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Winning the Employee Development Game with Gamification

Winning the Employee Development Game with Gamification

Aaron Moncreiff


Job seekers want more than just pay checks. They want to learn and grow in a job. Here's how gamification can improve employee development for your business.

Attracting and retaining talented workers in a booming job market can be a challenge. Every month, the labor market tightens further, and competition for workers in high-growth industries becomes more intense. Businesses are seeking new ways to build their workforces and protect their most valuable employees from being poached by competitors, and offering a fatter paycheck isn’t always the best strategy. A solid professional development program can help workers grow and prosper without leaving the team.

Up or Out?

Workers want to feel valued by the organization, but any job can offer a paycheck. A full 91% of millennial workers expect to leave their current job within three years, largely because they feel stuck. Most employees still see switching jobs as the most effective way to break out their current role and improve their skills. Given the high cost of turnover in lost productivity and onboarding expenses, companies should be actively searching for ways to make their employees feel like they’re doing more than treading water.       

Research on worker satisfaction reveals that a lack of opportunity for advancement is the top reason that successful employees decide to leave their jobs. But career advancement doesn’t just mean moving up the ladder and becoming a manager—today’s workers are increasingly skill-focused. In the technology sector, workers are increasingly worried that staying in one place for too long could make them obsolete and leave them with an uncompetitive skill set. Encouraging your employees to pursue professional development as part of their regular work day will improve satisfaction and engagement.

When it comes to their professional development, workers know what’s best. Everyone has different goals—some workers will want to deepen their mastery of a single technical field, others may want to branch out laterally and build a multi-disciplinary skill set. The best professional development program will allow your employees to set their own goals and customize their development experience.

Bunchball Can Help

Cultivating a growth-focused workplace can be difficult—many businesses struggle to balance routine tasks with workforce development in employees’ daily schedules. Fortunately, gamification can help. A gamification platform like Bunchball allows employees to integrate a series of self-directed development goals into their daily workstream, providing sustained development opportunities and helping workers track their progress as they build new skills. By setting up a series of incremental achievements and providing detailed automatic feedback, gamification can empower workers to take charge of their own development.

The gamification platform can also be set up in a way that rewards lateral skill sharing between employees, generating organic person-to-person opportunities for learning that are far superior to seminar-based training programs.

Involving employees in their coworkers’ advancement will doubly strengthen your workforce’s cohesion. Wharton professor Adam Grant’s bestselling Give and Take shows how workers who do favors for their coworkers often become an organization’s most loyal employees. A platform like Bunchball can match experienced workers with proteges, as well as pairing up cross-disciplinary training partners to facilitate the exchange of knowledge throughout the workplace.

Workers who feel like the company is invested in their professional development will be more productive, engaged, and loyal. Gamification can help workers craft a customized development program and make learning a regular part of the workday. When workers make steady progress towards their development goals, everyone gains.

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