How gamification can be used effectively within the hybrid contact centre IPI Craig Farley
As we slowly emerge from lockdown and the business world starts to return to the ‘new normal’, the question of how to effectively motivate your team is a constantly recurring theme. How do you engage your people to deliver results? How do you inspire your team to be the best possible version of themselves at work? With a new hybrid workforce – with workers split between the office and home – boosting employee motivation has never been more important than it is today.
Gamification in practice
Motivation comes in many forms, but one proven method lies in turning an activity into a pseudo game and rewarding participants. This is gamification in its simplest form. There are numerous modern-day equivalents of this principle in our every-day lives – parents rewarding kids for completing a task, smartwatch users receiving badges for reaching a certain milestone, or collecting stamps on a loyalty card for a free coffee. However, the most useful definition comes from Gartner who defined gamification as “the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals”.
Revitalising the hybrid workforce
The contact centre can often struggle to motivate and engage employees in the long term. The industry is particularly prone to high rates of staff turnover (CCMA estimates this to be as high as 26% annually as compared to the 15% national average), as well as higher than average rates of absenteeism. With contact centre work typically repetitive, and agents often following the same set scripts call after call, staff interest levels can wane. Performance is also often assessed on metrics such as Average Handling Time, or Compliance – which limits the way that an agent can deal with customer contact, leaving limited opportunities for agents to excel.
Added to this is the changing nature of the workplace – which has evolved considerably in the wake of COVID-19. With a displaced workforce, worker disconnect can be a common problem, with research from Workplace by Facebook finding that only 14% of remote employees feel connected to their corporate headquarters and executive team. This has a resulting knock-on effect on engagement – negatively impacting productivity levels. In addition, traditional office-based tools such as interactive whiteboards, featuring employee stats on key KPIs reached, or office incentives like food treats or extra breaks, have now become significantly less effective for the new hybrid workforce.
Introducing gamification into the contact centre
In the context of this, a strategy built around gamification principles is a sound approach for many organisations looking to revitalise their contact centre operations.
Indeed, a study from Talent IMS found that gamification made employees feel more productive (89%), whilst 88% were happier at work. In addition, 87% of employees said that introducing game elements made them feel more socially connected and provided a sense of belonging at work. The benefits don’t stop there either. By addressing issues around employee engagement, organisations typically report a 17% increase in productivity and a 41% reduction in absenteeism (Gallup).
A well-structured gamification programme can introduce a seemingly fun way to boost employee engagement and drive employees towards desired corporate objectives. To be successful, set clear KPIs, make the programme time-bound and make sure the reward incentivises employees. This is an opportunity to help your contact centre agents shine – and boost your business in the process. If used well, it can be an incredibly powerful tool in your organisation’s corporate arsenal.
Craig Farley is Head of Consulting at IPI
IPI is focused on creating intelligent contact centre solutions that deliver exceptional customer experiences. Founded in 2001, the company has more than 300 customers and support more than four million transactions and 55,000 agents every day.
IPI partners with the industry’s leading vendors – including Avaya, Blue Prism, CX Company, Gamma, Microsoft, Teleopti, Verint and VMWare – to provide a complete suite of contact centre solutions, available in the cloud, on-premise, or as a managed service. These bespoke solutions cover every component of the contact centre – from call routing, unified communications, networking and security, right up to emerging technologies, such as AI chatbots and Robotic Process Automation. It also offers a range of professional services and devOps support, delivered by its highly accredited team of contact centre experts.
For additional information on IPI view their Company Profile