GAMIFICATION, FACT OR FAD?

According to Wikipedia, “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.” So what does this have to do with the workplace? Gamification has moved into the workplace in an immense way. Do any of you remember the “Got Milk” advertising campaign? There was much more to the campaign when a UK Ad agency developed the game “Get the Glass”. The goal was to get people to drink more milk. Millions of people joined the game. Today, Gamification is being used in the workplace in numerous ways. If you think about it, everyone is playing something on their phones. People are motivated to share, compete, interact and make new friends through various games. We all want to motivate our employees, and we know recognition, rewards, and competition is a great way to do this. Learning has indeed recognized gamification but awarding badges and competition. When we want employees to mindful of important deadlines such as Open Enrollment, we add gamification.

Millennials were raised with rewards, praise, and everyone is a winner. Once referred to as Behavior Modification. If you do your chores for a week, you get a prize. When they enter the workforce, they are looking for the same thing. We tell our employees, “here are your goals”, and we reward them for their achievement. Now, we have the technology to help them manage their recognition and awards. Honestly, gamification stimulates creativity, collaboration and enhances decision making. By keeping employees engaged and encouraged, business transformations happen. Innovated thinking is cultivated and creativity results in new products and services. Companies can adapt to changing environments, marketplaces, if their employee is not motivated.

Every company has rewards; whether, they are for employee referrals, sales contests, or team initiatives. Companies have been rewarding employees for years. The difference is with Gamification, the employee self- reward. Employees have to achieve specific milestones, business goals and learn new skills. Using Gamification increases motivation and let’s call it what it is - having fun.