August 8, 2013

3 Ways to Boost Your Employees’ Acceptance of Gamification

Gamification is an extremely powerful tool for workplace motivation. If it’s implemented properly, it can motivate employees to become engaged in their work and increase productivity. Unfortunately, success through gamification rides almost entirely on employee acceptance and participation. Poor implementation techniques can leave your employees with a bad taste in their mouths. Consequently, if employees reject the gamification methods, it can end up being quite counterproductive. Employees may never even give it a chance if they feel the gamification platform is another meaningless task from their superiors. Because employee acceptance is vital, here are 3 tips for getting your employees to play the game.

1. Start Small: If you are trying gamification in your workforce for the very first time, it is critical to start small and build up. Starting small allows you to properly assess the results and listen closely to user feedback. Effective gamification is often built through experimentation and it can be extremely wasteful to experiment on a large scale. Use small successes to build towards larger goals. Another factor to consider is that some employees may reject conscious and overt gamification efforts. Starting small however, allows them to casually participate without feeling as if their work is being degraded into a game.

2. Make the Implementation Smooth and Unobtrusive: A flashy and complicated gamification platform can be unappealing to employees. An employee that is already unmotivated and frustrated may become more annoyed as a result of a complicated game. Similarly, an efficient and effective employee may have their productivity impaired by a convoluted registration. Instead, invite the users with a simple email or notification and don’t bog them down with endless explanation. Furthermore, once the game is underway don’t pester the participants with continual emails and updates.

3. Customize the Experience: It is important to adapt your gamification platform to a specific situation. User adoption and interest could change heavily between industries, job functions and geographic location. For example, a gamification interface that works wonders with young software employees in California may fall flat with upper-level financial executives in New York City. Additionally, the effectiveness of rewards can change heavily based on an employee’s job responsibility and financial situation.

Gamification is a living, breathing creature. Unlike a “set it and forget it” strategy for workplace enhancement, gamification must be carefully attended to. It lives and dies with participation which means that employee acceptance is the cornerstone of effectiveness. Although these tips have to be processed and adapted to your specific condition, they are useful building blocks for crafting and integrating a successful gamification platform.

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