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If you received recognition every time you learned a new skill or completed an important task, would you be more engaged at work? This question is exactly what some businesses have been debating as they consider the benefits of diving into one of the newest emerging industries in the U.S.: “gamification.”

Many have called gamification a fad, but its implications for employee engagement and motivation are staggering. According to a recent Gallup poll, more than 70-percent of employees are either not engaged or are actively disengaged. And that’s just in general; imagine the levels of non-engagement or disengagement during an ERP implementation! Gamification intends to turn this trend around and motivate employees through techniques used by game developers to engage the gaming community.

The proven success of gamification at organizations of varying sizes and industries indicates that it may be a viable option for those implementing ERP software as well. Effective change management rests on a business’s ability to engage employees and increase user acceptance of its new ERP system. The more enjoyable an organization can make this experience for employees, the faster they will become comfortable with the system and the faster the organization will realize clear business benefits.

Gamers typically spend an average of two hours per day playing games, and many of these games involve intense cooperation and teamwork. Social games serve as a good model for businesses interested in gamification since competition and recognition are motivating factors for many employees.

Game developers also have a deep understanding about the correlation between effort and reward. They constantly provide gamers with new challenges, progressing from easy to difficult, and they reward each of the stages along the way. Smart organizations could leverage this technique by providing employees with an incentive to learn each aspect of an ERP system gradually without becoming overwhelmed by the system as a whole.

Previously in this blog, we’ve highlighted the importance of change agents in an ERP implementation. These are the people within an organization who facilitate change management activities by serving as a liaison between technical team members and end users. Their job is to keep everyone engaged, and this is where gamification becomes useful.

Change agents are experienced with the enterprise software and can anticipate the specific challenges that users might face. If your organization is considering gamification, Change agents can be important in designing potential reward systems and determining just what kind of motivation is needed.

Gamification is a great way to foster competition, ignite change and sustain behavior. Following are some steps to take before gamifying a business process during an ERP implementation:

  • Define a clear business need for gamification to present to your executive team
  • Determine where gamification fits into your project budget
  • Hire an independent third-party ERP consultant to develop and oversee the change management initiative
  • Work with the consultant to determine which business processes would benefit most from gamification
  • Work with the consultant to define user goals, track user behavior and reward users for accomplishments

Gamification is more than just a fad; it’s a strategic way to increase efficiency and profits through the use of psychology and through a little bit of useful insight from some clever game developers. To learn more about how Panorama fosters employee engagement for clients, be sure to visit our Organizational Change Management page.

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