Gamification in the Workplace: An Eye-Opening Example
It was about half a decade ago while attending a workplace training program on boosting team performance, I was a little surprised, rather pleasantly, to see pretty pink and blue balloons being handed out to participants at the very onset.
As curiosity was building on ‘what next,’ our trainer summoned our attention to a ‘fun task’ that I will perhaps, remember all my life.
The task was simple. The one whose balloon is not popped till the end wins! The time limit was about a minute and a half and what followed was a pure frenzy of ambitious individuals armed with toothpicks attacking neighboring balloons with grit and determination.
In an attempt to save my balloon from assaulting toothpicks, I found refuge on a large dining table where I stood holding the balloon as high up as possible. I lasted till the end, along with a couple of other balloon warriors that day.
Elated with our victory and expecting rewards, our trainer turned to us and announced, Congratulations, all of you lost the challenge! Shocked and intrigued, we were looking for answers which were provided by our eloquent leader in two crisp statements. He said…
- All of You forgot this was a TEAM Game
- If All of You held your balloons and stayed in place without attacking each other, ALL OF YOU WOULD HAVE WON
This is how ‘a Team’ is expected to perform. Finding ways where everyone achieves their target and everyone wins!
What is Gamification In Workplace Context?
In simple words, Gamification in the workplace is all about making everyday tasks and targets more fun to attempt and achieve.
For example, you have been wanting your team to complete a course on compliance training, but not many are acting upon it because it may not convert to any immediate career advantages.
However, when you incentivize the program with trophies, certificates, badges, mini rewards, etc., you can see an immediate boost in enthusiasm on the part of your team to go right ahead and complete the task, and that too with due seriousness.
Gamification can be online / virtual or in-person / face to face. The scope of Gamification covers everything from daily targets / tasks to training programs, workplace wellness coaching, product seminars, and more.
How to Build Leadership and Mutual Trust With Gamification in Workplace
Whether virtual or in-person, Gamification in corporate training is unquestionably one of the most innovative methods to engage and boost employee productivity, learning, and motivation.
If you are seeking unwavering 100% learner engagement, Gamification is your answer.
However, it is important for trainers to know how to build leadership and mutual trust with Gamification in workplace ‘the right way’ so that desired outcomes can be achieved without having to try too hard.
If you are planning to introduce Gamification to maximize motivated team performance in your workplace, this mini-guide can help you get a strong start.
Goals, Rules, Qualifying Criteria, Rewards
No one wants to play a half-hearted blurry game with no definite terms and conditions. Therefore, the first step to flagging off a great workplace game is to…
- Clearly define the purpose of the game.
- Lay down the rules comprehensively.
- Mention the qualifying criteria so that participants know when they have achieved their target.
- Offer thoughtful rewards that can convert to tangible benefits on the part of the recipients.
Advantages of Playing the Game
Now that you have the attention of your employees, the next step is to give them an idea of the advantages of participating in a gamified approach to learning beyond tangible rewards.
This may include furthering work experience, certifications, etc., that can be instrumental in winning pay hikes, promotions, and more in the foreseeable future.
Degree of Difficulty
The primary motive behind workplace gamification is not only to build trust and motivation among team / employees but to present yourself as a dependable and worthy leader that the latter can look up to.
As history has witnessed through centuries, dependable and worthy leaders are those that lead every single member of their team to success.
Therefore, the idea is to keep the level of game difficulty between Easy to Moderate so that everyone can achieve their goals at the earliest and with maximum motivation.
E-Performance Booster Vs Electronic Whip
Always remember, workplace gamification is an electronic performance booster and never an e-whip!
Every individual member in a team has different roles to handle. They may have different hurdles to overcome and may respond to a completely different approach to motivation.
Therefore, the games you launch should be such that it embraces these differences and does not judge everyone under the same radar.
This will go a very long way in building trust with the latter while improving your image as a worthy leader.
As they say, if you judge a fish by its ability to fly, it will always fail and eventually lose its confidence in swimming as well. A well-thought and well-sought approach to Gamification will prevent this from happening.
They may be bite-sized, but they need to be thoughtful. Incentives don’t need to be monetary. They can be as simple yet beneficial as discount vouchers, lunch / dinner coupons, bonus points that can convert to half-day off at work, so and so forth.
The thoughts behind the game incentives will help your team members perceive you as a true leader that understands and appreciates their presence in the workplace.
Workplace life becomes easier when you know how to build leadership and mutual trust with Gamification in workplace. Almost all top corporate houses have successfully embraced Gamification, and the outcomes are outstanding.
For smaller and newer workplaces that are new to Gamification, anytime is a good time to start. If you are unsure about how to get the process rolling, you can seek professional guidance for the same.