No matter what type of business or industry you are a part of, you are competing with other companies to attract the best employees. After all, your company cannot grow without the assistance of devoted and talented workers.
As you compete with other companies to attract this new generation of workers, your company may be utilizing many strategies. Of course, at a minimum, you should make sure you have safe working conditions for workers. Unsafe working conditions can result in injuries, which leads to decreased morale and to an increased chance of lawsuits.
Another way to attract workers to your company is to offer creative perks. For example, you may consider giving employees paid time off a couple of times a year to work on a service project within the community. Your workers will appreciate being able to volunteer at their child’s school or parent’s senior center while being paid, and your company will enjoy improved public relations within the community.
But besides focusing on employee safety and offering creative perks, some companies are turning to gamification to maximize employee development. Let’s learn what gamification is and discuss how this strategy can be used to increase the return on investment for each of your employees.
What is gamification?
Surprisingly, there is already a dictionary definition of gamification. According to the Oxford diction, gamification is “the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.”
Marketing executives have been using games for decades to promote products. For example, McDonald’s Monopoly game drew consumers to the fast-food chain in hopes of winning prizes and cash.
On the other end of the healthy-lifestyle spectrum, Nike has also has experienced success by using gamification. They developed an app called the Nike Run Club that encouraged customers to track their fitness progress while competing with others.
While these are interesting examples, you may be wondering what gamification has to do with attracting employees. The answer is that some businesses are using gamification to train employees and to spark employee engagement on the job.
Here are some reasons why you may consider bringing gamification into your workplace.
1. Games make unpleasant tasks pleasant
Fans of Mary Poppins will surely remember the scene where Mary instructs Jane and Michael to clean the nursery. The children at first are uncooperative until Mary shows them how to make a game of it.
One would think that adults would be too sophisticated and savvy to fall for such trickery, but the fact is that people like games. You may be a highly functioning and intelligent adult, but you may find yourself inexplicably drawn to Fruit Ninja or Fortnite.
Do you require employees to complete mundane, unpleasant tasks as a part of their training or work? Gamification may make those unpleasant jobs more fun.
2. Gamification may attract employees to your organization
You are in competition with other businesses for customers, but you are also in competition with other companies for reliable employees. Attract desirable employees to your business by utilizing gamification in your workplace.
Think about the jobs you have had in your life. How many of them were the result of a friend encouraging you to apply to a particular place? People are more likely to encourage others to apply for a job if they are happy and engaged in their own position.
3. Gamification may keep employees from leaving the workplace
It takes a lot of time and money to hire new employees. Think of the hours spent on recruitment, onboarding, and training. Some employees may not even offer a return on investment until months after they were hired.
If you have a difficult time retaining employees, consider using gamification strategies in the workplace. But don’t just take our word for it. A recent Gallup poll said that employees are 87% less likely to leave a workplace if the strategy is used to engage employees at work.
4. Gamification increases productivity
It is estimated that 71% of employees are not engaged at work. While this statistic may seem alarming, you may not be surprised by it. You probably have seen such disengagement from your coworkers, or perhaps you have experienced it as well.
Most people, when surveyed, say they would be more likely to stay alert and on task at work if gamification strategies were utilized. Amazingly, some studies even suggest that the technique is more effective than offering more money, especially if the game allows employees to be acknowledged for their progress. Recognition for a job well done is a powerful motivator.
5. Large companies are using gamification strategies
Business leaders across a wide range of industries have been convinced that gamification can improve employee retention and engagement. In fact, gamification has been used by Marriott, Cisco, and LinkedIn.
6. Gamification can lead to more revenue
Although you may try to sugarcoat your corporate goals by writing a flowery mission statement, you are in business to make money. You shouldn’t have to apologize for that. Making money is vital to our economy.
If you are concerned about your company’s bottom line (and who isn’t), you may consider using gamification strategies. Studies have shown that companies that use gamification with their employees can increase productivity by 43%, which, in turn, increases revenue by 23%. How much would you be willing to spend to increase the productivity of your employees by 43%?
You may have been in the business world for decades. You may have suffered through boring, mundane jobs before clawing your way up the corporate ladder to positions of leadership. Because of your background, you may be rolling your eyes at the idea of utilizing gamification for employees.
But the fact is that employees have changed throughout the years. What motivated you may not excite the new American worker. Like it or not, you need to acknowledge these changes. If you don’t, your competitors will likely reap the benefits of your hard-headedness.