Blog

December 11, 2017
Here’s a Game Changer in Employee Experience

Work and play were once treated as separate domains, but the state of the current workplace environment fully integrates both. The concept of “gamification” has been embraced by a multitude of industries; we see credit card companies incentivizing spending by offering mileage rewards programs, restaurants and cafes rewarding visits through stars or points, and even personal financial planning apps making saving fun through virtual awards and milestones.

This concept can easily be replicated to increase employee engagement internally at your company as well. Gamification can involve the incorporation of incentives to motivate your team and support a goal and value-driven culture. There are a variety of platforms you can use or programs you can build to reward your employees and facilitate an environment of creativity and collaboration.

Employee Recognition

While there may be mixed feelings towards the approach of offering virtual rewards in the workplace, it has certainly been shown that incentivizing employees generally increases productivity and willingness to complete tasks. Gamification as a use case for employee recognition can look a lot like the platforms developed by WooBoard, Tap My Back, and IActionable. In these applications, participants can receive feedback and gain recognition from both peers and supervisors. These recognitions are scored as points that can ultimately be redeemed for gift cards, trips, or other rewards.

These types of platforms can be great for incentivizing employees to interact with those outside of their primary functional group and instill a sense of community within the company. It’s also a great way to allow employees to chose their own rewards rather than be awarded something arbitrary like a plaque on the wall.

Philanthropy

Many organizations aim to enable and empower their employees to inspire greater social change. Platforms like Causecast and Wespire provide companies the opportunity to create impact through supporting the values that they are built on themselves. Companies can define their corporate identity, and translate that identity to events and outreach opportunities that employees can choose to partake in and earn points for.

There are also practices that can be initiated within the office to promote environmental sustainability such as donating leftover food, recycling, and minimizing your carbon footprint. These types of programs align corporate missions to tangible initiatives in the greater community, and incentivizes employees to make true and meaningful commitments to these causes.

Wellness

With the workday becoming longer, more stressful, and more sedentary, many companies are starting add wellness and work-life balance to their list of values. Outside of adding a gym, offering fitness perks, or hosting fitness classes in your office space, how can you show that you truly support your employee’s health?

Hotseat is an employee engagement platform that adds customized two-minute exercises to your calendar, which collectively can make a large difference at the end of the day. Employees rack up points for participating and can cash them out for health prizes. Programs like Wellable allow employees to sync fitness tracking devices like Apple Watches and Fitbits to coordinate office-wide competitions like step challenges. Even further personalized is a product called Virgin Pulse which integrates an employee’s individual interests and personal goals and generates a unique program encompassing activity, nutrition, sleep, stress, focus, cognition, financial health, personal relationship, philanthropy, and other aspects that drives their happiness. The platform also provides a number of resources for employees to understand their personal health, and engage with their colleagues on a global level.

The foundational idea is that supporting an employee’s health and well-being will not only lead to a happier workforce, but also a more productive business. Showing your employees that you reward time spent on physical health is ultimately what will prove that it is a true value.


Rasika Rajagopalan is an HR Business Partner at SmartBear Software.