While Emily Blunt may have been positively enchanting portraying everyone’s favourite nanny on the big screen last year, who can forget Julie Andrews’ classic words from the 1964 original:
“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and – SNAP – the job’s a game!”
In that very short sentence, Mary Poppins was able to convey a powerful message of work engagement that as is typical with rebellious children, would go on to be ignored for decades to come. In fact, only now is the true hidden wisdom behind those words being rediscovered today.
This is thanks to gamification.
What Is It?
To explain this concept, it is better to begin with an example.
Back in 2010, when gamification was hardly on anyone’s radar, the Swedish government decided to put to the test a most fascinating theory: that with the right degree of positive motivation, drivers would be a lot more likely to adhere to established speed limits.
In order to do this, Stockholm worked with a man called Kevin Richardson, who had previously won Volkswagen’s Fun Theory competition. As a result of this collaboration, for a limited time only, people driving at or below the speed limit would be entered into a lottery for a chance to win the proceeds of the traffic fines imposed on speeders. Unsurprisingly, the experiment was a huge success, with the average detected speed decreasing 7 km/h.
Yet the process of integrating game mechanics into non-game contexts is not limited to the public sector. In fact, a recent survey found that employees making use of gamification at work were generally more productive (87 percent of surveyed individuals), more engaged (84%) and considerably happier than their ungamified counterparts (82%).
How We Can Help
While this in no way indicates that the entire workplace should be transformed into one big plaything, there are certainly specific areas where game attributes may be employed. And this, of course, is where Software Planet Group comes in.
We could, for instance, implement a company-wide application that enables employees to get to know their workmates better by displaying five photos of peers and a simple personal question. Thus, for example, one could be greeted with something such as “of the colleagues displayed below, who is the account manager?” or even, “who amongst your coworkers is particularly adept at fishing?” Once the right answer is revealed — whether chosen correctly or incorrectly — users would then be able to log into their company’s system.
And because gamification provides us with an excellent opportunity to recognise employees who are doing an exceptional job, your business may also benefit from developing a rewarding badge system. A great way to accomplish this, for instance, would be to allow your managers to add “likes” to the profiles of workers. In this way, whenever a task is completed with excellence, a like could then be added to the responsible worker’s page. And on that note, by the way, at the end of every period, employees who have racked up the most likes could even be presented with special privileges, like 5 extra holiday days or whichever other perk you decide!
Even though the sound of it is indeed something quite atrocious, gamification offers companies a new and exciting way to engage and motivate their workforce like it was never possible before — this reason alone should make it definitely worth considering!
But most important of all, whichever game you decide to create, make sure that it is crafted with your company’s main goals in mind. Here too, of course, SPG stand ready to help.