In the quest to gain an edge over the competition, businesses are turning to increasingly innovative strategies. Since the workforce is core to the restaurant business, business owners are attracted to trends that have the potential of increasing motivation and productivity. Gamification is one such trend. There is a need to demystify gamification as a strategy, as it's still in its formative stages in the restaurant business category. How then, do you adapt this concept for staff in order to increase their morale, loyalty, and enthusiasm? You need first to understand what it is.
What is employee gamification?
Gamification is the process that incorporates game mechanics into existing staff delivery and performance functions, in order to boost engagement, loyalty, and participation. It is NOT the process of creating games to be played by employees in the restaurant business. Rather, employee gamification is the application of motivational techniques that make games engaging.
What makes for a successful employee gamification strategy?
Members of staff who feel attached and personally involved in the gamification program are more likely to be active participants. One way of creating an emotional involvement is by ensuring public visibility and acknowledgment of the efforts put in. Visibility establishes credibility and helps participants track their progress. Furthermore, it creates a friendly, competitive atmosphere amongst the employees. To this end, you need to establish clear and concise goals.
It is also important to frequently provide feedback to the employees so that they can continuously improve on their weak points. It also enables the members of staff to enlighten you in good time on events that would have otherwise been overlooked or swept under the rug.
Does gamification need to cost an arm and a leg?
No. Traditionally, restaurant managers believed in splashing out on bonuses and vouchers to reward employees for the long hours they put in. While such rewards go some way in inspiring the achievement of short term goals, true motivation comes from the pride an employee gets from excelling in his or her chosen field of work.
The knowledge that one is always ahead of the pack is a powerful reward in itself. You'll notice that in every industry, the best performers are those who are personally invested in ensuring that they're always at the top.
The amount of money you choose to invest also depends on the mechanics you want to want to employ.
Basic gamification applications for your restaurant
There are the basic mechanics that you can incorporate into your restaurant business. For greater efficiency and quicker progress, you can opt to combine them to help you reach your desired target. These include the use of badges, leaderboards, point systems, and certification.
You can also choose to recognize and reward the employees for collaboration (teamwork), growth, and improvement (leveling up) as well as goal achievement. Our guide Ditch the Binder: 5 Successful Steps for Going Mobile provides clear and actionable steps on going mobile for gamified training in any organization.