At Work

How Workplace gamification has become a thing in Silicon Valley

Games are probably as popular as history itself. So, it makes sense that the gamification of modern workplaces has become so prevalent these days. Tech startups in Silicon Valley are credited with making gamification a popular concept, paving the way for the gamification revolution that has impacted contemporary business operations as we know them.

Part of the reason why gamification has become so prevalent today is that it feels absolutely natural to a generation of millennials that have grown up on pervasive digital tech and computer games. Tech startups in Silicon Valley have been using gamification to attract and retain the best crop of employees for years.

These companies often utilize games in the workplace as a way of hacking employee satisfaction, as well as building user engagement at various summits and TED talks. By the time the rest of the business world was catching up to gamification, Silicon Valley had long been implementing gamification successfully for employee retention and engagement.

So, what exactly is gamification?

The idea behind gamification is simple- to make the workplace less formal and interesting by incorporating fun games and tasks. Gamification is a technique that is utilized commonly in Silicon Valley to attract top tier talent as well as encourage employee innovation and loyalty.

The whole purpose of gamification is to make the workplace more likable and less stressful for employees. Gamification is designed to trigger the passion & enthusiasm amongst employees to be more industrious by integrating a system that promotes immediate rewards and credit, apt gratification, and use of recurrent surveys, which are all things that are typically missing in traditional workplaces.

Though it may sound like it, gamification is not all about transforming modern work into a playground. Rather, it’s about mixing in-game mechanics into the modern workplace to make it more interesting as well as make employees more productive. As stated by the popular Steve Jobs, when employees love doing their jobs, great things are bound to happen.

So how does workplace gamification help? Are there benefits?

Gamification if done well, can reap huge benefits for the organizations themselves as well as their employees. Why do you ask?

Gamification offers real-time feedback

Psychology is a humongous component of the gamification equation and is a huge part of making monotonous tasks more enjoyable. Gamification also makes real-time feedback possible which eliminated surprises during the annual employee review.

Thanks to gamification, employees only get to concentrate on achieving goals that are relevant and not ones that are forgotten by the time the review is scheduled. Owing to gamification, employees can begin to work towards measurable and meaningful targets

Gamification also works to effectively reduce favoritism in the workplace. Are there rumors about favoritism in the workplace behind closed doors? Are favorites often picked over deserving candidates? Is it tearing the workforce apart? When implemented properly, gamification helps to eliminate such fears so that employees themselves can compete against each other and be rewarded for it.

Gamification is vital for employee wellness

The sedentary lifestyle afforded by modern workplaces is one of the biggest challenges towards attaining better employee health. Employees these days spend more time than they should sitting in front of their computers and laptops with little to no movement. This lack of physical activity ultimately results in a tired workforce that is constantly suffering from an array of sicknesses.

Organizations can try and solve this issue by supplying their employee with healthcare solutions, but this typically means spending billions of dollars to make it happen. But add a ping pong table here and a giant Jenga set there and businesses now have a cost-effective way to manage employee health and wellness.

Gamification has also led to significant reduction in the levels of depression and anxiety at work. Many organizations today help their employees and teams escape burnout by offering them memberships to gamification-based apps such as Headspace, which helps to motivate them and relieve stress through engaging and fun activities.

Gamification encourages creativity

Well-known companies across the Silicon Valley such as the all-powerful Google spend a significant part of their time ensuring that employees are actively engaged throughout the day with a series of playful yet productive activities. Gamification gives an incentive to employees to not just show up and do their work- but it encourages them to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Introducing gamification at work can assist employees to be more creative. Gamification may sound like a simple model, but it actually goes a long way in psyching up and engaging employees, which fosters creative thinking in the long run. Adopting gamification at work is one of those things that easily sparks creativity which is what consequently leads to reinvention and invention.

It attracts millennials and gen Z talent

Millennials and gen Z are slowly making up the majority of the working demographic in numerous parts of the world. As such, if a business has any chance of attracting prospective workers and retains the new crop of talent, it has to do everything to stand out during the recruitment process- gamification helps with that.

Both millennial and gen Z workers have a natural affinity to anything tech-related. As such, introducing gamification at the workplace will work to make this young workforce active and involved. Both these groups like being challenged and they tend to easily get bored and unengaged where traditional workplaces and learning systems are concerned.

Final Thoughts

As the year progresses, there is no doubt that your business will want to do everything possible to strengthen its defenses, boost employee productivity, as well as stay ahead of future and current trends. Introducing gamification in your business is something truly worth considering because the results are evident and speak for themselves.

Although gamification was originally a Silicon Valley thing, more and more organizations and businesses are now opting to implement it as a means of improving employee loyalty, productivity and competitiveness among team members. When executed correctly, gamification really does have something to offer all types of workplaces.

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