It’s called “gamify” or “gamification.” Gamification is when employers create a behavioral rewards system for accomplishing small achievements on the job. Similar to earning a badge for learning to tie a knot in the Boy Scouts or earning a new skill in a RPG (role playing game), the employee receives a small, visual award for a small job well done.
Gamification awards are things such as:
- Accumulating points on the company’s online profile page,
- Earning badges/awards which are then posted on the entrance of your office,
- Posted magnetic dots on a publicly displayed board showing level-ups earned,
- Or an icon showing up on the company’s and employee’s social media profile displaying their work. (Think FarmVille for your workplace goals.)
This phenomenon is a further embracing of the gaming culture of our young adults and demonstrates how powerful these motivators are becoming.
I worked for three years in sales and I can easily remember a huge whiteboard right in the center of our call center listing each team member’s name. Each time you sold a product you were to go and write down your sales on the board so the managers could spot-check our progress each day. I personally hated that board. It was probably because I was not very good at sales. The company eventually took the board down because it resulted in antagonism between the sales force and did not encourage a healthy sense of competition.
Gamifying the workplace seems to be a different twist on that sales board strategy. My question is whether this enhances job performance or turns labor into playtime. Advocates for gamification suggest that turning labor into a game is precisely the point. If an employee feels more motivated, regardless of the means, the company’s bottom line improves.
I wonder how younger leaders in church ministry will implement gamification into church-based ministry strategies…if that is even possible. A new horizon awaits.