Customized incentive games are a great way to boost sales at the same time as boosting morale. Why? Because they’re fun. Incentive games are so well received because employees because they’re competitive. They can also take the place of a raise or bonus that just isn’t in the budget. But just like with any game, customized incentive games have rules. Not just for the player, but for the game-maker as well.
It’s Called Gamification.
And it means using elements of game development to promote an increase in productivity. It’s taught in business classes and preached about in textbooks. It’s not just a fun thing to talk about in the breakroom. It’s a trusted motivational tool.
How Can Customized Incentive Games Help?
There are many different variations of incentive games, but customized incentive games set the gold standard. Anyone can tape a twenty over the water cooler and say most sales wins, but what about tomorrow? And the next day? Seems like that would get expensive. And what happens when you don’t put up the bill one day? Chills. But a creative boss can do better (and probably save a little dough along the way) by creating a unique game experience with a board game that is tailor fit to your business. Many companies use custom board games for corporate retreats, team-building activities, meeting a sales goal, or even as a holiday bonus. Later we can get into ideas for customized incentive games, but for now, let’s talk about the universal rules for business owners considering customized incentive games.
This should be an obvious element of customized incentive games. Customized means personalized. A game that is made specifically for your business or trade. Let’s look at the Monopoly model. A standard chipboard game board with a border of squares where players need to progress. If you owned a restaurant, you wouldn’t fill the squares with goals like Be Positive or Promote Synergy. You would want something like Sell 5 Desserts in One Shift, or Sell 3 Bottles of Wine. Be specific. A good game shouldn’t have wiggle room. And while we’re being personal, consider adding some inside jokes or an experience unique to your business.
Nobody likes an unfair game. Customized incentive games are no exception. Incentives are always pretty tensile. Some employees are content with their performance and don’t want to be pushed. But a game that’s fun is contagious. Competition is contagious. Know what isn’t contagious? An impossible goal. No server is going to sell 20 bottles of wine in one night, or 20 cars in a day. A game like that is over before it even begins.
Another problem with taping a twenty over the water cooler? There’s nothing to do. Except your job, of course. But how’s that incentivizing? It’s important to get up out of your chair, especially in an office setting. Even the smallest excuse to be less sedentary is a win. If you’re a CEO of a chain, consider sending a customized incentive game to every branch of your business. Something that can be set up at the front of the office. After a few people get up to move that piece, everyone will want the chance.
Just like any game at a retail store, the package needs to sell. Your employees won’t be sold on a piece of paper tacked to the wall. That’s about as memorable as a staff meeting. Use the opportunities of a customized incentive game to really wow your staff. A durable chipboard game with turned edge printing gives the game a real feel. Like they’re playing a real game. Playing to win.
Which brings me to the biggest rule: the payout. Maybe it’s money. Maybe it’s a free night’s stay at a hotel. Heck, maybe it’s a pair of socks. Whatever the payout is, make sure you can actually pay it out. You customized incentive game is only as good as your word. And if you promise winnings that can’t be paid, you lose the trust of your employees. You get one shot. If your incentive game doesn’t deliver on its promise, nobody will play again.
Experts estimate that 70% of the world’s top performing businesses use gamification to boost their sales. It is a proven method for improving productivity. And it isn’t just for employees. Elements of gamification can be geared towards consumers as well.