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Five Reasons Workplace Gamification Works

We’ve all had those jobs where we simply couldn’t get motivated. Maybe our tasks were boring—too complicated—uninspiring. In those cases, we muddled through. We got it done. But we weren’t necessarily fulfilled or engaged with the work we were doing. Gamification aims to change all that.

In fact, even beyond monotonous tasks, gamification has the power to amp up the workplace in exciting ways. By 2015, 40 percent of Global 1000 companies were already using gamification strategies to get employees more involved and committed to their daily responsibilities. In this age of digital transformation, the opportunities to implement gamification to help employees adapt, learn, and grow are almost endless. The following are just a few reasons gamification works—and wins—in today’s workplace.

It’s How We Think

Gaming isn’t just addictive because it’s fun to use technology at work. It’s addictive because it’s psychological. It plays to our desires to compete, share, get recognized, and be instantly gratified by a job well done. It can break down daunting and complex tasks down into smaller bite-size morsels, guide us to the next task, and give us a pat on the back for every step forward. It’s like having a constant source of encouragement pop up throughout our workday. Come to think of it, many of us probably use gamification to encourage our kids to do chores. Why should it stop when we get to the office?

It’s More Engaging 

Did you know 70 percent of business transformations fail due to lack of engagement? It’s no wonder. When faced with change, many people get overwhelmed and shut down. And in times of digital transformation—when change is happening at lightning speed every single day—that is a problem companies just can’t afford. By incorporating a fun and interactive element into your employees’ workday, you keep them interested, active, and accountable. New software, policies, and assignments are less mundane because employees are being led through them, rather than muddling through on their own. And we all know engaged employees are also more fulfilled employees and therefore more likely to stay through your digital transformation, rather than move on to another “more comfortable” opportunity. I wrote about this extensively in my piece Workplace Gamification Driving Employee Engagement on Futurum.

It’s Real Time

There is perhaps nothing less motivating than working hard every day—to goals no one will even think about until the end of the year. All the blood, sweat, and tears that went into planning a big meeting, launching a major publication, or successfully targeting a new market segment get forgotten in lieu of three top-line objectives that don’t necessarily speak to your everyday accomplishments. Gamification can change that using real-time “Fitbit” style monitoring that allows employees to compete against one another to hit smaller daily targets, and receive recognition instantly for the hard work they are doing. Even better, it can track all those achievements automatically. This is turn leads to more active engagement, noted above.

It’s Fair

By continually tracking and acknowledging when employees hit their goals, companies can remove “boss bias” that can occur when a supervisor allows their personal feelings about an employee to interfere with their objective review of their performance. This in turn creates a better workplace for employees, who no longer have to fear their boss’ mood will interfere with their year-end bonus.

It’s Fun

OK—this isn’t technically a business goal, but in my view, it should be. When employees enjoy their work—see joy in the challenge—and feel recognized for the time and effort they are putting in, they will want to work harder and smarter than ever before. That’s exactly the kind of commitment we need in times of digital transformation.

Is gamification necessary? Of course not. But neither is AI, machine learning, automation, or any of the other amazing technologies popping up on the tech landscape that are helping companies meet their business goals even more efficiently than ever before. As such, leaders need to stop thinking of gamification as an added expense, and start thinking of it as a way to improve their team’s productivity, knowledge, and skills. No single technology today will bring your company success in and of itself. All are merely tools to work alongside your teams so that you can better serve customers, save money, and find new and exciting growth. And when it comes to games, I always want to be on the winning side of that proposition—especially during digital transformation.

Additional Resources on This Topic:

Workplace Gamification Driving Employee Engagement
Selling the Digital Transformation

Photo Credit: kid_scientists Flickr via Compfight cc

This article was first published on Converge.

5 Tips For People-Oriented HR Management

What makes a professional hiring manager? Dealing with budgets, business priorities, and tons of paperwork is essential; but is it what employees need and expect to see from us? After all, human resources are about people, aren’t they?

In 2016, 70.6 percent of HR professionals called “influencing the company culture to have more authentic, people-oriented managers” their top priority. With more than $2 billion plunged into HR technology, the emergence of new, more people-oriented, trends seems clear.

Together with gamification, video hiring, and other HR trends of 2016, this year brings more tech challenges for us to implement in order not to trail far behind. Focused more on people, they help to create a positive company culture and not earn the reputation of the worst HR ever.

So, what can you do for employees?

Manage their performance

2017 is the year when performance reviews will become a regular part of hiring managers life. Performance management apps are team-centric and cloud-based today, which makes it easier for us to keep track on employees.

Performance appraisal software, such as Saba Cloud or Performly, allows workers to understand their role in a company’s success, boost productivity, and unleash their potential. Featherlight helps to manage real-time performance, Weekdone enables to monitor accomplishments, and PerformYard lets you document and performance results.

Most of these applications feature online assessments, allow managing performance by teams, and integrate with other HR tools and employee directories.

Train them

Professional development is a must for employees, and they would thank you for interesting and engaging training programs. Make this training more effective with new solutions in HR tech, such as Workday Learning or Fuse Universal.

They are online platforms focused on video collaboration and other interactive methods of learning, including features for curation and data-driven recommendations. Employees consider such category of learning products efficient, and they are ready to develop new skills with online resources about math, writing, time management, and more. 

Manage their wellness and activity

2017 is the year for the utilization of HR technology solutions for employee wellness, engagement, and recognition. The number of tools to manage activity and work-life balance grows for hiring managers to improve the work environment.

Use solutions from Oracle or Ultimate Software to manage what employees do, how well they take care of their health, and how happy they are. Such tools have built-in analytics engines to view workers wellness and give insights on how to boost their productivity and make them work better.

Encourage communication

Tools for evaluating an employee’s real-time engagement become critical infrastructure for companies, as they help to understand workers needs and consider corresponding changes. Integrate those tools with your performance management system, and you will join the 85 % of executives considering employee engagement a top priority.

Encourage communication by using HR software: Trakstar helps to keep employees informed about employers goals and expectations, and ReviewSnap improves real-time feedback for workers to learn how their performance fit into the objectives of the company.

They are great to encourage mobility and connect staff members. 

Analyze them

The rise of people analytics is among the HR tech trends of 2017. Predicting a staff’s behavior, thoughts, and desires, you will know how to implement all corresponding changes effectively.

