Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Injecting Fun & Excitement into Work Through Gamification

Avid gamers are all too familiar with this sequence of events: Your stomach is growling and you start to feel a strong urge to use the restroom but you think, “After the next level!” Hours later, being transfixed by your own progress through a difficult stage in the game, you still haven’t budged as the next big “level up” is quickly approaching and you’re trying, with all the inner strength you can muster, to ignore “nature’s calls.” I think it’s safe to say that, for a majority of us, this level of engrossment is rarely found at our jobs. This is why, at a much earlier stage in my life, my dream was to be a video game tester. Upon looking around at the different types of jobs and career paths out there, I didn’t think this level of absorption and investment could be experienced elsewhere. However, my current understanding is that there hasn’t been a whole lot of interest and effort to produce this type of engagement at most organizations. So I ask disengaged workers, wouldn’t it be great to feel just a tad like this at your job?

Whenever I bring up the topic of employee engagement, someone always asks, “Why would organizational leaders and managers be interested in engagement?” and “Wouldn’t it be easier to just let disengaged employees quit and hire people who’re more engaged?” I’m not making claims about what’s easier. I’m asserting that developing an organizational culture and structuring work that facilitates this level of engagement has a payoff. Moreover, this isn’t about worker entitlement. This is good for both employers and employees. Finally, if there is a persistent, significant pattern of employees starting out engaged and leaving disengaged then it’s worth it to look into ways to change things up.

As it turns out, gamification of work isn’t a far-fetched idea. The following videos will help you think about how gamification of work can help drive organizational success and specific ideas on how to gamify the work process.

Gamification and the Oracle Applications User Experience

The Oracle Applications User Experience team has actively explored gamification and its uses in the enterprise work space.

Playing games at work – get ready for gamification

Gamification: The new way of Employee Engagement – Interview with BrandGames

An interview with CEO, Scott Randall, of BrandGames on gamification at work – “Using Games in the Workplace with training and engagement.”

GSummit SF 2012: Billy Rodgers – Making Work Fun: Using Gamification Internally

In August of last year, RedCritter Tracker was launched to bring the fun and benefits of game mechanics to internal project management and software development. It’s since achieved a cult following of development communities and companies who are now experiencing the results of gamification in the workplace. We’ll look at how Matmi, a leading advergame developer, is using the gamified agile project management tool to inspire it’s team, increase productivity, build culture, and at the end of the day, make better games.

This one is a bit lengthier but there are some great points about developing “games” that are suitable for specific jobs and the types of personalities that tend to be attracted to those jobs.

GSummit SF 2012: Erika Webb – Enterprise User Experience: Making Work Engaging at Oracle

Oracle Applications User Experience is getting into the game with research and design on how to gamify enterprise applications, such as the company’s Fusion. Oracle’s research with real users helped them change how they design applications to include game mechanics, increasing participation in communities, increasing productivity in workers and making work more engaging for all. Learn the research approaches, design patterns and examples that have made Oracle a leader in gamification of enterprise apps — and how you can make them work for your organization.

To summarize, here are some key points about gamification from the videos:

  1. Makes tasks at work fun and engaging
  2. Provides continuous feedback on performance instead of periodic reviews
  3. Helps set clear goals, rules, and expectations

Finally, Better Collaboration can help you stay updated on other ways to innovate the way virtual work is performed. Check out my latest post to get a peek at the information Better Collaboration’s video conference series provides.

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