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Some of the common challenges that HR faces are attracting and retaining top talents in the industry. One effective way to do so is through gamification. This is where you apply game-oriented thinking to various non-gaming aspects of your organization, such as employee training, performance evaluations, and compliance checks.

There are several benefits of gamification in business. It capitalizes on fun, rewards, and recognition to appeal to your employees. This, in turn, can motivate them to perform better and boost their engagement in the process.  In fact, a study by Statista shows that 89% of employees feel they could get better results through gamification. Nowadays, there are various gamification tools and software to help you incorporate gamification in the workplace. Couple it with these tips, you’ll soon be able to take full advantage of what this strategy has to offer.

How to gamify your workplace?

The benefits of gamification in the workplace are plenty more than laugh riots and cool squad names. Here are some tips to imbibe gamification at work.

1. Make goals clear and transparent

Before you and your employees could get carried away with all the fun and games, establish clear objectives first. Determine why gamification is important and what you want to get out of it. From there, you can decide on what kind of game you want to implement to achieve your goals. Of course, once you have your targets, you must communicate these clearly to your employees. Remind them that these games are meant for more than just fun. Keep your activities aligned with your company’s goals. And make sure that these goals are transparent to the rest of your employees.

Setting up milestones is also a good way to motivate your employees. It gives them a sense of achievement, making the games all the more rewarding and relevant.

2. Explain the rules and processes of the game

All games have their own set of rules that participants must follow. Thus, knowing the guidelines of the game is essential so that your employees could fully participate in your activities. Besides your goals, you must also communicate the game's rules and processes to everyone eligible to join. This includes the criteria to know if they’ve won, the rewards at the end, the guidelines for qualification and disqualification, how long the activity will last, and what they need to do to win. Whenever gamification is applied, the rules and processes must be crystal clear to everyone participating. This makes sure that everyone has an idea of how it works. Likewise, they have a reference to go back to during the entire activity. In this way, everyone will be competing fairly.

3. Start simple

Sometimes, less is more, especially when you’re only starting. And with gamification, you would want to keep everything simple first. This means easy-to-understand mechanics and short activities with matching payoffs. This way, you can test out which ones work and which ones don't without wasting too much time, cost, and energy on inefficient processes. Simple challenges like competing for the “highest weekly customer satisfaction rating,” “highest number of closed incidents for the week,” “perfect monthly attendance,” or “highest reached the quota for the month” can be a good start. It is easily measurable by numbers, and your employees don’t have to wait long to get their rewards. Likewise, these are all attainable and are aligned with your company’s goals. Taking it one step at a time allows your employees to adjust and build confidence along the way. This also gives them something to look forward to in the future. You might also want to look into how to implement gamification software in the workplace to help ease the strategy into your business operations.

4. Provide enticing rewards and incentives

Gamification in business also goes hand in hand with having a rewards and incentives system for your employees. These can be in the form of recognition, tokens, or both. Having this would give your employees the push and motivation they need to participate in your activities.

According to a recent study, 83% of employees feel motivated to perform better and work harder when they know rewards are waiting for them in the end. Not to mention, fostering a friendly and competitive atmosphere gives them a reason to continue improving themselves instead of getting complacent in the long run.

Xoxoday Compass is the real deal when it comes to gamifying incentives. Learn more>>

You must make sure, however, that your rewards are desirable to your employees. For example, competing for the title “top employee of the year” would require more than just a badge and a quick pat on the back. Such a simple gesture for an exceptional achievement may not be enough to entice your employees to work hard for the title. Opt for a weekend getaway in a resort somewhere or a year-end bonus instead

5. Monitor and track progress

Like all initiatives, you must evaluate whether your activities are successful and effective. You can do this by constantly monitoring and tracking progress with each game. Using spreadsheets, survey forms, or software, you can check out how these games affect your employees’ performance. Is it motivating them to work harder? Have they become more productive compared to before you implemented gamification? Does it help you achieve your company’s goals? Aside from its impact on employee productivity, you can also check if your activities appeal to your employees. This way, you can work on improving your gamification or upping your rewards in the future.

6. Leverage data

Nowadays, businesses are becoming more data-driven than ever. With the various tools and software available out there, you can easily mine and analyze data from different aspects of your business. And yes, you can also gather crucial data from gamification as well. By implementing gamification into your workplace, you can find out the strengths and weaknesses of your workforce. Likewise, this lets you identify areas you need to improve on and how best to tackle such issues. This information can help you create smarter strategies and plans for your business. More than that, it can also help you build a strong culture for your organization to make itself future-ready. Using gamification in HR, for one, can provide you a wealth of knowledge when it comes to managing your employees. You can discover the best ways of gamification to increase employee engagement, the most effective communication methods, the common skills that you need to train your employees with, and more.

7. Mix it up

Once you’ve introduced gamification into your workplace, the challenge now is how to keep these activities going without boring your employees in the long run. After all, participating in the same competition or game can eventually lose its appeal. Liven up your activities by adding something to it every once in a while. You can do this by switching up the difficulty setting (while still making it attainable), introducing new rules or elements into the games, or changing the game altogether.

Why so serious?

Who says you can’t have fun at work? Incorporating gamification into your office can drastically change the way your employees work. It gives them a reason why they need to perform better and improve themselves along the way. Furthermore, it makes them feel appreciated for the time and effort they put into the company.

Just keep these tips in mind if you’re planning to introduce gamification into your workplace. This can help facilitate a smoother transition from a traditional setup into a more dynamic and fun work environment within the office. You can also use the various software available out there to create holistic activities for your employees.

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Manoj Agarwal