Gamification Set to Take Workforce Management to the Next Level
As both a professional and a consumer, I'm increasingly intrigued by the continued role of gamification in my everyday life. Regardless of your profession, background or where you reside, chances are each day you encounter some form of gamification. For the novice, this means taking game mechanics, such as a rewards system, to influence behavior.
Many companies and brands have expertly leveraged gamification. Take, for example:
- A LinkedIn user doesn't have a recommended 100 percent profile unless they've completed all the suggested criteria;
- Nike+ blends online competition with good old-fashion blood, sweat and tears to award points and bragging rights based on distance of runs and physical activity;
- TripAdvisor uses a one-star to five-star review rating to indicate which hotels, restaurants and travel destinations are most worth a person's time and money; and
- foursquare allows people to digitally check in to their favorite hotspots and get recommendations for places nearby. Additionally, if the user checks in at the same locale on more days than anyone else, he or she becomes the "Mayor" of that spot.
This led me to start delving into why an industry in which I've worked over the last decade, retail workforce management (WFM), has been behind in embracing gamification. Increasingly companies such as Workplace Systems have been innovative in a number of ways, including the development of cloud-based WFM solutions.
According to Gartner Research, 80 percent of organizations said they intend to use cloud services in some form within 12 months. The impact of cloud-based WFM allows employees to manage their own availability, request time off, offer (bid) to pick up shifts, and view their schedule anytime, anywhere and on any device. This is a powerful first step in bringing a level of involvement and choice, which in turn breeds engagement.
It only stands to reason that what's currently working on the general gamification front can be readily customized as part of an overall WFM system to inspire loyalty among sales associates. Many sales associates are already using gamification in their everyday life and it's influencing their consumer behavior and purchase decisions.
Related story: How Gamification is Transforming Marketing