Improving morale and employee skills are two critical factors when it comes to growing a successful business. The impact of good morale in the workplace can be startling, with an engaged and well-motivated employee far outperforming a disinterested, demoralised one.
You don’t have to shell out for a Google-style office full of slides and ping-pong tables to keep your team happy and engaged. Fun, as they might be, these kinds of extras don’t contribute to improving the work a company does in any measurable, tangible sense on their own. Call centres should consider investing in approaches that feed directly into the work process as well. Gamification is a great example of this; literally combining aspects of the working day with techniques normally found within gaming activities, complete with levels and awards.
Many adults now play mobile or computer games in their free time, with the launch of Pokémon Go, for example, proving an instant success amongst adults as much as teenagers. In fact, according to our company research, 40 per cent of adults play social games in their downtime.
Gamification is a new trend enabling organisations to tap into this phenomenon and simultaneously motivate staff to perform to the best of their ability. Using gamification suites, managers can set rewards like badges and experience points to be achieved by users, provided they complete training scenarios and build specific skills.
Fitting gamification into your office environment
Call centres are prime examples of a working environment which would be suited to gamification. This is especially true of sales teams, due to the fact that these employees tend to be younger and more familiar with gaming culture, as well as it being a very goal-orientated and competitive workplace. As most call centre teams are dedicated to supporting incoming calls from customers, gamification can also easily be applied to targets such as achieving a certain level of customer satisfaction.
The key benefit of gamification is that it makes the concept of work fun, and this can also be applied to more tedious administrative tasks – meaning that they take less time – and are done with less fuss and more enthusiasm. Indeed, almost any kind of knowledge building or skill development task can be made more interesting with the promise of reward, and levelling up or earning badges can help breakup processes and lend a visible sense of progress.
86 per cent of respondents in our gamification research said that using gamification had benefited their organisation, with results including increased value to customers and improved productivity. 43 per cent went a step further, reporting an increase in customer satisfaction since they’d introduced a gamification suite to their office.
To maximise the benefits of gamification, offices need to introduce the concept and the programme carefully. While gamification has the potential to boost motivation and productivity, if it is poorly introduced, staff are likely to ignore it or even become offended by the prospect of unreachable goals. The three levels of implementation below should help with a successful roll-out:
Level 1: The concept
Making sure that everyone understands and is on-board with gamification is crucial. Rather than being labelled a bizarre trend, gamification should be explained as a motivational reward and recognition system. To grab the attention of your workforce, link virtual prizes to literal rewards, such as coffee or leaving an hour early. However, make sure you don’t demotivate your team by making promises you can’t keep.
Level 2: Starting with the basics
Before introducing more complex, long-term goals and rewards, you must make sure that everyone on your team is familiar with gamification. You may already have customer satisfaction surveys in place, and these can be used to encourage healthy competition if you reward the team members with the highest satisfaction ratings. Reward criteria should be based on measurable statistics, and concise rules will stop employees cheating the system.
Level 3: Record and review
Don’t go to all the effort of introducing gamification and then abandon it a month in. To achieve maximum effectiveness, you need to keep reviewing the programme and asking questions of you staff. Are there any issues around fairness? Is it interesting and challenging enough? More often than not, your workforce will be the ones to come up with fresh ideas to improve their experience.
By following these steps, your call centre will be able to launch a successful gamification system, which will have a positive impact on both your organisation and your staff morale. From customer satisfaction to efficiency and productivity, the results of gamification can improve much more than motivation and engagement. All that is left for you to do is implement a system with challenges and rewards relevant to your employees.
Neil Penny is product director for Sunrise Software Ltd, and is responsible for setting and communicating the overall product strategy for all Sunrise’s Service Management solutions. Despite starting out his professional career by earning a degree in Building Management from Coventry University, he took his passion for technology, and how it’s applied to real-world business issues, and moved into IT software sales. Prior to returning to Sunrise in 2012, Penny built an extensive career in product management, product marketing, and pre-sales, for a number of markets such as construction collaboration, document management, risk and compliance.