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Gamification: How Healthy Competition Can Motivate Your Workforce

By Special Guest
Kevin Farber, Founder of Silver Summit Capital
October 04, 2016

When it comes to your call center, a higher number of sales is probably your end goal. If your workforce is not adequately motivated, then you are not likely to be out-calling and outselling your competition. That is why using gamification, which is the process of turning your regular business model into a “game” for your employees, can lead to increased sales. A little friendly competition is a great motivator for employees.

Planning Gamification

When you are going through and determining exactly what to do for your friendly competition, it is important to keep your employees in the loop. Sometimes businesses will just go and create a competition without consulting with employees. While this may be a motivator for some, others will not find the prize appealing and will end up performing just as they have in the past.

Call a meeting with your business unit leaders and a wide sample of your front-line employees. Ask them what types of prizes, recognition, or rewards would mean a lot to them. Make sure you are documenting everything that is being said so you can analyze it later. It is important to consider both higher performing and low performing areas of your business as well. You will want to use ideas from the widest range of your business that you can get.

Implementing Gamification

Once you have a list of all of the possible ideas for your competition from your employees, you will have to go through and determine which method and prize will make the most employees happy. For example, if 50 percent of your employees would be happy with gift card prizes, but 80 percent of your employees would be happy with additional paid time off, then you should consider the latter the best option for your program.

Now you have to plan how you are going to implement the program. Generally speaking, if you have different departments of salespeople, having those departments team up and go against other departments will help your business more than individual competition between callers and employees. Having departments be the teams will not only foster a sense of competition between departments, but it will also help to build cohesive teams within departments. This will decrease the cut-throat attitudes that you can sometimes see in sales competitions.

Next you will have to figure out how to benchmark and set the prizes. Usually, it is helpful to look at actual sales from the past several years to determine an average and then use that as the baseline for each department. Just setting a goal may not be fair, since some departments might be selling low-volume, high-dollar items while others are selling high-volume, low-dollar items. Setting a volume or sales number across the board will create a disadvantage for certain teams. It is best to set a percentage (such as 150 percent of last year's’ sales) for your goal to beat. The first department to meet their goal wins.

Keeping Track

If employees are using phone dialer software to make calls and then record sales, it can actually be very easy to keep track of the statistics and stay on top of the program. It will then be your job to show where each sales department is in relation to the other on the goal. You can create a leader board in the office and update it each day or each week, depending on how long it is taking to get to the goal.

Keep These Things in Mind

While friendly competition is great, there is the chance that the friendly competition will push some employees to make bad decisions. Sometimes they will make up sales and bill customers in order to get closer to their goal. This is extremely unethical, and you should mention this in the beginning. But just in case, it would be wise to also think about getting some business liability  insurance quotes that will cover your business in case one of your employees is not playing by the rules.

About the Author

Kevin Faber has been in the commercial finance and banking industry for most of his professional life. He graduated at UC Davis with a B.A. in Business/Managerial Economics. His experience in credit analysis, finance, and management led him to be the founder of Silver Summit Capital. He enjoys working in the financing industry and building connections with industry leaders.

Edited by Alicia Young

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