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The idea of competitive play has been an integral part of an individual’s evolutionary process. As quoted by the author of ‘Gamification by Design’, Gabe Zicherman, “Games are the only force in the known universe that can get people to take actions against their self-interest, in a predictable way, without using force.”
Initially, the term “gamification” got people talking when Gartner included it to its “Hype Cycle” list in 2011. Today, 8 years later, it is the buzzword and is widely used by organisations as an incentivisation strategy to enhance productivity and efficiency within the workplace. In fact, according to a survey conducted by TalentLMS, employees feel that gamification makes them more productive (87%), more engaged (84%) and happier (82%) at work. However, gamification is not synonymous to games. It simply seeks to introduce game design elements in the context of non-game scenarios.
Gamification is more than just a trending term du jour and can drive business goals if implemented in the right way. Organisational goals are aligned with individual player goals. Going top-down, the organization achieves its goals as a consequence of its workers achieving their individual goals.
With the supply chain industry making the most of the current technological boom, automation of end-to-end logistical processes is becoming increasingly popular. However, the final stage of last mile delivery process is still one aspect that unavoidably needs to be performed manually. This process is known to be quite repetitive and labour intensive, and hence requires more physical effort from the delivery agents. The typical delivery-pickup activities of a delivery agent involve combining items from orders, scanning consignments, delivering parcels to and fro doorsteps, all with minimal or no errors to ensure positive customer feedback. The monotonous fulfilment of such steady and recurring tasks can be quite tedious. Due to the nature of work and inadequate incentives, delivery agents consequently tend to slack at times and eventually lose motivation. To ensure productivity and a high level of motivation, gamifying tasks that involve rewarding individuals over the completion of milestones, prove to be a driving factor for riders. Through these implementations, delivery agents can be encouraged for healthy participation in challenges and furthermore feel motivated to complete tasks more efficiently.
An amalgamation of Psychology and Technology to drive fleet gamification
According to Gabe Zicherman, the theory of gamification is “75 per cent psychology and 25 per cent technology”.
This psychological focus, driven by technology then impacts behavioural changes in delivery agents through three elements:
One size does not fit all
Scoring systems and gamification rewards should be viewed on a broad organisation basis. Specification of milestones and achievements must not be according to a one-size-fits-all strategy. Consider the case where the distribution of skill between delivery agents is high. For those on the lower end of the ranks, there can be little motivation to improve if they feel that their scores are far away from that of the top-ranked delivery agents. There is also the risk of causing anxiety among low rankers who feel as if they are underperforming and can’t cope up with the top performers.
Hence, it is important to ensure that milestones are aspirational and yet still achievable. Depending upon performance, one can scale to more challenging milestones eventually.
Having a dynamic evaluation process which assesses the delivery agents’ performance on short and timely intervals also gives them a scope of improvement. It instils hope that they can catch up to be on the top spot. With competitions running on a timely and regular basis, delivery agents also understand that attempting deliveries is not just a one-and-done job. They know that securing a rank in the top spot requires constant vigilance, which ultimately ensures continuous improvement in the learning curve.
Don’t Make it a Race Game
It is well known that the faster people work, the greater is the risk of errors. Primary focus must be placed on the quality of deliveries and not quantity. Gamification implementations should reward delivery agents on parameters such as on-time deliveries, authentic updates, live tracking,distance driven, etc. Preferable metrics for evaluation can include quality of delivery performance, streak and nature of activities.
If done in the right way, gamification can be more than just an app for incentivisation. The data derived can provide powerful insights on the into the performance of fleet forces. Raw data can be sliced and diced in a variety of different ways to come up with interesting statistics on worker performance. This goes a long way to qualify and quantify how organisation-wide strategies can be changed to manage fleet force and truly transform last mile operations.