How to Deliver Employee Delight with Gamification

/ 16 December 2021

de·​light  \ di-ˈlīt  dē- \ a high degree of gratification or pleasure | also extreme satisfaction

Delight is a key ingredient in employee engagement. Happy employees stay in their job, they work hard for shared goals, and they spread that delight amongst their colleagues. So, how do employers achieve it?

Traditionally, they use costly methods which deliver short-term delight. However, there is a better way…

In this post, we’ll explore how gamification can deliver meaningful, lasting delight to keep your workforce happy and engaged.

Employee delight vs customer delight

First of all, what is employee delight? Many people will have heard the term “customer delight”, but not its work-based counterpart. According to Hubspot, customer delight is “the process of exceeding a customer’s expectations to create a positive customer experience with your product or brand to improve loyalty.”

As alluded to, customer delight’s end goal is to improve loyalty. The benefits of that for businesses are repeat business, a stronger business-consumer relationship, and customers who go beyond buyers to become brand advocates.

In truth, employee delight is not a million miles away. Again, it’s about exceeding expectations and creating a positive experience to improve loyalty. The difference is what that loyalty does for your business – given that most employees don’t tend to buy from their employers.

Firstly, employee loyalty leads to better staff retention. Companies can keep their best talent on-board, saving time and money on recruitment and the training of replacement staff. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, it costs around 6-9 months of an employee’s salary to find and train their replacement.

It also improves productivity. Delighted, loyal employees are happier turning up to work and wanting to do their job well. They’re also more likely to buy into company values, from integrity and accountability to a passion for your products.

A knock-on effect

Here’s another benefit – employee delight can actually create customer delight too. According to McKinsey, an engaged an energized workforce is key to creating great customer experiences. Motivating and rewarding employees who deliver customer delight will eventually align their interests with those of the customer.

They cite the efforts of a Latin American bank, who focussed on the culture, skills, and behaviors of their staff to differentiate themselves from competitors. They created a customer-centric culture with rewards including breakfast with management, award ceremonies, and a peer-recognition portal.

The result? Profitability per client improved by a double-digit figure. So too did customer acquisition. And customer churn – the rate at which customers stop doing business with a company – reduced by 10-20 percent. Delight is well and truly infectious.

A similar example came with one of our own clients. One of Australia’s major banks was continuing to invest heavily in its digital transformation. But it was lagging behind competitors in migrating customers to its digital channel. The key lay with their employees, who were unsure or completely unaware of how to help customers with digital solutions.

Using our Voco platform, they created a personalized training journey, including interactive videos, customer scenarios and follow-up assessments. Employees were rewarded for their activity with points for a leaderboard, badges for their achievement wall, and prize draw entries.

The end result? Banker confidence increased by 77 points, with employees requesting continued use of micro-learning experiences. That translated to customer delight, with an increase in mobile logins and product sales via digital channels.

Delivering employee delight

Traditionally, the way to any employees’ heart has been through their wallet or purse. Indeed, pay rises are a sure-fire way to keep workers happy (or at least happier than they were, for a time). Similar incentives include teambuilding days, parties, or vouchers and gifts.

What do all of these have in common? They cost, big time. Let’s say you offer a pay-rise to all employees with the end goal of delighting them. For a company with 50 employees on the average US salary of $65k, a 5% pay rise across the board would cost $162k extra per year going forward.

In most cases, you’re not getting much bang for your buck either. The emotional impact of a party, gift, or pay-rise is pretty short-lived. It doesn’t affect the day-to-day delight of an employee, and could be forgotten with a few weeks. To keep employees delighted, you would need to continually fork out for more parties, gifts, and pay-rises. Surely there’s a better way?

There may well be, according to a survey by Development Academy. Money aside, they found that the number one contributor to happy employees was good team spirit. 73% of staff who said they were happy put it down to being part of a team with good colleagues. The second reason was feeling valued, which was put forward by 57% of happy employees.

The takeaway from this is that money and constant rewards aren’t the only way (or even the most effective way) to make employees happy. Instead, it’s about creating a strong, positive workplace culture where employees are part of a cohesive, valued team. That’s where gamification can help…

Gamification in action

Gamification refers to the use of game mechanics and game thinking into non-game experiences. Whether it’s regular training or ongoing value and culture promotion, gamified experiences make essential work tasks enjoyable and interesting. In turn, it brings teams together and makes them feel valued.

We saw this with our client DBS, who wanted to improve customer experience by bringing together their customer-facing Vice Presidents (VPs) and connecting them to the company’s core purpose.

The solution was a virtual conference spread across five days, which used game design elements to teach, engage, incentivize and motivate VPs. The conference was accessible on desktop, tablet or mobile, with continuous engagement periods averaging around 5 minutes per session.

As well as engaging with informative, interesting content about DBS’ vision and strategic priorities, VPs could communicate with peers by asking questions, contributing ideas and sharing stories.

DBS Country Head for Singapore, Sim S Lim, said “Many people wrote to me they felt encouraged that senior management was listening to them and hearing them out”. That was reflected by a 70.5% attendance rate, with 95% of users logging in more than once.

Connect your workforce

The verdict is in – there are better ways than money to delight your employees. Gamification can deliver meaningful, long-lasting engagement, delight and loyalty for your workforce by connecting them to your values and to each other.

If you would like to find out more about employee engagement, the team at 3radical is ready and waiting. Contact us today to arrange a consultation. 

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