Survey software works best here. Graphical reporting features of SmartSurvey or Dub InterViewer allow getting data from employees to analyze their changes and recommend training they need for better performance.

New tools for people analytics include:

  • tools, analyzing e-mails to assess how people’s communication and time management practices differ, encouraging lower-performers to change behavior.
  • tools, monitoring workers’ locations and voice tenor to see when they experience stress and reorganize facilities accordingly.

Don’t forget about talent acquisition

The talent acquisition market is enormous today, so embrace it to hire the right talents for your company. Social media can help you here, but the latest HR tech from Lever, Gild, and SmartRecruiters would not be wise to miss.

They are recruitment management systems, handling everything: sources, analytics, interview management, candidate scores, their onboard relationship management, and more.

So, make the most out of your job performance by using HR technology to find strong candidates, manage them, and help them fulfill potential. Make your hiring strategy more people-oriented, and no one will have the heart to say you are a non-specialist in the profession.

photo credit: Informedmag business meeting – Credit to informedmag.com via photopin (license)

Say Yes to Gamification

Gamification is proving to be an effective tactic to help motivate employees and increase engagement. A dedicated workforce can be your greatest asset and — whether it’s because of lower employee turnover or increased productivity. That’s why employers are often looking for innovative ways to improve their workplace culture, and some are even adding fun gaming elements to help stimulate their employees.

Think about our culture in general—we wear fitness trackers to motivate ourselves to move more. Many of us jumped on the “Pokemon Go” Craze this past year. We love logging on and tracking all sorts of progress on a digital screen to enjoy small, personal victories. So why shouldn’t the workplace capitalize on that mindset?

Who is using gamification? Companies like Nike, Codecademy, Duolingo, Mint Money Manager, and Starbucks, among others. Many more reputable organizations will implement it in 2017. Will yours be next? Here’s a look at why companies are looking to take their staffs to the next level with solutions that utilize gaming elements.

It gives employees a chance to “level up.” If there’s one thing that resonates with today’s generation of workers, it’s getting feedback and personalized attention about their contributions. A gamification app does this in real-time by tracking performance, sometimes awarding badges or giving employees pings and reminders when they’re close to a goal.

It helps them earn a high score. In this case, the “score” is the success of the company as a whole. Adding a gaming element to departmental projects can help workers understand how and why their contributions add up and in what ways they are impacting the team. Getting on board with gamification can help facilitate team-building by rewarding points for collaboration and encouraging workers to communicate new ideas. When implemented within an employee training programs, games can also motivate your teams to keep their skills updated.

It taps into our competitive nature. This is where companies need to tread lightly since the last thing you want is to turn a gaming application into a cutthroat war between staffers. However, friendly competition with fun rewards (like a free lunch for the highest performing team) or even acknowledging personal records, like someone’s best sales month, can boost confidence and build camaraderie.

It appeals to the digital generation. Millennials are all about being in control of their career destinies and understanding the outcomes of their efforts. Gamification can offer more of a personalized work experience for them. One example, as HRCloud points out, is Deloitte’s “Mass Career Customization” program, which allows employees to pick and choose their work preferences. Another company, Valve, uses a gaming platform to let employees select the projects on which they want to work. For younger workers, gamification provides the instant gratification they so crave but is often missing in a more traditional corporate structure.

It helps avoid “game over” scenarios. Gamification helps generate insights that HR departments can use to get inside the heads of their workforce. In other words, it’s a form of workforce intelligence gathering, in which employee performance is monitored so that potential pitfalls can be red-flagged and exceptional work doesn’t go unnoticed. When workers feel like their company is doing all it can to support their career growth, they are more likely to stay put.

It helps your employer brand. Not only can gamification help your teams internally, but it can also encourage satisfied staffers to become brand ambassadors. This can help with recruiting efforts and serves to demonstrate that your company culture is hip and modern—and that it puts employees first.

Gamification may not solve every workplace challenge, but it can give employees something new to be excited about. And only good things happen when your team is engaged and striving for a higher success score.

A version of this was first posted on Converge.xyz

Photo Credit: jurvetson Flickr via Compfight cc

Technology Revolutionizing Workplace Wellness

Wellness in the workplace is a huge and growing trend these days. Makes sense, right? A healthier employee is a happier employee—and also a more productive one. That’s why employers are introducing wellness programs in droves, and at the same time turning to technology as a tool to monitor, promote, and reward their employees’ fitness achievements.

Currently, 70 percent of U.S. employers offer a wellness program, an increase from 58 percent in 2008. It’s no secret that investing in employee wellness is worthwhile in the long run. Not only do wellness programs help employers to lower healthcare costs and reduce sick days, but research shows they improve employee engagement and retention as well.

Getting employees to take advantage of a wellness program is not a slam-dunk, however. Participation is sometimes low, with employees citing lack of time or interest as two of the primary reasons. That’s where technology comes in, making getting involved easier for employees—and a whole lot more fun.

The fun kicks in courtesy of a group dynamic that promotes good-natured competition to achieve wellness goals, which aligns with another trend among employers: offering rewards or bonuses to employees who complete health and wellness objectives. Currently, four in 10 employers offer these types of incentives, with another 8 percent planning to implement them within the next year.

So, just how does the latest technology help get—and keep—employees healthy, thereby boosting employer profit wellness? Let’s examine the various options.

Wearables

At any gathering of a half-dozen or more employees, look at their wrists; chances are at least one will be wearing a fitness tracker. Nearly 40 million American adults are currently using such devices, and that figure is expected to double within the next three years.

The most popular brand is Fitbit, but companies like Garmin, Apple, Jawbone, and Misfit are also in the wearable tracker game. These devices allow employees to monitor various fitness activities, such as how many steps they’ve taken, how many flights of stairs they’ve climbed, and how many calories they’ve burned. Such measurables lend themselves nicely to interoffice competition. Whoever comes out on top will earn company bragging rights—or something more tangible like a trophy or monetary prize.

One savvy move for employers wanting to increase workplace awareness is to subsidize wearable trackers for their employees. A lot of companies do that—not only for their employees but sometimes even for employees’ spouses or partners. Whether companies pay for the devices or employees do so themselves, expectations are that wearable technology usage will continue to rise. Xerox Human Resources Services conducted a 2015 survey of 200+ employers, in which 37 percent reported using wearable technology; another 37 percent said they were planning to adopt the technology in the years ahead.

