As members of society we are tasked with an assortment of responsibilities. The trouble is, not every responsibility we are given is inspiring. Anyone who has ever been stuck at a slow summer job can attest to this. In a world with thousands of demands, it’s difficult to create behavioural changes in individuals who feel their time is better directed elsewhere. In this week’s post Sasha and I will investigate how incorporating fun and rewards into social responsibilities positively alters behaviours to create tangible results. Results that individuals not only feel responsible for, but are invested in as well. We will be examining this behavioural shift through the lens of gamification, and the power it has in the workplace.
What is Gamification?
To game, is to be human; whether it’s on a field, a board or a screen.
What is it that makes gaming so appealing? We love to be challenged, we love to be entertained and gaming provides us an outlet. Any given task is instantly better when the stakes are raised and competition is created. We are so crazy about it because of the feeling it creates – it is fun – and having fun makes us happy.
The idea of gamification is not new, but it has gained traction in the business world the last few years. Employee engagement is now a top priority for both small and large companies looking to innovate. An engaged workforce is more likely to be productive and in turn make changes to support the well-being and sustainability of a workplace. On average only 13% of employees in a workforce feel engaged, that’s a big piece of the pie feeling left out. This is where gamification comes into play. It’s not about turning everything into a game, rather its taking game based techniques and applying them to create change and engage an audience in a common goal. This is completed through the use of competitions, badges, point systems and leaderboards. Companies are integrating gamification into their workplace in a number of ways, including through the app, Nudge.
Gamification in Action
Nudge Rewards is an app that aims to empower employees, foster their knowledge, source feedback and generate ideas to drive a business forward. This social-purpose technology start-up harnesses the main idea behind Rule #9 of Social Marketing – positive messaging to promote positive behaviours.
It emerged because of co-founder Lindsey Goodchild, who experienced a consistent dilemma surrounding the implementation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs in the workplace. These programs have the potential to undoubtedly impact corporate culture by increasing employee engagement, but only when employees are positive about their organization’s CSR programs.
So how did Nudge Rewards decide to spark positive behaviour change in the workplace?
By moving away from mundane emails and shifting towards fun and convenient mobile technology.
The idea is simple and revolves around three main components:
Organizations start by promoting this platform to their employees and incorporating their existing environmental and social strategies into the mobile app. The app has the ability to target an employee’s area of interest – whether that be volunteering in the community, healthy living or making “greener” lifestyle choices – and tailoring a unique program right to their smartphone. The app uses gamification to create friendly social competition between co-workers to drive performance and deliver tangible rewards. Individual or team challenges are available through the app to boost engagement. Organizations are able to gather meaningful data about their employee’s engagement and quantify the results into powerful analytics.
Organizations such as the Canadian banking subsidiary Tangerine, are one of many that have launch the Nudge platform and experienced significant increases in the number of employees involved in their sustainability programs with engagement rates now averaged at 82%. This has been a remarkable accomplishment for Nudge being that majority of organizations have engagements rates as low as 13% before implementing this platform.
All in all, gamification in the workplace is just another tool that aims to increase engagement, break down barriers, boost company morale, and better the environment. It is a way to create a more open and communicative environment that in turn will create a more productive workplace. Critics may believe it to be a temporary trend but we are advocates of its ability to engage a company’s most valuable asset, its people – so why not give it a try?
To learn more about Nudge and get your company involved – check out their website! http://nudgerewards.com/
Let us know how you incorporate gamification into your work and personal life in the comments below!