It’s time to make work fun! It’s true that you need to be productive and do what you’re paid to do, but all work and no play makes for a miserable employee. Bringing games into the workplace is shown to improve employee morale and lead to more collaboration and innovation. So, loosen up that tie and start playing some games.
Potential Benefits of Games
Games have long been used in the classroom. A big reason for this is because it can create engagement. Having an employee engaged in their work gets them to work harder. A happier employee is a more productive, hard-working employee.
Implementing games is a great way to attract more talent, decrease stress, and improve motivation. Games also encourage more collaboration and innovation.
Turning an otherwise mundane activity into a game is called gamification. Games are becoming more common in the workplace for training in the form of quizzes or video game-like simulations. This way of training gets the employee interested in what is being taught.
Gamification can be used in other areas as well. Take team building for example. We all have been with a company where we are all seated in a room and told to stand up and say a few things about ourselves. It’s boring and not many people in the room are even listening. What if you had your team stand in a circle and toss a ball around? It gets them interested and attentive. This also stimulates the body and mind in ways just sitting and talking never will.
Deciding the Purpose of the Game
Before you start bringing games into the workplace, you need to consider the goal. Do you want to improve communication and collaboration? Is the game to build teamwork or individual skills? What about a way for employees to just let off some steam? No matter the reason, make sure it has a purpose.
On the other side, you must remember that not everything needs to be a game. Decide where a game fits. It might come down to the seriousness of the task at hand.
Don’t introduce a game for game’s sake. It has to mean something. You don’t want some employees to take it too seriously and ruin the experience for everyone else. A little competition isn’t a bad thing, but too much can produce the opposite outcome you were expecting.
Games That Reinforce Company Culture
As mentioned, team building is a great way to introduce games in the workplace. A few ideas include:
- Two truths and a lie: Each employee writes down three things on a piece of paper–one lie and two truths. The rest of the employees need to figure out which of them is a lie.
- Secret mission of the day: Each employee is assigned a secret mission for that day, such as using certain words in conversations or meetings. Other employees are then responsible for figuring out who is responsible for what task. The winner is the one who isn’t caught.
- Treasure hunt: This might take more planning, but it can be a great way to help employees think and work together. You can get some of your other employees involved in the creation of certain parts of this treasure hunt, such as item ideas and locations.
Gamification Can Improve Sales
In a way, the sales department of your company kind of makes a game of their job. A quota needs to be met by the end of the month. But a simple quota might not be enough to motivate a sales staff. There’s not much motivation to go for a goal without a reward at the end.
Change this up by offering a reward for hitting the monthly or quarterly quota. A bonus as small as a free lunch or gift card might be the thing that pushes a salesperson over the top. Be sure to keep track of everyone’s progress in a visible area. We’ve all seen this in movies and TV. A whiteboard in the middle of the room where each sale is marked. This will encourage and motivate the team to meet their goals.
This benefits the organization by increasing sales and profit, and the employees by seeing results for their hard work.
Gamification Can Improve Customer Service
This one is a little trickier. Customer service is more qualitative than quantitative, but there are a few metrics you can use to gauge how an employee is handling customer concerns. One way is phone call times. The goal for every employee is to get a customer’s concern taken care of and off the phone within three minutes. Each call under that time receives a point. The employee with the most points at the end of the month wins a prize.
You can play around with these metrics depending on the role customer service plays in your company.