By introducing a gamification system to your digital workplace, you can drastically increase your team’s productivity. All aspects of your business can benefit from varying degrees of gamification – but focusing on e-learning produces the most impressive results. Without proper motivation and accountability, your carefully designed e-learning course can easily fall by the wayside in favour of water-cooler conversation. Boost the effectiveness of your intranet software by inducing a gamified environment. Gamification doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, and often, elements of it are already built into your digital workplace.
What is gamification?
Gamification does not mean that your employees will be playing actual games. Instead, it refers to the underlying psychology behind game-mechanics and game-design. Game designers employ a variety of techniques to keep users interested and engaged when playing. By tapping into interconnected social media platforms, gamification will enhance social accountability even within a fully remote company.
When using gamification to enhance e-learning or goal-based progression, the concept is simple. By setting achievable milestones, users will progress by completing increasingly difficult tasks or projects. When a level is reached, or a goal attained, the brain releases endorphins. Endorphins are a well-documented hormone that the body releases when rewards are earned. They create a sense of excited accomplishment within the user, motivating them to continue with the program and work harder. Success must neither be too easy or too difficult as either can sabotage the user’s will to continue early on. Once the solid interaction is formed, your employees will hold each other accountable for their successes or failures.
Why is it important to a digital workplace?
A common complaint among digital workplace users is the lack of involvement from employees. It’s difficult to get the ball rolling and motivate your employees to communicate via your intranet software. However, once a social rapport is established, users will feel more comfortable voicing their opinions and sharing both group and personal progress.
Gamification paves the way for social interaction to take place remotely. First, friendly competition between users is encouraged. By displaying levels or successes on a user’s profile, other users will naturally begin to take part. With each correct module or perfect test, users get another dose of endorphins and are motivated to continue. The second stage implements group activities – specifically designed to bring a team together. Especially when working remotely, it can be difficult to convince employees to communicate effectively. By staging group events and goals, users will be encouraged to work together. Teams will bond closer together and be more comfortable with collaborating to achieve a common goal.
How to implement gamification across your intranet software
The best part about gamification is the capability is probably already included in your intranet software. If you utilise the trackable features of your platform, you can gamify both the learning and the workspace system with real-world rewards and outcomes.
Many companies shy away from the prospect of rewarding their employees with actual things. Fearing that problems will be raised, and massive costs will be incurred, gamification is often ignored as unviable. However, the projected cost of not using gamification could far outweigh this concern. Without a clear path upon which to progress, employees are likely to feel less connected to the company and their colleagues, leading them to jump ship, which means you could instead incur extra costs related to high staff turnover. Game-psychology teaches that it is not the size of the prize that matters, only the hope of one.
Here are a few low-cost ideas to help induce a gamified e-learning environment:
1. Offer a minimal reward (such as food item or coupon) for each module completed. You’d be surprised how effective such a simple gesture can be.
2. Put together a quality monthly raffle-type prize. Each module or course completed will issue a ticket to win the raffle.
3. The number of e-learning courses completed will affect the year-end bonus of the employee. Break this into a quarterly report to increase participation and interest.
Social involvement vs individual competition
When planning to include a gamification aspect in your digital workspace, don’t neglect the psychology behind social involvement. While pitting individual employees against each other can create a short-term burst in productivity, it won’t be a successful long-term solution. Game phycology, if managed incorrectly, can create a toxic environment between two quarrelling employees or teams.
It is recommended that you start by using an individual programme, leading users to compete against a computer. Then introduce a group environment, where individuals can publicly display their level or score. You can take it even further by organising group events. Here are some ideas for group events that will cultivate bonding through a team effort.
1. The department with the highest collective score will receive a dinner to be enjoyed together.
2. If the entire company pitches in to achieve a learning score above a certain threshold, everyone will get a free beverage of their choice on Mondays.
3. If everyone completes a specific task throughout the company, you will finish work one hour early on a set day of the week.