Things certainly got heated during yesterday's Tweet Jam! So, what did our experts have to say about gamification and challenges surrounding employee engagement? Read part two of our Tweet Jam Recap to find out.

This month's Tweet Jam sought to examine the critical elements of employee engagement. In Part One of our recap, we spoke to how employee engagement can be defined, why it's necessary in the enterprise, what engaged employees can bring to companies and the impact that tools can have.

In Part Two, we take a closer look at the conversation that unfolded around gamification, the way employee engagement can be quantified and the challenges of creating engaged employees.


The Role of Gamification in Engagement

Like anything, there is a right way and a wrong way to implement gamified strategies in the workplace. It's not just awarding prizes or points -- it's about creating meaningful interactions that are worth rewarding. But it's not for everyone. Gamification will work best when you understand the culture of your organization. If engaged employees, as we described in Part One, are intrinsically motivated, they may not be inspired to complete tasks for rewards that don't speak to their values.

Furthermore, the goal of gamification should be to motivate employees, not manipulate them. Of course, the line between these is a bit blurry. Additionally, our participants remind us not to over think gamification -- games ares supposed to be fun, not work.

Quantifying Engagement

When asked how they quantify employee engagement, most participants spoke about KPIs, participation, specific activity, as well as measurements of revenue, attrition, employee satisfaction and innovation. Such a plethora of useful metrics speaks to the fact that there isn't just one way to quantify engagement. Rather, your organization will need to use the appropriate metrics that speak to the types of actions you seek to improve by facilitating employee engagement.

Additionally, the correlation between engagement and outcomes may be hard to prove, but that doesn't mean it can't be impacted by engagement. Are people happier? Are they smiling more? Are they performing well? These could be the result of a new CEO or better knowledge sharing platforms, but may also result in high profit margins and smarter products.

It's worth pointing out a specific equation presented by Rajat Paharia. He writes: 

Employee engagement drives employee satisfaction; Employee satisfaction drives loyalty; Employee loyalty drives productivity; Employee productivity drives value; Value drives customer satisfaction; Customer satisfaction drives customer loyalty; Customer loyalty drives profitability and growth <end>.

Challenges of Creating Engaged Employees

Throughout the chat we learned the characteristics of an engaged employee, why they are critical to business, their ROI and the ways tools can benefit them. Then we looked at the impact gamification can have on engaging employees, and the many metrics we can use to quantify engagement, but how do you actually create an engaged employee? Do they come that way? Or can they be manufactured? And then what happens? Do they need to be watered and fed to sustain these engaging elements?

Participants highlighted the need for a bottom up transformation, as well as support from the executive level. They also spoke to the existing abilities of managers, and the innate culture of an organization. If managers are connected and capable, chances are their employees will be effectively managed. If an organization's culture is open and transparent, it will likely trickle down through all levels.


Employee engagement is complicated. You can't just assemble a list of characteristics and metrics and expect it. It takes meaningful investment of time and resources and a commitment to cultivating and motivating employees to perform authentically. There isn't a silver bullet or magic equation -- but it does exist organically and can be encouraged to develop with the right tools and culture in place.

To a certain extent, employee engagement is in the eye of the beholder, therefore, it will look different across organizations and it will manifest in different ways. But, when done successfully, the rewards and benefits are worth its ambiguities.

Editor's Note: If you missed part one of the recap, you can read it here