Gamification

Gamification marries technology and game-playing in a way that engages participants and helps them achieve their goals. There are three components of an effective gamification strategy: rules, rewards, and social interaction. The best thing about gamification is that it is a great motivator. Participants strive to win a challenge, whether it’s losing weight, eating healthier, or achieving measurable fitness goals.

Implementing a gamification strategy with monthly or quarterly incentives is a great way for employers to build a wellness-oriented culture. With the camaraderie and feedback that such competitions generate, employees have stronger incentives to reach their goals.

Apps

Apps for fitness trackers are just one of many tools that allow employees to monitor their health. There are mental health apps like Headspace, which features proven meditation and mindfulness techniques. Sleep apps, which track users sleeping habits and in some cases help them drift off to sleep with calming music, words, and sound effects are popular. And food tracking/nutrition apps, which keep tabs on caloric intake and the nutritional content of the food the user eats. Wellness-minded employers will encourage employee use of those apps that best fit the fitness and health objectives of the workplace.

Program Analytics

There is also technology that allows employers to analyze their wellness programs and redirect them to meet the needs of their employees better. It’s not just about return on investment, but also about employee satisfaction. Analytics allow employers to pinpoint aspects of their wellness program that are receiving less-than-favorable ratings. Responsive employers will then use this information to make modifications that will improve their employees’ satisfaction and boost participation.

Social Media

Dr. Rajiv Kumar, founder/CEO of corporate wellness platform ShapeUp, identifies social interaction as the biggest technological trend over the past decade. How do you add social interaction to a workplace wellness program? Kumar recommends focusing on these four elements: peer coaching, friendly competition, group support, and social accountability. There are many social tools for encouraging interaction, including apps, forums, and Facebook groups—to name just a few. Social media has the power to drive such interaction, which increases employee interest and ultimately determines the success of a corporate wellness program.

In the future, we expect even more employers to adopt wellness programs. And why wouldn’t they? With technology advancing so rapidly, the ease of implementation is great—and the rewards for employer and employee even greater.

HR: It’s Time to “Level Up” with Gamification

Gamification – using game-play elements in a nongame activity – is trending across a range of industries. For a while, HR professionals were excited about its potential to improve employee engagement and training, but adoption rates have been slow. Isn’t it time for HR to “level up” with gamification?

Consider this.

In January 2016, U.S. employment engagement rates remained sluggish at 32.5 percent, and 67.5 percent of employees were not engaged or were actively disengaged from their work. And the numbers on engagement have largely remained the same since 2012. Gamification might just hold the key to improving corporate culture, commitment, and drive. 

Use Gamification to Change Information Acquisition

Educators are using gamification to make learning fun, and marketers use gamification to encourage prospective customers to interact with a brand. Small and large companies are using it to increase workplace efficiency, offer training, solve problems, and retain top talent.

Gamification works because it changes the way people look at information.

At a very basic level, you can think about “Leapfrog,” the children’s learning game. Sitting at a table working through equations isn’t always fun or motivating, but trying to get your favorite character from one stage to another is exciting to kids. If a child has to do a little math along the way, so be it. The same principles apply to adult consumers and employees. Gamification changes the framework so that individuals engage with a problem, data set, or situation—in a different and often entertaining way.

Connect Gamification and HR

In HR, gamification has implications for recruitment, benefits administration, health and wellness initiatives, and employee engagement. While the applications feel deceptively simple and fun, the organization benefits from tangible return on engagement. Gamification occurs most often at the digital level. Every interaction creates data sets for adoption and performance that employers can use to modify the environment or better support employees.

It’s a win-win situation.

Large companies such as Accenture, Deloitte, GE, Ford, Google, and Microsoft are using gamification principles to change the way they work. I believe adoption rates will start to increase as companies demonstrate real employee engagement levels that directly correspond to gamification principles. Still not convinced? Here are a few of the ways major companies have successfully integrated gamification into HR functions:

  • Google Code Jam – This competition, focused on software writing, helps the company recognize new recruits. With prizes up to $50,000, the approach attracts talented engineers and developers who are interested in testing their skills within a crowd.
  • co.uk – The British equivalent of the National Security Agency uses this website to attract qualified candidates. Individuals applying for certain positions must crack the code to move through the recruiting process.
  • Badgeville – Deloitte’s executive training program uses gamification to improve learning pathways, real-world simulations, and offer feedback. The program has resulted in a 50 percent increase in course completion and 36 percent higher weekly retention rates.
  • REVEAL – L’Oreal uses a gaming platform, complete with avatars and rewards, to test candidate knowledge and skill sets. The game offers much more than a vetting system, however. It also teaches individuals about the business, the organizational structure, and team members who work on new products.

Avoid Barriers to Gamification Adoption

Somehow, despite promising success stories, many companies have not embraced gamification as a meaningful solution to industry challenges. Some of the most common barriers to adoption include:

  • A belief that gamification is too expensive. However, companies do not necessarily need to develop a full-fledged game or gaming software to take advantage of gamification. Leadership can apply the basic principles to existing processes to improve engagement rates.
  • Older executives do not buy into the strategy. Whether your company operates under board management or a chief executive officer, some old-school managers may not understand or approve of gamification in the workplace. Check with the Millennials in the company and get their help in making the case for gamification to the older folks.
  • Lack of understanding about gamification. What is gamification and why is it a good idea? Many businesses today still don’t understand how it works or the range of benefits that accrue to incorporating game-like incentives into workplace activities. However more and more companies are using it and talking about the benefits—so it is becoming easier to explain gamification and to demonstrate its value to those who still don’t get it.

Gamification is not one-size-fits-all. Every company must design a strategy that addresses individual business challenges. The technical programming and game concepts must align with company goals. An organization needs to understand rules of the game, and tie those to the goals, player motivators and fit, to achieve real-world results.

Its Time to “Level Up” With Gamification and the Future of HR

Gamers like to talk about leveling up, meaning moving up to the next level. HR? Are you listening? Gamification is more than a passing trend, and it has the potential to revolutionize the way human resources professionals conduct business on a daily basis.

