Companies often design innovative and creative strategies to engage their new recruits and encourage a soft landing for them. This helps to get them familiarized with the culture, environment, working styles and of course provides them feedback on expectations. Altogether, a great onboarding process can significantly boost productivity for the new joiners. However, what happens after a year or more is completely the opposite. Morale is drastically reduced, productivity on the decline and complacency at a high. Companies need another innovative and creative strategy to improve employee engaged of their existing employees. But what?
The trouble for employees is after the first year or so. Once the excitement of the new opportunity and the charm of learning new things fade, employees lose their drive. This is precisely why engagement is a metric which needs to be tracked and measured throughout your employees’ career. By doing so, you’re constantly keeping a pulse on their engagement levels and, hence, ensuring how productive, highly charged up and motivated your employees are.
Consider the effort, time, thinking and investment you put into your new recruits. How you develop strategies that give you insights on how to drive their performance, make them feel cared for and how you want them to believe that you really want to help them grow. The same needs to be applied on an ongoing basis to your existing employees in the form an employee engagement strategy that really works. And that employee engagement strategy is gamification.
The Gamified World
Gamification is fast spreading across the consumer world and not just in the space of mobile gaming. There are several other areas where gamification mechanics have been applied, one being fitness tracking. FitBit has been awarding its users badges and rewards for their activities and health. Plus it gives users the ability to compete with friends as well. This way you’re not only competing against your own goals and targets, but also working to beat competitors.
Then there are gamified productivity apps like Habitica, SuperBetter and Todoist Karma, to name a few, that help you turn your daily chores, errands and other mundane to-do list items into fun interactive games. Using these will help you complete your daily routine tasks and work towards your long term goals as well by collecting badges and earning points.
Hence, it’s safe to conclude that gamification isn’t a new phenomenon. Neither is it restricted to certain areas of life. It’s being used in a variety of ways for people and companies to achieve their goals through a gamified strategy.
Gamification employs the same science as mobile and video games, which aim to specifically activate human reward centers. In fact, a study by Frontier of Human Neuroscience has suggested that playing games can lead to improved cognitive performance. And it found that the rewards learned while playing such games can be retained by the players for a longer time. Using the same concept, gamifying workplace strategies has the similar effects on elevating engagement, driving motivation and encouraging employees to eagerly get work done.
Motivating Through Gamification
What motivates individuals can vary in several ways. It holds a different meaning for different individuals. Some employees may be motivated by the feeling of accomplishment and achievement, others by being a part of a group, some are motivated by exhibiting their competencies, and yet some by power. And these are just some of the motivators that employees have expressed. There is no one motivator that can work its magic on all employees. It’s, in fact, a combination of these and other motivators that collectively drives people.
What this means is that applying a single motivator cannot possible motivate your entire organization. You need a motivator mix working together within one platform. Different motivators will appeal to different employees and collectively you’ll be able to meet your goal of engaging and motivating your workplace.
In the world of gamification, collaborating with other players and working as a team to complete “missions” can give some employees the feeling of being a part of a team. While badges can motivate those employees who desire power. Competitive employees can be motivated by leaderboards. While others would be motivated by leveling up their competencies.
Having a purpose to aim for (the overall corporate goal that’s made visible through goals in the gamified platform) and earning rewards for completing goals is a great way of motivating your employees. And gamified platforms can help you improve employee engagement.