“People do not take actions that are necessarily the most economical, but actions that make them feel the smartest.”― Yu-kai Chou, Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards
In a perfect world, the right company chooses the right candidate and as a happy and productive employee, he lives happily ever after. The dynamics that dictate the real world, however, are different. Organizations around the world find themselves hiring employees that are not so suitable for their culture and spend millions in engaging and retaining them. It’s hardly surprising that, according to a study by Gallup, 51% of employees are not engaged or that 17% of employees are, in fact, actively disengaged. In a job market where the demand for talent far outweighs the supply, recruitment teams have to spend enormous amounts of time and money on filtering the candidates best fit for their roles. Failing to choose the right candidates adds further to their woes as disengaged employees are costly to the organization.
Gamification, fortunately, has created a bright spot in this area.
Picture Courtesy : Ingimage.com
It is the application of game-design elements and game-principles in a non-gaming context. It taps into the individual’s desire for achievement and recognition. The latest crop of gamification tools is developed by a team of designers, writers, developers, data and behavioral scientists. It works on the premise that it brings about more involvement in a candidate or an employee subject to an immersive gamified experience.
Recruitment specialists often juggle with quite a few tasks and though automation does help them out, they find themselves compelled to choose candidates from a talent pool which is usually spoilt for choice. Here is how gamification tools assist them:
Measure A wider range of skills: Assessing a candidate by his job profile is one thing, but assessing things like his problem-solving abilities under duress, aptitude and behavior is another – something that has been given the short shrift. To ensure that a more comprehensive assessment of skills is done in a short period of time, recruiters can use gamification tools.
Simulate the role played by a potential employee: By creating a simulation of real work scenarios that the candidate is likely to engage in, the recruitment gets a clear perspective regarding his suitability for the job.
This is also useful in the long term because an employee who is thus made aware of what his future likely has in store is more likely to make an informed decision about joining the company. Such an employee is likely to be more productive and retainable for the organization.
Reach out to a bigger talent pool: The beauty of gamification tools is that they can be deployed on social media, thus reaching out to a bigger talent pool, overcoming the barriers of time and place. Candidates who have aced these games can then be invited for the next round of interviews. Thus, recruiters can save a lot of time and money even before the interviewing process begins. Moreover, they are also in a better position to choose candidates who are more suitable for the job.
In the complex workplaces of today, usually, a training program aims at imparting knowledge and influencing the behaviour of the employees. Using traditional methods like a classroom session or a one-on-one presentation, engaging the employee’s attention is a big challenge. While the training content may have the best talent behind it, it may not be absorbed or retained by the employee, much less create the behavioral change it needs to bring about. Here is how gamification aids training:
Makes learning exciting with rewards: When an employee uses a gamification tool, he is likely to be visually engaged in a work scenario that he will relate to and learns changes in policy or applications quickly. She would have to participate in quizzes that provide him instant feedback, win him points on the leaderboard and even encourage him to display it as a feather in his cap. Gamification can make it exciting using a gamut of techniques.
Retains the learning for a longer period of time: Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
Gamification is a tried and tested approach to involve the employee in various simulated work scenarios and this helps him retain what he has learned better.
Makes learning cost effective: Several organizations use gamification tools to simulate extremely complicated functions such as pilot training.
Picture Courtesy: Pexels.com
Plays its part in employee engagement: Digital workspaces are radically changing the way employees are engaged. Since it is likely that the candidate chosen for the job is not always the ‘best fit’, organizations need to have a practical approach to engaging him. Training is a great opportunity to hold his attention and using gamification can engage him effectively.
Improves employee productivity: Since gamification has a direct impact on employee engagement and post-training retention, it results in a much more motivated workforce. And, a motivated employee is a productive employee. Further, since it stimulates the competitive spirit of the employee, he is more likely to take on his team members. With each member of the team giving his level best, the team is assured of scaling greater heights.
Helps achieve desired behavior with greater ease: According to Gamification by Design co-author Gabe Zichermann, “Gamification is 75 percent psychology and 25 percent technology.”
Since even the best employees are prone to inertia, enforcing behavioral change through training is often challenging. By stimulating the brain’s reward circuit, gamification works on the psychology of the employee and brings about change.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2015 millennials will overtake the majority representation of the workforce and by 2030, the hyper-connected, tech savvy generation will make up 75% of the workforce.
And here is what the Zogby poll is saying about them: “A majority of 18-34-year-olds (57%) told us that they play video games at least three times a week. We wondered how important they feel that playing video games is to the development of several works and life skills. Two in three (67%) said it was important in helping them to learn how to create winning strategies. Seven in ten (70%) felt it aided them in learning how to solve problems. Almost two in three (63%) noted the importance of video in teaching them how to work smoothly and successful on a team. (70% of younger Millennials 18-24). Fifty-nine percent said these were a big part in helping them resolve conflicts (64% of the younger group). And two in three (66%) felt playing video games was vital to help them understand new technologies that will be useful in life.”
Gamification will immediately connect with the psyche of the millennial who is playing video games to achieve purposes that are beyond what constitute the usual. As employers are considering how to empower their organizations digitally, it is important to consider who will work with them in the future and explore the possibilities.