The word gamification and the practice of it are relatively new on the scene. Actually, the term wasn’t widely adopted until about 2010. The newness of this concept has caused a bit of confusion and ineffectiveness when it comes to implementing and optimizing gamification in the workplace.

Many different workplace practices can be gamified for greater engagement and interest, including HR software and training programs. However, it’s important to follow certain practices during implementation phases to ensure effectiveness.

1. Identify Goals and Success Identifiers

Before designing or purchasing a program that will gamify your processes, make sure you set aside time to identify what you hope to achieve with gamification.

Success identifiers may vary from company to company. Some hope for organization-wide participation while others expect to see measurable financial gains. Regardless of how widely success identifiers may vary, success will be easier to achieve once success indicators are clearly defined and communicated throughout the company.

2. Make Sure That Gamification Directly Translates to Business Needs

Gamification will not have a desirable ROI if the scoring system and exercises don’t translate to direct business gains. Gains don’t need to be revenue-based to be valuable; they can be tied to decreased turnover, improved engagement, or other business benefits. The clearer that gamification ties-in to business needs, the more effective the system will be once the employees start using it every day.

3. Ensure That Employees Understand the Real Purpose

Even if managers and employers understand the ultimate purpose behind the scoring system and exercises, gamification may not be completely effective in accomplishing goals if their employees don’t understand the real-life purpose. During training, the concepts used to devise the gamified system should be clearly explained to employees so that they don’t view the exercises as mindless and meaningless busy work.

4. Make Scoring Easy

If scoring is difficult or the concepts behind scoring are overly complicated, employees may lose interest or become disheartened with the new program. Employees should be able to easily see what is required of them to score and win. Then they can use their time wisely, instead of merely figuring out what to do. Figuring out the rules and getting the hang of the “game” should take minutes, not hours or days.

5. Do a Trial Run

Before rolling out the gamified program to all the company’s employees, it may be helpful to perform a trial run with just managers or a select group of employees. During the trial run, your test group may find glitches or ways to cheat the system, which will in turn help you make alterations before the real “go-live” date.

6. Update the System Regularly

After gamification has been applied to one or more of your systems, don’t be fooled into thinking that the work is done. In order for the system to run smoothly and remain relevant as your business needs evolve, you will be required to perform updates. Rely on employee feedback and the success indicators that you defined in the beginning to pinpoint what needs changing and how to change it.

If gamification sounds like something that could help you meet your business objectives, consider implementing new HR software. Call 866-574-4968 or visit our vendor match page to get started.

Authored by: Dave Rietsema