If your work was a video game, which would it be?

This post is written by our good friend and co worker Oskar Henrikson who is a licensed psychologist with a special focus on organization psychology.

“You almost cannot reward the player enough” says Sid Meier, the creator of the famous computer game Civilization. If you play it you will control your own civilization from 10 000 B.C until the modern age. You have to choose between war and peace, libraries or archers, science or gold. As time goes by your scientists discover the alphabet, gunpowder and in the end Hollywood and the atom bomb. Every move and priority have consequences. If you go for the battleship you won’t afford a university. You receive clear feedback and all along you know what the goal is: to create the worlds greatest civilization.

Is your goals at work as clear? A goal that makes you feel like a king? Are you receiving feedback when you are doing the things that will lead to this goal? According to Socialcast only 7% av all employees fully understands their companies missions and what is expected of them in order to help achieve that goal. If a company, which had that stats, would have been a soccer team, only on player would have known where the goal is. One player out of eleven.

Maybe todays management need to take a look at Civilization and listen to Sid Meier. Clear goals and clear, daily feedback. “Daily”, I hear you moan, “I don´t have time to give daily feedback to all coworkers”. Well, then my answer to you is this: “You should provide feedback more often than that”. You can´t reward the coworker enough!

It is, however, impossible, for a boss to give constant feedback. What management can do is to create structures that will provide the essential encouragements. This can be done by modern software like Viary and Rypple or just by asking: “Do you know when you have done a good job?” If all coworkers in the company or all the players in the soccer team says yes to that question, then the structures are in place. Then, you are all kings.

If your work was a video game, which would it be?

Here is a talk that Sid Meier gave at the gaming conference GDC, here is more on game mechanics at work and I can also recommend the lovely infographics from Socialcast.



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