Gamification: Passing Trend or Pathway to Workplace Productivity?

Business owners and CEOs are constantly searching for ways to remain competitive, keep employees engaged and boost productivity.

Incentives, internal contests and training have often been used, but more recently companies are taking a closer look at the emerging phenomenon called gamification.

Kevin Werbach, associate professor of legal studies and business ethics at the University of Pennsylvanias Wharton School of Business, explains gamification is a set of motivational techniques that can help make work feel more engaging.

He says the tracking structures in gamification are less about measuring productivity than about feedback.

Games give players a constant sense of where they stand, and provide engaging challenges and reward structures throughout the experience, Werbach says.  They do that in various ways, involving both competition and cooperation. Workplace gamification done well is a fusion of design, psychology, and analytics to create experiences that employees find fun and stimulating.

For Matt Davis, CEO and founder of gameFI, a gamification employee engagement platform, the concept is all about what the company drivers want to accomplish and who are the players, or employees involved.

Start with the results in terms of what do you want to accomplish, Davis says. Businesses should have something they want to measure and track in order to see a return on investment. The best place to begin is with the most important goals you want to achieve.

Next, the business should seek a system designed to motivate employees to reach those goals, Davis continues. Focus is important and if you arent focused on results, your initiative will break down. You need to hone in on how the gamification system will help you reach your goals and how you hold both employees and the system accountable. When you are speaking with a gamification provider who cant connect the dots between features and driving results, you need to move on and talk to someone who understands your needs.

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