In an earlier post, I explored the increasing use of crowdsourcing in performance reviews and the use of social recognition software which allows employers to share a constant stream of activity including individual goals and objectives and allows other employees to add recognition and ‘congratulations’ to achievements and targets met.
‘Gamification’ has been a buzzword for a few years now. In essence, it’s a way of using methods commonly found in games in order to encourage engagement. It’s also becoming more popular in other areas of HR and employee engagement. In recruitment, in particular, employers are finding that using the principles of gamification can help to attract more, and often better, candidates to the process. It also allows candidates themselves to get a better insight into what working for a particular company may be like. Employers can ascertain a candidate’s potential as they will be motivated throughout the process by the rewards and encouragement provided.
One example of gamification can be seen in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ new recruitment simulation tool which has been launched recently in their offices in Hungary. ‘Multipoly’ assists with the recruitment of their trainees and is based on the well-known board game Monopoly. Potential candidates work for a virtual year at the company – which equates to 12 days in real time – and candidates attend simulated training sessions, participate in client negotiations and other tasks similar to those carried out by a trainee and do so alongside other potential recruits. The result? The firm has reported that its application numbers have increased considerably as a result and the candidates hired need less on the job training on procedures.
Many other employers have introduced similar recruitment apps and ‘games’ including the US Army which aimed to educate candidates on the various different Army careers available by simulating the experience of an army soldier. A US tech start-up, Quixey, also reported huge savings in recruitment and great talent acquisition as a result of recruiting winners of their online coding competition. Other interesting programs include the development of a virtual company office which allows candidates to tour and explore every department to gain an insight into what working for the organisation is like.
The increased use of gaming can also be seen in other areas of HR, for example, motivating employees to learn and participate in training which may otherwise not be a priority and is often forgotten about. By going down this route, these programs have the additional benefit of maintaining a virtual record of each employee’s progression.
At a basic level, gamification can also be used as a means to incentivise employees to complete administrative tasks. It may appear trivial to some but for many, the idea of competing against colleagues for rewards will often have a desirable effect on motivation – and can be fun!
On a long term basis, gamification could also assist in demonstrating transparent and objective lead career progression and paths to promotion: if a lower performing employer sees how their regularly praised colleague makes it to the top of the career ladder – it may just be enough to incentivise them too.
Virtual monopoly in the workplace may not appeal to all employers but predictions are that this will be a fast growing trend in the next few years. What do you think – is it all mumbo jumbo? Or do you think that there’s real potential here to start to solve the difficult problem of getting more employees to engage within an organisation? It would be great to hear from you if you have any experience of ‘gaming’ in the workplace, or even in the outside world.