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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, as the saying goes, but is this really useful advice if you’re trying to keep Jack, Jill, and the rest of your team engaged in the workplace? As it happens, it is! Let’s explore how you can use gamification to your business’ benefit.
First, it will help to establish exactly what gamification is.
In its most basic terms, gamification is the process of taking one of your run-of-the-mill procedures and adding perks and other motivating factors to make it an engaging activity that your employees are motivated to do to the best of their ability.
This concept isn’t a new one. Consider the “employee of the month” tradition many offices will adopt. All it is, is a means of creating a bit of healthy competition between your employees to encourage them to compete with one another. Lately, the concept of adding game-like elements to the workplace has been expanding in more and more industries, and is now present even in the biggest enterprises.
Why? Psychology, if you can believe it.
There are certain factors that human beings tend to find more motivating than others. A few big ones are being recognized, competing with others, and the promise of a reward in exchange for their efforts. It just so happens that turning tasks into games is so effective because doing so incorporates all three of these factors into your operations.
This has been proven so effective, the likes of Google and the United States Army use gamification pretty regularly - Google to help minimize travel expenses by allowing them to keep any of the allocated funds for a business trip that have gone unused, and the Army as a recruitment tool.
There are multiple options that someone interested in gamifying their workplace has to consider. There are many programs and solutions available for different industries and applications that may be a worthwhile investment for you to make.
If you’d prefer to just dip your toe in and experiment with DIY gamification tactics, it isn’t difficult to do so. You could try distributing random cards to people as they accomplish goals and reach milestones, and see who can “draw” the best poker hand. You could do the same, but in a raffle format for some fun prizes every so often.
The key is to introduce those factors that can lead to a task being translated from a chore, to a game.
Have you ever experimented with gamification in the workplace? What did you find most effective about it? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!