The use of gaming techniques in non-game situations—known as gamification—has been a consumer staple for some time. From frequent flyer miles to coffee shop punch cards, retail marketers understand that motivating customers through freebies is an effective strategy. In recent years, gamification has made its way into the workplace, mainly by way of training programs where learners can earn badges and other awards.
Gamifying aspects of your direct sourcing program can be an effective way to keep the high-value independent professionals in your talent network engaged, even when they are not actively working on projects. It can be a way to add fun to your program and to promote loyalty among your independents. Additionally, as GenZers and Millennials tend to be game-oriented, gamification can be a way to appeal to independent professionals in these generations.
3 Gamification Examples for Your Direct Sourcing Program
Given the remote nature of your direct sourcing program, gamification activities will be online. Here are three examples.
1. Regular Check-ins
Many online games offer free gifts to players who log in daily. Replicate this strategy to encourage the members of your independent talent pool to check into your direct sourcing site on a regular basis. For example, offer points for weekly check-ins that can be collected and then redeemed for company swag or gift cards.
A contest may be the oldest form of gaming in modern times. You can hold a variety of contests over time and invite your independent talent to play. This can spark innovation and can also be a great relationship-builder. For example, hold a photo contest with a particular theme and have them judged by a panel of hiring managers. Or hold a contest for teams of independents, which can help program members network with each other. Offer “juicy” prizes like tech products or travel vouchers to motivate participation.
Offer badges for certain accomplishments. For example, opportunities to improve skills are a key aspect of work for independent professionals. Offer badges for learning milestones like the number of courses completed or certificates received. Create a series of badges that are awarded upon completion of a certain number of projects (e.g., 5, 10, 25).
4 Tips for Gamification that Work
These tips can help make gamifying your direct sourcing program engaging and easy to manage.
1. Keep It Simple
Make it easy and fast for people to participate. Also, streamline the processes of gamification activities so that you can manage them without a lot of extra work.
2. Match Rewards to the Activity
Make sure the rewards received are commensurate to the degree of participation involved. Activities that require more time should offer prizes that pay off that investment, while those that take little time award smaller rewards.
3. Vary Your Activities
Different members of your direct sourcing program will have different interests and personalities. Change up your gamification activities to include as many people as possible.
4. Keep It Light, But Not Too Light
Walk the line between the serious and the frivolous. On the one hand, avoid basing activities on work-related achievement (e.g., number of 5-star reviews received or early project completion). These are the purview of the hiring manager and they can offer acknowledgement or rewards as they see fit. On the other hand, activities that are oversimplified or superficial aren’t likely to be sufficiently engaging to prompt participation.