Why Gamification Works When it Comes to Employee Engagement

/ 4 December 2018

The problem with most employee engagement activity is that it doesn’t engage. It might communicate, or share information even, but it is unlikely to grab attention, stay in the mind or most importantly drive conversation, action or behavioural change.

In our recent paper, The Four Secrets of Effective Employee Engagement, I shared some of the key actions that you can take to improve your employee engagement.

Underpinning each recommendation we make is thinking differently about communication. Move from talking at employees to thinking of it as a conversation, one where both sides are active and engaged. Key to being engaging is being relevant, a real value exchange and even being fun and entertaining not just informative. Recognising that we may be at work but we are still people. And this is where gamification comes in.

Gamification is a tried and trusted way of delivering an experience that delivers increased levels of engagement – not to mention fostering improved learning and dialogue between management and the wider team.

So why does gamification work?

Well let’s start with human nature. People are motivated by different things, for some it’s recognition, for others competition or reward, self-expression, learning, a sense of achievement, or the simple satisfaction of knowing you have completed something you’ve been asked to do. Gamification uses techniques and strategies from game design to create communication experiences that satisfy one or more of these drivers and better engage with employees.

When an experience is positive we want more of it, and when we want more of something it’s fair to say we’re engaged. When employees are engaged by the communications being delivered by their employer, by whatever mechanism, it means those communications are received, and more likely than not, will be acted upon – hence using a gamified experience to deliver communications that drive the response and subsequent employee behaviours you want to see.

Adding gamification to your employee engagement strategy

Simply adding game elements to a communications plan is not enough to bring about the transformation in employee engagement that you desire. Understanding your goals, communication strategy and the engagement you want to achieve is key. Only then can you identify the right place and approach in which to use gamification to its best effect.

Once you know why and how gamification will support your employee engagement strategy it’s easier to select the most appropriate mechanics to deliver this and support the rest of your plan and set clear measures of success to ensure you get the desired outcomes.

But making the right choices up front are only part of the story. It’s important to continue to review, refine, and adapt your approach to see what works for your employees. In our experience, a one size fits all approach rarely achieves success in the way taking a personalised approach does. That’s why we ensure our customers have the management tools they need to monitor and respond to engagement as it happens.

While gaming science and mechanics are used by leading organisations across the globe, working with a partner who can support you in developing the right gamification journey for you is also key in getting it right. Make sure the solution you implement is flexible, adaptable, and can be tailored to satisfy the emotional drivers of your individual employees in order to drive the behaviours, learning outcomes, and actions you want to see. At 3radical, we’ve developed our software platform, Voco, over many years to ensure it does just that.

We deliver best-practice engagement principles, an understanding of gaming science and highly interactive, mechanics ‘out of the box’ to create exceptionally immersive experiences that are delivered to employees through both existing and new digital channels such as intranets, websites, and mobile and desktop apps.

The experiences we create for our customers work – they drive much higher levels of employee engagement than they have seen before.

But don’t take my word for it, download our guide and take a look at the case studies we’ve included there of customers who have already seen the benefit the 3radical Voco platform brings to their employee engagement programmes.

Better still why don’t we just show you – if you’d like to see a demo and discuss this in person we’d love to – just click here to book one.

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