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Social Games in the Workplace

08.16.2013
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This is the time when social games and gamification are making work time more productive for many businesses. Social gaming is used in the hiring process, as well as in the on the job training of new employees. It’s also a part of how businesses use best practices to treat their employees.

A Definition of Gamification

Gamification uses game mechanics, structures or thinking in contexts that normally don’t have game elements. Its design is to increase engagement and productivity. Non-game contexts include various departments within companies.

Social networking sites, for example, are popular because they gamify the time you spend online, according to Hoojobs.com. They also give people more ways in which to interact while they are online. Many sites award badges and other perks for those who are best at the games offered.

How Companies Use Gamification Now

Entrepreneurs and business people have been using games since roughly 2010 and more and more use them every year. Games-based employee learning and rewards programs are being integrated into business methods and lifelong learning programs.

Some companies collect data from various employee channels and increase their engagement by displaying the top contributors on a leader board. This tends to spark friendly competition in the workplace.

The Future of Gamification

Gamification techniques are successful in many sales and marketing departments, but all departments gain from their use, if they are utilized properly. Employees become more involved in the workplace and their productivity often increases.

Your company might opt to use rewards and badges in interactive gamified learning scenarios. Using games at work doesn’t make your workplace into a playground. It does encourage your employees to become more connected, and more willing to collaborate peer to peer with others who have also had achievements recognized.

Gamification adds activities that “feel” like games into learning situations and training sessions. Managers can establish better feedback ideas, track the progress of your groups and create the will in your employees to participate more intensely in the processes of your company.

The Benefits of Social Games

Elements of games can be integrated into your company in order to encourage the occurrence of desired behaviors. The goals may include better retention and higher productivity.

Employees are more motivated when they are recognized for their achievements.

Company Executives and Social Games at Work

Sometimes the top executives at companies have to be sold on how much good social games can bring. Gaming drives and rewards very specific behaviors, to help your employees to behave in a way that benefits the whole company.

It’s motivational for employees if they are receiving rewards of some type for leaving comments that are helpful, or performing a task with great efficiency. These games are not just made for fun. The working memory of an employee correlates to higher job performance after stimulated by social games. Higher results in social games at the workplace are directly connected in many cases to better performance on the job and a better overall outlook for employees.

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Shany Dembak.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)