Article (January-2019)


Gamification - Unlocking HR performance

Chakshu Shah

Designation : -  

Organization : -  Atharva Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai


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Games mechanics is the most innovative and engaging tool which keep players motivated. Statistics states that people play games for 11 billion-person hours. Game market consists of 99 percent teenage boys and 94 percent teenage girls, 58 percent male and 42 percent female play games which are bigger than movies and music market. The median age of the gamer is 37 years. Human brain learns 10 percent from the courses and reading, 20 percent from feedback and 70 percent from experience. Every game provides missions and challenges the players so that their journey would be exciting and interesting. Accomplishing the levels players grow from beginner to professionals, which help them feel more confident in the world of this game. Player needs everyday motivation. One of the most powerful motive which move people to do something is a desire to prove that we are able to handle any challenges. Games are engaging because of :

Social Aspects : Games which are designed to be played in a team, which connects game to real world challenges by building communication, leadership skills and also can increase competition, cooperation, affiliation.

Simulation : Games which help to discover, allow playing with reality, helps understanding how the rules work and affect other people in the game, and idea of assistant you can play with are some of engaging experience of the player.

Example, in Sweden if driver goes above the speed limit, there is risk of getting a ticket. So, to control, they tried a different approach when you drive at or below the speed limit you get entered into a lottery, chances to win the proceeds for those who are spending resulting they were able to lower the average speed from 35 to 25 km an hour.

Flow : Systematically designed games like problem solving, recognition patters, puzzles with too much challenge builds addictive quality among players.

Other Psychological Tricks : Other aspects of game which are engaging are, constraints - time limit and pressure to complete a particular task to achieve specific reward, idea of easy failure - there is no penalty for losing the level, player can replay that level without much loss, perseverance grit - specific skill set or talent is required to accomplish the task, which helps to maintain or develop competency, randomness of game, artistry, clear and defined goals, frequent rewards after level is accomplished.

Companies can start implementing gamification techniques with nothing more than a whiteboard or, for a distributed team, an Excel spreadsheet. Human resources functions like engaged employees, goal setting, value dissemination, process performance management, career growth, learning & development can be motivated through gamification.

Companies having complete knowledge about their employee type can design gamification model according to their work culture and structure; to align company's goal to individual goals and to keep them motivated and engaged at work. Using Bartle's taxonomy of player types, model which map people are described below :

Achievers : Achievers are people who are interested in the acting on world they are typical gamer, they play to win, create them self-game related goals and rigorously set to achieve goals, designer can design the game by choosing social action to motivate by making game more competitive, challenging games and with more rewards, they are engaged by their achievements.

Explorers : Explorers like interacting with the world, they find about environment, details about the physics of the games, curious people to know details about rules and gamification experience at their work.

Socializers : Socializer likes to interact with other players, chatting, sharing their experience, they believe in community aspect of the game and active on social media to interact with people.

Killers : They like acting on other players, they like to provoke, create drama. You can engage killers by leader boards and game board so we can integrate the solution and keep employees engaged.

In the recent times, several instances of gamification have more prominence on human resources activity, which are as follows :

Performance Management : Companies can use gamified technique to collect resources about task by defining key result areas and design a game board with A to B points 6 in the middle and rate as per task performed and completed, weighted given for each task to be completed. Further, rewarding employees with points and badges, avatars, progression (moving) stages, level like green, black, yellow belt and social graphs (percentile) will engage employees and motivate them by providing with either monetary or non-monetary reward.

Cultivate Corporate Culture and Retain Valued Customers : Use gamification to promote a positive corporate culture by rewarding employees for cross - departmental collaboration, providing a process or product improvement suggestions, or even participating in company - wide volunteer programs, for example. Companies can use a gamified platform to track these activities and opportunities, as well as showcase employee participation to their coworkers to provide intrinsic motivation. As an added benefit, the platform maintains a record of all employee activities in the program, which is quite valuable information when it comes time to consider promotions, raises, and other tangible rewards.