Organisations with slumping employee engagement numbers should turn to gamification as a way to bolster sales incentive programmes and recognition.
While many organisations hand out annual surveys meant to gauge how everyone feels about the company, a Gallup poll reported this practise provides no benefit to the business and falsely gives management the impression it's running an engagement programme. There's a stark difference between calculating engagement and putting forth the effort to develop it.
Gamification has stepped out of the shadows in recent years as a fun, encouraging and competitive way to provide employee rewards and recognition. Fortunately, it's easy enough to implement.
Taking a modern approach
Here's a spoiler alert: It's likely your business already uses gamification in its sales incentive programme in one way or another. According to Sales and Marketing Management, the key components of gamification - performance-based challenges, rankings and achievements - are hallmarks in many strategies.
"Gamification uses leader boards and achievements to promote engagement."
So what's different? Many companies fail to digitise their programmes, the source reported. The proliferation of technologies like smart phones mean more people have come into contact with games, whether it be through a Candy Crush request from a Facebook friend or an advertisement on television.
Ultimately, by scrapping the large white board in the break room that keeps track of sales and qualified lead tallies for a digital platform, employers are appealing to the part of the human psyche that has grown accustomed to seeing games digitally.
Furthermore, moving a sales incentive programme online makes it easier for workers to gain recognition from peers - a key concept of employee engagement. Rather than manually updating the leader board, anyone can access the platform to see where their own performance stands and how other co-workers are doing. This shifts the idea that management is responsible for the success of the programme to one where employees are more apt to give and receive recognition because of the relative ease in which they can do so.
Keys to successful gamification
Gamified sales incentive programmes can't be written in stone. Since they're based on factors both within and out of an organisation's control, a digital platform serves as the best option for scaling and modifying on the fly. A Financial Times article also warned of a common mistake many companies make by creating the infrastructure for a programme and not reviewing its progress.
Sales incentives programmes must find a balance between enjoyable and challenging.
"Games are not easy. They're about being challenged," the source reported. "They fulfil a psychological need and they give us the feeling of mastery and success."
Being able to evaluate key metrics and analyse the degree of difficulty with which it takes to achieve the set targets is crucial in deploying a well-oiled sales incentive programme. According to Incentive magazine, organisations that implement this flawlessly will also have a built-in recognition programme running on a shortened cycle - every week or two - that's tied to those achievements.
Above all else, the rewards should be meaningful. Gamification is an excellent strategy to boost sales and promote employee engagement, but it will fall short without the right compensation. The value of these incentives need to match the effort required to reach them. Popular options could be concert or event tickets, technological devices or even discounted airline tickets. If possible, allowing salespeople to choose their own rewards is optimal as it plays into the idea that they have all the control.
Interested in applying gamification to your sales incentive programme? Get in touch with a Power2Motivate representative today.