Keeping your IT service desk analysts motivated can sometimes be a difficult job. Between the negativity of end-user complaints, the stream of incoming incidents, and the monotony of some service desk tasks, staff demotivation is not uncommon. Don’t worry though, gamification – which essentially consists of merging game mechanics and work – can help you to keep staff motivation levels up.
So, if you feel that your IT service desk analysts are demotivated (or heading that way), unhappy, or simply bored at work, then gamification could be just what you need to inject a bit of enjoyment and fun into their working day. Please read on to find out more.
What is gamification?
Gamification brings the excitement and fun of games into the workplace. This can be great in areas such as the IT service desk where work can often be a thankless task.
Here, introducing game mechanics into the repetitive IT service desk processes and tasks can increase staff motivation which, in turn, increases the level and quality of the work your team undertakes. There are different types of gamification but for the purpose of this blog, gamification is all about introducing friendly competition and fun into otherwise dreary tasks.
An example of IT service desk gamification
Let’s imagine that you measure how many tickets your analysts work on each day. Why not gamify this and give awards to the analyst(s) who tackle the most tickets per week?
These awards don’t need to be lavish for gamification to work. For example, analysts can compete for digital badges. It might seem like a simple prize but gamification is based around human psychology and our human desire to succeed, not so much on what the eventual reward or prize might be.
The games and competitions you create don’t have to just be short-term either, you can implement longer “quests” that challenge your analysts throughout the year. You could even raise the stakes by offering a bigger prize for monthly or even six-monthly competitions – perhaps the afternoon off work, a free cake and coffee, or whatever you can think of that will fit in with your team and organizational values.
Gamification in context
Gamification is probably more popular than you think. The global gamification market was valued at US$5.5bn in 2018 and that figure is likely to grow. More and more organizations are taking advantage of gamification to not only motivate staff but also to change behavior, increase revenue, and ramp up customer loyalty and engagement.
The report from which the above market valuation is taken also states that “companies such as LivingSocial have replaced the dreaded annual review with a mobile, gamified solution, with over 90% of employees participating voluntarily. Other organizations, like Target, have improved employee throughput and satisfaction while reducing costs through the direct use of gamification.
But how can gamification help your IT service desk?
Here are three ways...
Increased staff motivation
Gamification brings some healthy competition to your IT service desk and gives your analysts something to aim for. Because there are rewards at the end of each “game” or “quest” this motivates staff to achieve their goals. Instead of work for work’s sake (which can be a demotivating thought after a while of churning through the same old tasks), there’s now a more exciting purpose to getting tasks done. Ultimately, when staff are motivated at work, they’re more likely to feel happier, be more productive, and feel valued.
Meeting targets better
Gamification can help analysts to push themselves to meet, or even exceed, their targets. Whether this is how many tickets they work on per day, how many telephone calls they take, or how often their name appears in customer satisfaction surveys, gamification can be used across many common service desk key performance indicators (KPIs).
Unfortunately, while KPIs are necessary on a service desk they can have the potential to demotivate staff who dislike working to targets. Gamification can help to take the pressure away from these targets. Such that, instead of feeling like they’re being monitored and punished when they don’t meet their goals, gamification gives KPIs a positive spin by offering rewards to staff for a job well done.
Reduced negativity in the workplace
The IT service desk is largely a negative environment because it’s where customer complaints are handled, and incidents are first reported. It’s very rare for an end user to visit the service desk to say “Thanks, everything’s working great.” Having everything working as expected is simply the level of service employees now expect and anything less likely leads to more tickets and potentially complaints.
In this kind of working environment, it’s really important to be able to have a mechanism such that the constant stream of fixing issues and dealing with unhappy people doesn’t bring people down.
Gamification helps here because analysts are challenged to beat their colleagues using their working day to play the games. And who doesn’t like playing games? So, use gamification to bring some fun to the desk and allow your analysts to enjoy the work they do. When they’re happier it’ll come across in the quality of customer service they offer and the amount of work they get through.
Have you used gamification on your IT service desk? How did it help? Please let us know in the comments.