It’s practically a given in today’s corporate world: Your biggest obstacle to introducing technology into the enterprise will be the folks who work with it each day.
It’s not that you won’t be ready to defend the change:
“But this will make our lives easier!”
“We’ll be able to prove our success to the C-suite!”
“This is how we’ll connect our teams more effectively!”
“Our old systems are broken!”
It’s just that no matter how it’s justified, the reality is that change is difficult.
And it’s difficult all over, according to recent research by Capgemini Consulting in partnership with MIT (pdf download):
- Two-thirds of digital transformation projects fail mainly due to workforce behavioral issues.
- 55 percent of companies surveyed cited company culture, particularly employee resistance to job changes, to be a major hurdle to digital transformation.
- Other common hurdles include: ineffective IT (50 percent of respondents), culture issues (55 percent) and missing skills (77 percent).
What can a hardworking team do to overcome reluctance, introduce current technology and ease the pains of adoption?
Capgemini says they can start playing games.
Gamification is the term used to describe the process of using game design or game-like processes in non-game settings. More simply put, gamification takes all the things we like about playing games — challenging ourselves to achieve, competing against others, meeting goals, winning prizes, “leveling up”– to make all sorts of tasks and experiences more engaging.
The role technology plays in companies today is too important to relegate it to the server room. Nowadays, the volatile marketplace demands that executives rely more and more on analytics so they can make decisions based on up-to-the moment data. Without the right information in hand, businesses stand to lose their competitive advantage – and that’s precisely why everyone needs to be comfortable gathering, processing and interpreting the data their group collects.
By introducing gamification techniques to help employees become more comfortable with evolving technology, it’s likely you’ll create a less intimidating transition for all concerned. Change can actually become — dare I say it — fun!
Here are some ways gamification could be put to work in encouraging tech adoption, employee engagement and even recruiting:
- Transform the introduction and integration of IT into “game levels.” In the right environments (think contact and call centers, sales offices, etc.) create contests that turn IT adoption and regular usage into an opportunity to earn recognition, points or even prizes. Each new process should offer an opportunity to advance to a new “level” of proficiency . . . and a new level of privileges. A Science Daily study from 2010 cited by Capgemini discovered trainees using video games had 11 percent higher factual knowledge levels, 14 percent higher skill-based knowledge levels and 9 percent higher retention rates.
- Foster healthy competition within teams. Healthy competition around the usage and adoption of technology taps into employee and team pride across all sectors of the enterprise. Set goals for teams to achieve, and document their development regularly, comparing their performance levels across groups. Maybe you’ll want to give a benefit or privilege to the most successful ones? Over time, “bragging rights” become a natural drive for adoption. Capgemini’s research shared the story of a US insurance company that saved $18 million and increased worker satisfaction through a collaborative gamification initiative that used employee ideas to generate more effective internal processes.
- Develop a more compelling environment for workers and new recruits. Potential applicants and talent are becoming more accustomed to social media integration and gamification. In short, they’re used to conducting their lives and work in a deeply “connected” way. Companies that use similar strategies are more appealing places to start or continue a career path. Gen Y employees are already making the pushin offices to use more efficient tools to do the job, to receive more social feedback, and to evolve the way interoffice communications work. Gamification can play a role in meeting each of these needs.
- Build a culture that boosts your brand internally and externally. And speaking of appealing, companies that build a reputation for being fun, positive places to work tend to keep valuable employees longer, meet goals more effectively, be more profitable and catch the eye of investors who want to be a part of a winning team. Your C-suite and your public relations team will no doubt thank you for the impact on both your internal and external brand.
How you put gamification to work within your teams ultimately depends on what you do, and whom you’ve hired to do it. Most companies could stand to benefit in some way, even through a small integration.
Looks like it might be time to start playing around at work . . .
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