In today’s corporate world, employee engagement is of paramount importance. The employee life-cycle in any organization is the journey that an employee takes from the first till the last day in that company’s corporate environment.
Employee Life Cycle starts from the first step of recruitment and follows till the off-boarding of the employee. Or, as you can say from Hire to Fire. Fire, not taken in the literal sense… 🙂
Employee Life Cycle
Employee engagement with an organization is dependent on various factors in this journey. From the employer’s perspective, one of the major factor is to provide the employee the right kind of work environment. From the employee’s perspective, it is personal disposition. The three types of categories, in which employee engagement can be classified can be:
- Actively disengaged
Let me start by defining the term – Gamification. It is considered to be the application of game elements like scores, points and game principles in non-game context. A couple of common examples of the same would be: Customer Loyalty programs like collecting miles while travelling on flights or getting credits for Online shopping, which can be converted to cash or used for future shopping. These tend to impact the behaviour of the customer and push them for going that extra mile.
Gamification, as a concept is a very powerful tool to impact the employee engagement level. The gamification can be used to drive the employee in active participation in various activities that takes place during the employee life-cycle. Though, the three basic game elements – Points, Badges and Leader-boards can be used as a starting point. However, it would be important to build in much more game elements, to actually make the end result more attractive and engaging.
Once, an employee is recruited, the first step taken up is of on-boarding the employee. The intent of this step is to get the employee aware about the basics of the new organization and getting acquainted with the team and the processes. Usually, the on-boarding is looked at, as a formal introduction of the new team member. Gamifying the on-boarding helps in increasing the new joinee being more focussed in the interactions. If the gamification during the employee journey is automated, through an app or an internal website, it can contain various activities, which the employee can complete within a given span of time. Each of this activity would carry some points. If the joining is a part of a group on-boarding, there can be a questionnaire around the food preferences, favourite colour, spouse names etc. of the existing team members. The new joinee who completes it within the shortest span of time earns a badge. There can be a leader-board, which displays comparative scores of the others. This would bring in a competitive environment and the employees would also enjoy the process.
The next step of employee life cycle would be of managing the performance of the employee. In most organizations, there are various sales related schemes, which are constantly running at pre-defined frequencies. This, in itself happens to be a gamification element. Utilizing or adding the other game elements like badges for different achievements, would help in engaging the employees more. Along with this, there can be a competition among different levels for achieving maximum number of badges with an incentive built around it. Along with Sales, there can be different badges for different functions, with some incentives, which would accelerate the team involvement in the daily tasks.
There are also some communities, which can be formed in the gamification tool, which would allow cross-function and both intra and inter team discussion. This can be a good platform which would help in terms of sharing of best practices across diverse and homogeneous groups.
Linking the achievements of accumulated points and badges along with the points earned by the employees, publishing regular dashboards (or leader-boards) around the same and providing incentives on the basis of the same would help in terms of keeping the employees glued in. A few such badges can be:
- High Performer
- Team Player
- Best Team Leader
On similar lines, there are various L&D interventions that an employee undergoes during the sting with an organization. Each of that intervention can have a badge assigned to it and some points. When an employee undergoes any of these, they can earn different badges and points, which get accumulated in their kitty. This would help in having the employees more eager to learn and build their skill-sets and competencies, which would help the organization in having ready employees to take up different roles.
The Rewards and Recognition (R&R) for the employees can also be built around the same. However, a word of caution will be to ensure that the normalization of the points should be done for the frequency for which the employee is to be rewarded. Also, the normalization should be done to remove any cross-functional disparities in the score.
There can be different competencies, that the employees may possess, after spending a good time in the organization. Now, I feel that the definition of good time is subjective. It may vary from organization to organization and individual to individual. This is done on purpose, so that everyone can define, what would be a good time for them, or their organization. These competencies can help the employee take up an Expert position or a Leadership position, depending upon their areas of expertise. Gamifying this aspect of Succession Planning by having Assessment and Development Centers, would add a sense of inclusiveness among the participating employees.
We all know that a typical organization is in a pyramidal structure. Hence, of course, there would be some employees, who would need to be off-boarded and some other, who would take up expert or leadership roles. Gamifying the off-boarding process will also help in leaving a mark in the mind of the employee and which would help in having a positive word-of-mouth spreading about the organization.
My second book – Corporate Anecdotes, has a collection of short stories, the outcomes of a few of them would change, in case we are able to implement this gamification concept.
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