Archive for the ‘Motivation’ Category

For the WinGames have always been a part of society, and smart companies are tapping into this inherent desire to have fun. Video games generate billions of dollars each year, but gamification, or adapting the elements of gaming, can also be used to engage customers and motivate employees. However, the answer is not as simple as merely setting up a company’s website to function as a gaming platform. In For the Win, Kevin Werbach and Dan Hunter show companies how to combine gaming techniques with business strategies to develop a more successful organization.

Game thinking, or addressing issues as a game designer would, is increasing in the business world. Leaders who wish to incorporate this type of thinking in their companies should consider the following advice:

  • Get into the game. Organizations can engage customers and motivate employees by utilizing gaming techniques.
  • Learn to think like a game designer. By understanding what makes a game fun or enjoyable, companies can design a system that people would want to use.
  • Understand the rules of motivation. There are two types of motivation — intrinsic (or internal) and extrinsic — that provide rewards or punishments.
  • Use the game elements. Points, badges, and leaderboards are popular features of the gamification process that help both players and the organization keep score, monitor progress, and provide and assess feedback.
  • Employ the six steps to gamification. To use gaming effectively, professionals need to (1) define business objectives, (2) delineate target behaviors, (3) describe players, (4) devise activity cycles, (5) deploy the appropriate tools, and (6) remember to make it fun.
  • Identify and avoid epic fails. Organizations must be aware of legal problems, ethical issues, and the dangers of using pointsification when creating and implementing the gaming system.

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QuittingIn Quitting, bestselling author Peg Streep and social worker Alan Bernstein expose the defects in the culture of persistence, and explore the science of healthy quitting in life situations, from relationships to work choices to recreation. They reveal that truly successful people are masters of both persistence and quitting, which includes the understanding of when to continue a course of action and when to disengage from it.

According to the authors:

  • Common wisdom holds that winners never quit, and quitters never win. This myth of the power of persistence has a deep hold in American culture, and leads people to remain in relationships, jobs, and situations when the healthier choice would be to leave.
  • Healthy quitting–stopping a course of action in a thoughtful, deliberate manner in order to pursue a new, more fitting goal–is a life skill that everyone needs to learn.
  • Truly successful people are masters of both persisting and quitting. When they quit, they completely detach from their previous goals and devote themselves to pursuing new ones.
  • Emotional intelligence is a person’s ability to understand and work with their emotions. Emotionally intelligent people can deal with the feelings caused by quitting. They also understand what makes them happy, which is essential to establishing attainable goals.
  • People need to understand themselves, and their approaches to challenges, in order to set attainable goals. Mapping, or writing down goals, helps people keep track of their progress and determine whether a goal is worth pursuing or whether it is time to disengage from it.
  • True goal disengagement is complete only when a person re-engages with a new, attainable, suitable goal that furthers his or her personal development and happiness.

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It’s My Company Too!It’s My Company Too! is based on interviews and research into eight companies that have transformed their businesses through engaged employees. Kenneth R. Thompson, Ramon L. Benedetto, Thomas J. Walter, and Molly Meyer reveal how these companies learned that employees who take responsibility for their actions and share company values help them outperform the competition. The companies profiled did not create their cultures overnight, but invested a significant amount of time into this process and chose to trust employees to do the right thing.

According to the authors:

  • Leaders who get great results from their employees are able to find the balance between transactional and transformational leadership when they instill responsibility in their employees.
  • Ethical organizations have clear values and make the effort to operate in ways that support those values.
  • When employees are engaged in a visionary plan, they eliminate silo thinking and seek to grow the organization as a whole.
  • Processes that can help organizations grow work best when they are measurable. Leaders must consciously define the metrics that are vital to their companies’ growth.
  • Employees who feel valued through recognition and rewards will perform better in their roles.
  • When employee action is the expected norm, employees become entangled in the organization and are motivated to find solutions to problems even though it does not affect their roles directly.
  • Failure should be viewed as an opportunity to improve rather than something that merits punitive action.

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