Endorphins in the office

Is Your Office Full Of Endorphins?

Playing games at work guarantees an office full of endorphins.

Businesses are increasingly appreciating the role of endorphins in driving engagement and performance. The best way of encouraging them is a phenomenon called “Gamification.” Employees are being encouraged to play more at work!

Firstly, let’s think about the hit game Angry Birds. If your angle and power of shot is sufficient, you are rewarded with hearing the smashes and the grunts of the pigs and seeing the destruction of the buildings, not to mention the satisfying points racking up after every level.

In the business context, you might want to make more sales, more calls or secure more meetings. You know that everyone has a target of five meetings per week, but it is so much more interesting to picture it as a pentathlon style contest. Get the first meeting of the week under your belt, and all your mates are “pinged” with your achievement. Making work more enjoyable makes perfect sense, but gamification will only be truly effective if some basic principles are adhered to:

Target certain behaviours: If you understand which behaviours you want to encourage, it will be easier to devise a more effective game. If people understand that the game is making a difference to their performance, they will be more engaged and with more endorphins they will also be happier.

Focus on what you are already doing: Gamification works best when you are looking to improve on existing behaviours. If no one is cold calling, maybe you need to understand why first. No amount of gaming will help if everyone is scared of doing it. Some training would come in handy here.

Measure effectiveness: Playing a game still requires extra effort from people, so if they understand that it is making a difference to their performance, they will be more engaged. Objective data should form the basis of any game.

Reward the small steps: Any process takes time, and it is important to “reward” the smaller milestones along the way towards the larger goal.

Make it fun and social: Let people give free rein to their competitive instinct. If they can share their achievements in a fun and non-threatening way, it is likely to bring out the best in everybody and bring out better results and performance.

Despite the name, Gamification is not about the winners and losers. It encourages people to enhance their performance and therefore they should be measured not only against each other, but also on the scale of their journey.

They may not have won this time, but as with any game there is always a “next time.”

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