A White Hat Twist on Workplace Gamification
Most companies don’t get how to retain their employees. They give them performers status. They give out paltry or nice bonuses. They create competition for limited promotions.
In short, most companies focus on extrinsic motivation, which is only one part of workplace gamification design.
Extrinsic motivation is short term motivation. Also, the rewards associated can easily be gotten elsewhere. Guess what? People leave.
So how can we keep them?
Companies need to shift their focus away from extrinsic motivation toward intrinsic motivation. Companies need to make employees feel intrinsically rewarded with a white hat twist.
1. Develop their skills
This sounds easy, but it’s not. Developing employee skill requires dedicated effort and design from managers or the head of HR. Put on your workplace gamification hat.
The key, really, is helping employees find their own ways to use the skills they already have and the skills they are learning. It’s not rocket science.
Google did this with its now famous 20% time, where Fridays were left open for employees to get creative on any project their heart desired. Gmail came out of 20% time. Heard of it? (I bet you use it every day.) What if your employees came up with something your company used every day just by giving them a little creative freedom?
2. Empower employees to create their own paths
Many of your employees are probably frustrated by a couple things:
First, their work lacks creativity.
Second, despite a desire to ‘move up’ in the organization to more influential and creative roles, there isn’t a clear path to do so.
Why not empower employees to create their own paths?
Maybe, there is a sweet spot where an employee can creatively help to solve a big problem for the company while also developing their skills. With the autonomy to tackle the problem head on, the employee might even show you she is capable of bigger roles in the near future.
3. Let veteran employees teach the less experienced
In Actionable Gamification, we learn how proper motivational design can bring new employees into a core activity loop during the Scaffolding phase which successfully develops them toward an Endgame with a company.
In Reinventing Organizations, Robert Laloux described the trend toward the empowerment of the individual, from centralized business structures to more decentralized ones. Simply by adjusting their internal workflow engines and productivity models, some companies are attracting top talent . The top talent often does best in decentralized structures because they are not constrained by outdated centralization or bureaucracy.
Veteran employees are key to your company’s success. They know how things go and they are loyal to the company.
You should design a culture that lets veterans teach less experienced people. Give them a chance to stand out for great work in front of their peers. Remember, their behaviors and routines matter more than their performance. So praise the behavior over the performance.
Retain more employees with workplace gamification
Every person has a personality. Learn your employees’ nuances. Some individuals want to stretch their creativity. Others want to maximize their task efficiency without a penalty for less hours worked. As an HR designer implementing gamification in your workplace, use a flexible motivational design approach. Accommodate and empower all employees (including the very best and very worst) and durable to sustain attacks from the black holes in your organization.
At the Octalysis Group, we help you balance your motivational design in a time in history when people are more important than ever. Don’t skimp on workplace gamification. Use scientifically backed behavior design instead.
A encouraging lifelong learning.
Contact Joris Beerda now: