How to gamify your reward and recognition programme
As more businesses look to bring their reward and recognition programmes into the virtual space, there’s one concept that should be at the forefront of your strategy – gamification. When we look at gamification in reference to reward and recognition, it essentially refers to the incorporation of game elements and techniques to incentivise certain behaviours that drive success. This could include a points-based system – whereby employees earn redeemable points-based currency as a ‘thank you’ for going above and beyond. It could also include action-based competitions or even the introduction of virtual badges or hidden objects with prizes.
Introducing gamification can be a highly successful technique for engaging employees. This is because, as humans, our actions are often inspired by a desire to gain outside reinforcement and the entertainment we associate with games helps to elevate reward and recognition schemes away from their transactional roots. In fact, according to research from Zippia, on average, employees experience a 60% engagement increase when they have a gamified work experience.
We work closely with our clients to ensure that their reward and recognition strategies are constantly optimised in a way that aligns with their business goals – and we often use gamification to make this happen. If your business hasn’t yet integrated game elements into its reward and recognition programme, perhaps it’s time for an upgrade. Let’s take a look at how:
Personalisation and community
With more employees around the UK working fully remotely or hybrid, businesses can no longer rely solely on offices to collaborate and connect. Creating a space online where teams can build social capital is vital for strengthening business culture as well as boosting wellbeing, engagement and productivity.
The personalisation functions of our reward and recognition solution, such as the addition of profile pictures, icons and bios, help to almost mimic those real-life interactions, by giving employees an online persona and agency on their platform. Being able to customise content similarly to how they would in a video game not only adds another element of entertainment for employees, but means that they’ll be more likely to interact with the scheme more effectively and communicate with others to build an engaging online community.
Virtual badges, certificates and awards
Virtual tokens of thanks that signify status, such as badges and trophies, are a powerful game mechanic that can be used to encourage users to reach goals. Regardless of what stage an individual is at in their career, being publicly rewarded is great for boosting morale and employee satisfaction. Not only will this publicly recognise an individual’s achievement and encourage them to take on the next challenge, but also reinforce business values and amplify desirable behaviours around the business.
When a business is working remotely or hybrid, there might not be an opportunity for them to frequently get together as a business to award employees in person. That’s where virtual badges and certificates work really well to boost culture and engage team members. With the help of our technology, a number of our clients have implemented virtual awards into their reward and recognition schemes. For example, one client uses virtual badges to celebrate and acknowledge Long Service Awards. Once an employee has reached a certain length of service milestone, a virtual badge automatically appears on their profile to publicly celebrate their service milestone with their colleagues. This, alongside the delivery of reward points and a personalised, branded certificate, promotes and celebrates employee loyalty and has been received very well by employees.
Once a reward & recognition platform has been introduced, it’s all about ensuring employees engage with the platform to ensure the business gets a return on investment. Action-based competitions are a valuable way to help businesses reach their performance objectives and KPIs, as they can be aligned to certain metrics and, in general, keep the platform fresh and exciting for employees. Whether you want to increase log-ins by 30% in the first 6 months, hit 50 peer-to-peer recognitions per month or ensure that 80% of employees have redeemed their reward points by the end of the year, you can introduce action-based competitions to incentivise employees to do certain things and, ultimately, reach your business’ goals.
One popular example of action-based competitions is prize draws. We frequently run these for clients which involve creating promotional collateral and platform graphics that let employees know that if they do ‘X’ before a certain date, they’ll be entered into a free prize draw to win ‘Y’. For example, the action could be employees logging in and adding a profile picture to their account by the end of the month. Or perhaps it could be to recognise a colleague by a certain date. Employees that complete the action within the specified time frame will then entered into a prize draw to win something – that could be a gift card of their choice, an extra day of annual leave or something else. Simple action-based competitions like this are really engaging for employees as they are essentially games that add another level of excitement to the platform. They are also cost-effective ways for businesses to drive engagement and reach KPIs.
Following on from the point above, hiding virtual objects around your site for users to find in return for prizes is a great way to encourage scheme log-ins and site traffic. This can be a particularly effective tool during scheme launch, as it’s a great way to drive usage and engagement. Reward and recognition schemes naturally promote elements of healthy competition among employees. So, by harnessing this and encouraging them to go head-to-head to find objects similar to how they would in a game, you’ll boost your scheme’s entertainment factor.
Hiding virtual objects is also a creative way to keep your scheme fresh and engaging. For example, you could incorporate seasonal elements that align with celebrations and holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Using our technology, we were able to support one of our clients by incorporating Easter eggs onto their scheme for a virtual Easter egg hunt. Once users had found the hidden objects they could enter themselves into a free prize draw for the chance to win an extra day of annual leave.
To summarise, incorporating game elements such as personalisation, virtual awards and competitions into your reward and recognition programme is an excellent way to connect teams and build culture in a virtual space as well as incentivise behaviours and actions that will help reach business goals. Find out more about how we help businesses around the UK use gamification to optimise their reward schemes here.