Happier, Healthier Employees with Gamification and Productivity Hacks

Productivity hacks are nothing new, although technology tools, big data and analytics now better enable businesses to keep track of what works best for their employees. Yesterday’s post-it-notes, task folders and binders are today’s smartphone apps, cloud-based platforms and collaborative tools.

Productivity hacks are not a one-size-fits-all approach, however. One person’s getting things done (GTD) approach might differ from another’s. Someone’s four-hour workweek might not be effective across all industries and professions. But, the essence of productivity hacks involves ensuring people can do more (which means better quality and quantity) with fewer resources (such as time, inputs or effort).

Increasing employee productivity means investing in your employees. Research shows satisfied employees perform an average of 20% better than those who are unsatisfied, and they’re 87% less likely to change companies. With employee turnover estimated to cost anywhere from 100 to 300% of the employee’s salary, it pays to keep your employees happy and productive.

Working desk
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No Meeting Wednesdays

In industries where employee time is often eaten by meetings, which can sometimes take the whole day, the practice of leaving at least one day a week free of meetings seems to help boost employee productivity. Asana’s CEO, and one of the three co-founders of Facebook, Dustin Moskovitz, believes in giving his employees at least one large dedicated work block without interruptions. This approach has allowed him to increase employee productivity. Any company can translate this practice to the day of the week that works best for them.

Making it Fun through Gamification

Businesses of any size should use enterprise gamification software to train their employees and increase productivity. By integrating analytics into your workplace’s gamified system, you can analyze the results of the game in the workplace to determine what’s working, what’s not, where improvements need to be made, and where employees need to be celebrated to keep morale up. The right gamification analytics provide a better measure of productivity than return on investment (ROI) or key performance indicators (KPIs).

Unlimited Paid Vacation Time

Though it may seem counterintuitive, research shows companies offering unlimited paid vacation time, such as Netflix, Groupon, HubSpot, and EventBrite can actually benefit employees in a number of ways. Beyond making them happier and thus increasing productivity, employees are less anxious because they don’t have to worry about the financial implications of taking time off. It also helps employees earn company trust, which in turn breeds a sense of responsibility and loyalty to the company.

Creating a False Sense of Urgency

Robert Kirkman, creator of AMC’s The Walking Dead swears by creating a false sense of urgency. On a day when he only really needs to get four to five pages written, he’ll say he needs to write 12. When he aims for those 12, he usually gets six to seven pages done, meaning he surpassed his actual need, even though he tends to feel like a failure because he didn’t successful reach his unrealistic 12 page goal.

Creating happier, healthier employees boils down to behavior, mindset, commitment to a cause, and having the right tools in ensuring productivity and satisfaction. When these four elements come together, company morale and profits will soar to new heights.