Macro Systems Blog
How Gamification Can Help Your Office
The office is a workplace; it probably isn’t a place that is usually associated with fun and games. Neverless, different aspects of games have been shown to provide significant benefits when introduced into the professional environment. Let's explore some ways in which some fun activities could help your organization.
How Games Can Be Utilized
Classrooms devise games to reinforce lessons; the same strategy can be utilized to help employees engage with and embrace a task. Research supports the notion that the happier the worker is, the harder they work. Why not promote that with some entertaining games? Moreover, a workplace that welcomes some playfulness can present a few other desirable outcomes, including a flood of fresh talent, reduced stress levels, increased motivation, and improved workplace relationships. As a bonus, it also promotes the type of behaviors that will benefit the workplace in its normal operations. These behaviors include the desire to collaborate and the readiness to build something new.
Considering these factors, it makes sense that many organizations now find the time employees invest in playing games to be worth it.
This integration of games into the workplace is called gamification. You've probably already experienced it yourself, or would at least recognize a few examples of it in action. Was part of your on-the-job training presented as a computer program, with quizzes that needed to be passed? Have you ever participated in a team-building exercise that involved a group of people tossing a ball back and forth, the person who possessed the ball sharing information about themselves?
These are a few examples of gamification. By leveraging the natural cravings that the human psyche has, such as community, self-validation and improvement, this methodology can upgrade a team’s productivity and boost morale and satisfaction on an individual level.
Simple Workplace Games to Start With
If you want to utilize gamification tactics in your workplace to get some of its benefits, you will first need to determine what it is you intend to accomplish by introducing a game element. Do you want to improve communication among the members of your different departments? Are you attempting to encourage them to work more as a team? Or is your goal to simply permit your staff to blow off some steam before it negatively affects their work?
It may sound like you’re putting too much thought into playtime, but it is actually a critical consideration. Much like the “joke” that a game like Monopoly can destroy friendships, you want to ensure that your chosen game is conducive to accomplishing your goal. If you’re trying to motivate a team to work together, playing a game of basketball or setting up a scavenger hunt would be a more effective strategy. If you are looking to inspire some interpersonal competition, a more competitive activity would be a better option.
Games That Boost Company Culture
Listed below are a few simple games intended to lift spirits and coworker understanding in the office:
- Two Truths and a Lie - This basic game is summed up in the title. Each player writes three facts about themselves on a slip of paper, two which are true and one which is false. The rest of the group guesses who wrote these facts, and which of them is the lie.
- Secret Mission of the Day - In this game, each employee receives a message detailing their task for that day first thing in the morning. These tasks may be to slip a particular word into conversation or some other harmless prank, while others may receive a warning and be told to identify the person carrying out a specific task. For example: a group of employees may each be given an uncommon word (such as woebegone or logomachy) and be told to use it in a meeting five times, the winner being the one who isn’t called out on their use of the word.
- Treasure Hunt - While this will take a significantly larger amount of planning, this activity can be a great way to get your employees thinking, working together, and sharing a positive experience. You can even gain some bonus team building benefits by gathering some of the creative types in your office to create the clues that their coworkers will need to follow. Hiding objects, devising riddles, and other challenges will make the treasure hunt more challenging, but also more fun.
Gamification Can Boost Sales
Implementing games can help keep salespeople competitive. By setting quotas and a point system, you can have your sales team work towards earning rewards. You can set an expectation of a specific quantity in sales each week or month, and then give out a few rewards such as bonuses, time off, gift cards, etc. for the highest performers.
Tracking sales on a whiteboard or a flat-screen on the wall can help maintain everyone’s eye on the prize. Longer term or more aggressively set goals could even lead to larger prizes. It is a win-win situation.
Gamification Can Help Support and Customer Service
Likewise, some friendly competition can boost customer support. This can be more complicated, as you’ll need to come up with the KPI (Key Performance Indicators) of your staff to determine exactly what goals you are setting for the game, but it’s a great way to get everyone working towards the same goal. For example: if your goal is to get a customer answered and off the phone within three minutes, you could reward a point for each time that happens. Then determine an average number of points a single employee should earn, and offer prizes and praise when that is exceeded. Other examples might be having projects come in under budget, collecting shining reviews from customers, or surpassing other expectations. When you introduce fair and friendly competition in certain situations, it can lead to more getting accomplished the way you’ve always intended it to.
What other team building games and activities can you think of to help bring an office together?