Encourage Game-playing at Work? Yes

Gamification is the application of game elements into other settings, such as the workplace, to encourage interest, participation and loyalty. Many companies use gamification for marketing to consumers, but applying it internally can also be beneficial for employees.

Global consultant Mercer reports that the average employee spends approximately 150 hours annually of their work-time worrying about money, and a Dale Carnegie study found that more than 70% of the workforce is disengaged with their work. Disengaged employees cost businesses billions of dollars each year. But what can employers do?

While many employers offer benefits that can aid employees who have external financial or personal stressors, a majority of employees don’t take advantage of the provided benefits. Adding gamified and human elements to benefit programs better engages employees, empowering them to address their stresses head-on. This leads to fewer watercooler woes and time-consuming requests for advice from coworkers.

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Gamification also increases motivation and productivity. Through gamification, employees’ views of a task are changed without altering the fundamental nature of the task. Thus, employees are energized, more motivated to work, and feel excited about their workplace while completing the same tasks they were before. Successful gamification tactics in the workplace include using job simulation activities for recruiting and employee onboarding, holding engagement contests when implementing a new technology, and awarding points and rewards for typically mundane tasks.

Throwing content at employees no longer works in the same ways it may have in the past. As millennials are now the largest working generation, this changing workforce needs more than just content – they need interaction. Millennials often feel the least engaged in the workforce because they don’t respond to the same methods Gen X and Boomers once did. Interaction and engagement via gamification helps them feel comfortable and engaged in the workplace and helps a company become a magnet for ideal candidates.

Gamification has proven its success in marketing and is now growing in popularity among HR thought leaders, as it caters to employee needs and relieves employers of additional workload. Games are fun, but gamification is a robust business-oriented solution that can help the workforce and the entire company.

Are you using gamification at your organization? If not, why not?

MORE: High tech, high touch: A balancing act to attracting top talent

Chris Whitlow

Chris Whitlow
Chris Whitlow is the founder and CEO of Edukate, a workplace financial wellness provider www.edukate.com.

Chris Whitlow

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