This 'Quest' Gamification Method Will Help You Retain More Employees
Your employees will thank you for taking them on an adventure that changes their personal and professional lives.
Employees leave companies for many reasons, but when you really break it down, we all just want to feel good and connected to our teams. When we don't feel those things, we start to look for them elsewhere.
Money can be a driver, but we all know that people leave businesses for less money when there is a more fulfilling role that's available. With that being said, for many, a core value is growth, and when mental health and our available energy get depleted, we don't feel like we're growing — so we begin to search for something that provides it.
Some businesses have no wellness program in place. This is often for a few reasons, but a big one that many find hard to admit is that the company's leaders do not take well-being seriously themselves. A leader who meditates, for example, is far more likely to introduce meditation to his or her employees because he or she has experienced the benefits.
For those companies that do have a wellness program in place, implementing gamification can give their employees' well-being an added boost, and for those starting their programs from scratch, it's a great way to get people on board with a larger wellness initiative.
What is gamification?
Gamification is using the elements of games (video games, for example) to shift behavior and keep someone engaged in a process. A basic example of this would be something like a points system or leaderboard. For example, when we set an intention to retain employees by increasing mental health, the wellness-program gamification can lead an employee through each stage of the process in a fun way. When I'm designing processes for myself and my clients, these are some of the strategies that I've found work best.
The name and mission
If you're designing your program yourself, make sure you give your program a fun name that gets people excited. "The Mental Health Program" might turn some people off, but "The Happiness Quest" might give people the sense that they're about to take themselves on a new and worthwhile journey. Think about the end result that you want for your employees.
Do you remember playing video games as a kid and battling that end-of-level boss to advance to the next stage? When I create my programs, I don't call their various sections "modules"; instead, I call them "stages." This simple switch in language allows participants to feel more like they're making real progress within the program.
At the end of each stage, there can be rewards for getting through it. These rewards might involve cash bonuses, special experiences, time off and more. The ideas are endless. Rewards stimulate our brain if they're something we actually desire, which is why a pre-launch survey that takes into account employees' preferences can help you design a program that keeps people coming back for more.
In my own program that lasts six weeks, there is a mini-quest that runs throughout the program that takes someone from 10 minutes of meditation to 60 minutes. Most people have never meditated for that long, so reaching that 60-minute milestone is a major accomplishment. This design aims to impact participants' level of self-discipline and overall happiness. When you're brainstorming your own mini-quest ideas, think about areas of personal development your employees would like to improve upon.
Accountability is something we all know we need, but we won't typically raise our hands in favor of it, so you must build this into your program to create momentum. Implementing both positive rewards and consequences for not moving through is a big part of creating a process that gets results. You will want to use systems for this accountability (forms, for example), but sometimes it also works well to have someone manually review a user's progress.
At certain points throughout the process, you can have people team up and battle through a new sequence of challenges. This is a great place to introduce authentic-connection games where people open up about what's really going on in their lives. In the meditation example, I use a "meditation marathon," where people meditate for as long as they can in one sitting — it stretches their limits, but they love it when they reach new milestones, like meditating for two hours straight. Team challenges generate more excitement and fun via competition and create a strong bond among those taking part.
When employees complete the process, they're well-equipped to help others in their journeys. These mentors are invaluable resources, and they're also far more likely to stay with a company if they feel responsible for others. When all employees get an opportunity to be part of a leadership team, morale improves and productivity increases.
Developing this type of wellness program takes time and effort, but when it's complete and can be implemented, it has the potential to change the entire culture of a company. This will be a new standard in years to come, and your employees will thank you for taking them on an adventure that changed their personal and professional lives.
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