The benefits of incorporating gamification into HR activities are becoming increasingly clear. And, as more companies gain an understanding of its uses and benefits and see examples showcasing ROI, adoption rates will start to rise. It’s time to see where you can apply gamification to make valuable changes for your company.

This post was first published on Converge.xyz on 4/20/2016.

Photo Credit: lizsmith_info via Compfight cc

HR: It’s Time to “Level Up” with Gamification

Gamification – using game-play elements in a nongame activity – is trending across a range of industries. For a while, HR professionals were excited about its potential to improve employee engagement and training, but adoption rates have been slow. Isn’t it time for HR to “level up” with gamification?

Consider this.

In January 2016, U.S. employment engagement rates remained sluggish at 32.5 percent, and 67.5 percent of employees were not engaged or were actively disengaged from their work. And the numbers on engagement have largely remained the same since 2012. Gamification might just hold the key to improving corporate culture, commitment, and drive. 

Use Gamification to Change Information Acquisition

Educators are using gamification to make learning fun, and marketers use gamification to encourage prospective customers to interact with a brand. Small and large companies are using it to increase workplace efficiency, offer training, solve problems, and retain top talent.

Gamification works because it changes the way people look at information.

At a very basic level, you can think about “Leapfrog,” the children’s learning game. Sitting at a table working through equations isn’t always fun or motivating, but trying to get your favorite character from one stage to another is exciting to kids. If a child has to do a little math along the way, so be it. The same principles apply to adult consumers and employees. Gamification changes the framework so that individuals engage with a problem, data set, or situation—in a different and often entertaining way.

Connect Gamification and HR

In HR, gamification has implications for recruitment, benefits administration, health and wellness initiatives, and employee engagement. While the applications feel deceptively simple and fun, the organization benefits from tangible return on engagement. Gamification occurs most often at the digital level. Every interaction creates data sets for adoption and performance that employers can use to modify the environment or better support employees.

It’s a win-win situation.

Large companies such as Accenture, Deloitte, GE, Ford, Google, and Microsoft are using gamification principles to change the way they work. I believe adoption rates will start to increase as companies demonstrate real employee engagement levels that directly correspond to gamification principles. Still not convinced? Here are a few of the ways major companies have successfully integrated gamification into HR functions:

  • Google Code Jam – This competition, focused on software writing, helps the company recognize new recruits. With prizes up to $50,000, the approach attracts talented engineers and developers who are interested in testing their skills within a crowd.
  • co.uk – The British equivalent of the National Security Agency uses this website to attract qualified candidates. Individuals applying for certain positions must crack the code to move through the recruiting process.
  • Badgeville – Deloitte’s executive training program uses gamification to improve learning pathways, real-world simulations, and offer feedback. The program has resulted in a 50 percent increase in course completion and 36 percent higher weekly retention rates.
  • REVEAL – L’Oreal uses a gaming platform, complete with avatars and rewards, to test candidate knowledge and skill sets. The game offers much more than a vetting system, however. It also teaches individuals about the business, the organizational structure, and team members who work on new products.

Avoid Barriers to Gamification Adoption

Somehow, despite promising success stories, many companies have not embraced gamification as a meaningful solution to industry challenges. Some of the most common barriers to adoption include:

  • A belief that gamification is too expensive. However, companies do not necessarily need to develop a full-fledged game or gaming software to take advantage of gamification. Leadership can apply the basic principles to existing processes to improve engagement rates.
  • Older executives do not buy into the strategy. Whether your company operates under board management or a chief executive officer, some old-school managers may not understand or approve of gamification in the workplace. Check with the Millennials in the company and get their help in making the case for gamification to the older folks.
  • Lack of understanding about gamification. What is gamification and why is it a good idea? Many businesses today still don’t understand how it works or the range of benefits that accrue to incorporating game-like incentives into workplace activities. However more and more companies are using it and talking about the benefits—so it is becoming easier to explain gamification and to demonstrate its value to those who still don’t get it.

Gamification is not one-size-fits-all. Every company must design a strategy that addresses individual business challenges. The technical programming and game concepts must align with company goals. An organization needs to understand rules of the game, and tie those to the goals, player motivators and fit, to achieve real-world results.

It’s Time to “Level Up” With Gamification and the Future of HR

Gamers like to talk about leveling up, meaning moving up to the next level. HR? Are you listening? Gamification is more than a passing trend, and it has the potential to revolutionize the way human resources professionals conduct business on a daily basis.

The benefits of incorporating gamification into HR activities are becoming increasingly clear. And, as more companies gain an understanding of its uses and benefits and see examples showcasing ROI, adoption rates will start to rise. It’s time to see where you can apply gamification to make valuable changes for your company.

This post was first published on Converge.xyz on 4/20/2016.

Photo Credit: lizsmith_info via Compfight cc

How Technology and Work Culture Drive Each Other

There’s a ton of research showing that a happy employee is a more engaged employee(and more productive, too), and technology can play a big role. As I’ve mentioned previously, the future of work is here. Companies operating with a 21st century mindset know that technology and work culture are interlinked, with one driving the other.

Apart from the typical communication tools, technology goes much further, even allowing us to reward workers in the moment. Gamification, intra-company social networks and external applications all play a role when it comes to maintaining the health and well-being of employees.

Gamification and Employee Engagement

Gamification refers to programs where employees compete for points or achievements with game mechanics. Just like playing a video game or using a mobile gaming app, players are rewarded according to pre-determined rules. These games activate psychological triggers, which lead to positive behavior changes. Gamification is gaining a foothold in business due to contributions from insights in behavioral economics and other disciplines studying human interactions and motivation.

There isn’t an out-of-the-box or one-size-fits-all solution to gamification at work; it needs careful thought and design. Plus, even though gamification helps engage employees, there are several issues that can make this type of engagement less effective:

  1. Habituation. Employees felt less rewarded for achievements over time. New elements need to be added to refresh the gaming mechanics.
  2. Intrinsic motivation. While cash prizes are nice, they are not as rewarding as simple recognition. People want to be recognized for their skills and job acumen. Using a gamification program doesn’t necessarily mean more money, but does mean creating personally meaningful rewards.
  3. Getting employees to care. Thoughtful consideration is important when designing your program. There is a chance that you may create bad incentives. The last thing you want is for employees to focus on earning points over doing their job properly. Nor do you want them becoming fatigued from the need to “level up.”

