What is the power of play and why are so many people into it? It might seem childish to think of play as a part of learning, but research from top minds in the fields of organizational dynamics and psychology shows that employee turnover, disengagement, and miscommunication can be solved through a surprising solution – PLAY! Gamified team-building experiences impact measurable outcomes like increased employee engagement, productivity, and revenue.
It is simple if you give it some thoughts. When we are kids, we learn by playing. We do not know very much about this world, but we are vividly curious about everything. Moreover, we do not fear of failure, which helps us to be our best selves and all the games we play encourage us to explore and discover the world.
Play is so important that Dr. Jane McGonigal* believes it is necessary for the very survival of the human species. McGonigal is a game designer and author of The New York Times bestseller, Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World.
However, how can games help your organization?
Amy Edmondson, Associate Professor at Harvard Business School says that when people work together towards a common goal while having fun, they establish positive group norms that will transfer back to the workplace. Therefore, it motivates employees to be at their best selves.
Moreover, Dr Jane McGonigal codified another four qualities that games bring out in us:
- Urgent optimism: This is the immediate need to take on a challenge, coupled with belief in success.
- Weaving a tight social fabric: We trust and even bond with people better after we have played a game with them.
- Blissful productivity: Doing something complex and meaningful is more fulfilling than relaxation.
- Epic meaning: People love to make a difference at a global scale.
Take that a step further. What happens when people at work actually play games together? Suddenly people who work on tough projects together in one context are placed in another, more playful one. They collaborate, feel fulfillment, and take on a challenge that they believe they can accomplish. When they return to the work context, they bring all of those learnings back with them.
How can you add play to your organization’s culture?
The Go Game is the leading provider of work-life play that sits at the intersection of technology, exploration, and innovation. Playing The Go Game inspires teams to unite and work together toward a common goal, and these learning transfers over to their work-related efforts. These experiences allow teams to discover the magic of their real-world surroundings to unleash untapped creative potential, forge lasting bonds and boost workplace satisfaction.
*Dr Jane McGonigal was also one of the Go Game enthusiasts and employees in her early career path.