Everyone loves the thrill of a good game, and this stands true for your frontline team.
Gamification is a growing trend that uses elements of game-playing to motivate your employees to complete tasks and make them more productive.
At its core, gamification aims to make mundane responsibilities more fun. This approach has proven to be quite successful. In fact, TalentLMS published that 9 out of 10 workers feel more eager to complete a task when it’s gamified.
More and more organizations are starting to implement gamification into the work environment, but there’s a right and wrong way to gamify work — especially when it comes to hourly workforce.
In this article, you’re going to learn what gamification in the workplace is, why it matters for hourly & frontline teams, and how to effectively gamify work to boost employee engagement.
Gamification is applying game techniques to non-game activities in the workplace, such as serving customers or restocking shelves.
Incorporating gamification techniques into mundane and repetitive tasks can make them more engaging. Gaming mechanisms are especially effective for frontline workers who often spend a lot of their time repeating the same task over and over again.
For example, let’s say you want to improve productivity of your manufacturing workers. You can give them points every time a worker assembles goods on a production line. Once a worker reaches a certain number of points, they get a special badge or a reward.
Introducing an element of play makes everyday tasks more purposeful and interesting, which inevitably leads to better engagement.
In the Era of Great Resignation, human resources departments and frontline leaders need to find more effective ways to improve engagement.
Gamification is a promising solution. 72% of employees say gamification motivates them to complete tasks & work harder, and the even better news is that you can gamify almost anything.
Have a problem with tardiness and chronic absenteeism? Tell your employees they’ll earn points every time they show up for their shift on time.
Want to help your frontline workforce reduce burnout? Gamify wellness habits, such as taking breaks.
Need to improve team culture? Introduce an element of friendly competition to your workplace by splitting your workers into teams and making them compete for a reward.
From providing better recognition to motivating your workers to complete employee training & improve their skills, gamification offers endless opportunities for building a stronger and more engaged workforce.
That said, not all gamification programs succeed. In the next section, we’ll explain how to use the Octalysis Framework to make gamification in your workplace effective, engaging, and fun.
Yu-kai Chou is a gamification pioneer and behavioral design consultant who has created the famous Octalysis Framework to gamification. Here’s how to use it to build a balanced & effective gamified experience.
The Octalysis Framework establishes eight primary core drivers in gamification:
These eight drivers can be further categorized as left vs. right brain drivers and black vs. white hat drivers.
Left brain drivers are related to extrinsic motivation and focus on the importance of obtaining something. This group includes the drivers 1, 2, 4, and 6.
Right brain drivers are related to intrinsic motivation and focus on the reward in itself. This group includes the drivers 3, 5, 7, and 8.
White hat drivers are positive motivators and inspire good feelings. Epic meaning and calling (1), development and accomplishment (2), empowerment of creativity and feedback (3) are white hat drivers.
Black hat drivers are negative motivators and inspire bad feelings. Scarcity and impatience (6), unpredictability and curiosity (7), and loss and avoidance (8) are black hat drivers.
→ It’s important to note that while black hat drivers are “negative” motivators, they aren’t inherently harmful and can be incorporated in healthy & productive ways.
A well-designed gamification experience incorporates both left + right brain and black + white hat drivers, but it doesn’t need to include all eight drivers.
Here’s an example of well-rounded gamification for employee engagement using the Octalysis Framework.
Imagine you want to motivate your employees to start their shifts on time.
✔️ You can reward them with a point every time they clock in on time. This speaks to their development & accomplishment driver and serves as a left brain, extrinsic motivator.
✔️ Once your employees collect ten points, you will give them a surprise reward. This speaks to the unpredictability & curiosity driver and serves as a right brain, intrinsic motivator.
✔️ To inspire good feelings, you can explain to your employees that they’ll be able to share their surprise reward with three other team members. This speaks to their epic meaning and calling driver.
✔ ️To speak to the black hat driver, you can explain that your employees will lose the points they’ve accumulated if they break their streak. For example, if your employee shows up on time four days in a row and then is late on day five, they will lose the four points they got before. This is the loss & avoidance driver.
→ To start designing your own gamification experience, you can use this tool to analyze how well you’re using the Octalysis Framework.
Effective gamification experiences start with having the right digital tools.
Secchi is an hourly performance management software with robust gamification capabilities to engage your frontline workforce and improve your retention rates.
Watch our recent webinar to learn more & get started.
With Secchi, leaders across your entire organization have access to turn-by-turn leadership directions and actionable data that guides them on how to engage their teams through recognition, coaching, engagement, and accountability.
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