Encourage Desired Behaviors with Workplace Games - dummies

Encourage Desired Behaviors with Workplace Games

By Bob Kelleher

Using gamification in the workplace can help encourage desired behaviors among your employees. First, you have to determine which user behaviors will drive the objectives you identified. Put simply, behaviors are the foundation of all gamification programs.

Once key behaviors are identified, you can determine which game mechanics are most likely to drive those behaviors and reward users for performing those behaviors — that’s what gamification is all about.

Here’s a list of some sample business objectives, along with behaviors that may drive them:

  • Speeding up business processes: The specific behaviors associated with speeding up business processes will vary depending on the business and the process.

    For the sake of example, suppose you run a service department that responds to customer complaints. The key behaviors associated with speeding up business processes may include responding to an issue, resolving the issue, and updating records associated with the issue.

    For even better results, you could upgrade these behaviors from simple ones to more complex ones by being more specific, with time as your qualifier: responding to an issue within 30 minutes, resolving the issue within 24 hours, and updating records associated with the issue within three days.

  • Driving sales: Key behaviors in sales include calling, e‐mailing, or meeting with a customer; responding to a lead; following up on a lead; converting a lead into an opportunity; and closing a deal (with extra credit for larger deals).

    As with speeding up business processes, you may see even better results by upgrading some of these behaviors from simple ones to complex ones — again, with time as your qualifier: responding to a lead within 30 minutes, following up on a lead within three days, and converting a lead to an opportunity within three weeks.

  • Encouraging knowledge sharing and collaboration: Behaviors associated with knowledge sharing and collaboration include asking questions on the company intranet, answering questions, voting on answers, and receiving votes for your answers.

  • Improving training and education: Relevant behaviors in this area include starting a training course, advancing to the next module of a course, answering questions correctly, and completing the course.

    Arguably, that last behavior — completing the course — is the most important one. For that, you could offer an extra‐special reward or broadcast that the employee has earned some type of certification. By leveraging gamification programs, companies can acknowledge and champion employees who complete training.

  • Aiding with onboarding: With regard to onboarding, these behaviors are likely the ones that count: reading about company policies; completing compliance training; filling out HR forms; setting up health insurance, 401(k), and retirement benefits; and exploring the company’s culture.

Gamifying these behaviors — or, really, just about any behaviors — can be even more effective if you make the results visible to other employees in the company. When everyone across the company can see who is being recognized for a behavior, more employees tend to adopt the behavior. This is thanks to a little thing middle-school counselors call “peer pressure.”