For obvious reasons, injecting gamification into your work culture requires careful planning and monitoring for it to be an effective tech tool.

Intra-company Social Networks and Employee Engagement

Tools like Jive, Slack and Yammer allow for transparent conversations between employees. At a glance, one can view what is happening in any department and contribute, allowing for open and seamless collaboration.

At its best, an intra-company social network lets communication flow without having to navigate through the hierarchy. It also eliminates unnecessary meetings because employees are able to communicate via a messaging platform without having to meet in person.

For internal social networks to work though, it is vital that company executives commit to also using the platforms. Research by the Altimeter group shows that less than 50 percent of employees are using their company’s internal communication platforms. Employees revealed to Altimeter if the company’s leadership wasn’t using them, they wouldn’t either.

Supervisors may feel threatened by the closing of the gap between themselves and the employees that report to them. However, they need to view the company social network as an opportunity to motivate and inspire, and open up lines of communication.

Engagement Begins with Praise and Lasts with Tech

Harvard Business School research revealed the one action which will, on its own, lead to better behavioral outcomes: well-timed praise. They found that when individuals are given compliments after successfully completing tasks, they experience “best-self activation.” This means they connect the act with the perception of working at their top performance and it reinforces their self-image in a positive way.

It’s why Stark President Todd Vande Hie eschews performance reviews at his high-end fitness company. “I don’t do employee reviews. I look for opportunities; when you have conversations with people that are impactful the timing is extremely important because it adds to the emotion and it creates situations they never forget.”

When you offer praise at the right moment, you provide employees incentives to repeat those actions. You also reinforce their positive self-regard by reminding them of their capabilities to impact others and boost their abilities for resiliency. It is a simple concept with far-reaching results for employee engagement and retention.

Project management tools like Basecamp and Asana will keep supervisors apprised of their team’s actions, allowing them to focus on and congratulate both individuals and teams for successes and accomplishments of the day.

To make this even more transparent, tools like IDoneThis tracks team activities across various platforms and the entire team can see what they accomplished together. Teammates are also able to offer up their own compliments and show gratitude for others.

Improving work culture begins with awareness and transparency, and ushers in a new era of employee engagement. Harnessing technology will drive better communications between employees and lead to more meaningful work, whether it is through game mechanics, internal communication networks or tools that track and reward accomplishments. Keeping employees engaged and happy in their jobs is the most cost-effective way to improve productivity, employee retention and ultimately, a company’s success.

A version of this post was first published on Huffington Post on 11-4-15.

Does Your Workforce Feel The Love? #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking for full highlights and resource links from this week’s events? See the #TChat Recap: “Employee Engagement: Say It Like You Mean It.“)

At one point or another, all of us have felt it.

You know what I mean. That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, when you suddenly realize someone you desperately want to pursue is simply just … not that into you.

Talk all you want about The 5 Love Languages or 50 Shades of Grey. No amount of self-help advice or passionate persuasion is likely to alter the destiny of that relationship.

Employer Love: Beyond Hearts and Flowers

Fortunately, it’s a different story for relationships between employers and employees. Even companies that haven’t connected with their workforce in meaningful ways can turn a lackluster situation around. But what’s the best approach? And is it really worth the effort?

That’s the topic the TalentCulture community is taking on this week at #TChat Events. And we’re fortunate to be welcoming two guests who understand the importance of developing solid employer/employee bonds: Chris Boyce, CEO at Virgin Pulse, and Kevin Herman, Director of Worksite Wellness at The Horton Group.

Sneak Peek

Both of these executives see tremendous potential in strengthening employee loyalty and engagement by focusing on lifestyle fundamentals — health and well-being. Last year, Chris explained in a Bloomberg broadcast interview why it’s wise to invest in workforce wellness, especially in the face of rising healthcare costs and reduced benefits. Watch now:

Recently, Chris contributed a TalentCulture post expanding on this concept. In “Workplace Wellness: The Story Starts With Healthy Culture,” he makes the business case for embracing next-generation wellness programs — not just to promote employee health, but to build a more resilient business, overall.

What do you think about the importance of wellness programs and other employee engagement strategies in demonstrating employer “love”? This topic affects all of us in the world of work, so we hope you’ll join the #TChat crowd this week and add your perspective to the conversation.

#TChat Events: Love Your Employees, They’ll Love You Back

#TChat Radio — Wed, Feb 12 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Chris Boyce and  Kevin Herman about why and how employers should demonstrate their commitment to workforce well-being. Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Feb 12 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and our guests will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community, in a dynamic live chat.

Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these 5 related questions:

Q1: Why does workforce recognition and engagement matter more than ever?
Q2: What are the best ways employers can demonstrate this kind of “love”?
Q3: Where have you seen engagement in action, for better or worse?
Q4: What technologies help nurture workforce engagement?
Q5: What kind of engagement metrics are relevant and useful?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, and on our new G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Employee Referral Programs: How To Expand Your Circle

Written by Ziv Eliraz, CEO, Zao

There’s a reason why employee referrals are touted as the #1 hiring source. Each referral is a credible thumbs-up from a trusted member of your organization, confirming that the candidate is qualified for the job and will fit-in with your culture. Plus, when tons of people are responding to your job postings, referrals can be an effective way to separate the good from the bad, while accelerating time-to-hire.

It’s all good. So, why not expand that model?

Traditionally, referral programs have been built around an organization’s internal network, with employees identifying likely prospects. However, smart companies understand that their external network is filled with potential sourcing allies — business partners, vendors, professional peers, college connections, even former employees. It just takes a different approach to get them on board.

Four ways to extend your referral program reach:

1) Incorporate Rewards

Relevant rewards can be a powerful incentive. Plus, they work. Research shows that when companies offered rewards to trusted members of their external network, 41% of referral hires came from those non-employees. As a result, referral hires were 69% higher than through employee channels, alone.

Tip:  Make sure the value of the reward is calibrated to the business result. For example, a token gift card or social recognition could be given to acknowledge a hot lead — while cash compensation would be more appropriate when a referral is interviewed or hired.

2) Go Mobile

Consider contractors and other virtual contributors members of your workforce. Although they may not be employees, they can still provide value through referrals. However, because many operate from remote locations, your referral program should be accessible on-the-go — through smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices. This lets your external network easily refer candidates wherever and whenever the opportunity strikes.

