Why Gamification Is an Effective Employee Engagement Strategy

May 17, 2017 Lisa Strickland Employee Engagement Strategies Tags: 0 Comments

Employee engagement often starts with knowledge. You want to assemble the brightest, most competent team in your industry, but your new hires don't always come with the requisite background.

More importantly, everyone can benefit from new knowledge. Instead of forcing your employees to attend boring seminars or watch endless training videos, however, you might want to consider gamification as part of your well-rounded employee engagement strategy. The top employee communication apps offer gamification as part of their software.

More People Spend Time Gaming Than Ever Before

Did you know that more than 60 percent of American households include at least one gamer among their ranks? People love to play games.

Some indulge in hours of World of Warcraft on their desktop computers. Others kill time between appointments with a few rounds of Candy Crush on their phones.

It's not just kids and young men, either. The average female gamer is 44 years old. This means that gaming extends across generations and genders. You can use this knowledge to your benefit if you roll out an employee communication app that includes gamification functionality.

Gamification Isn't the Same Thing as Gaming

Don't panic. Gamification doesn't mean putting your employees in front of Playstation consoles with controllers in their hands. In fact, gaming and gamification share only one major trait. They involve completing tasks to obtain rewards.

If the word gamification scares you, think of it as "game-based learning" instead. You're turning education into a reward-based format.

An employee communication app can use gamification to encourage peer-to-peer competition, improve engagement levels, and track learning progress. In fact, you're probably already familiar with gamification.

Back in school, did you ever play Around the World with flash cards or educational Bingo? Those are classic forms of game-based learning. Gamification in an employee communication app simply translates those benefits to a digital format and for a professional audience.

Employee engagement strategies don't always have to follow the status quo. You can create custom solutions to fit your unique workforce and company culture. Gamification is one of the most customizable options on the market today.

Gamification on Employee Communication Apps Cater to Multiple Learning Styles

You might already know that multiple learning styles exist. Gamification allows you to help your employees learn no matter how their brains are wired.

That's because game-based learning includes multiple types of sensory input. Users can see the information on the screen, hear signals and other sounds, and witness repetition. 

The result? Faster learning and increased knowledge retention. Plus, you add one more tool to your arsenal of employee engagement strategies.

Playing Games Releases Rewarding Chemicals

Scientists have proven that playing games can release a neurotransmitter called dopamine in the brain. It's sometimes called the "reward chemical" because it is experienced when you achieve a goal or milestone.

You might get a dopamine hit when your company exceeds its revenue forecast, for instance, or when your Twitter account surpasses 100 followers. The same thing happens when you level up in a game.

Each time your employees reach new levels in their employee communication apps, their brains deliver a dose of dopamine. This encourages them to keep learning and to continue participation in the app, which leads to increased employee engagement.

Gamification Can Increase Engagement on an Employee Communication App

Everyone loves a challenge. When you first introduce an employee communication app in the workplace, you might not see immediate engagement. Your staff isn't used to it yet, and they might worry about the learning curve or the purpose of the app.

Gamification increases engagement by encouraging users to meet goals and learn new skills. Before you know it, your employees will give up other activities on their phones and devices in favor of your gamification setup.

Best of all, you can use gamification in any way you see fit. Use it to provide incentives, for instance. The incentives can be tangible or digital.

For instance, allow your employees to earn badges or certifications each time they complete a module or level. Alternatively, let employees choose a gift when they reach certain milestones, or run company-wide sweepstakes that allow employees to gain more entries with each level they complete.

Friendly Competition Can Lead to Higher Productivity

Too much competition in the workplace can lead to tension, anxiety, and frustration. However, when used effectively, it can increase employee engagement and enjoyment.

Think of gamification or game-based learning as friendly competition. Your staff isn't competing for a promotion or a raise; they're competing for knowledge and bragging rights. Even if you offer incentives, you're not threatening your workers' jobs if they fail to complete a level. It's all in good fun.

Many business owners worry that gamification will distract employees from the job. In reality, the opposite is true. As employees absorb knowledge through the gamification app, they learn how to do their jobs faster and more efficiently. You might also notice that they spend more time in the app while they're at home or on the road than during business hours.

If you're not sure whether to launch an employee communication app, gamification might tip the scales. It's a fun but educational way to increase employee engagement and improve communication across the board. Still not convinced? Try the hubEngage app for free.

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