Fight the lack of employee motivation with gamification

80% of the European workforce are not motivated in their jobs. In this article we will explain how we can revert the lack of employee motivation through gamification.

What are the causes of work demotivation?

According to the study carried out by Gallup Consulting between 70,000 employees of 141 different countries, only one in eight employees are satisfied with their job position. Repetitive tasks, co-workers or supervisors who do not value employeesÔÇÖ efforts, or too much pressure in periods of high productivity are the triggers of work demotivation. However, there are others such as negative environment at work or low wages.

Nowadays, millennials represent 60% of the world workforce, and they really appreciate having fun, innovation, and transparency in companies.

In order to carry out the study, the survey respondents had to answer the following four groups of questions:

  1. Basic needs:
    1. Do I know what I am expected to do at work?
    2. Does my company provide me all the necessary resources and materials in order to do my job?
  2. Individual needs:
    1. Do I have the chance to do my job better every day?
    2. Did I receive recognition in the last seven days for doing well my job?
    3. Does my supervisor or anyone else at work seem to care about me as a person and not only as an employee?
    4. Does anybody encourage my development at work?
  3. Team needs:
    1. Do my opinions seem to count at work?
    2. Does my company’s mission or purpose make me feel that my job is important?
    3. Do my co-workers share a commitment to do quality work?
    4. Do I have a good friend at work?
  4. Growth needs:
    1. Did anyone talk to me about my progress at work in the last six months?
    2. Did I have opportunities to learn and grow at work in the last year?

We can transform this survey into a guide to motivate teams as much as possible.

1- Establish goals in a very clear way. 

It is essential to make sure that employees know what is expected from them. Clear goals will help to guide our employees’ work. In addition, they can help to evaluate productivity and work performance. We will be motivated if we want to obtain concrete results, no matter what they are. Therefore, knowing beforehand where you want to go is the basic rule to keep motivation high.┬á

2- Provide necessary means to carry out tasks

Not providing the necessary tools to our employees in order to reach their goals has a really demotivating effect. If we have a well-motivated team but we do not give them what they need to perform their tasks, this will be seen as a lack of commitment on the part of the company, so this will act as a motivation suppressor. 

3- Give feedback

You have to tell your employees how they are doing at work according to what is expected from them. In this sense, congratulating a well-done job is as important as noting that goals are not reached. Performance positive recognition has an important effect on somebody’s motivation, especially if this recognition is public. However, telling somebody that he is not working as well as he should means offering a new chance to change and improve, so motivation is positively affected. 

4- Listen to your team

Team members will feel that they are listened, and therefore linked to the company’s results if we keep in mind their opinions. Besides, team supervisors or managers are not usually in contact with the final customers. Listening to people who are always in contact with customers is necessary to offer the best service. 

5- Train your employees

Helping your team to grow professionally is also a way to motivate them. In this case, training can be considered as an extrinsic reward because of its economic value. However, it can be also considered as an intrinsic reward because you prove that you trust in your employees and their work, and you offer them the chance to face more important challenges.  

Money is not enough to encourage employee motivation

Although money can be a decisive factor to motivate employees, actually it is not a key factor in work motivation. According to the survey made by Universia and Trabajar.com, 94% of the Spanish workforce prefer to earn less money and work in a good work environment. So guaranteeing a good work experience can improve productivity, but also can be a key factor to preserve talented employees in the company and avoid the negative consequences of work demotivation.

Economic consequences of the lack of employee motivation

The World Health Organization states that depression and anxiety disorders produced by negative work environments cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion each year. Work absenteeism, high employee turnover, and decrease in productivity are some of the most common consequences caused by physical and mental problems that are the result of a negative work environment.

Only in the United States, the loss in productivity caused by dissatisfied employees costs US$ 550 million.

Work demotivation usually increases in high productivity moments or in holiday periods. For this reason, many companies try to confront this decrease in productivity with innovative and sustainable solutions such as gamification.

According to Gallup research, companies of the first quartile with employees who show greater commitment have better results in sales (17%), productivity (21%), profitability (17%), and absenteeism (70% less) than those companies which are in the last quartile. Therefore, there is no doubt that companies with committed staff obtain better results.

Besides, this study shows the commitment level with the company depending on the profession. The less committed employees work in the construction industry, manufacturing, and industrial production, and sales teams are not far behind. On the other side, executives and managers are the most committed employees with the companies.

Gamification for motivation

The process of gamification consists of using playing techniques and competition to transform professional activities into fulfilling experiences which motivate teams. We can meet the mentioned needs in the Gallup survey with gamification:

  • We can clearly inform our employees about the goals, linking the game with their achievement (“I know what I am expected to do at work”).
  • Receiving feedback is much easier through gamification. Rewards, rankings, and recognition can be seen in the game in Playmotiv’s app (“I received recognition in the last seven days for doing well my job”).
  • There are many evidences that prove that gamification is a very successful tool for training. Playmotiv includes training content in the game, so players acquire useful job-related knowledge (“I had opportunities to learn and grow at work in the last year”).

Thanks to gamification, employee engagement increases up to 30% and sales increase up to 20%.

In addition, it is possible to strengthen ties between employees and companies thanks to gamification because it adds a playful aspect in their relationship, which becomes closer and more memorable. Gamification also provides a space of informal interaction between co-workers, which helps them to enhance their relationships. It can be also useful to counteract the lack of recognition, which is one of the main reasons of the employee demotivation. Employee efforts are rewarded in an objective, clear, and transparent way because gamification is based on data, and it publicly recognises well-done job. In order to be effective, gamification has to be short, voluntary, and never used as an excuse to add extra workload.

Playmotiv’s experience

We know that gamification is an useful and effective tool to fight against the lack of motivation. Thanks to our games, employee engagement can increase up to 30% and sales results can increase up to 20%. This is the reason why large companies such as Danone Waters or Mars rely on us to help them. This is because gamification works.

If you found this article about work demotivation interesting, please check “Three key aspects to motivate commercial teams”.

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