Tip:  Create an employee referral app or a mobile-accessible portal that is tailored specifically for external network members. This helps them feel like they’re part of the program, and makes it convenient to participate.

3) Automate The Process
While your external network can make a significant contribution to your referral pipeline, recommending candidates is an added duty they must perform without immediate reinforcement. Try to make the referral process as quick and easy as possible by automating the process. New technologies can automatically compile jobs, sending relevant reminders to the correct people at the right time, and recommending appropriate next-step actions. Automation not only keeps the referral program continuously active, but also guides your external stakeholders in their role.

Tip:  Rolling “push” communication is a smart idea. For example, you can automatically share job updates every Wednesday at 3 p.m., or whenever your network is most active. That way, your program participants learn when to expect information. Also, it’s wise to personalize message content — sending relevant messages to the right people. This avoids frustration for participants, who would otherwise have to search for information they need.

4) Incorporate Game Dynamics

Gamification uses game-based strategy, learning and mechanics to increase engagement in non-game systems. While it may seem like an uncommon strategy, 70% of the world’s top 2,000 public companies will have integrated gamification into at least one business application by 2014. In this case, it can be a fun way to involve external parties in your referral process, using quick feedback, creating friendly competitive challenges and other methods that keep your participants engaged.

Tip:  A great way to introduce game dynamics is through a leaderboard or a point-based tracking system. Members of your network can see how they’re contributing to the overall referral process, and see how they compare with top performers. This not only creates a sense of friendly rivalry, but also offers ongoing feedback that helps remind participants that their recommendations are not being ignored.

Tap Into Your Full Sourcing Potential

Of course, employee-only referral programs aren’t a bad idea. However, at some point, there is a limit to how many people an individual employee knows directly. While your internal network can provide some excellent referrals, your external network can amp up the quality and diversity of potential hires. Although you may not think of external allies first, they can be a great referral resource because they understand your organization’s culture, they know your business needs, and they often have a vested interest in your success.

What do you think? Do you involve your external network in the employee referral process? What kind of results have you seen?

Ziv Eliraz-001 (About the Author: Ziv Eliraz is Founder and CEO of Zao, social employee referral platform. Connect with Ziv on LinkedIn and Zao on Twitter and Facebook.)

(Also Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with others in the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events every Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome to participate; or join our ongoing Twitter conversation anytime. Learn more…)

Image Credit: Pixabay

Fun Times! Work, Games and Culture #TChat Recap

“When a player feels ownership, she innately wants to make what she owns better and own even more. If you feel ownership over your job, you will work harder.”
Gamification Pioneer, Yu-Kai Chou

There’s no denying that work is serious business. When companies fail, everyone loses.

However, that doesn’t mean work can’t be enjoyable. And with employee engagement at an all-time low, adding game dynamics to an organizational culture could be a winning move.

That was the premise for this week’s #TChat Events, featuring two innovators in workplace engagement:

•  Dan Benoni, Co-Founder & Product Director at Officevibe, a social employee engagement platform
•  Mario Coculuzzi, Eastern Canada Regional Director at Microsoft.

(Editor’s Note: See the #TChat Twitter highlights slideshow and resource links at the end of this post.)

How Does Gamification Make A Difference?

When determining how to improve employee engagement, one solution obviously doesn’t fit all environments. Each organization has distinctive cultural attributes that should be a natural basis for change. The challenge starts with understanding the particular motivators that are meaningful and appropriate for your employees. The smartest approaches apply three simple strategies, as one of our community members noted:

Choose Wisely

Once you’re confident about relevant drivers, consider the type of gaming techniques that can shape those dynamics. There are multiple options — but all are designed to enhance human factors, so work “flows” more naturally. At its best, gamification makes work feel more comfortable, enjoyable, fun. It helps individuals and teams attain business goals faster and more effectively — while helping everyone feel more challenged and rewarded as they contribute to overall organizational success. According to another participant:

Games Don’t Cure-All

#TChat-ters agreed that, if the fundamentals are missing, no amount of gamification or other “engagement” devices can compensate. For example, employees deserve the same level of respect, regardless of their title or position. They also need clear, consistent communication — not only about what they’re expected do (objectives), but also about why their work matters to the organization (purpose). These basics can have a powerful impact:

https://twitter.com/ReCenterMoment/status/393161476007276544

Continuous Commitment Counts

Another important point: Engagement doesn’t stop when a hiring contract is signed. Instead, employees should feel like they’re being recruited on an ongoing basis. How?

“Engaging” organizations encourage employees to develop and challenge themselves and others. Mistakes are leveraged as learning opportunities. And gaming dynamics are woven into the workplace fabric as a way to support and reinforce these cultural strengths.

Leaders can help gamification efforts succeed, by treating employees as a team and yet knowing what makes each individual tick. Moreover, leaders must embrace game concepts, themselves. The more vulnerable and open leaders are willing to be — the more they share stories about their own failures and learning experiences — the more likely employees will engage.

Engagement is the fruit of ongoing relationships and healthy workplace cultures. Gamification merely turns up the volume — but can do so in a big way.

#TChat Week-In-Review: Should Work Be Fun? Really?

DanBenoni

Watch the Hangout now

SAT 10/19:

#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager Tim McDonald framed this week’s topic in a post that featured a brief G+ Hangout video with one of our guests, Dan Benoni. Read the Preview: “Should Work Be Fun? Really?”

SUN 10/20:

Forbes.com Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro suggested how leaders can overcome generational differences. Read: “5 Fresh Trends to Fuse Fun and Work.”

MON 10/21:

Related Post: Industrial Psychologist and LinkedIn Influencer, Dr. Marla Gottschalk, explored the role of Positive Psychology in driving workforce performance. Read: “Where’s Your Inner HERO? Positivity at Work…”

TUE 10/22:

Related Webinar Announcement: We invited the entire world of work community to join Meghan M. Biro and Virgin Pulse President David Coppins at a very special webinar on November 7. Join us at “Empowering Employees in 3D.”

WED 10/23:

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the #TChat Radio show now

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman spoke with guests Dan Benoni and Mario Coculuzzi about how gamification can help transform today’s world of work. Listen to the radio recording now!

