User adoption can make or break an ERP implementation. The best software in the world will fail to meet its potential if your workforce isn’t ready or willing to adopt it. 

In your quest to ease this transition and minimize downtime, you’ve likely tried a variety of approaches, including employing organizational change management (OCM). What is change management? It is the process a company takes to ensure that everyone in the organization is working together to take advantage of transformation opportunities. However, there’s one aspect of OCM that hardly ever gets talked about, and it’s called gamification.

Put simply, change management gamification means applying traditional game elements to a project to encourage employee engagement and adoption. It’s a strategy that calls upon natural inclinations toward fun and earning rewards.

If your change management tactics are struggling to bring results, gamification could be the answer you need. Today, we’re sharing how it works and the surprising benefits it holds. 

Change Management Case Study

The client recognized their need for more comprehensive change management, so they asked us to fill in the gaps. We developed a robust communication plan to supplement the vendor’s communication approach.

The Basics Behind Change Management Gamification

Deciding to invest in a new ERP system is the first step, but the next step is readying your employees to accept it. 

Despite your company’s level of change readiness, your ERP project plan should include some level of organizational change management. This will help you achieve the following aims:

  • Help employees become more aware of the coming change and related details
  • Fuel employee desire to participate in the change
  • Increase employee access to relevant knowledge and skills

While lunch-and-learns and formal end-user training sessions have their place in this approach, there’s no denying that such events aren’t always the most exciting or engaging. 

Enter, gamification. 

How (and Why) Does it Work?

In short, this is a technique that uses gaming strategies to increase employee interest in a project. Sound like something for toddlers or teenagers? Not quite.

In a relatively recent study, around 65% of U.S. adults reported playing video games. This was a 2019 report, so we can only imagine the lockdown accelerated this proclivity. Moreover, 70% of these Americans reported playing games on at least one type of mobile device.

Clearly, we’re a nation drawn to thrills and accolades, and this is true in both our personal and professional lives. Gamification simply draws on these behaviors to motivate interest and participation in a specific organizational change.

Common Elements to Consider

A few of the most common elements of gamification include:

  • Points
  • Badges
  • Timers
  • Leaderboards

All these elements can be used to engage employees and improve their perception of the ERP solution. Ideally, your efforts will encourage users to learn each aspect of the system gradually, rather than tackling the whole system all at once.

6 Tips for Creating an ERP Gamification Strategy

Gamification implementation might sound like a lighthearted effort, but the reality is that much planning and forethought must occur to ensure it aligns with your organizational goals. Here are a few steps to keep in mind as you prepare your approach. 

1. Define a Business Need

First, there must be a recognized need for gamification. 

Have you noticed pushback and resistance within your workforce? Have your user adoption numbers failed to hit their mark? Are your KPIs lagging behind?

Considering that gamification requires an investment of time, money, and resources, you want to make sure that gamification is the right strategy before you move forward.

2. Clarify Your Goals

What is the overall goal of your gamification strategy? Will you use it as supplemental support for your other trainings, or is it part of a larger strategic program?

Regardless of how you plan to use it, it should align with the other goals defined in your ERP implementation.

3. Check Your Budget

Your change management gamification plan should be included in your project budget. Before you move forward and commit to certain items, make sure there’s enough money in your change management budget to cover it without cutting into your bottom line.

4. Ensure Internal Support

As with any ERP initiative, gamification should be backed by your C-suite.

In addition, we recommend designating strong internal leaders who can initiate the effort and communicate it to employees. This leader can be formal or informal, but it helps to have a well-known presence who can attract employee attention and drive interest.

Remember: Although it’s becoming increasingly popular, gamification in a business setting is an unfamiliar concept to many people, so employees might be hesitant to participate. That said, the leader you choose must be able to answer any questions and quell concerns. 

5. Plan the Timing

Already planning initiatives like an HR transformation or a departmental restructuring? If so, try to schedule your ERP gamification strategy for a different timeframe. Overlapping this process with other obligations could push it to the back burner. In some cases, it could even be rescheduled or postponed indefinitely. 

If your business is very large, finding a wide-open timeslot might be nearly impossible. This is why it’s important to have a strong leader who has visibility into upcoming initiatives and can offer scheduling advice accordingly.

6. Hire an Independent ERP Consultant

Change management is more involved and intricate than many business leaders anticipate. As such, it’s often much easier and more efficient to allow a third-party ERP consulting team to take the reins.

The right consultant can help you navigate every step of the gamification process.

For instance, there are certain processes that could benefit from gamification more than others, and your ERP consultant can help you identify those to better target your efforts. Then, once the gamification strategy is underway, the consultant can help you create and track user goals and behavior, as well as plan rewards for employee accomplishments. 

Gamification is More Than a Fad

Change management gamification might sound like just another business buzzword. However, research and industry projections show that it’s here to stay.

If you’ve reached a standstill in your change management plan, then gamification is worth considering. Over time, it can result in sustained behavior that transforms employees’ mindsets toward your new ERP software

Our team of consultants can help you increase employee engagement and manage change resistance. Contact us below for a free consultation and let’s get started. 

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