Perhaps it might be a good idea to firstly explain what “gamification” is not. It does not involve people sitting at their desks in front of a computer screen playing a computer game as many people believe.
There are many definitions of gamification. In the case of the workplace environment, this involves using gaming metaphors to help in the art of influencing people’s behaviour, increasing their productivity in the workplace, improving their commitment to the job and encouraging motivation amongst staff.
For instance, let us take an example of a business that is involved in data entry. On the face of things, it does not sound like a particularly interesting occupation. Sitting at a desk, typing personal data on the computer screen about an individual taken from a manual record sheet. That employee is no doubt targeted to key several dozen such pieces of information every day.
It is a laborious task that is open to someone making a number of mistakes when keying the information. No doubt the employer will have a system in place to randomly check the work of the staff keying on the data and taking those members of staff to task when any mistakes occur.
A way of reducing the number of mistakes is to introduce gamification into the process. Quite simply, create a game that everyone buys into. For instance, the 20 staff involved in keying on the data could be divided into four teams with five members of staff in each team. Every member of staff who keys on a customer’s personal data correctly receives one point each time. However, for every time that the data is incorrectly keyed, they could lose a half point.
At the end of each day, the team and individual totals are added up and the team and individual with the best score go into a draw that takes place at the end of the week. The winning team and individual member of staff each receive trophies at a small corporate awards ceremony that takes place at the end of the working week.
It is important that the trophies are of high quality that the winning team will want to be proud to display in the office and the winning individual employee will want to show off either in the office or at home. In addition to the above, the employer may also wish to make some monetary award to both the winning team members and the individual winner.
Gamification, as described above, is a great way of motivating staff involved in mundane tasks to perform at a high level providing them with job satisfaction and reward for their achievements.
From a business’s perspective, this results in an excellent working environment, a satisfied client and increased profitability as less time is involved in correcting careless mistakes as these are less frequent. Staff are less likely to leave their employment in search of more interesting work resulting in lower recruitment costs for the employer.