Ever wondered why parents use games to maintain their kids’ attention and keep them active? Friendly competition and the ambition to win is a fool-proof engagement strategy. But this seems to be something we forget as we get older.
Playing is intrinsically human, and with the evolving work environment, it’s more important than ever to understand and appreciate the characteristics that set us apart from machines and algorithms. Today, 97% of Fortune 500 countries use game-based learning in the workplace to level up employee engagement. Incorporating games in the workplace can breathe new life into company meetings, and enhance the workplace culture and employee experience.
While the more mundane aspects of our worklife, like meetings and conference calls, aren’t going to disappear anytime soon, businesses can look for innovative ways to motivate their fatigued and disengaged workforce by incorporating games into their meetings, training programs and manager check-ins. So, should your business be gamifying knowledge sharing and team collaboration into its culture?
Energising disengaged employees
Motivation and engagement in the workplace simply cannot be forced, and with only 14 per cent of employees in Australia and New Zealand reporting feeling engaged in their job, it’s clear that companies need to be re-thinking their practices to a sustainable and engaged workforce. Lack of engagement, coupled with lack of motivation, can result in a range of issues, such as poor productivity and an inability to overcome challenges. Beyond this, disengaged employees can extend this behaviour to the treatment of clients and customers, consequently affecting revenue and growth.
But there’s one simple solution businesses are increasingly turning into: games. Game-based learning works both in-person and remotely because it recognises employees’ innate human traits, taps into them and meets them where they are.
Incorporating games into your work meetings will create a new sense of workforce buzz. Employees will be on a mission to outdo each other, while also excitedly taking on the CEO during quizzes to achieve winner status.
Fostering a stronger workplace culture
We tend to spend a lot of time at work so it makes sense that business owners, leaders and HR professionals are concerned about the culture within a work environment. With play being one of the first languages we learn as humans, and also being one of the first ways we interact to make friends and build relationships, tapping into this in the workplace is a natural transition. Leaning on play at work makes learning, meeting and connecting a process that employees are inherently motivated to join.
For many companies, innovating traditional practices and developing an effective engagement strategy can feel overwhelming. However, as organisations consider the transition to a more ‘hybrid’ workforce, there has never been a smarter time for business leaders to reassess the way we connect and learn at work.
Not only do games provide a sense of competition, they also create a sense of connectedness and community, which, in an era of social distancing and lockdowns, has become more important than ever before. By facilitating play at work, you’ll make it easier for employees to actively participate, which increases the likelihood that they will.
Games at work can be played in a group setting and are often anonymised so employees can participate without feeling embarrassed or nervous, whether it’s gamifying your onboarding or training program, overhauling your quarterly business update or helping coworkers mingle and get to know each other.
Enhancing professional development and growth
Education and reskilling the workforce is critical to the success of your company as well as employee outcomes, with a whopping 90% of hiring managers saying they are more likely to hire and promote someone who worked on their professional development during the pandemic than a person who didn’t.
And while training and upskilling is critical, many employees are often time-poor but this can be overcome by creating on-demand, micro-learning moments during the workday to streamline professional development. This could include embedded digital training sessions and creating interactive, social learning experiences with games.
Companies who incorporate games into the workforce will deliver an enhanced employee experience, contributing to higher knowledge sharing, engagement and productivity, which in turn will strengthen the workplace culture. The companies that win tomorrow will be those that invested in their employees today.
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