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and guests joined the entire community on the #TChat Twitter stream as moderator Cyndy Trivella led us through a fun, freewheeling conversation about 5 related questions. For highlights, check the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: Fun In The Workplace

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Dan Benoni and Mario Coculuzzi for helping us explore the role of game dynamics in cultivating workplace culture. Your insights and enthusiasm captured our community’s attention and imagination!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about fun at work? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we dive into another emerging trend — how mobile tools are transforming the recruiting process — with guests Jessica Miller-Merrell and Rayanne Thorn. So save the date (October 30) for a double #TChat treat!

Meanwhile, the World of Work conversation continues. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or elsewhere on social media. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and your thoughts are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

(Image Credit: Stock.xchng)

Should Work Be Fun? Really? #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for a complete recap of this week’s events and resources? Read the #TChat Recap: Fun Times! Work, Games and Culture.)

Work and fun — do they fit together? Or should we save good times for vacation and weekends?

Traditionalists might say that work is serious business. However, one of the most creative and productive minds of the Industrial Age seemed to think otherwise:

“I never did a day’s work in my life; it was all fun.”
-Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison

Learn more about Thomas Edison

It’s impossible not to admire Edison’s enthusiasm. But these days, with global employee engagement stubbornly stuck at 30% or less, companies everywhere are looking for ways to inject more of that spirit into their organizational cultures.

That’s why the principles of gaming are gaining appeal as a way to improve workforce commitment, development and performance.

But how can we create environments where work is naturally more engaging and enjoyable, without losing sight of business objectives?

That’s the topic we’ll explore this week at #TChat Events, with two innovators in workplace culture development:

•  Dan Benoni, Co-Founder & Product Director at Officevibe, a social employee engagement platform
•  Mario Coculuzzi, Eastern Canada Regional Director at Microsoft.

Dan and I spoke briefly in a G+ Hangout, where he suggested that successful approaches don’t focus on the work, itself, but instead focus on three essential human factors:

Also to help us prepare for the discussion, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, wrote a related article at Forbes.com. Read “5 Fresh Trends to Fuse Fun and Work.”

This topic promises to be great fun — and helpful, too. So please plan to join us this week to share your ideas and opinions about why and how game-oriented tools and techniques make sense in the world of work.

#TChat Events: Should Work Be Fun, Really?

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Listen to the #TChat Radio show

#TChat Radio — Wed, Oct 23 — 6:30 pmET / 3:30 pmPT

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Dan Benoni and Mario Coculuzzi about why and how “fun” can be an effective way to improve employee energy, drive and focus. Follow the action LIVE online this Tuesday afternoon!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Oct 23 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move this discussion to the #TChat Twitter stream for an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:

Q1: How often do you see healthy company cultures? Examples?
Q2: Why is engagement key to creating/maintaining a vibrant culture?
Q3: Can “fun” team challenges and other activities really help?
Q4: How can leaders improve employee well-being and retention?
Q5: How can HR drive adoption of recognition and engagement platforms?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Virgin Pulse + TalentCulture Team Up To Champion Workforce Engagement

Changing The Engagement Game Together

Nearly four years ago, we launched TalentCulture on a simple premise — that talent-minded professionals can transform the “world of work” through purposeful social connections. Our vibrant community continues to grow and evolve, fueled by three core values:

•  Desire to advance the “human side” of business;
•  Passion for innovation;
•  Commitment to open collaboration.

In this spirit we welcome Virgin Pulse to the TalentCulture circle — where we’ll work hand-in-hand to help develop better business organizations from the inside out.

Virgin Pulse — Not Your Father’s Wellness Program

Virgin-Pulse

Learn more about Virgin Pulse

Part of Sir Richard Branson’s famed Virgin Group, Virgin Pulse (formerly Virgin HealthMiles) is the leading workplace health engagement platform. Every day, its “Total Quality of Life” approach empowers more than 1,000,000 participants to improve their health in ways that are meaningful, fun and sustainable. This elevates employee performance and retention, while simultaneously building stronger, more resilient organizations.

The Virgin Pulse philosophy fits naturally with TalentCulture’s emphasis on “seeing employees in 3D.” Together, we aim to advance the concept of “bringing your whole self to work.”

Everybody Plays — Everybody Wins!

What does this alliance mean for you? In the months ahead, look for TalentCulture and Virgin Pulse to:

•  Examine core engagement issues facing today’s business and HR leaders;
•  Investigate the connection between healthy employees and business performance;
•  Exchange benchmarks and insights from our respective communities;
•  Share thought leadership that is shaping engagement standards and practices.

Today’s organizational challenges are highly complex. There are no easy answers, but diverse ideas can lead to innovative solutions. That’s why we welcome everyone to the TalentCulture table — including HR technology and services vendors. We believe that this inclusive environment encourages effective problem solving, and accelerates everyone’s path to progress.

Our relationship with Virgin Pulse promises to add an exciting new level of depth and energy to the TalentCulture conversation. We invite you to join us each day on our combined social channels, as we explore workplace issues that affect us all.

(Editor’s Note:  Save the date for a very special #TChat double-header (BlogTalk Radio interview and Twitter chat) with Virgin Pulse CEO, Chris Boyce on Wednesday, October 23!)

Image Credit: by Mike Baird on Flickr

Game On! Playing To Business Strengths #TChat Recap

This week, the TalentCulture community took a fascinating look at gamification in the workplace. And in my opinion, everyone earned badges and gold stars, as we shared collective knowledge at #TChat events.

Our two expert guests are masters at explaining the connection between business gamification and big data. These smart senior executives brought key concepts to life with practical ideas and real-world examples:

Guy Halfteck, Founder and CEO of Knack, a company that integrates games into the hiring process to help companies define desired talent characteristics and improve recruiting outcomes.

Mark Howorth, COO at Panavision, who previously served as Partner and Sr. Director of Global Recruiting at Bain & Company. He has seen the power of gamification at work, as three of his #TChat Twitter comments revealed:

(Editor’s Note: For full highlights from the #TChat Twitter event, see the Storify slideshow at the end of this post)

Gamification: What’s In A Name?

“Gamification” is a controversial term, but the concept it simple. It’s about employing game theory and mechanics in business environments to drive problem solving, boost workforce and customer engagement, capture better organizational insights, accelerate responsiveness, improve learning and increase ROI. Last year, Gartner predicted that by 2015, more than 50% of organizations that manage innovation processes will integrate gamification.

