Gamification or the use of game thinking and game mechanics outside the context of gaming has gained acceptance among businesses and organizations. In 2013, more than 70% of the companies surveyed by Forbes revealed that they planned to use some sort of game thinking to boost customer engagement and marketing.
With its focus on user engagement, training, entertainment, measurement and sociability, gamification is not only being used by companies to enhance customer engagement but also to boost business productivity. Managers and administrators have begun to look at various options and methods with the help of which they can introduce gamification to boost business productivity.
Five of the most important ways managers use gamification to boost business productivity are:
1. Collaborative promotions
Employees and staff are often encouraged to take part in promotions themselves. The collaboration between senior level management and the rest of the staff to work on promoting certain new products and services has proven to be very successful. For instance, it is not uncommon these days to run pageants within a company to choose the most suitable employee to star in a promotional video.
Another example of gamification used for collaborative promotions is when employees use their own social contacts and influence to promote what their organization sells or makes. Such collaborative promotions often lead to brownie points for the participating employees, which can be redeemed monetarily or in some other form mutually agreed by senior level management and the rest of the staff.
2. Enhanced consumer and client engagement
It is well known that game thinking boosts consumer and client engagement, especially if consumers have something to gain. One of the most common examples is referral points, which are earned by consumers and customers when they bring in new leads or prospects.
Similarly, within an organization, staff and employees can be encouraged to boost customer engagement by creating game programs that tap into possible avenues with the help of which employees of an organization can interact with customers. A double-edged sword, one may call it, as this not only boosts business productivity but also customer engagement.
3. Social Sharing
Employees can be encouraged to share their own achievements on a company network, which eventually brings in a sense of competitiveness among other employees. Sharing one’s achievements and rewards given by senior level management can motivate other employees to fare better, leading to an overall enhancement in business productivity.
Care must be taken though that such social sharing is done on a closed company network, rather than on public social networks. Yammer and other closed company networks can be tapped into encouraging social sharing and thus boosting competitiveness among employees.
4. Gamification within an organization to boost employee morale
Game thinking can be employed at various levels within an organization to boost employee morale. Psychological research proves that game thinking boosts motivation, competiveness, sense of being rewarded and a loyalty towards the company.
This is very important in times of attrition and when drastic enhancements in employee positions are not possible realistically. Gamification ensures that employees work longer in the same company and that they remain loyal staff. Ultimately, this helps in boosting business productivity by increasing their morale.
5. Feedback and reviews
Feedback and reviews need not be limited to customers and clients. Employees of a company should be encouraged to leave feedback and reviews about their managers, seniors, and even peers. This helps to keep the workplace dynamic and root out problems even before they occur.
Employees can also be encouraged to leave reviews and feedback about customers and clients, which helps in focusing on more promising clients and customers. By concentrating business resources on customers and leads who have been reviewed favorably by employees, who also happen to be the first points of contact, one can enhance business productivity.
Gamification boosts business productivity
Increasingly, companies are using gamification techniques within their organizations to boost employee morale and to bring a measurable productivity paradigm within the hierarchy. Empirical data suggests that game thinking is responsible for motivating and boosting the morale of employees, thereby increasing business productivity.
Business productivity is tied to a sense of competitiveness and enhanced employee morale within an organization. One of the best ways to ensure that employees remain motivated, loyal and competitive is to introduce gamification. Managers and administrators may also look towards management tools that are specifically geared towards bringing in game thinking and gamification within an organization.