10 Valuable Lessons that Amazon’s Gamification Program Can Teach Us

Encouraging Warehouse Staff With Amazon’s Gamification Program

Warehouse work is often seen as tedious and boring. However, with the use of gamification, warehouse workers can be engaged in their work and make it more fun. Gamification uses elements of gaming to engage people in a non-gaming activity. 

In 2019, Amazon introduced gamification in the form of workstation games to try to incentivize employees to improve performance and efficiency. After promising results, the e-commerce giant decided to roll out its gamification process to other warehouses around the United States.

Here are the takeaways from Amazon’s gamification program: 

  1. A Spirit of Fun
  2. Safety First
  3. Encouragement
  4. Practice, practice, practice
  5. Provide immediate feedback
  6. Provide visible feedback
  7. Promote and reward good habits
  8. Offer good incentives
  9. Beware of distractions, penalties, over competition
  10. Make the games optional:  let employees choose to play

Studies conducted by Zappia show that a staggering 90% of employees stated that workplace gamification made them more productive. Clearly, by incorporating gamification into the workplace, trainers and managers can increase worker productivity and motivation.   

There are many different ways to implement gamification in the warehouse, so trainers and managers should experiment until they find the methods that work best for their team. 

Ultimately, gamification can help create a more enjoyable and productive working environment for everyone involved. If gamification is taking place then how.fm can make the process much smoother. 

how.fm offers a variety of features to support gamification. Loaded with almost 30 different languages, the platform automatically translates texts, creates training templates and work instructions for you as well as being equipped with video capabilities.  Allowing shop floor training to be done easily without any hassle or difficulty.

Taking inspiration from Amazon’s leap into the gamification space, here are 10 valuable lessons that we have learned from gamification.

A Spirit Of Fun

In warehouse jobs, there is no secret that some tasks can become repetitive. What if there was a way to make those tasks more fun? That’s where gamification comes in. You can turn mundane tasks into gaming experiences that shift a worker’s focus.  

All while making sure they complete their jobs successfully. 

The challenge is trying to figure out which tasks exactly are appropriate for gamification.  Getting this wrong could prove costly as workers may not respond positively.  

Research was conducted by Talent LMS and they asked what areas workers would like to see gamification take place. Overall, 33% said they would like more game-like features in their employee training software. As how.fm is a digital training solution for warehouse workers it is clear there is an opportunity here to enhance warehouse staff motivation. 

Safety First!

Safety will always be paramount when it comes to how people operate in the workplace.  Especially for workers who work with heavy machinery and moving parts on a daily basis.  

Therefore, workplace gamification can be used without sacrificing safety and it can also make procedures safer. how.fm provides hands-free training by using a voice control option.  Operatives can receive their training safely, and even turn it into a fun and engaging process using gamification.   

warehouse worker training app by how.fm
A warehouse worker using the voice control feature in the how.fm training app.

Encourage 

Keeping employees engaged throughout their workday can be a challenge.  Using gamification, employers can increase employee engagement with the use of interactive videos. Not only will the employee be engaged but they will be able to do their job more effectively.  

Practice, Practice, Practice

The monotony of warehouse work can be a major challenge. With the use of checklists, there is a chance to optimize your warehouse by identifying errors and standardizing processes. With this optimization, you can expect the stock to be replenished quickly. Allowing your in-demand stock to be restocked in time for order fulfillment.    

how.fm offers a recorder app that helps you capture your policies on the go for uploading into our platform so you have easy access at all times.  Workers will make fewer mistakes as the training provided will be completely tailored to the policies you have uploaded. 

Provide Immediate Feedback

When being engaged in an activity it is always a positive sign to receive feedback as quickly as possible. That way you can see where improvement is needed and implement what you have already learned thus far.

Provide Visible Feedback

Quizzes can be used to help workers retain key training lessons. Making them entertaining has the added benefit of keeping workers more engaged, instead of your usual ‘run of the mill’ questions. Quizzes also provide employers with an indication of where employee knowledge is currently at. Data like this can be invaluable as it points out potential areas that can be improved.

Quizzes can only be effective up to a point. They need to be done regularly to keep knowledge retention high. In 1885 studies were conducted by German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus which looked at how we retain knowledge after we learned something. Results show that we forget as much as 70% of what we learn after 24 hours and 90% within a week. This is called the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve.  

Ebbinghaus forgetting curve

Promote and Reward Good Habits

When workers are performing their work duties in a warehouse environment it is easy to only focus on how fast jobs are being done. Productivity is important, but it is just as important to ensure jobs are being done correctly. To ensure jobs are being completed correctly then micro-managing each worker isn’t a very good option. A joint study that involved a Harvard business school professor found that micro-managing stifles creativity and productivity in the long run.

So what is a viable option?

Put the onus onto your workforce to ensure the proper completion of jobs. Don’t leave them unsupported though. On the how.fm platform there are thousands of training templates that can be customized for your blue-collar training needs. Workers can follow these tutorials easily and no additional input from managers will be necessary.

Offer Good Incentives

Offering incentives at work is another way that can keep employees engaged.  At Amazon, workers can play games individually or compete as part of a team, large or small. Anyone who plays the games receives points, virtual badges, and other incentives as they work/play through their shifts.

Beware of Distractions, Penalties, Over Competition

Games are usually designed with a competitive aspect instilled within them. There is nothing wrong with this. The only issue is when the competitiveness of it starts to become a distraction. Remember that employee games are only effective if they are implemented for the correct roles. 

Make the Games Optional: Let Employees Choose To Play

Just like any new process, not every worker will take to it right away. Workplace gamification must be rolled out slowly and it must also be optional. Not every worker will want to take part for one reason or another. At Amazon, they have decided that employees can participate on a voluntary basis. It is important to allow workers to choose how they wish to carry out their work. Some may feel that playing games to fulfill their work duties is manipulative. Giving them a choice gives a comforting degree of freedom. 

Final Thoughts

Workplace gamification has been used in a number of industries with great success, and the warehouse is no exception. There are many different ways to implement gamification in the warehouse, but the goal is always the same: to create a more enjoyable and productive working environment for everyone involved. 

If you’re looking to support your workforce and turn your warehouse into a center of excellence, book a demo call with our training experts here. There are also a plethora of resources available including success stories and blog posts.

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