Business VoIP Featured Article

Gamification Can Help Improve Business Communication

November 21, 2016

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, Business VoIP Contributor

While younger Americans’ perceived shortcomings are often touted by older generations – they can’t focus on a single task, they have short attention spans – the truth is that in business, older methods of learning and work processes were boring for non-millennials, too. Employee engagement has always been a problem in business, and newer ideas for combating it will apply equally to older and younger workers.

Gamification is one of those business techniques that can raise employee engagement across the board. Think about it: we played with games as children because they’re fun. Many adults continue to play video games or social media games such as “Words with Friends” because they’re fun. Adding a little fun to daily business processes, therefore, is a compelling technique for improving the daily grind of jobs. The trick is to use the gaming “fun” to direct workers to desired outcomes, according to a recent article for Huffington Post Business by George Beall.

“Gamification is a way to encourage desired behaviors, help employees develop necessary skills, and enable innovation through problem-solving,” he wrote. “Businesses use it to improve performance, educate and inspire employees to advance in their careers, and to engage customers.”

The Internet has changed employee behaviors, for better or for worse. By using its good aspects – collaboration, visual interaction, point-and-click and video – companies can energize their businesses, from the basic business VoIP (voice over IP) to customer relationship management, training software and workforce management.

Even communications can be “gamified” today. Nextiva, a business VoIP communications company, provides users with its Nextiva Analytics feature, which uses comprehensive reporting and analytics to create leader boards that allow employees to measure their performance against that of their co-workers. Workers can compete and rank themselves according to a number of points, including number and length of inbound, outbound or total calls, and by individual or team performance. This helps drive employees to find better ways to communicate in order to “rank” themselves more highly.

“Gamification is focused on engagement,” Nextiva CEO Tomas Gorn told Huffington Post. “Human beings are naturally competitive, and friendly competition spurs them to improve. This leads to increased productivity for the entire team. Success can be measured and defined by innovation. In order to win, employees are challenged to find more streamlined processes to meet customer needs.”

Gamification in communications is particularly critical when companies are measured (in terms of customer engagement and customer loyalty) by how well and how frequently they communicate with customers and partners. Making communications fun and compelling, therefore, can have a direct impact on the quality of customer support being offered. It’s also a great way to informally measure employee performance, and understand where they’re falling short, so targeted training can be implemented.

“Gamification based on analytics can help you pinpoint issues and streamline processes,” wrote Beale. “This data gives you a clear understanding of what’s happening so you can help your employees move forward.”

More importantly, gamification can help employees – many of whom stagnate with apathy under the best of circumstances – to want to improve their performance. 



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