How Gamification Allows Companies to Improve Workforce Development and Retention in a Competitive Labor Market

Gamification a two-way street for both employees and employers. It provides data-driven insights for employers while helping employees meet their goals and provide training feedback in real time.

The unemployment rate is hovering around 3.7 percent, which is one of the lowest rates in U.S. history. This means it’s getting more difficult to recruit and hire new talent as competition for qualified candidates heats up. According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 3.3 million workers voluntarily left a job in March 2018 alone. What’s furthering this problem is the fact that 70 percent of high-retention-risk employees say they’ll have to leave their organization to advance their career, according to a report from Willis Towers Watson. This makes it crucial for organizations to ensure they’re meeting the needs of employees and helping them grow their careers. 

One of the best ways to meet the varying work styles and specific needs of employees of all ages is through gamification technology. Companies that can apply gamification capabilities to performance measurement will be able to keep employees engaged and on track to meet their goals. This is increasingly important when it comes to performance: A Gallup survey found that only 21 percent of employees strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work. This lack of motivation will naturally lead employees to seek out new opportunities, which is why companies must prioritize development and growth. 

Gamification in the Workplace 

While many companies might be familiar with gamification as it relates to mobile apps or video games, it’s important to understand how gamification solutions can be applied to non-game scenarios such as employee performance. Gamification can be a powerful tool to drive performance improvement, reward top performers, and lower turnover and training costs. 

This can be anything from rewarding employees for attendance or performance to driving healthy competition and collaborative teamwork. It may seem daunting to implement gamification as part of employee training programs, but rest assured, it’s fairly easy to design and integrate these solutions. 

Gamification technology can provide a comprehensive view of employee performance and supply managers with the context they need to address any issues or make sure employees who are doing well feel empowered. With a mutually beneficial gamification solution, employees are rewarded for accomplishing a task and given the context behind their performance, so they can improve their skills as needed. For example, companies that implement gamification might reward an employee with a badge after scoring above 85 percent on a product knowledge quiz and earning a customer satisfaction score of 9 out of 10 on five consecutive product calls. They then could be allotted an extra vacation day or giftcard for their strong performance, making them feel valued. 

By tracking this type of data over time, employers are able to offer training to help employees work on improving their skills in real time. In turn, this data helps managers track employee performance with a better understanding of individual needs and goals.

Take the Pain Out of Training

Companies might rush the training process or overlook important training sessions due to time restraints or resources, but this can impact the bottom line. According to the Association for Talent Development (ATD), companies that offer comprehensive training programs enjoy a 24 percent higher profit margin than those that spend less on training. The bright side is that gamification can be used for a number of processes, whether it’s onboarding an employee, helping an employee understand a new product, or upskilling an employee. By offering pre-packaged offerings such as quizzes and interactive training content, gamification truly can drive workforce optimization. 

The best thing to keep in mind with gamification is that it’s a two-way street for both employees and employers. It provides data-driven insights for employers while helping employees meet their goals and provide training feedback in real time—a win-win for all. With the influence of performance management technology, data logs, and digital gamification solutions, enterprises are well positioned to attract new talent and retain existing, high-performing employees—all while positively impacting the bottom line. Gamification is here to stay, and organizations that don’t implement it into training programs will fall behind. 

Omer Erel has been with NICE for the last eight years. In his current role, Erel leads NICE Quality and Performance Management solutions driven by Adaptive Work Force Optimization, and is responsible for Product Management, Marketing, and Customer Success. Previously, he held Product Management, Sales, and Business Development positions within the company. He has a BSc in Computer Science from Bar Ilan University, and an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management. Erel is based in NICE’s Hoboken, NJ, headquarters. 

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