Because Not Every Situation Requires Gamification
Let’s face it, not every experience requires explicit gamification to get results from your employees.
If you’re the Head of HR or a human resources designer, you’d rather spend your resources on designing the workplace experiences that truly need gamification.
But there are some key parts of your workplace can’t ignore.
If you are struggling to get sufficient behavior design budget, but are still looking for workplace wins, have a look at these approaches driven by Octalysis Core Drives.Try these approaches to mimic Octalysis gamification and get more out of your employees.
Build a Great Culture
Your culture should be driven by Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling. Your culture will often be the difference between winning and losing operationally. It could also be what attracts and keeps top talent on your team.
People work better and harder when what they are working toward is larger than themselves. Establishing this epic meaning in your culture is crucial, and it doesn’t require explicit gamification.
What culture do you want?
The character of your team will somewhat be determined by the individuals in it, but as the CEO or Head of HR or team manager you can influence how your team works.
Using standup and reflection meetings twice weekly could be a way to have efficient meetings, next steps for the week, and social relatedness to close the week’s activities.
Although the possibilities are nearly endless, you cannot skimp on the design of your culture. Culture eats everything else.
Openness and honesty (driven by Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment) help employees understand:
- company vision
- company mission
- the problems the team is solving
- how people on the team will work together
- what expectations a manager has for her employees
- how conflicts will get resolved
- how performance will be evaluated
- where ambiguity exists, if it does
When the method of evaluation is clear, then employees can operate with a sense of Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment and understand their work is moving them toward advancement. If the company or team is smart, they will align the goals of the individual with the goals of the team, incentivizing individuals and teams across purposes to WORK TOGETHER. Alignment of goals leads to the White-Hat/Intrinsic half of Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness, aka Collaboration.
Have Actionable Meetings
Actionable meetings rely on Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback. Employees love actionable meetings. But what makes a meeting actionable?
After updates, news and knowledge sharing, and problem-solving, people in the meeting need to leave with next steps.
With practice, your team will develop a process for the above that amplifies social influence and relatedness. Your process will allow candid feedback and incisive problem solving. Regardless of rank or role, employees should feel empowered to raise questions, problems, and offer solutions.
This collaboration is a superpower of Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness, as it edges into the White-Hat/Intrinsic blend of the Octalysis Octagon.
The point of meetings is to make overall progress more efficient, to remove roadblocks, to solve key problems.
At the end of meetings, use this workplace gamification combo: leave employees with a new problem to solve, combining Core Drive 2: Development & Accomplishment with Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback.
Allow Flexible Work
As a manager, would you rather see your employees every day and have them get no work done?
Never see your employees and have them surpass your expectations?
Obviously, the second.
Allowing flexible work plays on the autonomy piece of Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession.
The point of workplace gamification is not to downplay face-to-face interaction; rather, you should still use in-person meetings and video conferencing like Zoom, which invokes the White-Hat/Intrinsic motivation of Core Drive 5: Social Influence & Relatedness.
But you should also realize that people enjoy freedom from punishing and monotonous routines. Apply workplace gamification to give them that freedom!
Even better, you can instill a culture of flexible work by housing it within a Core Drive 1: Epic Meaning & Calling message. For example:
“Because we at ***Your Company*** believe in good health and flexibility in your work time to promote your relationships and life outside of work, we build in flexible working routines into the workweek.”
This message is infinitely customizable to your culture and desires as an employer. Remember, reasons for doing things matter just as much as the result. Creating the appropriate expectations for employees will reduce Black Hat surprises later.
Getting Started with Behavior Design (and Change Employee Outcomes)
These four ideas are only a taste of what can be done with 4 out of 8 of the Core Drives (and that is not accounting for combinations of them); as you learn about Octalysis the octagon really does start to show up everywhere. Like Neo in the Matrix, experienced Octalysis designers start to see the world from a behavioral and motivational lens. They start to see solutions and new designs for their experiences. It is exciting.
If you are a head of HR or a team manager and want to apply motivation and behavior science principles to your teams, there’s no time like right now.
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