My boss and I are a little competitive… ok very competitive. I don’t think this is a bad thing; in fact, I think most good professionals are driven by competition. Depending on your role and department, your goals and metrics will vary – for example, in our marketing department, we are always wanting to improve performance, drive quality leads for less money, increase response, and get more views. Department and company goals are one thing, but we are also competitive on a personal level and this is where gamification and digital motivation can come into play.
What is gamification? Simply put, it is taking gaming mechanics or game thinking and integrating it into the flow of work. So your day-to-day systems incorporate things like leaderboards, achievement badges, points systems, or other elements that focus on rankings, competition, and winning.
One great example of gamification is the LinkedIn “How you rank” leaderboard that show you where you stack up against others in your company and network with profile views. My boss and I monitor our rankings and try and elevate our profiles. While he is almost always above me on our company ranking, there was a brief weekend in July where I popped above him on the list. Of course, my first reaction was to screenshot the ranking to capture this rare moment in time and send the to text my boss and make sure he was aware I was beating him. But my ranking on these boards also motivates me to keep my profile up to date, write and publish posts, share and like content, and network with people who I might not come across any other way.
(SIDENOTE: Feel free to visit my profile here to help boost my ranking!)
So why should companies focus on gamification? In a recent survey:
- 62% of respondents said they would be motivated by leaderboards.
- 89% said that a points system would increase their engagement with eLearning materials.
- 79% of the responders said that they would be more productive if their work was more game-like.
Gamification is also a great touchstone for managers to track engagement among employees. Within Bloomfire, for example, we have leaderboards for our communities that highlight who has created the best performing content (Aces), who has contributed the most content (Producers), and who is viewing and interacting the most (Bookworms). This gives employees a totally transparent way to achieve clearly identified goals and gives managers a tool to see who is engaged and participating in the community.
Remember, gamification isn’t a panacea to increase employee engagement, but used in the right way it can provide digital motivation and create a healthy competitive spirit within your company.