The promise of a steady paycheck and not being unemployed is no longer enough to motivate millennials to show up at work every day and do a decent job. Younger workers want to feel like they’re part of a cool team and working towards something worthwhile.
That’s why this Singapore company has resorted to gamifying work in order to keep their employees engaged. Employees are divided into teams in a Game of Thrones-style stetting, and when they complete tasks, they score points for their team.
Now, we’re not saying every company needs to put in place an elaborate role-playing game and transform their office into some kind of funhouse.
But incorporating certain gamification elements into a company’s HR practices can help to motivate employees who would otherwise feel like just another cog in the wheel. Here are some ideas.
Reward good performance with perks
Singapore employees have a reputation for being disengaged zombies who are just going through the motions each day in order to collect their paycheck at the end of the month. The fact that the majority of executives feel unappreciated in their work says a lot.
Rewarding good performance at work can go a long way towards encouraging employees to continue doing their best.
Companies can put in place a reward system, where employees are rewarded with perks or cash prizes for good performance. For instance, each supervisor can devise a series of goals for each of his subordinates to achieve. These could be sales targets or, for support staff, the number of accounts smoothly completed.
Perks that could be awarded include half a day off, $50 cash prizes or shopping vouchers. $50 costs so little for a company to give out, yet can make an employee’s day.
Give employees a milestone chart, and reward them for ticking off each milestone
Millennial employees often feel like they spend their days completing a series of meaningless tasks, none of which have anything to do with the grand scheme of things or their careers.
Handing employees a milestone chart (preferably printed out in bright colours and employing the latest graphic design trends) that they can stick on their cubicle walls and use to track their progress offers some structure to their working life, and gives some perspective to their daily tasks.
Obviously, the milestones will vary greatly depending on the job. A salesperson for pharmaceuticals can fulfil milestones not just related to sales quotas, but also to his or her mastery of certain products, and the types of customers he or she has sold to. All employees would also benefit from milestones related to how long they’ve been on the job.
When employees tick off a milestone, they (hopefully) feel a sense of achievement. Still not enough? Dangle perks when milestones have been completed.
A lack of empathy seems to be a big part of what makes working life so unpleasant. Singaporeans seem to be getting more and more stressed out at work, and 40% identify office politics as a major stressor.
Open and frank communication amongst colleagues is important, but doesn’t happen nearly enough in local workplaces due to an obsession with face-saving and a huge gulf between superiors and subordinates.
One way to bridge this distance is to organise occasional role-playing sessions, in which various members of each team play at taking on the role of their colleagues. Virtually every Singaporean employee has wished this boss could spend a day doing his job, and realise how unrealistic the deadlines are.
Supervisors can be walked through the roles of their subordinates so they can better understand the challenges they face. Subordinates can take a look at what goes on in a day in the life of their supervisors, or teammates in another department they work closely with.
One way to gamify the experience and encourage staff to take it seriously is to set it up as a competition between teams in which employees, supervisors and subordinates need to train each other to perform different roles.
The exercise should give the various cogs in the wheel a better idea of what their colleagues go through on a daily basis. Hopefully this will stop people from being selfish picks and treating their colleagues like crap.
How would you gamify your own workplace? Tell us in the comments!