Law Practice Management

New Management Trend Is 'Gamification' of the Workplace

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The Cadillac Eldorado and steak knives used as motivators in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross are so old-school.

Today, companies are using the kind of competitive tactics common to video games to motivate their employees, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. The trend is known as the “gamification” of the workplace.

Some companies are awarding points or badges for meeting deadlines and goals or completing jobs. Some are using leaderboards so employees can see how they are doing relative to their co-workers. The story cites several real-life examples:

• IBM uses video games to simulate business scenarios.

• Deloitte uses digital games to train executives at its leadership academy. Employees who complete basic courses get badges and “unlock” more complex instruction.

• LiveOps Inc. motivates its call center agents to make sales and keep calls short by awarding virtual badges and points.

Stanford University professor Byron Reeves, who co-founded a firm that helps companies implement gaming strategies, added a cautionary note. He tells the Wall Street Journal that companies need to make sure competition doesn’t lead to employee animosity.

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