Top Tips when Using Gamification to Improve Productivity

Creating a positive, memorable customer experience is a key driver of repeat business and continued loyalty. In order to achieve this gold standard of service, focus first on employee engagement. The need to improve performance levels and retain good agents continues to serve as contact centre obstacles—and frequently stymies staff and their managers. 

Finding the right solutions can be challenging, but thankfully, innovative techniques are opening up new avenues to effectively handle these issues. One of the more interesting new applications gaining popularity is ‘gamification’—the practice of implementing game mechanics and design techniques in non-game contexts. This not only encourages employee engagement, but also creates a competitive environment where staff can vie for rewards (i.e., better schedules, gift cards, days off, etc.) and peer-to-peer acknowledgement. The use of gamification is expected to increase significantly over the next several years. Research firm Gartner estimates more than 70 percent of Global 2000 organisations will have at least one ‘gamified’ application by 2014.

Play to Win

Businesses that are making the most out of gamification are relying on multiple techniques to reach their individual goals. Some are also combining gamification with workforce optimisation (WFO) software to accomplish this. Early results indicate that this combination makes work more enjoyable for employees by encouraging success, while also supporting the company’s overarching customer strategies. 

From my experience, here are some tips for gamification success: 

  • Points and “badges”—Creating performance management scorecards helps to define, calculate and display “award points” for employees with customer-configurable scores with icons that can be used as “badges.” Desktop and process analytics then collects the data that drives award points (e.g., closed tickets, closed contracts, etc.). The result can help organisations achieve greater morale and excitement around these tasks.
  • Incentives and awards—Users can automatically populate points awarded within a company’s workforce management system to provide “winning” employees with desirable schedules or shifts. 
  • Scoreboards and leaderboards—Dashboard displays can indicate the “points scorecards” for employees. These scorecards can also show “leader boards,” all updated in real-time to motivate employees.
  • Social collaboration and teams-setting goals—Scorecards can roll-up  the individual “points” earned by employees to team points (or scores), thus driving greater collaboration and teamwork.  
  • Encourage participants to try something different—Since gamification focuses on the end goal, reward employees who reach their goals at a quicker rate than others. 

However, as with any new technique, gamification should be well understood and planned out prior to implementation. Some questions organisations considering gamification should consider asking during the planning process include: 

  • Be sure your organisation’s goals for using gamification are clear. This is an especially important step to take before getting too deep into the effort. It is far better to determine all of the goals of a gamification program during the beginning stages.
  • Think carefully about your company culture and how best to implement a gamification effort. What types of rewards will motivate employees, and how can you build out a recognition program that ties into the initiative?

There are always new tools for businesses to deploy that help improve performance. Gamification is an innovative, new way of providing companies with the opportunity to improve business processes and collaboration. Further, if it’s closely aligned with existing workforce management and performance tools, companies will be able to reap the benefits internally—as well as greatly improve customer service. 

As the saying goes, “You can’t win if you don’t play,” so try something new with your employees. Even implementing just a few gamification techniques could generate some very positive results that will ultimately impact the overall customer experience and boost the bottom line.