Making work more like a video game: Gamification technology helps managers and staff

Gamification tech is a growing trend that can help businesses use employee strengths in a unique way. Learn how it works and what benefits it can provide.

Video gamer

Image: iStock/RyanKing999

Gamification technology is an immersive experience that seeks to use the fun elements of video gaming in business settings for better productivity, employee achievement, and motivation. It can serve across many fields in an array of diverse mechanisms.

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For instance, as a loyal devotee of the game Red Dead Redemption 2, I was thrilled to learn that some organizations actually hold online meetings in that world to congregate and discuss business operations. The context entails meeting at a player's camp, for instance, and conversing via headsets, with each employee controlling their own customized character. I think that's an amazing and engaging way to utilize non-traditional mechanisms to conduct traditional work.

I spoke about the concept with Omri Hayner, general manager, Enterprise Portfolio and WFO, at NICE Ltd., a software solutions provider.

Scott Matteson: What is gamification technology?

Omri Hayner: Gamification includes technology and best practices that help organizations meet goals by engaging employees and imparting knowledge and training in an interesting, creative way. By applying video game mechanics in a non-game context, gamification drives up learning by creating friendly competition and collaboration among employees and teams, boosting knowledge and skills, and improving the quality of service they provide. 

It can be used to incentivize employees to be more engaged in their current roles using awards and recognition or monetary rewards. Gamification technology can be used at home, in the gym, in the workplace, or anywhere employees may be located—an especially useful aspect given today's hybrid working environment. Gamification helps  achieve team KPIs such as increasing productivity, maximizing efficiency, enhancing sales and driving collaboration between employees and teams, as well as  to meet  individual career goals.   

Scott Matteson: What challenges does it address?

Omri Hayner: Gamification enables organizations to address a number of challenges. Keeping employees engaged and ensuring they're trained on the latest features and skills have always been challenges for customer service organizations. However the criticality of both these challenges has escalated greatly in today's remote and hybrid home-office work environments. With employee engagement directly related to attrition levels, and training impacting quality of service and handling time, organizations must do everything they can to nurture talent, drive positive employee sentiment and widen competencies while meeting company goals.

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Gamification technology provides a centralized platform for employees to interact, learn, collaborate, and be recognized, no matter where they work and at any time and also provides knowledge visibility to supervisors and trainers. It expands employee skill sets and knowledge levels while making work much more interesting. Knowledgeable and engaged employees are not only more productive but also deliver better customer experiences—a goal that organizations must constantly strive to achieve and maintain. Gamification empowers organizations to overcome the challenge posed by remote work, boosts their ability to meet operational goals and KPIs and increases customer and employee engagement and loyalty, all of which boost bottom-line results.

Scott Matteson: What benefits does it provide?

Omri Hayner: Gamification benefits the individual employee, employee's team and the business as a whole. It enhances creativity and engagement and helps create a culture of learning and flexibility, while allowing employees to align themselves to organizational goals. For example, as employees are empowered to learn something new, they are also better positioned to excel in their current roles and benefit the business' operational goals. This also opens up doors for employees to change roles within the company or departments and to train new employees on a specific, in-demand skill set.

Additionally, as competition increases and new customer demands emerge, organizations must stay agile to meet them. Gamification technology empowers organizations to adapt to these needs. They can keep employees updated on the latest capabilities and skill sets, cultivate internal talent, provide a platform for social engagement and for managers to easily pivot and adjust KPIs accordingly.

Scott Matteson: How does it apply to work activities?

Omri Hayner: Applied with intention toward a specific organizational goal, gamification increases job satisfaction, productivity, profitability, turnover, and quality of work—benefitting the organization and the individual employee alike. Learning is a core-component of application in day-to-day work activities. Gamification technology allows employees to learn and hone a skill set, collaborate with their team members in an engaging and efficient way or even demonstrate value or talent to be considered for a different position in the company. On a daily basis, employees are able to be more socially engaged with one another and stimulated within their current roles, which is more important than ever in today's remote and hybrid working environments.

Scott Matteson: What are some subjective examples?

Omri Hayner: Creating challenges to deliver on better cross-team communication or helping an individual meet productivity goals are both everyday instances where gamification helps. As an additional example, it's vital for contact center agents to know everything about the product they're selling. This can be difficult especially if a product has features that often change. A challenge to stay updated on new product features is particularly useful in this scenario. Employees may be awarded with trophies, badges, milestones of participation, paid time off, recognition or even a monetary award. Turning skill improvement into a challenge with leaderboards and progress bars can also go a long way when enhancing skills like attention to detail.

SEE: Keep employees engaged and motivated with games and friendly competition (TechRepublic)

Scott Matteson: How will this evolve in the future?

Omri Hayner: As (artificial intelligence) AI and (machine learning) ML algorithms become more intelligent, so will gamification technology. The success of gamification technology is in large part attributed to the analytical engine in place to measure the success of applying activities within the organization. This engine, driven by AI and ML technology, is able to determine what's working, what's not working and how goals can either be replicated or improved upon. 

As businesses support hybrid and remote workers, this analytical component will only become more important when it comes to measuring the success of gamification technologies and managing teams in various physical locations. AI and machine learning will help organizations meet their goals sooner while, in tandem, better engaging employees and instilling a culture of learning and education across the organization.

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