Gamification takes the essence of games attributes and techniques that game designers use to engage players and applies these to a range of real-world processes inside a company and to non-game experiences to motivate actions that add value to the business. Gamification is transforming business models by creating new ways to extend relationships, craft longer-term engagement, and drive customer and employee loyalty. It works because it leverages the motivations and desires that exist in all of us for community, feedback, achievement and reward.
Gallup’s latest research shows why companies are increasing their interest in gamification.The Gallup study finds 31% of employees are engaged at work (51% are disengaged and 17.5% actively disengaged). But what is most interesting is how this data compares when you apply a generational segmentation. It turns out Millennials are the least engaged generation with only 28.9% engaged as compared to 32.9% for Gen X & Boomers.
So how can various processes in human resources be “gamified” to provide an opportunity for employees across the generations to increase their levels of engagement, collaboration and recognition in the workplace?
- Think strategy first: identify and articulate specific business objectives you are trying to achieve with gamification;
- Understand what motivates your employees: gamification is 75% psychology and 25% technology;
- Engage employees at the emotional level: more than points, badges and leaderboards, gamification engages at a core emotional level.
HR departments process different kind of tasks, let’s highlight the most likely to be gamified. Take recruiting, for instance. Games offer a natural and fun way for people to explore and learn more about a company and its culture. The recruiting and talent acquisition arenas have experienced the most success to date with incorporating gamification strategies to engage with potential candidates and give them a taste of day-to-day life within a company.
It’s not just recruiting where HR can get into the game. In the landscape of corporate learning and development programs, gamification has potential as well. Interactive games drive employee participation and enable the transfer of educational content in a fun and appealing way. The rewards and incentives built into gaming plays well with performance management, which is a key factor in keeping employees engaged. Companies can employ gamification elements when designing performance plans to entice employees to participate more fully in their own performance planning. This level of HR gamification in performance management is still in its infancy but has the potential to drive high performers to new heights and ultimately enhance a company’s business performance.
Somehow, despite promising success stories, many companies have not embraced gamification as a meaningful solution to industry challenges. Some of the most common barriers to adoption include:
- A belief that gamification is too expensive. However, companies do not necessarily need to develop a full-fledged game or gaming software to take advantage of gamification.
- Older executives do not buy into the strategy. Whether your company operates under board management or a chief executive officer, some old-school managers may not understand or approve of gamification in the workplace. Check with the Millennials in the company and get their help in making the case for gamification to the GenX/Baby Boomers.
- Lack of understanding about gamification. Many businesses today still don’t understand how it works or the range of benefits that accrue to incorporating game-like incentives into workplace activities. More and more companies are using it and talking about the benefits though; so it is becoming easier to explain gamification and to demonstrate its value to those who still don’t get it.
Gamification lead to the one thing that HR just can’t get enough of: data. The increased data generated from gamifying these HR processes means that HR professionals will have more ways than ever to measure the effectiveness of their programs and to make real-time adjustments. Gamification has potential as an important component of a company’s overall HR strategy. The fact is companies that don’t incorporate gaming principles into HR practices risk it being “game over” as the competition passes them by.
Woobe is the best tool for HR professionals to manage and improve internal networking. A solid internal network is required to implement successfully the New World of Work in your company, gamification included. Once again Woobe is on the edge in the future of work: thanks to the mobile application available to all the employees, and the ability to carry out surveys, the more employees use the platform, the more they get points. The HR will therefore have the right support to include gaming features to real-world processes.