Gartner identified four ways that gamification drives engagement:

• Accelerated feedback cycles. In the real world, feedback loops are slow (annual performance appraisals) with long periods between milestones. Gamification increases the velocity of feedback loops to maintain engagement.

• Clear goals and rules of play. In the real world, where goals are fuzzy and rules selectively applied, gamification provides clear goals and well-defined rules of play to ensure players feel empowered to achieve.

• A compelling narrative. While real-world activities are rarely compelling, gamification builds a narrative that engages players to participate.

• Tasks that are challenging but achievable. While there is no shortage of challenges in the real world, they tend to be large and long-term. Gamification provides many short-term, achievable goals to sustain engagement.

Gamification: What Makes It Tick?

Gamification is serious business. As Accenture explained in a detailed report early this year, companies are striving to understand what makes games so appealing (a shared sense of purpose, challenge and reward). They are decoding gaming mechanisms (personalization, rankings and leaderboards), and applying these mechanics in imaginative ways across business functions. Accenture identified seven essential elements:

Status: Because gamers are motivated by recognition of others in their social circles, game-based business solutions must make it possible to enhance players’ reputations.

Milestones: Levels are everything in gaming, and enabling participants to perceive progress through incremental accomplishments is vital to sustaining interest.

Competition: This is a major motivator that maintains engagement.

Rankings: Visually displaying progress and rankings help participants benchmark their performance to their own goals and others’ performance. Rankings tap into natural human competitiveness, and motivate participants to continue, so they can improve their position.

Social connectedness: Successful gamification initiatives create a strong sense of community.

Immersion reality: With visually rich graphics and animation, digital environments can help immerse participants in their virtual reality.

Personalization: The ability to customize promotes a sense of control and ownership.

In their book, “For The Win: How Gamification Can Transform Your Business,” Wharton professor and gamification expert, Kevin Werbach and New York Law School professor Dan Hunter, take a deep dive into gamification.

In this informative video, they explain how gamification helps people “find the fun in the things you have to do.” They make it easy to understand gamification, with examples of successful companies that are applying these techniques, and advice to help organizations avoid common pitfalls. We hope you find this, along with the collected resource links and #TChat Twitter highlights slideshow below a helpful resource for game-based initiatives in which you may be involved!

#TChat Week-In-Review: Games + Big Data + Talent Management = Trifecta!

SUN 9/15:

GuyHalfteck

Watch the Hangout now

#TChat Preview: TalentCulture Community Manager Tim McDonald framed the topic in a post that featured a brief G+ Hangout videos with Guy Halfteck. Read the Preview:
“Games and Data and Talent — Oh My!”

MON 9/16:

Forbes.com Post: TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro outlined 5 compelling reasons for businesses to integrate gaming into workflows, learning and management processes. Read: “5 Ways Leaders Win At Gamification Technology.”

WED 9/18:

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Listen to the #TChat Radio show now

#TChat Radio: Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Guy Halfteck and Mark Howorth about how games are emerging as a highly effective, reliable way to select, recruit and retain employees. Listen to the radio show recording now!

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, I joined Guy, Mark, Meghan, Kevin on the #TChat Twitter stream for a dynamic and enlightening discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. For highlights from the conversation, check the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Highlights: Games People Play: Ultimate Way To Measure Talent?

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Guy Halfteck and Mark Howorth for adding your voices to this week’s discussion. Your insights and passion for the business benefits of gaming strategies have captivated us all.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about gamification? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we tackle another important “world of work” topic — Transparency vs. Privacy in the Workplace with HR/Employment lawyer, Mary E. Wright. So save the date (September 18) for another rockin #TChat double header. And keep an eye out for details in the next few days.

Meanwhile, the World of Work conversation continues! So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, on our LinkedIn discussion group. or elsewhere on social media. The lights are always on here at TalentCulture, and your thoughts are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Graeme Lawton via Flickr

Games and Data and Talent — Oh My! #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for a full review of this week’s events and resources? Read the #TChat Recap: “Game On: Playing to Business Strengths.”)

Two of the hottest trends in the world of work today are “gamification” and “big data.” But what do these concepts really mean to you?

For some Leaders and HR professionals, this looks and feels like buzzword territory. But others are starting to recognize how game-based tools and big data intelligence can truly transform talent strategy. In fact, some of today’s most innovative organizations are actually combining these techniques — creating powerful new solutions that improve management decisions, as well as business outcomes.

New Paths To Better Talent Choices

The truth is, gamification, big data and advanced analytics are creating a perfect storm that is rapidly redefining employee acquisition and retention. These emerging trends are central to the future of work. And that’s why they are our focus this week at #TChat Events.

As our community explores the connection between games, big data and talent strategy, we welcome two experts:

Guy Halfteck, Founder and CEO of Knack, a company that combines cutting-edge video games, big data analytics and behavioral science to help companies identify and recruit top talent. (Connect with Knack on Twitter)

Mark Howorth, COO at Panavision, and former Partner and Sr. Director of Global Recruiting at Bain & Company.

To kick-off the discussion, I spoke briefly with Guy in a G+ Hangout recently about how big data shapes the human side of business:

For a deeper look into Guy’s perspective on this topic, you may also want to watch his recent appearance at The Economist forum “The Ideas Economy: Human Potential 2012”

#TChat Events: Games + Big Data + Talent Management

Our guests this week are seasoned innovators who deeply understand the strategic implications of gaming and data. This promises to be a fascinating discussion for talent-minded professionals everywhere. So please plan to join us, and bring your ideas, questions and concerns!

#TChat Radio — Wed, Sep 18 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Guy Halfteck and Mark Howorth about how games are emerging as a highly effective, reliable way to select, recruit and retain employees. Follow the action online, and dial-in LIVE with your feedback and questions!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Sep 18 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move the discussion to the #TChat Twitter stream, where Dr. Nancy Rubin will lead an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Anyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:

Q1: Why is gamification becoming more important to the world of work?
Q2: How can gaming data improve recruiting and hiring decisions?
Q3: What are some real-world use cases of successful workplace gamification?
Q4: How can business leaders best deploy games in the workplace?
Q5: How can companies use gaming technology to improve employee engagement?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!