5 gamification tips to better employee engagement

/ 3 July 2019

3radical has worked with DBS Bank for a number of years now, so it comes as no surprise to me that they continue to grow and succeed despite the level of digital transformation and disruption the financial services sector is facing. The reason why they continue to thrive? My view is that it all comes down to how they engage their employees and how committed they are to this.

The challenges faced by DBS will resonate with anyone facing significant change and digital transformation in their industry, not to mention extreme competition for talent and customers. So that will be most of us then…

The importance of a great employee engagement strategy

One thing we’ve learnt over the last few years is that the importance of employee engagement in driving business success cannot be understated. There are numerous studies and reports that show the positive impact that having an engaged workforce can have on a business (particularly at moments of significant change) – something that we recently covered in our paper ‘The Four Secrets of Effective Employee Engagement’.

In our latest video “How DBS Bank Uses Gamification to Engage Employees”, DBS Singapore’s COO Wenxian Yeo shares details of the Bank’s employee engagement strategy and the tactics they use for successfully engaging with its employees. The work they have done with 3radical for their annual employee Virtual Conference has received industry recognition winning Most Creative – Business Event, and Most Effective Use – Apps/Mobile in the respected MaRKies Awards in 2018.

We’ve previously written about gamification and why it is so successful in employee engagement and now I’d like to build on that and share some hints and tips on how you can successfully implement gamification in your own organisation.

So here are my 5 tips for how to successfully use gamification in your organisation’s employee engagement strategy.

  1. Define your business goals – what do you want to achieve?

As with any strategy, knowing exactly what it is you want to achieve is the first step. For anything to be effective it needs to be considered, and you need to understand why you’re doing it. Simply adding a game because that’s what others have done won’t get you very far. Ask yourself – why are you adding a game, what’s the end goal, how will you know if adding that particular game has worked.

The goals our clients set vary from ensuring completion rates for online training, to improving staff on-boarding and reducing staff attrition levels. Not only will defining your goals give you the foundation upon which to measure your success, it will also inform the detail of what you want people to do as a result of the initiative, which brings us to point two.

  1. Decide what behaviours you want to encourage – what do you want your employees to do as a result?

Once your business goals are clearly defined it becomes easy to identify what behaviours you want your employees, and potential employees, to adopt. Complete a training course within a certain time period, adopt environmentally friendly practices in the office, share information, or comply with corporate security policies and procedures. By understanding the behaviours you want to encourage it will start to give you an understanding of what gamification techniques you should consider when implementing the strategy.

  1. Define your metrics – how will you measure the success?

Of course, no strategy is complete without measurement – how else will we know what impact the strategy has had? With clear business goals and understanding of the behaviours you want to achieve, you’ll know what you need to measure to determine success.

  1. What motivates your audience – how many segments are there, and are they similar?

Now we’ve identified what we want our employees and potential employees to do, we need to understand what motivates them. Why they do what they do, and how can we get them to do what we want them to do. It’s essentially tapping into the behavioural and game science part of gamification.

Now, if you’re like DBS Bank, and indeed most other organisations, a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to work. You’ll most likely find that different employees are motivated by different things – some like the sense of competition and status, some want reward and recognition, others may just enjoy the process of completing things in full and get a sense of achievement from that. So, while your workforce will undoubtedly be diverse, you will find common threads when it comes to what motivates them, or indeed what demotivates them. And if you simply have no idea then this is the perfect opportunity to test and learn. Start with some assumptions and then monitor, tweak, change, and add new elements until you find what works best.

  1. Decide what game mechanics you should use – what will work for your audiences?

Having identified what you want to achieve, the behaviours you want to see, and what motivates your employees, then you can identify what game mechanics to use and there are a lot to choose from.

For example, if you want to reduce data security incidents, the behaviour you want to encourage is the completion of necessary training. If you know those employees that need to do the training are motivated by a sense of reward and recognition, you may want to introduce mechanics such as the awarding of points based on completion and score, as well as a leaderboard so they can see how they perform against their peers.

Once you have the mechanics identified you can begin to plan how you will implement your strategy, and that’s when the real fun begins.

Technology has made it easier than ever to engage employees in new and exciting ways, and it is technology that has made the ability to implement gamification techniques into our engagement strategies faster, cheaper, and easier than ever. For now it seems, the only barrier is our ability to imagine the possibilities.

Watch the short recording today to learn how DBS Bank uses the 3radical Voco Platform and get valuable insights and ideas to help you improve engagement within your organisation.

If you would like to learn more about how leading brands are incorporating game science and gamification into their employee engagement strategy through the use of the 3radical Voco platform, please contact us info@3radical.com.

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