HR Management & Compliance

Build Your Team and Increase Engagement with Gamification

By Karen Hsu

Are you looking to boost employee engagement at your workplace? Lack of engagement is a big problem in the modern workforce, but gamification can help trainers and HR professionals find the data they need and increase engagement. For some helpful tips, we present an article by Karen Hsu, vice president of marketing at Badgeville, on how gamification can make HR a more data-driven organization.

There is an engagement crisis in the workplace, and it has profound implications for company performance and staff retention. A recent Mercer report revealed that about a third of surveyed workers consider their current position a job, not a career. More tellingly, about three-quarters of surveyed employees report that they would stay at their present company if their career path was more clearly defined.

HR teams are aware of the employee engagement gap and are seeking new strategies to close it. They understand that to improve employee performance and generate better results across the organization, they’ll have to increase engagement. As the Mercer study shows, engaged employees deliver a superior customer experience, which improves profitability and builds brand equity.

But, what is the best strategy to improve staff commitment? Increasingly, employers are turning to gamification to close the engagement gap. Gartner Research estimated that gamification will soon become the operational improvement strategy of choice for 40% of global 1000 companies. With the right gamification solution, HR teams can generate the data they need to measure progress, refine strategies, and drive improvements.

How HR Can Use Gamification Data to Optimize Engagement

With an advanced gamification solution, companies can improve productivity significantly by increasing collaboration. They can also experience major reductions in absenteeism. A peer-to-peer study that compared teams with a gamification engagement strategy to those that don’t use gamification found that gamified workplaces have a 24% higher attendance rate. Gamification also optimizes learning and development via digital motivation and incentives while measurably reducing attrition.

One of the key advantages of implementing a data-driven gamification solution is the availability of reports that gauge benchmark status and enable HR teams to track progress across all of these fronts.

The ideal solution would allow HR professionals to closely monitor adoption rates, engagement frequency, achievements, and time to completion for learning and development purposes. With this type of reporting, the HR team can accurately track not only IF people are engaging but also how long and when they are engaging.

Tracking Performance Against Objectives

Once the HR team achieves higher levels of engagement, the next step is to harness data to track how the workforce is performing against stated goals, with the ultimate objective of improving the performance of the program/project and organization. In one real-world case, a company used an advanced gamification solution to identify the characteristics of top performers versus middle performers.

Using reports that provided data on the distribution of activities, performance against defined goals and key performance indicators (KPIs), social advocacy activities, business impact, etc., management was able to perceive clear patterns.

They found that top performers tended to call more and do fewer activities in the customer relationship management (CRM) system, whereas middle performers did not log as many calls. Some of the lower performers, even after logging many activities in the CRM system, still did not sell as well as those who logged fewer activities but did more calls. These findings had clear performance management implications.

Looking at Individual and Team Performance Data

Another critical advantage that data can provide, is the ability to measure how specific people and/or teams are doing. With this information, HR professionals can recognize people for the good work they’re doing and improve loyalty. Management can also identify skills gaps or a need for greater skills diversity.

Reports on reputation scorecards, team, or individual achievements versus goals or KPIs, rankings, expertise distribution, etc., can all contribute to the general level of knowledge about organizational capabilities.

In one actual use case, a company found that employees who had earned zero points in the gamification system were likely to leave the company within 6 months. As a result of using these analytics, the HR team could identify who these people were in the future and address their issues before experiencing costly turnover. And with a digital reputation system that clearly shows employees’ skills, project managers are able to quickly staff new initiatives.

Gamification can solve the employee engagement crisis and drive greater productivity and profitability while reducing operational costs. But before selecting a gamification solution, HR professionals should take a close look at the data it can provide. With the right approach, a gamification solution can transform HR into a more data-driven organization that continuously optimizes engagement, tracks progress, and identifies issues and talent proactively. And that can add up to a game-changing competitive edge.