The drive to compete is hardwired into the human brain. In the most primal sense, we are driven to compete for food and for mates. Once those two are squared away, that competitive urge seeks other ways to be satisfied.
People like to compete. It gets the blood moving and lifts the spirits. In short it’s fun.
The urge to compete is a valuable tool for employee engagement. If you want people to pay attention, whether it’s to a new intranet or the need to complete an employee survey, try gamifying it.
How do you do that? Try an online scavenger hunt with questions that lead them to the intranet to find the answers. Put one department against another for percentage of participation in the employee survey.
It’s not about the prize; it’s about winning. The rewards don’t have to be huge, although at Tribe we’ve found people will do almost anything to win an iPad. The prize can be a $25 gift card, or an early quitting time on Friday, or even a candy bar. What matters most is getting employees fired up about a little friendly competition.
Our employees at Tribe love to compete. We’re currently in the early weeks of our almost-annual fitness competition, but we’ve also been known to begin a status meeting with a contest to see who can fill in the most states correctly in a photocopied map of the United States. We also have an annual wine tasting competition with cash prizes for identifying the most wines and guessing the most expensive and the cheapest wine correctly.
Although our most long-running competition is the stopwatch thing. Employees are challenged to start and stop the stopwatch in the least amount of time possible. The prize? Nothing more than bragging rights. But around here, that counts for a lot.