Is Gamification the Missing Link in Higher Adoption of HR Technology & Tools?

Gamification draws from intrinsic and extrinsic motivations which helps an employee get excited about tasks because there is a reward for completion.

With the onset of COVID-19, there has been a rapid change in the market dynamics of working models and organizations are doing it all to improve HR processes – and one of the most significant changes we have seen is the implementation of HR tools and technologies. As per Fortune Business Insights, the global human resource (HR) technology market is projected to grow from $23.98 billion in 2022 to $39.90 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 7.5%.

Over the past couple of years, we have seen an increase in the number of cloud-based collaboration tools, learning and development platforms, rewards and recognition tools, and workforce management tools, among others. Despite these investments in HR, there continues to be a nagging problem – difficulty in user adoption of newly implemented HR tools and technologies. What good is rolling software’s on time and within budget constraints if users don’t use them?  

A lot of companies just assume that adoption will happen with time, but any successful implementation requires a good design, proper change management communication and preparation to increase adoption of new technologies. Many times, adoption fails due to reasons such as lack of incentives, unfriendly user systems, etc. 

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Think Creative; Think Gamification 

Enterprises need to think of creative solutions to drive better adoption of technologies, and one such example is introducing gamification

If you ask your team members to share their favorite games from childhood, you’re bound to hear from them as they happily reminisce about games such as UNO, scrabble, and more. Truth is, it’s not just children, we all love playing games.

Gamification is present everywhere – whether we look at marketers who use it to drive customer engagement, or websites and apps who use it to increase user acquisition. In HR, gamification, too, can be spotted across levels; from recruitment and onboarding to employee training and engagement. The use of gamification is a fun way to increase the adoption of HR-related technologies and tools. By introducing techniques like online games, reward systems, quizzes, leaderboards, etc., enterprises can add gamification which essentially applies game mechanics to increase engagement and loyalty. Here are some examples of existing HR problems that gamification can solve

  • Gamification in recruitment: Many companies and individuals are moving away from traditional hiring methods towards internet-based recruitment processes. Some ways of offering a different hiring experience are by introducing quizzes, gamified quests, and behavioral tests, creating various touchpoints. Telekom, a large multinational telecom company found that candidates who have been hired through their games have reached 95% of the KPI levels of high performers just after three months.
  • Gamification in training and development: Gamified training has become a popular choice among learning and development (L&D) professionals because it helps address the ineffectiveness of existing or traditional training programs like lack of interest in participation to limited control on gauging actual success metrics. Gamification enhances management skills and integrates gamified factors such as leader boards, ratings and badges. 
  • Gamification in employee engagement: It goes without saying, an engaged employee brings many advantages to an enterprise. Gamification draws from intrinsic and extrinsic motivations which helps an employee get excited about tasks because there is a reward for completion. It boosts motivation – and a recent survey from Talent LMS suggested that 88% said gamification made them happier at work. 

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Gamification: A Game Changer? 

Oftentimes, companies that don’t see great adoption of HR tools and technologies go back to blaming employees for lack of adoption, whereas they must analyze why adoption is so limited and look for creatives strategies to improve it. Today, employees are looking for tools with better intuition or user experience, much like what we expect from consumer technology websites and apps.

Gamification considers user experience as well as behavioral design and design thinking. Incorporating design thinking into gamification involves thinking about the voice, needs and preferences of users who will be using these new systems. By not incorporating the end users’ voice in the design stage you have already missed the boat. 

For example, surveying workers and building different user personas of end-user segments can help an enterprise better understand technology needs, challenges, expectations and preferences into the HR technology and align it with the needs of daily workflows.

Using game theory and introducing incentives can make using digital technologies more exciting. For example, some organizations have seen success by introducing points for generating reports and dashboards. These points can later be redeemed for awards. Additionally, if the system is user-friendly and provides a solid gamified experience, then word-of-mouth publicity can help increase its adoption too. 

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An Eye on the Future with Gamification

In conclusion, people want to know why using a certain technology or platform is going to improve their work lives. So, enterprises should consider access and usability of these new tools and technologies before they roll them out for implementation. If the systems are easy to use and are well-integrated with technologies that employees are already familiar with, the organization will see higher adoption rates for their new HR tools and technologies. 

COVID-19 has caused so much economic uncertainty, but it has also pushed many enterprises to do more for their employees and take care of their well-being. To see better results for new processes and tools, these new creative strategies can go a long way in boosting productivity organization-wide with an eye on a successful future.

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