by Grace Barone
Everyone loves a little healthy competition, it's human nature. I haven't been able to wrap my head around these new techniques that society has implemented with children. Not keeping score in little league games, everyone gets a participation trophy, the grading system is either satisfactory or unsatisfactory, and no more grading scales from A-F. It's strange and honestly not preparing our youth for the real world. Competition is all around us whether we like it or not. Playing games is a huge example of a way people compete all the time. Games are fun and have many benefits when it comes to human behavior. This is why gamification in the workplace has been something business owners are implementing more and more within the workplace.
What is Gamification?
When I say gamification, I'm not talking about playing Call of Duty during a lunch break. Gamification is the application of game mechanics, like points, badges, and leaderboards to everyday activities, with the goal of nudging people's behaviors. So what does this mean in the workplace? This is essentially, just making the work day a little more fun. Creating goals, competitions and games that align with your businesses goals and foster the bettering of the business over all. It helps employee mental health and enjoyment of the job. Which in turn, makes the company's work culture much more positive and creates a close team.
Benefits of a Positive Work Culture
In recent years, small businesses everywhere have been experiencing staffing issues. During the pandemic, the workforce got hit hard. The shock of the pandemic made people realize, they didn't want to work somewhere that they weren't completely happy at. In a recent study, it was estimated that 53% of U.S. workers are unhappy at work. Having a positive work culture is a major way to retain staff. Implementing small games in the everyday workday can dramatically change the way people feel about their job. Integrating gamification injects excitement into daily routines, fostering an enjoyable atmosphere. Research indicates that gamification not only enhances productivity but also boosts engagement while decreasing employee turnover. This leads to greater job satisfaction and enjoyment for your team, resulting in increased employee loyalty.
Gamification Bettering the Workplace
Fostering a sense of recognized contributions is vital for employees. Traditionally, promotions were the go-to for acknowledging high performers, but their effectiveness diminishes over time, posing long-term sustainability challenges.
Enter gamification—an ideal remedy. By infusing workplace dynamics with gamified elements, internal competitions are sparked, sustaining motivation among staff consistently.
How to Gamify Your Work Day
If you're thinking "Okay I work at a restaurant, how can I turn that into a game?". That's okay, you do need to get a little creative. Gamification in the workplace is using game techniques in a non-game setting. Things like incorporating scores, and having prizes or recognition. There are many different ways you can make the simplest of tasks within the workplace just a little more fun. On top of making it more enjoyable, it also can boost productivity and performance. Not only are you making the work day feel positive, but you're also retaining more productive staff. It's a win-win.
Gamifying the workplace is proven to have positive effects on workplace culture and overall staff energy. But business owners should remember the overall goal of doing this, making the business better. 72% of surveyed employees have agreed that gamification inspires them to work harder. To achieve this, business owners need to make sure they're hitting a few different points while implementing a game.
This seems obvious, but it can sometimes be difficult to pin down a specific goal that is fun to do and also a constructive objective that will benefit the overall business. For example, you can decide on a specific timeline and have a goal to meet by that date. This is simple, easy to measure, and can be made to fit any industry's criteria. If the game is too complicated or has too many caveats, you won't receive the same results. The same goes for goals that seem impossible to reach or a lackluster reward for winning. When making your gamification plan for your business, remember these points;
Goals of the game
The goal should somehow improve something within the business. Maybe a task needs improvement. The goal at the end of the game should be an overall improvement and a better understanding of that task. Or, it could be involved with a business's revenue, generate X amount and get Y.
This is so they know when they’ve won. Have clear rules, maybe post them somewhere everyone can see them. Don't make the rules difficult to understand or have too many. 5-6 rules are reasonable. This is important to make clear, especially if your game involves people getting eliminated from a game.
Figure out how many, for winning, placing second, and so on. Reaching whatever the goal of the game or competition was, is the reward for the business. The "prize" for winning is the reward for your employees. So make sure it's something they will benefit from and enjoy. Getting some sort of recognition and reward makes employees feel appreciated and want to keep playing. The reward could be anything from a shoutout to a monetary bonus.
Examples of Gamification
Here are some ideas that can be implemented within different workplaces.
If you start right off the bat with some sort of gamification, it sets the tone for new employees. It leaves a good first impression and will help with how much information new hires are retaining during training. Implementing trivia competition or light hearted quizzes is a great way to have game-based training.
VMS, for example, is a sales office. The sales team is heavily motivated by the gamification the office has gone through. The sales team is split into two teams, they have leaderboards for each team as well as the sales reps within each team. The leaderboard is constantly visible and runs continuously, this is a great long-term motivator that is simple, easy to understand and the rules never change. The salespeople are then rewarded based on the leaderboard on specific dates. Having a running leaderboard tracking the performance of something within your business will create continuous engagement and performance.
Having small competitions that are very simple makes the everyday motions more enjoyable. In a restaurant setting some ideas are, servers competing against each other to see who can get the most guests to order the new special. Or, who can upsell the most guest to order deserts? Mixing up the objective continuously is important for daily games like that.
Gamify your Business
Like I mentioned early, the office that I work at, VMS has implemented gamification tools and have seen incredible results. Our staff enjoyed the element of fun, it pushes people to work harder, it gives employees an incentive to better their work performance, many coworkers are close friends, and more. If you're interested in more tools to help your small business be at its highest level, visit www.getvms.com. We offer a variety of tools and services you, your customers, and your employees will benefit from. Get your business running as efficiently as possible and fill out the form below.