Gamification: HR Solution For Engaging Work Associates To Go Green

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Gamification is growing into a valuable human resources tool for motivating work associates to cut costs by adopting sustainable best practices. Gamification is the use of game design and mechanics to engage people in changing their behaviors. Think Farmville played to achieve business results. Gamification is one of the hottest trends in business with M2 Research projecting gamification revenues growing from this year’s $242 million to $2.8 billion in 2016.

Gamification Best Practices
Technology is revolutionizing the old concepts of a single player experience. Today’s gamification techniques are focused upon team experiences that generate enterprise scale results. Gamification is turning into a huge HR tool for bridging cultural gaps by engaging the Millennial Generation that grew up playing Nintendo. It is also highly engaging to women. 54% of social game players are women!

Here are emerging gamification best practices that are proving successful in engaging a broad spectrum of work associates to change their behaviors and adopt sustainable practices that reduce costs and environmental impacts:

Real Time Feedback. I grew up in business with annual special events offering training, motivational speeches and team building. Gamification smashes this template by enabling instantaneous feedback (what gamification experts call an accelerated feedback cycle). A key best practice I learned on the shop floor was that what got measured got done. Gamification enables measurement for individual, a team and a company-in real time!

Clearly Define “Winning.” A game must have clear and simple performance goals. If it is not clear how to score and how to win then both scoring and work associate engagement will be low. And the game’s rules have to be fair. If the deck is stacked then associates won’t play. A best practice design resource is fantasy sports leagues. The good ones have designs and rules that keep the playing field level, make participation easy and enable success.

Answer: “Why Should I Play?” The three top reasons why people play games are: they are fun, it relieves stress and its competitive. Designing a game that engages is where a gamification professional really adds value. Imagine a CFO designing a game, it would look like Monopoly and while competitive it would be a turn off to those who don’t like going to Jail or landing on Boardwalk loaded with hotels. Gamification only works if employees actually want to play, engage and win!

The Goal: Winner and Winning Results! Competition is a huge success element for gamification activities. But the goal is to enable everyone to win if they do shift their behaviors in a manner that delivers reduced costs and environmental impacts. Again, design is critical. The game needs to be short enough to enable near-term positive results including positive participant feedback. The game needs to be progressive so participants stay engaged by continuing to play, win and by winning generate positive results.

Practically Green: Generating ROI On Day One!
Practically Green is pioneering the use of gamification techniques and the social web to

…motivate employees and custoemrs to make healthy green changes at work, at home and in their community.

I liked Practically Green’s CEO Susan Hunt Stevens the minute we meet. She grabbed my attention by immediately talking about how her firm is using gamification techniques to generation ROI, often beginning on day one at the start of a game. This short video conducted at Sustainable Brands 2012 outlines the best practices being used by Practically Green for companies that include Seventh Generation and NBC Universal that are delivering ROI results.

Bill Roth is the Founder of Earth 2017. He coaches business owners and leaders on proven best practices in pricing, marekging and operations that make money and create a positive difference. His book, The Secret Green Sauce, profiles business case studies of pioneering best practices that are proven to win customers and grow product revenues.

About Bill Roth

Bill Roth is the founder of Earth 2017, author of The Secret Green Sauce and a nationally-followed contributor to Entrepreneur.com, Triple Pundit, The Green Economy Post and Media Post on best business practices emerging from the smart, healthy and green global economy. He coaches entrepreneurs, business and community leaders on how to grow revenues, profits and jobs by going smart and green.
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