“Spare the rod and spoil the child.” This proverb is often adapted to a business context through the strategy of motivating a team by enforcing strict rules and stricter punishments for those who underperform. Modern organizations, though, are finding that injecting fun and teamwork into the process yields greater results — and gamification is providing the perfect framework for that strategy to flourish.

Fun? At the Workplace?

Yes. Harsh punishment alone doesn’t make for an optimal work environment. There may be some workers who thrive in a high-pressure, cutthroat corporate culture. But most people would prefer a workplace that rewards employees and fosters team performance in equal measure. A carrot-and-stick strategy provides the maximum boost in productivity to the widest range of workers, and making work enjoyable provides employees extra incentive to do their best.

For example, under older models, you might have a sales contest to see who could move the most product. The winner would take home the bounty, and everyone else would be rebuked for not performing well. Eventually, those feeling left out might stop making any effort, reasoning that there’s nothing in it for them to even try. Gamification solves this conundrum by involving the entire sales team and giving them a reason to care.

Instead of a bland whiteboard that only features the team members that sell the most, a real-time digital leaderboard showing everyone’s position within the group gives purpose to all members of the sales team. Not everyone feels the need to be the best. What they crave, however, is recognition for their personal effort. You can assign team members with individual goals and instantly congratulate them on an office-wide scale once they’ve hit the mark. This serves the dual purpose of keeping everyone focused on the greater team objective.

Case in Point

Steve might not be able to sell quite as much as Suzy. If you give Steve an attainable goal, display how it’s vital to the organization, and appreciate him once he achieves that goal, he’ll still feel like an integral part of the greater whole. By gamifying the entire process, you retain the element of competition that motivates everyone to do well. You also do away with the “there can be only one” attitude that negates the importance of your slightly less talented workers.

Lead performers will still get their due. They can jostle for positions at the head of the pack, fueled by the desire to be better than their peers. While they compete for the top slot, your other team members will see how their contributions combined to create the bulk of the group’s success.

Further aiding these efforts are features integrated into the gamification system that turn dull tasks and boring numbers into engaging and manageable mini-games. Integrate your data feeds to show what needs to be done, what your team has to do to reach the finish line, and how they are progressing. The instant feedback taps into their desire to succeed, and puts the personal achievement and development in the context of overall accomplishment.

How to Bring Fun to Your Team

Hoopla can provide customized solutions that will track and display your most critical metrics across your office TVs, computers and mobile devices. Discover how we’ve transformed the sales game and taken other teams to unimaginable heights.

Interested in trying out gamification for your team? Start a free trial today to bring a little more fun to the workplace.