Jeanne Meister, a contributor at Forbes, believes that the smartest way to get the most out of implementing gamification into a firm is by understanding the data surrounding generational segmentation and engagement levels. According to a Gallup poll which broke down engagement levels between different generations in a workplace, Millennials were only 28.9 % engaged while Gen X & Baby Boomers had a 32.9 %. These statistics are quite significant because it shows that the generation that gamification would benefit the most is the same generation that needs the most help in terms of engagement levels. The reason motivation is so low in the millennial generation is because they believe they do not have the opportunity to present their best work or ideas to the company.
This divide amongst the generations at a company can lead to a dangerous level of miscommunication, deterring some talented employees from sharing ideas due to the fact that they aren’t fully involved. Using gamification in these sorts of situations would seem to yield the most valuable results. This would not only allow firms across the nation to increase the engagement level of the millennial generation, but also increase productivity and teamwork. Showing other prospective employees that you are willing to listen and make adjustments based on the concerns of current employees would also allow for a company to attract new talent. A good example of how gamification is mutually beneficial to both employee and employer is PwC’s use of gamification for recruitment, which is supposed to simulate an employee’s first year on the job. PwC’s initial goal was to help further engage their job candidates during their search process after noticing that the average amount of time candidates spent on their website was less than fifteen minutes. To counteract this, they implemented a game called Multipoly, allowing the candidate to figure out, virtually, if they were ready to work at the firm. In the game, candidates would be set up in teams to solve real-world business problems.
This forward thinking on the part of PwC definitely set their firm apart from the rest of the Big 4 accounting firms in respect to attracting candidates and ensuring they retain those that are engaged. According to hiring managers at PwC, candidates who took part in the Multipoly game were more prepared to handle face to face-to-face live interviews due to the fact that the game informed them about PwC and its various services, vision, and skills needed for success. Since the launch of this game, PwC has seen a 190 percent growth in job candidates as well as increased time learning about PwC and its job processes. Instead of simply spending 10 to 15 minutes on the career page, candidates are spending roughly an hour learning about the company before their interview through Multipoly.
An interesting statistic gathered by the game was that 78 percent of those who complete the game became interested in working with PwC. These successes provided by the Multipoly game caused this to become the best HR project of 2014. This same article also cited Walmart’s use of short bursts of gaming to help employees become more involved in safety training and learning the safety protocols. Due to the nature of Walmart’s business and their widely dispersed workforce, it was essential that they conjured up a viable method to train all of their employees. Walmart was eventually able to implement a three-minute gamified application, which was embedded into all of the associate’s workflow. This game proved to be a great success in boosting participation in these important safety pieces of training and even became addictive to some of the associates. There were even some cases of employees boasting about certain badges they got and their rank on the high score page.
This Walmart pilot highlighted the emotional aspect of using gamification in the workplace and its benefits towards the engagement of employees. I find that implementing individually crafted forms of gamification is the key take away point from all of this. Even though one aspect of gamification or game mechanics may not work at your firm does not mean all will. Understanding what your employees enjoy through companywide surveys is key in figuring out the strategy needed to take. I believe that once you are able to fully understand what your employees enjoy and need, then it is time to look into gamification and decide which aspect you should apply to your business.