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How Gamification Can Clarify Your Employee Engagement Goals

How Gamification Can Clarify Your Employee Engagement Goals

Aaron Moncreiff


An engaged workforce is easily identified through its actions: an employee goes the extra mile to resolve a client’s issue; the company’s values show through every interaction; teams collaborate honestly and without hesitation; and workers pitch in to help their colleagues meet deadlines, without wondering what’s in it for them. Unfortunately, that workplace is the exception. A recent Gallup poll finds that only one-third of workers consider themselves engaged in their jobs.

How is your company quantifying engagement, and how do you know whether you’re achieving your employee engagement goals? Gamification can help. Instead of measuring subjective satisfaction, a gamification platform will show you exactly how your workers are embodying the company’s core values as they go about their jobs. The thousands of small choices your staff makes every day will reveal insights that can help you clarify and realize your employee engagement goals.

Toss Out the Surveys

In the past, workplaces often conflated engagement and satisfaction. Employees would fill out quarterly surveys, and management would assume the workforce was appropriately engaged. And when competitors poached top talent year after year, it was a mystery—after all, the surveys showed a perfectly content staff.

The trouble with surveys is twofold: First, surveys make it easy to brush off real problems, especially when there’s no reward for telling an uncomfortable truth. Second, even the most satisfied worker could probably be enticed by the promise of a more satisfying (and higher paying) position with a competitor. According to a the headhunting firm Ajilon, 4 out of 5 workers are receptive to job offers from a competitor, and 43% would leave today for better pay.

A gamification platform like Bunchball Nitro doesn’t allow employees to simply tell you what they think you want to hear—to achieve success in the gamified workspace, they’re going to have to back up their words with action.

Building Buy-in

An engaged workforce responds to more than monetary incentives—engaged workers have an emotional investment in the organization’s success. They are motivated by a sense of obligation to the team; they take ownership of its success. 

A gamification platform can provide transparency and build this sense of buy-in. Bunchball Nitro lets workers see how every contribution moves the team closer to its goals. Colleagues can use the platform to keep one another accountable and on task, and supervisors can rely on the software’s analytics to ensure efforts are recognized.

Validated employees are more likely to feel engaged in their jobs. Bunchball’s gamification can help cultivate a sense of loyalty, reducing turnover and keeping workers aligned with the company’s broader goals.

Aligning Achievements

Engagement in the workplace depends on aligning individual employees’ incentives with the company’s broader objectives. When professional development goals are integrated into the daily to-do list, workers are transformed into stakeholders. Younger workers place great importance on professional development—educational software developer Bridge found that two-thirds of millennial employees would soon leave any job that doesn’t provide adequate development opportunities.

Bunchball allows workers to set their own course. The platform allows employees to choose the professional development goals that are most important to them, and by tracking performance on multiple axes, gamification lets workers aim for excellence in the metrics that cater to their strengths. The Nitro platform provides a degree of autonomy that engages workers with their achievements.

Following Through

Too often, engagement initiatives are forgotten, overwhelmed by the daily grind. A gamification platform can keep your staff focused on the big picture by breaking down abstract goals into incremental, concrete steps. Gamification rewards results.

By setting clearly defined targets, a gamification platform can help your organization clarify what employee engagement means in practice. You can put your company’s core values into action, setting up an incentive structure that prioritizes collaboration, communication, and innovation. By rewarding follow through instead of intentions, gamification can make sure your engagement goals are not left in the dust.

Removing Barriers

Siloed workplaces are the enemy of engagement, but the barriers to teamwork can be steep—workers may be reluctant to divert time from their tasks and lend a hand to a colleague in need, especially when their odds of recognition are slim. A gamification platform pulls down those barriers by directly incentivizing collaboration and allowing your staff to recognize the otherwise-unsung heroes of the workplace.

Bunchball Nitro can be set up to link performance metrics, so excellence from one worker is an achievement for everyone. Workers can award badges and trophies to the colleagues that go out of their way to help the company, and advanced analytics can help management identify the interoffice partnerships and clusters of success that are yielding the best results.

Looping Feedback

Finally, a gamification platform can provide feedback to let you know how your engagement initiatives are working. You’ll be able to see in real time which targets are easily attainable, and which goals your employees are struggling to achieve. This can give you insights into how your business operates at the ground level, providing vital information for making big structuring and staffing decisions.

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