Does gamification really enhance employee performance?

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Businesses continue to look for ways in which their employees may become more effective. This is often bundled with a desire for more engagement and it all boils down to a workforce that is more positive and therefore more motivated to perform better.

We have found that a common attribute shared by highly motivated employees is a positive approach to habit forming. Good habits are essential for any high performing employee. A well-formed habit is the underlying driver that invisibly pushes a person to action. In many cases, a habit can become superfluous and no longer is the result of a deliberate effort.

Through the use of an effective gamification platform, we have learned that training our players towards a goal of forming new habits can have a notably positive effect on performance.

Within the controlled environment of a gamified system, we are able to move the player through habit forming loops where the player is given cues towards completing routine tasks which ultimately link to a reward … if successful. When this loop is repeated, an employee becomes more effective simply as a result of a newly formed healthy habit.

 

It must be noted that rewarding players through monetary incentives should not be considered a prerequisite to successful results. At Playa, we have found that a highly effective strategy for gamification is to design with a strong slant towards intrinsic rewards without removing extrinsic rewards completely. The correct mix of extrinsic and intrinsic reward mechanisms in any gamification system is vital. The key is in the design and through our unique design approach, our experts are able to map out the employee journey towards successful performance enhancement.

A key attribute in forming habits is the immediacy of feedback information. When the actions of an employee are instantaneously recorded and are promptly seen to contribute to the bigger performance journey, the employee is involved right away. Nothing slows performance improvement down quite like monthly reporting. Gamification systems should display immediate data and performance achievements should be continuously trackable. We call this the feedback loop. Read this blog post to find out more on our approach to data, reporting and the immediacy of information.

Many aspects of a traditional gaming strategy play out in an effectively gamified system. The immediacy of data and the feedback loop represents one of the most noticeable and obvious gaming mechanics available. Many gaming mechanics are not as noticeable, yet can have a dramatic effect on the success of the gamification system.

 

At Playa we take the trouble to design gamification systems that work well for a variety of employee types. It should not matter whether employees work from behind a desk or from home. Equally, systems should promote effective behaviour whether the player is on a desktop computer or a mobile device. A new generation of workforce has ushered in a new style of working. Our research shows us that this new workforce does not respond to a traditional approach to motivation.

Gamification can contain all of the elements that are attractive to a new generation of workforce: instant feedback, meaningful narrative and journey mapping. Therefore gamification must be considered as the most effective method of enhancing performance in the current workforce.

 

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Tags: Performance Engagement Gamification Learning