As a leader, there’s nothing more frustrating than spending the time to put a program in place for your employees and then having participation fall flat. We know if we could just get the inertia to start to change behaviors, employees would be hooked.
After working with hundreds of clients in 2019 and leading a team of my own, here are my 5 favorite strategies to drive program engagement through gamification:
Instead of spreading around small prizes to a lot of people, offer one seriously grand prize. A healthcare client set a very high bar for engagement to qualify for the raffle for an all-expense-paid vacation. They posted leaderboards showing sunny beaches in the dead of winter (in Pennsylvania). They were amazed at how many people qualified for the drawing. One winner got a great tan, and the rest discovered they loved the new program.
Try breaking your staff into teams and letting the peer team leaders compete to engage their teams. Each team is ranked and reports are shared regularly with the executives. For the company that does this, it has become an amazing source to identify the next generation of talent for leadership roles. Influencing without authority is a great skill. This has helped provide new career paths for talented individuals as well as improved the company’s track record of hiring from within.
The point of learning programs is to have employees master and utilize the new knowledge. For our human movement safety program, a client sets up “rodeo days”, where employees at ~100 locations around the country compete to run obstacle courses while using the movement skills they’ve learned. Winners get titles they keep for the year and even compete regionally. Want to win next year? Employees are incentivized to practice their skills year-round and stay engaged with the program in order to compete at their best in the next rodeo day.
Never thought you could make a new expense reimbursement policy interesting? Even the discussion of a new program can be gamified. I love to use Kahoot which turns any presentation into an online quiz show where attendees can use their mobile devices to try and answer questions correctly and quickly. Add some friendly competition and it’s amazing how passionate employees can get. ‘I knew it was department code 5080 for ground transportation, in your face!’
Lastly, employee engagement platforms like Limeade provide points tracking and prize administration for programs across the employee experience. Healthy behaviors can be rewarded with reduced healthcare premiums, or completing administrative tasks might earn points towards company swag. Adults that see a list are motivated to get those check-marks, pull ahead on the leaderboard reporting, and be recognized for getting a task done. For those of us in leadership roles, a few water bottles are a small price to pay for achieving high utilization of our key programs.
What are some of your favorite gamification techniques?