Lunchtime Links: Get Your Head In The Game
Gamification in the workplace could ignite creativity and friendly competition or cause employees to lose motivation as well as performance points. Also: Tips on how to better connect with introverted audience members.
Gamification in the workplace could ignite creativity and friendly competition—or cause employees to lose motivation as well as performance points. Also: tips on how to better connect with introverted audience members.
It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. In today’s Lunchtime Links, find out how rewarding your employees with points for productive performance in the office also can create chaos:
Just playing around: Managers are always looking for new ways to keep the office an upbeat hub of creativity. Thanks to the success of wearables and gaming software, some employers are turning tedious tasks into competitions in an effort to advance productivity. But Inc.com contributor Samuel Bacharach says the trend does have a potential downside. If employers adopt gamification, he urges them to play it safe by not relying on the collected data alone to assess employee performance. “If you track employees meticulously they may lose their ability to be creative and innovative,” he says. “Why would an employee risk attending a brainstorming meeting if she loses points by doing so? Similarly, why would an employee try something new if it meant her performance rankings would plummet?” Bacharach, the cofounder of Bacharach Leadership Group, says that the best leaders don’t rely on data alone to make decisions. “They know that performance metrics are just a frame by which they can view the larger picture,” he says.
Help your wallflowers bloom: Your most passionate and thought-provoking event attendees could be right under your nose, just being very quiet about it. In an article for Connect, Velvet Chainsaw’s Jeff Hurt gives six suggestions to event planners looking to reach out to their more introverted attendees. To interest introverts on a more personal level, Hurt recommends coordinating small-group gatherings for a more meaningful networking experience. “Avoid speed-networking sessions and the rush to secure as many business cards as possible,” he suggests. “Design networking experiences that encourage deeper, authentic relationships and facilitate learning.”
Reviving the volunteer experience: Although engaged, hardworking volunteers are often willing to dedicate themselves to projects and events, associations still need to provide structure, direction, and resources. On his Event Garde blog, Aaron Wolowiec discusses the pitfalls that come with volunteer management—many of which, he says, are easy to solve. Citing the 2008 ASAE study “The Decision to Volunteer,” Wolowiec points out that turnover among association volunteers is high and that “above all, people who volunteer for associations expect to be involved effectively.” He offers tips on how to take ownership of the volunteer management process. “[W]ith the amount of work our associations set out to accomplish each year,” he writes, “we simply cannot afford to perpetuate these types of off-putting experiences.”
How does your association work to inspire volunteers? Share your take in the comments below.
(photo by Will Merydith/Flickr)