Games are for children, right? A healthy childhood is typically full of activities where kids compete to win gold stars on tests, trophies in sports, and higher scores on video games. Science now shows that playing games engages the limbic systems and sparks the release of “feel-good” hormones that help us feel joy. We encourage gameplay among children because they are safe, effective ways to teach problem-solving skills and how focused effort can produce personal satisfaction.
Meanwhile, in the adult world, a global Gallup poll found that 85% of working employees hate their jobs. Unlike games, activities involved in working life are failing to spark joy in most workers. Why must we sacrifice the joy of games just because we’ve grown up? This is finally starting to change. Gamification is a process by which digital platforms are equipped with game-like applications where users compete to solve real-world problems. Some pit user against user, while others pit group against group, or one large group against a time constraint.
Consumers engage in all sorts of games, including credit card travel point programs, punchcards for a free tenth coffee, and pedometers that award badges for higher daily step counts. But gamification can also do wonders to improve the working world. Gamifying many of the tasks and projects companies need their employees to complete and perfect could drastically expand employee satisfaction as well as a company’s overall productivity.
We are still in the early phases of understanding gamification’s potential to revolutionize the way we work. But since most modern companies now rely on growing online communities to support their core operations, here are four gamification ideas that managers can digitally implement today.
Special software providers, like Spinify, can create virtual leaderboards showing how fast and well each employee completes certain tasks. It awards badges, gold crowns, and virtual coins to competitors as they work through tasks during their workday. For employees who specialize in widely different skills, the program can allot different point values to different activities. For maximum incentivization, managers can award prizes to top performers and can include gaming achievements in regular performance reviews.
Other software products can introduce quiz games to a workforce on almost any topic, including new skills or knowledge bases that managers want their workforce to adopt. For example, if a manager needs a number of employees to become proficient in a new coding language, new building regulations, a new digital marketing trend, or a new coterie of online influencers, the manager can give the online community time to research and then administer a gamified quiz with incentivizing prizes for the winning team or user.
Let’s say your company is falling behind its competition and is short on new ideas. An online community manager can adopt a competition where users submit new ideas and earn points as those ideas are considered, accepted, socialized company-wide, implemented, and proven successful. This type of competition can unleash untapped creative energy from workers and produce operational improvements that just might push a company further past its competition.
Sales & Recruitment Games
Some workforce community members are great at finding new business clients and customers, while others are great at finding new projects, partners, and talent. Both are valuable to a company’s overall performance, so managers should institute games where various types of sales and talent recruitment earn points that add up over the month, quarter, or year. Those who excel in sales are often motivated by beating out their own personal record, their co-workers’ scores, or a standing company record. Gamifying these metrics could reveal a company’s true top performers and a company’s true productive potential.
Since gamification is still new, improved technology is being developed and released every day. Corporate managers overseeing online professional communities should learn about gamification options that might help ensure their employees don’t lose vigor for their jobs. Competition can be a powerful motivator that can focus the mind, trigger feel-good hormones, and help make remote workers feel more satisfied and connected to their work than ever. In our generation’s new digital workforce, gamification just might be the thing that takes its earliest adopters a full step beyond their competition.
The Alumni Reach platform features a gamification engine designed to enhance and maintain the long-term engagement of alumni. The engine incentivizes alumni to accomplish “missions” on the platform, on the company website, and on social media accounts. It has an extensive library of missions and winning mechanisms with reward badges that alumni can display on their accounts. The mission library covers all aspects of the platform, from login and keeping the profile info up-to-date to making referrals and attending events.
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