Can Gamification Improve Employee Engagement?

Gamification is one of the hot technology trends of the millennium. It leverages people’s natural tendencies for competition, achievement, collaboration and charity. Tools employed in game design, such as rewarding users for achievements, leveling up and earning badges are carried into the real world to help motivate individuals to achieve their goals, or boost performance.

The UI/UX of any front-end software largely determines whether customers or employees would engage with it or not. Add cloud to the discussion and we are talking about hosting a gamified, software user platform securely on the web.

The rewards and recognition (RnR) program of any organization involves engaging employees over a gamified portal too, in addition to determining the nature of rewards and the efficacy of the total rewards (TR) program.

How gamification can engage employees

A recent business research indicated that adding gamification to RnR can boost employee engagement by up to 33%. Here are 10 ways how gamification could help improve the effectiveness of an RnR program:

  • Knowledge Updates: With gamification, an RnR portal holds more meaning. Employees are 68% more likely to discover content, understand facts and gather relevant information on the RnR program as well as the business. This helps them align their perspective with the organizational strategy.
  • Prompt Communication: Inter-employee interaction and intra-organizational communication could increase up to 13% as a result of their engagement with a gamified RnR software. The impact of this communication is likely to be positive on the work environment, as gamification helps establish transparency in interactions and arouses employee interest.
  • Social Sharing: Social sharing of rewards and recognition is a salient feature of any gamified RnR platform. When employees share their recognition on a social media portal, business branding sees a positive reinforcement. It could also lead to quality talent getting attracted to the organization.
  • Drive Performance: The analytics features and the reach of a gamified portal can help organizations incentivize employees to perform better through meaningful rewards and recognition. Gamification could enhance employee assessment of their work targets, the work planning, the associated incentives and rewards and thus increase their motivation.
  • Employee Learning: A gamified RnR platform can also feature an employee learning module. Employees can enroll in an e-learning course of their choice through a workflow based approval process. Managers and HRs can track the progress of learning through data driven dashboards.
  • Instant Recognition: Gamification gives managers the option to allocate points based rewards directly to the end users and instantly with the click of a button. These little acts could go a long way in boosting the morale of the employees. Instant recognition, along with a timely and direct feedback, can significantly contribute to meeting work environment and business objectives.
  • People Analytics: The analytical dashboard of the portal lets the leaders and the HRs know who is rewarding whom. It is usually a timeline modeled feed, which shows all activities taking place in the company. Leaders and HRs can track and check the ROI of their rewards, loyalty, gifting, recognition and incentive programs. Such platforms equip them to track employee participation, reward orders, payments, invoices, returns, etc. One can also draw relevant insights with a gamut of rich graphical reports pertaining to RnR.
  • Interest Communities: Employees can create groups based on hobbies, departments, interests, functions, geography etc. These communities give them a medium to express and engage themselves with the organization outside of their immediate work. Often, such collaborations result in employees taking new initiatives for the business.
  • Special Perks: Gamification vendors often extend free token perks to client organizations. For instance, through the platform, they and their employees can avail free attractive products and offers such as apparel, fine dining, travel concessions etc., offered by reputed brands across the globe.
  • Job Referrals: Many reward platforms support the job referral feature. Here, employees can share referrals with their recruitment teams. Against the internal as well as the external job postings that can be made on the platform, employees can avail both internal job postings (IJPs) as well as refer their external friends and acquaintances.

It follows that gamification can motivate employees in multiple ways. What begins as an RnR platform, ends up supporting several allied business functions such as recruitment, learning and development, performance management, HR Analytics, employee communications, engagement activities et al. Gamification imparts both agility and tenacity to RnR systems and could go a long way in enhancing employee trust and commitment.

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