the company is trying to meet.The psychology behind gamification is that it uses regular and consistent positive feedback – points, badges, status, progression, etc. – to build up the users’ motivation.

According to Gartner Inc.’s Brian Burke in a contribution to Forbes, “When designed correctly, gamification has proven to be very successful in engaging people and motivating them to change behaviors, develop skills or solve problems.”

Gamification takes the essence of games, attributes such as fun, play, transparency, design and competition and applies these to a range of real-world processes inside an organization, including learning & development. According to a study, the Gamification Market is estimated to reach up to $5.502 billion by 2018 at a compound annual growth rate of 67.1% from 2013 to 2018.

By using technology gamification for employee engagement can be turned into a more interactive experience. It can help employees to run a variety of scenarios in a simulated environment with the goal of determining the best options for carrying out their responsibilities in unforeseen market conditions. It also increases the perceived ability of users by making difficult tasks or challenges simpler either through practice or by lowering the activation threshold of the targeted behavior. Gamification is proving to be a good way to engage and retain employees.

Role of gamification for employee engagement

Training and development:
One of the first areas where gamification can help increase employee engagement is training and development. Gamification programs are a natural fit for corporate training programs. Rewarding employees for completing learning tutorials and guiding them with missions through related educational experiences improves retention, time spent and results. This is helpful for onboarding new employees as well as training older employees on new products and policies.

Also, managers are able to better identify employees who are able to adhere to these training and development modules which is an important step. For example, after a sales training, there are a few steps that lead up to a deal which aren’t rewarded, but are statistically just as important as closing a deal. These employees or sales personnel should be duly rewarded so that they are further motivated to consistently be at their best.

Real-time performance measurement:
In many companies feedback is given in the form of Annual performance reviews which are already proving to be ineffective at managing employees performance. Time is of the essence when it comes to identifying a drop in performance. If it goes on unnoticed till the end of the year, not only will company face losses due to low productivity, it will also get too late to help that employee address his problems.

Using gamification applications, employees will be able to measure their performance in real-time and also compare it against their peers to determine where they stand on the performance curve. It can be a good way of identifying employees who are consistently lagging behind others without having to carry out detailed analysis of their annual performance reports. Managers can then take necessary steps to make sure that those who lad are counselled to get back on track as well as reward those who are performing exceptionally well.

Motivation is the key:
Gamification provides an efficient system for conducting and tracking performance reviews and providing peer recognition for professional accomplishments. This can be tied to a professional advancement track program enabling employees to see a clear path to their next level or role. It can also motivate employees to share, learn and grow together across geographical locations. Collaboration among employees goes a long way in ensuring that the company achieves its goals faster and more efficiently.

Revitalise work culture:
Gamification can promote a positive company culture, rewarding employees for cross-departmental collaboration or company-wide volunteer programs. A gamified platform can be used to track available opportunities, make these transparent to the employee, and provide a history of all employee engagement in the programs. Gamification is also extremely effective in recruiting, both in incentivizing employee referrals and keeping recruits engaged in the process from submitting their application through the final interview.

Thus, Gamification is increasingly becoming a powerful strategy for fueling motivation in workfoorce and Gamification for employee engagement is to drive real bottom-line results.

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Our inhouse authors have expertise in several areas of HR and Payroll. Their content contributions have been published in leading blogs, websites and print publications.

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