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How to Use Gamification at Work?

Work gamification with quiz and a poll question displayed

Gamification, an innovative approach that can make mundane tasks exciting, is rapidly transforming the world of Human Resources (HR). Stemming from a term coined by British programmer Nick Pelling in 2002, gamification’s roots dig deep into human behaviour and motivation. This principle is now adopted widely by various industries, with HR departments embracing its strategic use across their functions. In this in-depth exploration, we delve into the fascinating realm of HR gamification, understanding its advantages, use cases, and future prospects.

Gamification and HR – A Winning Combo

Gamification at work incorporates elements of game playing into non-gaming activities to make them more engaging and enjoyable. In HR, it aids in boosting employee morale, improving performance, and fostering a more engaging, dynamic, and collaborative work culture. By making routine tasks like training, recruitment, and compliance fun, gamification transforms how HR departments operate.

Gamification text with multiple elements displayed

Rolling the Dice in Recruitment – A Closer Look

Recruitment, especially for large corporations, can be a tedious and challenging process, often demanding out-of-the-box strategies. The thing with hiring is that it needs to be done quickly and efficiently. Hiring is usually done when a vacant post or an existing responsibility isn’t manageable by the number of people available. So the longer no one is hired, the longer productivity will suffer; hence companies push to hire the right resource in the least possible time. And that is where gamification brings in a breath of fresh air, adding a dash of fun while retaining the professional integrity of the process. Some examples of gamification in the workplace are given below:

Innovative games: Domino’s Pizza showcased an interesting approach with the Pizza Mogul game in 2015, allowing participants to create pizza recipes and earn money for each order. This strategy resulted in increased engagement and a heightened brand image.

Quizzes and trivia: These formats aren’t just entertaining, but they also provide insight into a candidate’s behavioural patterns in work scenarios.

Hackathons: By creating a competitive platform for coders to showcase their skills, companies can identify the best talents efficiently and swiftly.

Points systems: Points-based referral systems, like the one implemented by Betterworks, motivate employees to refer potential hires, incentivising successful referrals with tangible rewards.

Onboarding with a Difference

Onboarding forms the initial impression for new hires, significantly affecting their integration into the company. Glassdoor research highlights that a robust onboarding process can enhance retention rates by 82%. With so much resting on the onboarding process, gamification in human resources can help with making a usually mundane process more interesting and enjoyable for new hires. Let’s look at some examples:

Points and rewards: Companies use point systems to drive employee performance from the get-go. Deloitte, for example, implemented the “Chosen Analyst” game for new recruits, promoting efficient learning while making the process enjoyable.

Interactive games: Games play a critical role in making training programs more appealing and memorable. These can range from simple trivia to complex simulations, encouraging employees to quickly grasp and retain new information.

Level Up Your Employee Training

Training is a crucial aspect for the long-term success of any organisation, whether it’s training on rules and regulations or regarding tasks or processes. And the good news is that employee training is another area where gamification at work has made a significant impact.

Real-life work scenarios: Businesses are creating virtual simulations of their workspaces to provide practical training. McDonald’s did this successfully, resulting in cost savings and more effective training.

Microlearning-based games: Short, impactful training modules, like the safety policy game used by Walmart, enable employees to learn and apply knowledge rapidly, ensuring maximum effectiveness of the training program.

Leaderboards: A bit of healthy competition can do wonders for motivation. By implementing leaderboards, companies can incentivise employees to complete training modules and promote a culture of continuous learning.

Boosting Employee Engagement through Gamification

Employee engagement is the emotional commitment an employee has to an organisation and its goals. It’s not merely about employee satisfaction or happiness; it goes beyond that, encapsulating the level of enthusiasm and dedication an employee feels towards their work. Engaged employees care about their work and the success of their company. They are not just working for a paycheck or the next promotion but are working on behalf of the organisation’s goals.

Needless to say, employee engagement forms the backbone of any successful business, and gamification in HRM can play a pivotal role in enhancing this.

Gamified learning activities: Games, challenges, quizzes, and point systems can turn everyday tasks into engaging activities. This not only breaks the monotony but also encourages creativity and teamwork.

Feedback systems: Companies like Target have introduced gamified feedback systems that provide instant performance reviews, enabling continuous employee development.

Gamification in a laptop screen

Gamification and Policy Compliance

Updating employees about company policies can be a tedious task, often met with low engagement. However, if you know how to gamify workplace, you can easily overcome this challenge.

Reward-based compliance: Google, for instance, introduced a gamification-based incentive where employees could add unspent daily allowances from business trips to their paychecks, resulting in better compliance with travel policy.

Boosting Productivity The Gamification Way

Gamification in human resources can also drive personal and team productivity, fostering a sense of healthy competition and mutual growth.

Productivity games: Companies like Amazon have introduced games that allow employees to control their workload while earning rewards, boosting morale and productivity.

Performance tracking: Salesforce’s “Big Game Hunter” program is an excellent example of how gamification can increase CRM adoption and improve productivity.

Game On for HR

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of HR, gamification continues to make significant strides in shaping employee experiences. With its inherent ability to motivate, engage, and drive performance, it’s a tool that holds immense potential for future HR practices. Its application in various HR functions proves that gamification is not just a passing trend but a game-changing strategy for modern human resources management. In the grand game of HR, it’s safe to say gamification is not just winning but rewriting the rules of engagement.

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