Gamification has the power to motivate and engage employees, often it creates a sense of personal accomplishment, just reaching a new level for example. Now imagine if you could use this same level of engagement and apply it to critical problem-solving, learning new skills or even innovating new products or new services at your company. We have some good examples of companies that are doing this, but first things first.
Gamification uses game mechanics to engage, motivate and reward good behaviours, use as well attributes such as engagement, transparency, design and competition that can be applied to a range of real-world processes inside an organization, like marketing, management, call centre and most recently leadership development. Yes, it’s true leadership development. Recently companies are using gamification to engage leaders in training, and let them have a fully experience of a variety of leadership scenarios.
It´s very important that you engage your employees, and stimulate them with some leadership experiences in an early stage because several studies show the employee engagement levels are once again below 30%. According to a study performed by Forbes Magazine the “actively disengaged”, who represent about 18% of the workforce as defined by Gallup, are so unhappy that they undermine their colleagues work and cost U.S businesses up to $550 billion annually. So it´s becoming a priority to engage employees, and let them have experiences that show what it means to be a leader.
As we said, we have some good examples of companies that are using gamification to build their leadership pipeline, are they NTT Data and Deloitte.
NTT Data: Ignite Leadership Game
NTT Data is using gamification to develop leaders in an early stage. The Ignite Leadership Game offers NTT Data leaders the opportunity to learn the role they aspire to within the company and the opportunity to learn about new management subject areas. Their solution allows them to collaborate, get instant feedback from their co-workers, and be recognized for their gameplay. This recognition is a great opportunity to become more visible to the organization as potential leaders.
With this leadership game, NTT Data aims to develop five key skills for their leaders: negotiation, communication, time management, change management and problem solving, therefore leadership skills. They also provide managers with the opportunity to identify who these potential leaders are in the organization based upon their gameplay.
So far, NTT Data has been impressive results. According to Forbes fifty employees ended up taking on team leadership roles, which was 50% higher than had done so through traditional training and coaching methods. Newly developed leaders proposed thirty new ideas to assist in current projects, as part of the “Smart Idea Challenge”. Thus generated $1 million in revenue, as well as cost savings for current clients. Graduates, as well, generated 220 new ideas in the customer organizations, which led to a 40% increase in employee satisfaction.
Deloitte: A Leadership Academy with Games as Lessons
Deloitte´s Leadership Academy, or DLA, is an online curriculum that the consulting agency uses to train both its employees and those of its client companies. DLA´s structure embeds missions, badges, and leaderboards into a user-friendly platform alongside video lectures, in-depth courses, tests and quizzes. Deloitte´s Leadership Academy encourages its employees to promote the most important skills to the arsenal of future company leaders at Deloitte.
DLA applies the principles of gamification and behavioral science to motivate learners to achieve their goals. They receive badges as they complete each online learning program, and these badges mark their achievements.
AS NTT Data, Deloitte had great results since the integration of this gamification solution. There has been a 47% increase in the number of users returning to the site each week. According to Deloitte, many users have gone from mediocre users to super-users, some earned 30 badges in a few weeks, this shows the level of engagement that Deloitte has won implementing this Leadership Academy using gamification.
Gamification can not be just about fun games, it should be consistent and be aligned with the company´s business goals. Being able to motivate and engage employees to participate in career development programs will only become more important as companies prepare for the future workplace.