Gamification Set to Take Workforce Management to the Next Level
According to Saatchi & Saatchi, 66 percent of tablet owners play social games daily, and 46 percent of tablet gamers are women. In fact, the largest group of social gamers is women between the ages of 35 and 44, with the second largest being women between 18 and 34. Acceptance should be seamless as long as the benefits are effectively communicated.
Consider for a moment that the legendary Sam Walton of Wal-Mart long promoted that an enthusiastic, engaged, happy employee makes a significant difference to any customer's experience, thus significantly increasing consumer return rate. Similarly, Archie Norman, a non-exec director of Workplace expounds the engagement model as contributing considerably to his global retail success with the likes of ASDA, bought by Wal-Mart in 1999, and Coles in Australia. As Archie has stated on many occasions, "So many retailers recruit their turnover; customer service doesn't come from a manual, it comes from the heart."
The general principle that retailers need to understand and accept is that employees are not just numbers on the payroll but independent agents striving for fulfilment, and therefore professionals who can be inspired and motivated through gamification. There's little question that organizations whose employees are deeply engaged outperform those that cannot engender authentic motivation. Think of engagement as your competitive advantage, and in a world where each customer interaction with an associate matters, engaged or not, this could be a real difference maker.
So we should ask whether it's time for WFM solution providers to embrace gamification. Reward-seeking behavior is commonplace to help drive employee enthusiasm, communication amongst colleagues, reduce turnover and improve the customer's experience, return rate and spend. Paul Loft, managing director of U.K. retailer Homebase, recently stated that "customer spend rises up to 30 percent if they have any interaction with a member of staff." This is a significant statistic that can only be improved with a happy employee working in an enjoyable and rewarding work environment.