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Elements of gaming are beginning to appear as a form of measurement and engagement in every facet of our daily lives. We’re taking endless selfies on Snapchat with the hopes of receiving a new emoji trophy and chasing down Pokémon for our daily exercise. And whether it’s through a leaderboard or point system, products such as ChoreWars, Nike Training Club, and Habit RPG are transforming the daily grind into an interactive challenge. It only makes sense that we’re also beginning to see this trend trickle into the workplace.

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Let’s play!

A recent survey found that an astonishing 78% of employees are now using game-based motivation at work, and of those, over 91% say these tactics increase engagement, awareness, and productivity. Applying gaming principles in a non-gaming environment, such as the workplace, can transform interactions between individuals, teams, and managers into productive activities for the organization. This concept is gaining traction as a means of monitoring and motivating team efficiency. In fact, an estimated 40% of Global 1,000 organizations state they plan to use gamification as the primary mechanism to transform business operations.

One example of a company that has successfully implemented game-based motivation in the workplace is Hewlett-Packard. HP sought ways to boost collaboration between its offices around the world and to better understand each individual’s impact on the organization at large.

The company created a “Net Promoter Score” game that became the most widely-used voluntary training program in the organization with more than 250,000 completions. Using elements of gaming, such as microlearning and leaderboard metrics, HP was able to show its employees exactly how their individual interactions influence the brand at large.

Using each individual’s response to a scenario, the game allowed the company to identify passive employees and turn them into promoters of the brand. The result: HP used this gaming technique to ensure that each one of its 300,000 employees was telling, and believing, the same brand story.

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How else can elements of gaming be applied in the workplace to improve business results? Here are few other ways to use game-based motivation to engage your team.

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Make training way more fun – Integrating gaming principles into the first stages of recruitment and training can help kickstart a new team member’s creativity. At this point, new employees are beginning to get a feel for the company culture and introducing new concepts in a highly-engaging way can make for stronger, more involved employees.

Domino’s Pizza is one company that implemented gaming tactics into their training program with notable success. AllenComm network partnered with the global pizza chain to turn the pizza-making process into a web-based course with points, achievements, and levels. This helped the company turn learning the ropes into a fun, impactful experience.

Motivate and drive employee performance – Gaming tactics offer your employees measurable results and these real numbers and statistics can help drive better conversations when it comes time to review employee performance. Team members can see their results and make sense of their accomplishments compared to other team members. Team leaders can also easily navigate the review conversation by supporting their feedback with hard facts.

Pump up day to day tasks – On any given day, gaming tactics can add fun, interest, competition, and engagement to your team’s daily routine. Whether it drives motivation for scheduling out tasks, competition with other teams in your department, or motivation to reach personal goals, these principles can help structure your team’s day and boost their productivity.

 

Are there any cons of a gamified work culture?

 

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Using gaming tactics in the workplace has its many advantages and it’s proven to engage employees and make them more productive. These tactics also show immediate results and allow the best workers to prove themselves. Additionally, through these creative means of measurement, your team can compare its successes to others in your organization or your industry.

However, there are potential downsides to implementing gaming tactics in the workplace. It is often argued that mandated gaming tactics are, at some level, contradictory. If employees do not wish to participate, then the tactic lacks morale. Furthermore, it might be easy to cheat when gaming is part of your career and salary. Like with any game, there is always the possibility of untruthful players. Lastly, for the most part, applications are only able to calculate what has been done, and not how it’s been done. Therefore, it’s important to implement gaming tactics that can benefit everyone’s work style.

As long as you clearly define your organization’s objectives and monitor the integrity and genuine interest of your team, game-based motivation tactics can lead to an increase in productivity and team engagement.

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