CultureEmployee Experience

Gamified way of engaging employees and maybe playing some basketball?

Key takeaways from this blog:

  • Reconnecting and engaging employees in a different way
  • Show them a river, and they will build a bridge.

Reconnecting and engaging employees in a different way

In PRODYNA we have always worked on creating an atmosphere that made everyone happy about going to work every day. The friendly atmosphere was the X factor that, together with our people, made us stand out in the incredibly competitive market. 

From day one we knew the kind of values we wanted to build, and that the strongest part of the company was, in fact, people. They are the ones that keep it all together and the fuel that can start the whole engine.

As the past years have been more challenging, in the context of changes that the world and times brought us, we wanted to look for new ways of engaging people. For some employees, it was quite enough just to have a chance to spend every day at the office, see people, and have a coffee or burger in person, but for some, this wasn’t it. Many of them were still working remotely, and let’s face it, it was a breakthrough when we all started spending time together again. 

As we learned in the past, but also proved in practice, for us, the individual approach is the right way to go. Besides individuality, diversity is also our specialty, something we nurture. It wasn’t different this time either, so we started thinking about how we can look after our people, be sure they are comfortable, and still discover new ways to connect (with) them.

It had to be something that motivates people to some action, both in a professional and creative way, and at the same time, something that makes them enjoy their activities together. If we wanted more people to engage, we had to cover different topics. We came across the idea of connecting people by giving them the opportunity to win something by collaborating with others. It had to be something that stands for our culture, values, and spirit.

We thought: “Okay, let’s invent something that people will respond to, and adapt as if they created it on their own. Let’s give them the freedom to play.”

Let’s have fun!

We created a game with several levels and steps that they need to go through to win points that turn into a variety of prizes. We call this the Gamification reward system. On each level, there is a different “mission” that enables them to collect some points, and with every group of points, they get a new reward. It might sound a bit complicated, but let’s see how it goes in real life.

For example, someone organizes one-hour basketball playtime in the local courtyard, invites others, collects team players, and there you go! Step one is completed. 

Next and the most crucial step – they all have fun, and probably hang out after the game. This type of event organizing gives 5 points, and that is the last step. Of course, the event can be whatever employees want, the idea is just to do it together. A group of people went to the theater last month, and that was their cup of tea. So, you see, it can literally be anything employees like, if they do it together as a team.

This is just one of many options employees can use to collect points, and therefore get rewarded. We also have points for getting a certification, writing a blog, being a lecturer at a conference, pitching a new idea that the company will use in the future, and much more. Each of these actions brings a different number of points.

Another one of the top-ranked moves in Gamification, for 50 points is if anyone recommends a Senior developer. And if we talk about prizes, the biggest one comes when someone collects 300 points. We call this level “Hero.” On the “Hero” level you can enjoy more vacation days, much bigger amounts of money for conferences, more work flexibility, plus some perks in addition. We don’t want to tell them everything because we want to leave it up to their imagination. After all, it would be nice to truly listen to your own employees and see what motivates them the most. 

We must encourage you: Don’t be scared to get creative. Show them a river, they will build a bridge!

Now we get to the most interesting part. At some point employees started organizing so many different activities from week to week by themselves. Now we have a group of people playing basketball on a weekly basis, a group that plays tennis regularly, a Wine tasting workshop, and board game nights. How great is that! We just gave them an idea, and it evolved into so many different activities. Nowadays, our employees build the company spirit and culture all by themselves. They are finding new and creative ways to engage, and have healthy competition among themselves, but still, they do all the activities together, which was the point in the first place.

This is the way we nurture our relationships and true PRODYNA spirit, and it is even more satisfying if our people feel this energy and build up company spirit on their own. This is where the true values are.

It is not about Gamification anymore, it is about creating a culture and a great working place together, as a team. 

The most important thing is that any company can create its own path of engaging employees more, and we are more than proud that we found the perfect way to become even more connected. 

Author: Ksenija Tasić, HR IT Recruiter, PRODYNA

About the company: PRODYNA is an international IT service and technology consultancy organization. Our focus is on innovative and customized IT solutions in the Java and open source environments. We offer our employees exciting projects, a various customer portfolio and the opportunity to grow with us, a dynamic and experienced team.

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