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How to use ScreenCloud Digital Signage for Gamification
Gaming principles can be used to alter, adapt and incentivize certain employee behaviors in the workplace and corporate digital signage is the key to successfully harnessing it and seamlessly rolling it out across a company.
Everyone wants to love their job, and every employer wants to provide a fulfilling work experience. But it’s not easy to build or maintain engaged and motivated teams. While giving employees more recognition, autonomy, and growth opportunities are all great strategies, overdoing any of them can backfire. You need more tools in your employee engagement toolbox.
Workplace gamification is an easy and effective way to inspire and motivate your team. With a basic understanding of HR best practices combined with principles from games, you can turn your team’s everyday tasks into engaging, rewarding experiences.
What is workplace gamification?
At their most basic, games involve working with predefined rules to achieve a clear objective (e.g., completing the level, reaching the finish line before others, etc.). Players must engage with the game’s content, experiment with its boundaries, and overcome obstacles to progress.
You play as Mario or Princess Peach. You can go up and down, left and right. You can eat mushrooms to grow, but will die if you bump into a turtle. Games are rules and rewards that we learn by trial and error.
When you stop to think about it, the only difference between a game and a work assignment is what motivates the player or the employee: Gold coins and a finished level in a game, or real coins and a promotion in real life.
So the foundations for gamifying work are already there. You just need to introduce obvious and recognizable elements of game design (e.g., points, levels, competitions, and trophies) to encourage mental association. With a bit of creativity, you can get your team to be more productive and collaborative.
There’s a lot to consider, though. You also have to be mindful of common pitfalls like game mechanics that favor extroverts over introverts, or that incentivize short-term wins at the cost of long-term growth. But you don’t have to learn to gamify your workplace by trial and error. There are cheat sheets for workplace gamification—case studies from Harvard Business School, the Australian Institute of Management, and more to inform and inspire your efforts.
Workplace gamification research: Do and Don’ts
Back in 2010, when “gamification” became a corporate buzzword practically overnight, academics and organizational psychologists worried about “turning Monopoly into monotony.” But well over a decade later, research seems to indicate that gamifying your office is a smart, sustainable idea.
In one 2016 meta-analytic study, researchers found that games often motivate players because they provide autonomy, a chance to improve their skills, and a sense of public recognition—all things that can be easily tied to work.
Gamification is especially effective for work-related tasks that require learning and knowledge retention. Game elements like challenges, levels, and rewards in-office training programs create a strong extrinsic motivation for learners to compete with other learners. Intrinsically, we enjoy overcoming challenges, developing new skills, and progressing within a game-like environment—even if that environment is in the workplace.
Whether it’s a profile badge for clearing a certain number of support tickets in a month or a leaderboard that shows weekly sales figures, surveys show that workplace gamification handled well increases job satisfaction and reduces boredom. One survey found that 89% of respondents reported that gamification made them more productive and happier at work.
Of course, poorly designed gamification could actually increase stress or motivate bad behavior, doing more harm than good. Employees might worry that a low ranking or “score” will affect their performance review. Or they might cut corners and submit shoddy work because they want the reward or recognition more than doing the right thing. You need to be thoughtful about how you introduce workplace gamification.
How to design engaging and motivating workplace gamification
You can’t just throw together an automated leaderboard, display it on an office TV for everyone to see, and call it a day. Instead, set aside one to two hours per day for about a month to plan and set up your gamification framework. That gives time to brainstorm, troubleshoot, and iterate. Here are some things to keep in mind as you go:
1. Start with small, specific, and measurable goals
Considering trialing a modest, black-and-white objective first. “Boost employee professional development” is vague and likely too ambitious for a first try. Instead, start with something like, “Get 75% of the team certified on HubSpot’s Marketing Software.” You wouldn’t even need to track progress manually – HubSpot does it for you!
2. Involve employees in the design process
If your initial trial is well received, start asking your employees what types of games they like. Use that info to think about the mechanics, challenges, and recognition they enjoy the most. Then involve your team in the planning, setup, and management process to increase buy-in.
Let’s say your support agents want to add badges or trophies to their email signatures (e.g., 🏆 5k+ Highly-Rated Answers) to give their ticket responses more authority. Ask them to suggest how it could be implemented and maintained, and theoretically, all you need to help with is executive approval, budget, and arranging technical support.
3. Try to hack your own games
Notice that in the support badges example, the metric wasn’t “5k Tickets Closed.” Because that’s not really what you want, is it? Agents could look for the easiest tickets or respond with vague and unhelpful advice to quickly get their completion number up.
That’s why it’s important to carve out some time to play the devil’s advocate, trying to think of all the ways someone could win without embodying the ideal you’re striving for. Ask yourself: “How can I reward the quality of work rather than the quantity?” Or, “How can I incentivize collaboration and teamwork while still recognizing high-performing individuals?”
4. Always incorporate milestones
Remember, active engagement is the name of the game. Without progress tracking and milestones, employees will quickly lose steam, feeling like they aren’t moving ahead. But if they’re reaching a new level every few weeks, you tap into the natural desire for improvement and advancement. If you can, create a visual representation that shows employees how far they’ve come, recognizing and positively reinforcing their efforts.
5. Take advantage of visual media
A recent study by a research team at University College London concluded that “Content on a digital signage display is more likely to be acknowledged, understood, and retained.” So if you want employees to be thinking about gamification on a daily basis, put it up on a large screen in a communal space. Other studies have found that high-contrasting colors, shapes with sharp edges, and animations (in moderation) all increase positive engagement with visual media.
6. Automate wherever possible
If you’re smart about implementing gamification, employees will be happier at work and perform better. And your business will grow. So you better be able to scale up your gamification program easily. Most importantly, you should be tracking KPIs that don’t require manual data aggregation. Use automation workflow tools like Zapier, Make.com, and Power Automate to update your gamification dashboards and announcements automatically.
