Play @ work

Mar 23 2014, 10:37 IST
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SummarySeveral Indian companies are waking up to ‘gamification’—the application of game-like elements in a corporate environment—to motivate employees, engage end users and customers, and recruit new talent

Not so long ago, IT companies were facing with a unique recruitment issue: the ‘drop-out’ rates of new hires between the day of offer and the day of joining were increasing considerably and the ‘no-shows’ were seriously affecting their staffing plans. It was then that HCL Technologies, Noida-headquartered global IT company decided to utilise an online learning ‘game’ that would help the management understand its candidates better and prepare them for Day 1 in the organisation.

The cloud-based platform had 10 different levels. Each of the five sections had five questions each, followed by videos, pictures, etc, to make the information more interesting and memorable. Candidates were given three chances to answer a question. Each correct answer was awarded points based on the number of attempts made. The points translated into various badges that also functioned as ‘lifelines’. In the first three months of its roll-out, about 62% of the new hires had participated voluntarily in the training programme. The probability of a candidate dropping out was found to be nine times lower among the lot who participated vis-a-vis those who did not. As a result, HCL was able to cut down its pre-joining drop-out rates by as much as 90%.

“The more a candidate is willing to engage in a particular game, and participates and interacts with peers, the higher the potential or tendency of him joining the organisation. The reverse is also true for those who do not log in or engage,” says Naveen Narayanan, global head, talent acquisition, HCL

Technologies.

HCL’s methodology is part of a trend called ‘gamification’—the application of game-like elements to sort business challenges, which is catching on fast among Indian corporates. As per a report by research analyst Gartner, more than 70% of the Forbes Global 2000 organisations will have at least one game-based application by this year. And by 2015, half of all companies that manage innovation processes would have ‘gamified’ them.

Gamification is about taking the essence of games—fun, play, transparency, design and challenge—and applying it to real-world objectives rather than for pure entertainment. In a business setting, that means designing solutions for everything from office tasks and training to marketing or direct customer interaction by combining the thinking of a business manager with the creativity and tools of a game designer. Today, companies are using gamification to recruit new talent, engage with prospective employees, engage users and solve problems.

Although a new

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