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Challenge Accepted: Gamification in the Workplace

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What is Gamification?

Ever notice how adults motivated you when you were a child? Did you get an allowance for doing chores? At school, did your teacher give gold stars to fill your sticker book every time you got a good grade? (I still have mine). Have you ever landed tickets to a pro game for selling the most chocolate bars for your team fundraiser? Motivation with reward works, and has shaped our lifelong successes. Whatever the scenario, the task is more fun when you know there’s a reward ahead.

If you’ve ever played video games, you know how the reward system can lock you in, especially if you started at 6 p.m. and next time you looked at the clock it’s midnight. Whether you’re playing apps on your phone, waving arms before the Wii, or immersed in latest and greatest PC release, you play games because they’re fun. Imagine transferring the same enthusiasm to the workplace that you have for leveling up, completing side quests, collecting bonuses and revealing storylines.

That’s the idea behind Gamification. Game designers are master marketers. They create the game based on hardwired human behavior that is rooted in our evolution. Nigel Nicholson, of London School of Business, contends in the Harvard Business Review that while we inhabit a modern world of space exploration and virtual realities, we do so with the “ingrained mentality of Stone Age hunger-gatherers.”

Effective gamificaton engages players with creative graphics, a storyline and rewards-based psychology. Gamification at the office makes work more fun. Gaming psychology is used to improve employee engagement and productivity.

What Motivates Employees?

Paychecks may motivate staff to show up, but money alone cannot improve performance. A University of Leiciester, UK study shows that rewarding team performance is the most effective way to motivate staff vs. giving cash rewards in individual bonuses, which can have a negative effect.

In general, employees with matching skills and education receive similar pay and benefits, whether they improve or not. An ambitious, proactive worker may go beyond what’s expected, aiming for a promotion or a raise. Others tend to adhere to their basic job description. In fear of criticism, they may be cautious about making mistakes or offering creative ideas. They need motivation to innovate and approach their job with freshness every day.

Combining Work and Fun

Gamification offers a creative, playful approach to employee engagement which can improve outcomes and even transform your business.

Businesses and institutions often use technological platforms for gamification. Some are used internally, while others are customer-facing. Keep in mind that any time you introduce a new process to your workflow, your entire team has to be on the same page. The ongoing process of building relationships through gamification and regular team events motivates employees to accept new practices with confidence. Once they are well-practiced, they accomplish more as a team.

Hiring Venture Up is one way to infuse fun into meetings and training sessions. We have three decades of experience engaging staff in team events to motivate them back at the job.

Ask how Venture Up can help you to:

facilitate a program to initiate your team on a gamification platform.

engage your employees with interactive team building activities.

provide a reward-based event to build relationships and recognize team performance.

Since our inception in 1983, we’ve worked closely with managers, integrating ways to make in-house training programs and objectives more fun and likeable. Gaming technology may be new, but our brain functions have not changed since the cave man days. Venture Up events aim to create lasting impact for clients of all professional levels. Learn more.

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