By: Helios on March 23rd, 2014

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Review of Gamification: The Best New Tech Tools in HR

HR Tech | Business Management & Strategy | Employee Relations | Talent Acquisition

HR is playing games with you!

Believe it or not, in a growing trend, businesses are using gaming in a variety of human resources (HR) functions including hiring, leadership development, and employee recognition. Gamification is a combination of behavioral science and technology that provides companies with great tools for employee development, assessment of candidates, feedback, recognition, and collaboration.

Knack, a company that I have been using with one of my clients, uses video games in order to gain additional insight into candidates through a combination of behavioral science and predictive analytics.

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Their games, which include Wasabi Waiter, Dungeon Scrawl, and Balloon Brigade assess a candidate’s “knacks”, or their potential, behaviors, values, and qualities. Marriott uses a similar program, which they created themselves. They created a customized game for assessing candidates, aptly called My Marriott Hotel, where candidates play the role of a hotel kitchen manager, having to juggle a variety of virtual real world responsibilities.

Badgeville, another technology company, is used by many companies to add gaming to their leadership development programs. Badgeville uses gaming and behavioral analytics to measure employee behaviors and then reward desired behaviors, improving employee engagement, sales performance, customer service, and collaboration. Another company, Bunchball’s Nitro is an employee motivation tool that uses gaming to provide employees with individual and team challenges, encouraging goal setting, peer recognition, and rewards.

NTT DATA’s Ignite Samurai Leadership is a leadership development game that enables current and potential leaders of an organization to fully experience a variety of virtual leadership situations, while allowing for collaboration with other leaders, direct peer feedback, and recognition. Deloitte has created a similar tool of their own to enhance their leadership development program by combining gaming and behavioral science to motivate program participants to achieve their learning goals. As participants complete each online training, they receive rewards in the form of virtual badges. Leaderboards are posted showing who has the most badges, creating a challenge and competition among employees. The challenges and awards points in the games help employees to connect with their co-workers and also stay engaged in the job at hand.

These gaming companies are just a few of the many out there today who are helping companies to select, develop, motivate, and engage employees. While gamification is a relatively new tool in the workplace, the field continues to grow and improve every day.  Gaming is a great way to make common tasks seem less like work and will help to motivate and engage employees, as long as companies remember that the rewards should be for desired behaviors in line with the company’s values and operating strategy. When games fit with your company culture and are used in conjunction with other employment best practices such as behavioral interviewing, mentoring, and consistent feedback, they can result in better hires, improved employee engagement, increased productivity, and a better overall workplace.

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