7. Gather ongoing employee feedback on gamification
Just because employees were excited when you first announced friendly competitions doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way. You should be constantly monitoring participation rates, employee satisfaction, and the impact gamification has on productivity and performance. Use this data to identify areas of improvement and fine-tune your gamification strategy accordingly.
And just like non-work games, sometimes, no amount of new content or visual upgrades can keep people engaged. If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to scrap the game and head back to the drawing board to create a new one.
Current gamification trends in and out of the workplace
So, let's talk numbers. In 2020, the global gamification market was valued at over $9.1 billion. But in the next couple of years, it’s projected to triple.
Specifically, North America accounts for the largest segment of the global gamification market, and most experts expect that trend to continue. But zooming out, almost 90% of businesses will likely adopt some form of gamification over the next several years, with the majority of them labeling it as a top priority.
All of this is based on results. Over half of new hires are more productive after completing gamified training programs, performing better than their non-gamified counterparts. And in terms of business performance, gamification is growing in popularity as a tool for winning new customers – and keeping them happy. And let's not forget the data. OptinMonster found that 93% of marketers said they “love” gamification because it’s more interactive, attention-grabbing, and likely to convert visitors.
The appeal of gamification isn't slowing down any time soon. Looking forward to the next few years, expect to see more businesses adopting mobile-first gamification campaigns. It's all about catering to the needs of the modern learner: fast, flexible, and fun.
The best gamification software for employee engagement
When it comes to boosting engagement, productivity, and morale in the workplace, gamification software is a monumental help. These platforms harness the thrill of gaming to inspire employees, setting the stage for a work environment that's both enjoyable and efficient. Here are some of the best apps for gamification in the workplace.
Engagedly provides several features to turn mundane tasks into exciting challenges. Its system and custom badge reward schemes make recognition a central component of the workday. Combine those with its real-time feedback capabilities, and you can encourage more one-on-one exchanges and public acknowledgements of stellar performance.
From a management perspective, Engagedly comes with some amazing analytical and reporting tools to quantify performance metrics like engagement, making it easier than ever to track progress and identify areas for improvement.
If it’s gamification for sales teams that you’re interested in, Spinify is a top choice. This app turns performance into a competitive sport, with recognition and rewards tied directly to meeting and exceeding KPIs. What sets Spinify apart is its invaluable coaching insights based on the metrics you’re tracking. This empowers managers to provide personalized guidance and support, turning every challenge into an opportunity for growth and development.
Trivie brings AI-powered gamification to employee training and development. Its standout feature is the integration of generative tools to personalize and adapt learning experiences, making it an excellent platform for meeting the diverse needs of a team. It’s also an invaluable tool for distributed teams, providing a place for remote employees to engage, learn, and grow together.
Todoist, one of the most popular to-do list apps on the market, also includes a few fantastic enterprise gamification features. With its karma scores, meeting your deadlines and commitments puts a number on your performance. Miss a few too many due dates, and your karma will drop, affecting your profile level. It’s a fun and effective approach to keep teams motivated and on track. Moreover, Todoist understands the power of social motivation. You can share your progress on social media or even delegate tasks to other users in a shared project, making it an ideal tool for collaborative efforts.
Each of these software tools brings something unique to the table, transforming traditional workplace tasks into engaging and motivating experiences. From badges and one-on-one feedback to personalized coaching insights and AI-powered learning, gamification in the workplace is more than just a trend – it's the future of effective and enjoyable work.
Example of workplace gamification powered by digital signage
Now all you need is a way to share your gamification efforts on the big screen—and cloud-based digital signage is one of the easiest ways to do that. All you need to do is connect an office screen to ScreenCloud and log in from your desktop to add images, app integrations, or custom code. Here are some ways you could use it:
Dynamic leaderboards and progress bars
Leaderboards and score charts are popular game elements that display meaningful performance metrics, such as revenue generated per team, customer satisfaction ratings, and employee training initiatives. If you’re already tracking that information in apps like PowerBI, GeckoBoard, or Tableau, It’s simply a matter of connecting them to ScreenCloud.
Highlighting past wins and achievements
Digital signage is perfect for publicly recognizing employees and their accomplishments. For instance, you could create a simple spreadsheet with rows for each employee and columns for badges, milestones, customer quotes, and other gamified elements. With a bit of coding and automation, ScreenCloud could grab spreadsheet data, apply corporate branding, and rotate through your team’s biggest achievements.
Recognition in real-time
The less time between when an employee accomplishes something tremendous and when you recognize them for it, the better. Imagine a salesperson closing a deal and seeing it on the break room screen minutes later. Or even a new employee finishing their last training module and noticing it pop up on the office TV immediately. All of that is possible with ScreenCloud’s API and a simple GraphQL automation.
Instead of waiting for a playlist to cycle through all its content to a page with dynamic data, you can interrupt scheduled content with breaking news or announcements based on predetermined triggers.
Interactive digital signage and gamification
ScreenCloud Touch adds another dimension to the content you display around the office. By adding interactive elements to digital signage, you could let employees fill out forms to update performance metrics, filter gamification dashboard data, or react to a colleague’s latest achievement. Just about any way you use it, a touch interface is sure to get employees more invested and engaged in office competitions, challenges, and tournaments.
Ultimately, the gamification framework that’s best suited to your company is one that reflects your culture, team, and ambitions. ScreenCloud is a flexible, customizable digital signage solution that lets anyone with a modest amount of technical experience quickly build extraordinary things. If you’ve got a workplace gamification idea you want to experiment with, sign up for a free trial of ScreenCloud and see how easy it is.