The workplace has changed significantly in recent years with increasing digitalization and the emergence of newer generations of workers consisting of millennials and generation Z. Employee disengagement and high turnover rates have become some of the main challenges that organizations today are increasingly paying attention to. To engage and retain their talents, organizations have been, among other things, progressively turning to new generations of intranet solutions or what is currently known as the digital workplace.
A digital workplace represents a holistic user-centered solution used within an organization to access work information, work and interact in the digital domain. It integrates a set of applications, tools and platforms for improving communication and collaboration within and between departments and geographically distributed people and offices.
With a social and interactive dimension and an integrated gamification functionality, a digital workplace can make your employees perform more efficiently and feel more engaged. But what exactly is meant by gamification? How it can benefit your organization and how to successfully adopt it?
What is gamification?
Wikipedia defines gamification as “the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. Gamification commonly employs game design elements to improve user engagement, organizational productivity, flow, learning, crowdsourcing, employee recruitment and evaluation, ease of use, usefulness of systems, physical exercise, traffic violations, voter apathy, and more. A collection of research on gamification shows that a majority of studies on gamification find it has positive effects on individuals.”
In eXo Platform, it is a system of automatic allocation of scores and badges to users as reward for their activity in different activity areas according to the rules established by the admins of the platform. Note that activity is by default divided into 3 domains: “Knowledge“, “Teamwork” and “Social“. More on the eXo Gamification add-on here.
Key benefits of gamification:
Introduced lately as part of our vision to boost employee engagement, the gamification add-on has been developed by layering game-like features to further encourage internal communication and interaction within the platform. Every time a user interacts by posting different types of content (files, articles, discussions, photos, videos, etc.), or likes, comments or shares their peer’s content, their will earn a specific number of points. A badge detailing achievements is displayed on the user’s profile as well as on a leaderboard on the home page, displaying users ranks per specific periods.
This add-on has also proved to be a great way of tracking employee engagement inside the digital workplace.
Gamification can thus help boost the way your employees perform their daily activities within your digital workplace. It also promotes a healthy peer-to-peer competition and encourages employees to share their work and ideas.
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Ways to ensure a successful implementation:
An effective implementation of gamification features can help your organization achieve its goals of better engagement and a healthy work environment. In this section we will provide you with some tips for an effective and smooth implementation:
- Listen to your workforce:
The decision to implement Gamification is always driven by the need to engage employees and enhance their work experience. It is crucially important to run some surveys and one on one interviews to identify the areas that need improvement. This way you will be able to provide your workforce with a solution tailored to their needs. Knowing that their voices have been heard, your employees will be keen to use and discover the solution and what it can bring to them.
- Communicate the launch:
Every new launch needs hyping and promoting and introducing gamification is no different. Providing your employees with a launch date, communicating the benefits of gamification and explaining its basic features will help you create buzz and anticipation. It will also prepare employees to use the feature which guarantees a good level of adoption and usage.
- Keep it simple:
Gamification can be a new concept to your workforce. It is important that you start experimenting the feature with basic rules and domains while tracking the levels of engagement and usage. For example, you can start by setting simple rules that will give users points. Each time a user shares, likes or comments a post he/she will earn a specific amount of points. If the experiment is positive and the feedback is favorable you can start exploring new rules and domains.
- Use badges and activity domains adapted to your context/activities:
Each organization has its own challenges and unique company culture. This means that basic gamification features like domains, rules and badges will be different. Make sure to tailor the solution to your employees’ needs and activities to guarantee a great level of engagement. A failure to do so will drive your employees away from the solution as they do not perceive any added value in using it.
Making leaderboards visible on the homepage or a similar widely accessible place will allow employees to keep track of their points and where they rank within the organization. It also helps in promoting healthy competition and acts as an incentive to contribute more often.
- Tangible rewards:
Following the introduction of gamification a few months ago, we have been continuously working on new add-ons that can complement it, namely the eXo Wallet and Perk Store add-ons.
As an employee earns gamification points they will collect tokens sent directly to their digital wallet. The perk store represents an internal marketplace in which they can then spend their tokens on products provided by the company or by their peers.
These add-ons have been very strongly adopted internally as per our first deployments, proving effective in engaging employees who use the platform.
Tangible rewards are the obvious evolution of any gamification program, so make sure to understand what sort of rewards your employees would be interested in (e.g. gym memberships, books, training sessions, etc…) and use that knowledge to create your own internal reward programs powered by your digital workplace platform. This way in addition to the “feel good” factor your employee will feel even better when they can transform their gamification points into something more tangible for them.
Gamification programs can have a nice impact on your employee well being thus the success of your whole organization. This is a topic we are invested in, so make sure to stay tuned for more on this.