Is gamification the right choice for your contact center? Are your employees excited to come to work each and every morning? Or are they disengaged, disinterested, and lack motivation or drive? Employee engagement is one of the most challenging aspects to master in the contact center. That’s why many organizations are putting increased emphasis on improving their company culture in order to improve employee morale.
According to a recent Gallup report, 85% of employees are not engaged or are actively disengaged at work. Some of the reasons driving disengagement include pay, industry, management, and company culture. It is in every organization’s interest to have motivated employees. Whether in sales, customer service, or collections, ensuring that your employees are motivated and engaged should be a key focus.
Gamification is no longer a buzzword. Today, companies worldwide are now using it to great effect to enhance employee engagement and productivity. Contact centers are using a wide range of new strategies to ensure their customer service representatives are engaged – encouraging them to offer a world-class customer experience to clients.
The Psychology Behind Gamification
Inspired by video games and video game development, gamification is the use of game designs in a non-game setting to increase motivation and engagement, drive behavioral change, and achieve specific goals.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a five-tier model of human requirements from self-preservation to self-fulfillment, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid. From the bottom of the hierarchy upwards, the needs are: physiological (food and clothing), safety (job security), love and belonging needs (friendship), esteem, and self-actualization. Needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to needs higher up.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Five Stage Pyramid
Gamification drives employee behavior to achieve organizational objectives and reach the level of self-actualization. Behavior is not an easy thing to change. According to Professor B. J. Fogg, an experimental psychologist at Stanford University, three elements must converge to shift behavior: motivation, ability, and trigger.
Employees need both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators in the workplace. Rewarding agents for personal bests is a great example of an extrinsic motivator. It encourages them to be the best that they can be. Extrinsic motivators could include late starts or early finishes, but essentially the reward here needs to link to what motivates the different generational demographics across your workforce. What motivates one agent may not motivate another.
Reward, recognition, and competition are all excellent motivators. Gamification works well within a contact center environment as it leverages a number of game mechanics that workplaces can use to keep employees engaged and focused.
Engagement can be a thorny issue for many organizations, but gamification can motivate employees to achieve objectives and self-actualization. Shifts in attitude, conduct, and performance can steer employees in the right direction. This can lead to reduced mistakes, improved quality, happier customers and overall greater profits. Disengaged employees cost American businesses an estimated $450 – $550 billion per year. If organisations do not do anything about disengagement in the workplace, businesses suffer. (The Impact Of Behaviour Change In The Workplace – eLearning Industry)
Why Does Gamification Work?
Gamification only works when it motivates your employees to do something. While it can be successful in curbing bad habits and promoting better behavior, it is important to have a sound understanding of where motivation comes from.
For the first time, we are seeing four distinct generations in the workplace. It is key to understand what drives and motivates all of these demographics particularly when it comes to reward. It is also essential that employee goals are aligned with corporate objectives in order to drive the right behaviour.
When your employees pursue an activity for its own sake and not because external forces compel them, they gain motivation. They feel in charge, a sense of ownership. If your employees are given the opportunity to select a course of action based on their own opinions, they will tend to stick to their goals for a longer period of time.
Your employees are more motivated when something of value to them is at stake. If they think it is important, they will work harder on it. Staying true to their beliefs enables them to be more invested in their job.
As your employees invest more time in an activity, they will naturally become more competent. The belief that effort drives and fosters competence will inspire your employees to work harder on their targets and goals.
As the fastest-growing group of individuals in companies, Millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025. To attract, retain, and motivate this group of employees, companies need to pay close attention to their behavior and understand what captivates them. Gamification satisfies Millennials’ appetite for collaborative and engaging interactions.
Aberdeen Group published a recent study that shows companies that introduce gamification in the contact center experience improved operating results and an increase in economic benefits.
Associating agent behaviors with recognition transforms them into habits. Those habits lead to four positive impacts on the organization:
- Sustaining engagement – Reduce churn and burnout. Ensure every employee gets a chance to be a hero daily and enable them to see a clear path to success.
- Creating culture – Drive ongoing excellence. Build and sustain excitement about working towards goals, learning and being a team-player.
- Improving results – Reduce average handle time and increase CSAT.
- Reducing attrition – Improve employee participation while fostering employee engagement.
The research from Aberdeen Group also reveals that 58% of companies with elements of gamification in their contact center improve agent retention rates, compared to only 16% at companies that do not use gamification.
Schedule a demo today to learn more about how Playvox can help your contact center boost performance with gamification.