Want to Make Sure Employees Read Important Emails? Gamify Them!

Want to Make Sure Employees Read Important Emails? Gamify Them!

Posted by Stephen Spiegel on Nov 6, 2018

Gamifying email can ensure employees read and act upon important information

You’ve got some important information to get out to employees in an email, but you know – because it describes you, too – they’re so bombarded with electronic messages that the chances of them reading it are about as likely as winning the lottery.

Maybe it’s time to up your game and gamify things. Here’s some clarification if you’re fuzzy on the term. Gamification is the process of incorporating game mechanics to drive the desired behavior from readers. It’s often used in educational and training software environments, and gamification can be an effective way to ensure that important information delivered in an email to employees is read and acted upon.

Who doesn’t love to see a visual representation of their progress?

This is what’s really at the core of email gamification. It’s merging our desire to see accomplishment validated with some simple enjoyment along the way. You’ve probably seen recent examples of successful gamification deployed and not even realized it.

Think back to the last time you created a new online account or entered a contest. You were presented with a way to visually track your progress, and next to that was the list of tasks left to complete. If you’re like most people, you want to see the reward of a “100% complete” state. And, hey, it turns out to be easy because each step is a quick accomplishment.

This same approach can be applied to gamification in emails. Just one caveat. Unless you’re one of those rare beasts who’s a copywriter, designer, and coder living in the same brain and body, the gamification doesn’t happen in the email. That message stays short and sweet, and it takes them to a digital space on your intranet where the gamification takes place.

Three steps to gamification

You’ve tried to break bad habits, so you know that behavior is a difficult thing to change. But that’s what gamification is all about. Stanford University’s B.J. Fogg, an experimental psychologist, says, “there are three elements that have to converge in order for a change in behavior to occur: motivation, ability, and trigger.”

Most importantly, according to Fogg, these three things must occur at the same time. When applied to gamification, it works when:

  • ⦁ Employees are given the motivation to do something – not just read the email. Give them a chance to gain recognition.
  • ⦁ Employees are given the ability to carry out a complex task because it’s facilitated for them. For example, if employees have to set up a new multi-step account to gain access to HR information, the task is broken into bite-size chunks. This increases the feeling of accomplishment for employees.
  • ⦁ Employees are given a trigger or cue to complete the action.


Why you should introduce gamification

Gartner has provided data since the beginning of this decade showing that the likelihood of business transformation is related to employee engagement. Organizations realize they can’t just push out important information to employees and expect it will be acted upon.

Gamification is far from babysitting, though. It’s an incentivizing act that benefits both employers and employees. The popularity of video games in the United States alone has made it a $17 billion industry. Employers can use the same techniques game designers practice to keep players interested. The result is higher employee engagement because they’re getting more opportunities to be recognized and see the results of their participation.

In many respects, our work life is represented by daily competition. Most of it fuels our motivation, and the result is innovation that benefits the entire organization. Gamification helps to take that competition out of our heads and make it both shareable and more enjoyable. When implemented and practiced regularly, it’s also a way to increase the likelihood that members of your organization are actually excited to see there’s a message from you in their inbox.

At crewHu, we have the tools you need to engage your employees and get the response you want. Visit our site to find out what tools would help gamify your workplace, or contact us with any questions.

Topics: gamification

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