Improving the Workplace Environment Through Games
A common misconception is that a workplace can’t be fun because it’s… well, work. This isn’t true, however, as there is considerable value that can come from implementing games in the workplace. Here are some of the more likely ways that your organization can benefit from some lighthearted fun in the office.
Potential Uses for Games
There’s a good reason why games are used in classrooms, and it’s because they can be used to create engagement. Engagement is a particularly valuable tool to get your employees working as hard as they can. Research has proven that the happier a worker is, the harder they’re willing to work. This means that your organization can certainly benefit from introducing some games. In fact, implementing games into the workplace can attract talent, decrease stress, and improve motivation. Games can also reinforce positive habits for the workplace, including collaboration and innovation.
The term used for integrating games into the workplace is gamification. You may have already witnessed it in the form of quizzes during training videos or otherwise. What about team building exercises where you throw a ball to someone else in a circle? These kinds of exercises are perhaps some of the most basic forms of gamification, but one thing they have in common is that they stimulate the body or mind in a way that it might not otherwise have been. It creates feelings of self-validation, community, and improvement; all of which help employees feel valued.
Basic Workplace Games
Before implementing workplace games, consider your reasons for doing so. Is it to improve communication or collaboration between departments? Are you trying to build an exercise for teamwork? What about just allowing employees to blow off steam and purge negative emotions from the workplace? Whatever the reason, make sure it’s a good one that justifies the means. This is absolutely imperative, as you don’t want your employees to misinterpret the purpose of a workplace game. If they take things too seriously, it could ruin the fun for everyone and put a bad taste in everyone’s mouth toward the exercise in the future. If you’re trying to inspire inter-departmental cooperation, you can try a friendly game of basketball or otherwise, whereas if you’re trying to improve employees on an individual level, you can implement other competitive options.
Games That Reinforce Company Culture
For other ideas on how games can improve inter-office collaboration and communication, try these out:
- Two truths and a lie: Each employee writes down three things on a piece of paper--one lie and two truths. The rest of the employees need to figure out which of them is a lie.
- Secret mission of the day: Each employee is assigned a secret mission for that day, such as using certain words in conversations or meetings. Other employees are then responsible for figuring out who is responsible for what task. The winner is the one who isn’t caught.
- Treasure hunt: This might take more planning, but it can be a great way to help employees think and work together. You can get some of your other employees involved in the creation of certain parts of this treasure hunt, such as item ideas and locations.
Gamification Can Improve Sales
If your organization has a sales department, it can be beneficial to provide an incentive for them to exceed expectations. A quota might not be the most effective way to encourage an increase in sales, but if an employee could potentially get a reward, they might feel more inclined to pursue that quota with more vigor. This bonus could be something like free lunches or gift cards. If you keep track of progress in a visible area, like a whiteboard, you can help encourage everyone to keep improving and working toward that goal. This can create a win-win scenario in which your organization improves profits, while your employees see the results of their hard work.
Gamification Can Improve Customer Service
This requires a little more planning out but is still certainly manageable. Let’s say that you set a goal for your employees to get customers off the phone within three minutes. This means that they provide adequate service to whoever is calling. They then get points for such a feat, which can be exchanged for rewards or prizes. Other examples of this include projects being completed under the required budget, collecting customer testimonials, and just going above and beyond whenever possible.
What are some ways that your organization could implement games in the office? Let us know in the comments.