Gam­i­fi­ca­tion scores HR win

The tech­nol­ogy is per­me­at­ing hu­man re­sources, as em­ploy­ers use it to hire, train and en­gage their work­force.

Employee Benefit News - - CONTENTS - By John Soat

It turns out that video games are good for more than just killing time on the train or keep­ing kids busy af­ter school. In the world of hu­man cap­i­tal man­age­ment and em­ployee ben­e­fits, gam­i­fi­ca­tion is in­creas­ingly be­ing used to ad­dress such chal­lenges as em­ployee re­cruit­ment and re­ten­tion, train­ing and skills de­vel­op­ment, and ben­e­fits uti­liza­tion. HR gam­i­fi­ca­tion isn’t new, but new busi­ness pri­or­i­ties and cor­re­spond­ing changes to how hu­man cap­i­tal is man­aged — in­clud­ing a new-found em­pha­sis on em­ployee ex­pe­ri­ence ver­sus ed­u­ca­tion; a per­va­sive need to im­prove em­ploy­ees’ tech­ni­cal and man­age­rial skills, and a trove of op­por­tu­ni­ties to in­crease ser­vice lev­els and re­duce costs with new self-ser­vice ap­pli­ca­tions — par­tic­u­larly in con­nec­tion with em­ployee ben­e­fits — have made the use of gam­ing more rel­e­vant and in­te­gral to HR than ever. Gam­i­fi­ca­tion has al­ready won some high-pro­file ad­her­ents. Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional, for ex­am­ple, was an early adopter, us­ing an on­line ho­tel-sim­u­la­tion game called MyMar­riott to re­cruit new em­ploy­ees, es­pe­cially in emerg­ing mar­kets. But de­ter­min­ing the tech­nol­ogy’s ROI can be a chal­lenge, since many of the most im­por­tant ben­e­fits — such as es­tab­lish­ing a rap­port with a sought-af­ter con­stituency (e.g., mil­len­ni­als), or in­creased em­ployee en­gage­ment, even out­side work­ing hours — are hard to quan­tify. “Our clients typ­i­cally have goals beyond ROI,” says Pe­ter Fi­lak, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment direc­tor at Games for Busi­ness, a game tech­nol­ogy provider. Coca-Cola, for in­stance, used the Games for Busi­ness plat­form to de­velop Rev­enue­poly, a sales-strat­egy train­ing ap­pli­ca­tion. Coke “recorded a 52% vol­un­tary par­tic­i­pa­tion rate and an average length of usage of five hours per user, 51% of which was recorded out­side of work­ing hours,” Fi­lak says. The in­creased use of gam­i­fi­ca­tion by HR or­ga­ni­za­tions cor­re­lates with the in­creased use of a spe­cific hir­ing tac­tic: as­sess­ment. As­sess­ment tools are “hot again be­cause they’ve been gam­i­fied,” ex­plains Jonathan Kesten­baum, man­ag­ing direc­tor of Tal­ent Tech Labs, a re­search and de­vel­op­ment or­ga­ni­za­tion. And the rea­son is sim­ple. “As­sess­ment is an area where [gam­i­fi­ca­tion] works,” he says. There are three types of as­sess­ment tools where gam­i­fi­ca­tion can play a sig­nif­i­cant role, Kesten­baum says. The first is sim­u­la­tion. A call cen­ter trainee, for ex­am­ple, might be put through an en­gag­ing but chal­leng­ing sim­u­la­tion game that fea­tures an irate cus­tomer, to un­cover any weak­nesses in deal­ing with con­fronta­tion or reach­ing a con­sen­sus. The sec­ond is skills-based as­sess­ment. This is of­ten used to as­cer­tain spe­cific tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise. For in­stance, a com­pany called Hack­erRank of­fers com­pa­nies the abil­ity to cre­ate “CodeChal­lenges,” com­pet­i­tive games that hir­ing man­agers can use to as­sess their can­di­dates’ cod­ing skills and se­lect the most tal­ented. The third area, the one most of­ten as­so­ci­ated with busi­ness-re­lated games, is be­hav­ioral-based as­sess­ment. Be­hav­ioral as­sess­ments “have been around for a long time,” Kesten­baum notes, and there are sev­eral providers that of­fer these types of tools and/or ser­vices. Knack, founded in 2012, is one of them. It of­fers cloud-based ap­pli­ca­tions for test­ing job can­di­dates in the form of three on­line games: “Meta Maze,” “Bomba Blitz” and “Dash Dash.” The re­sults from re­cruits’ mo­bile phone game­play are com­bined with a wealth of em­ploy­ment-re­lated data that Knack has ac­cu­mu­lated, and then run through the com­pany’s AI-based data an­a­lyt­ics tool in an ef­fort to iden­tify high-po­ten­tial tal­ent. Knack’s pre­dic­tive an­a­lyt­ics are also use­ful for iden­ti­fy­ing un­rec­og­nized or un­der-de­vel­oped lead­ers within a com­pany’s work­force, says CEO Guy Halftek, and then match­ing them to lead­er­ship po­si­tions. Still another area ripe for gam­i­fi­ca­tion is em­ployee ben­e­fits. Jim Wexler, co-founder of Per­sona Labs, a maker of game-based as­sess­ment tools, of­fers well­ness pro­grams as a case in point: “The ma­te­ri­als are of­ten off-putting, bor­ing, com­pli­cated and scary,” he says. “Gam­i­fi­ca­tion can get more peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate, to ap­pre­ci­ate a pro­gram’s ben­e­fits.” Em­ploy­ers are also us­ing gam­i­fi­ca­tion to de­velop lead­er­ship and sales skills, train em­ploy­ees in cri­sis man­age­ment and in many other ar­eas, be­cause, as Wexler puts it, “games are what peo­ple want.” So many clients are in­ter­ested in us­ing this for­mat, he says, “be­cause they un­der­stand that they can use the power and ef­fec­tive­ness of games to get things done.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.