Gamification is one of the social business buzzwords most debated, but if we condense it to other familiar terms is nothing but a feedback mechanism, meant to provide incentives for employees to perform better, but also a tool for managers to identify individual progress.
Thus, the employment of gamification plays a dual role within an organization:
- One is to make work more fun and enjoyable. Whether we are talking about routine tasks or more challenging ones, introducing rewards or other forms of acknowledgement makes everything more entertaining.
- The other is for managerial insights. Gamification doesn’t bring to the table only badges and other fun concepts from the gaming industry, but also different reports about employees activity.
With Quandora we opted for positive reinforcement elements, like badges and leaderboards. These are stats that offer information about everyone’s activity, within different time frames and also different reputation level (most active users, most voted, most followed, etc). Following the changes that occur in these reports, managers can better detect the people that need more help and support, while also give proper credit to the ones that give extra value to the company through their expertise.
I said in the introduction of my post that it’s a debated term (of course, not the term, but rather its effect). That’s because there are people that rate it as a modern and valuable management tool, but there are also voices that consider the negative consequences it might have on employees too risky for adoption.
Of course there are also wrong ways of deploying gamification in the workplace. But as long as we regardfully implement it, the positive effects will emerge.
I will conclude this post by offering some directions that you should consider when it comes to the risks that gamification can expose your organization to:
- The achievements defined within the game dynamics have to be carefully designed because they can incentive employees in the wrong direction.
- Companies should observe the employees response to the rewards given based on those achievements to see if it’s in line with the desired behaviour. If not, the gamification parameters has to be adjusted.
- Be careful with making it too alluring – employees with a competitive calling can turn it into a rewards chase, risking to take over their activities and priorities – only reward the right behaviors and don’t allow gamification to become a distraction.
If you’re responsible with the deployment of a gamification project, don’t allow yourself to forget that you’re dealing with people’s behaviors and emotions. Be considerate and well-balanced when analyzing and acting according to the reports you get from the gamified professional activities. Build an authentic system that will help people get status, feel resourceful and accomplished and everything will turn out for the best.
Happy Knowledge Sharing!