Gamification is not about playing games at work, but about influencing positive behaviour in employees. It’s so compelling, employees are 90% more productive when game dynamics are added to their daily workload and become actively encouraged through responsive elements. Which in turn creates levels (see what I did there?) of great employee experience based around content. Gamification taps into the basic human desires for competition, reward and achievement.
Games are designed to be entertaining and stimulate our brains using dopamine — a natural, feel-good hormone that is released every time we’re rewarded. Gamification takes advantage of this by using the same gaming system of ‘motivation plus reward’. As employees find more levels of engagement, such as a trophy for content creation or participating in weekly quizzes, they report back with higher levels of satisfaction and achievement in their jobs.
Gamification is not about playing games at work, but about influencing positive behaviour.
Wellbeing gained more attention throughout 2018 as people started having more honest conversations about mental health, physical fitness and body confidence. When the cost of absenteeism, presenteeism and loss of productivity due to illnesses or burnout is so high, costing UK businesses £73 billion per year, it’s high time companies turn towards caring more for their employees’ wellbeing.
Approaching employee wellbeing is a great way to jumpstart your work culture and promote happiness all around by rewarding positive actions. This is a great subject to tie into gamification and get two trends going at the same time via your intranet. Dole out incentives for healthy behaviour; such as joining a gym, bringing a healthy lunch or organising weight-loss boot camps. Invest in company-wide programmes for mental wellbeing as well by encouraging fresh-air time, forums to vent stresses and making your intranet and company a safe place to talk to peers.
Content search is officially outdated as intelligent search has superseded it (or will very soon). It’s already seen through Google, Facebook and LinkedIn whose own searches have become more fluid and predictive through richer algorithms and machine learning. It’s only natural to expect your intranet search capabilities to evolve as well.
Content search is content focused only and limits what employees can find on their intranet. If they were looking for a certain policy or a blog post, for instance, they’d find it easily.
But what if what they need is more help in functionality? Then, much like voice recognition, search will be goal-oriented by taking a typed sentence and deduce through a natural language processor what the final goal is. Intelligent search will present employees with the opportunity to search for functionality with direct commands of, “Change my password” which takes them directly to Settings. Or, “Create a Hub” which takes them immediately to the Creation page.
Our goal is to use intelligent search to transform Oak Intranet into your digital assistant and, industry-wide, you can expect to see smarter search engines in the very near future.
Stronger Work-Life Balance
With technology now a constant in people’s lives at work and home, the push for a healthier work-life balance will become increasingly dominant in 2019 — with many of us striving to work for a company that embraces remote working. For companies to stay competitive, to entice and retain top talent, they need to prove they share this value.
According to Randstand’s Employer Brand Research, job seekers consider a good work-life balance a top priority when deciding between organisations. This also applies to retention as employees tend to leave a company if they’re not getting the flexibility they need.
What does this mean in terms of an intranet? According to the Nielsen Norman Group’s 10 Best Intranet of 2019, 100% of the winning intranets had a responsive platform designed for the mobile worker, across a range of devices. It proved essential for organisations with employees on-the-go or on the front-line who need access to the intranet, either to connect to their teams, check their schedules or access pay stubs. Ideally, the app should be adaptable to iOS and Android devices, with certain areas containing relevant content be specifically streamlined for the mobile experience.
Storytelling has been the main mode of communication and entertainment for thousands of years. Why shouldn’t this apply to internal comms?
It used to be the norm that internal comms had to be boring and generic to get everyone to read it. But that’s all changing as the rise of stories via social media, like on Instagram and Snapchat, is making its colourful way to intranet content.
When trying to gain employee’s attention, which content do you think they’ll gravitate towards? The general ‘How your intranet can prepare you for a crisis’ or the more exciting ‘How your intranet can help you prepare for the zombie apocalypse’? The content is similar, but the approach is different. One is something sure to garner yawns and glazed eyes, the other more to get people interested via the unusual subject while learning and a desire for braiiiiins. I mean, a desire for change.
Storytelling has been the main mode of communication and entertainment for thousands of years. Why shouldn’t this apply to internal comms? This is why we consider ‘The Rise of the Storyteller’ as our last (but definitely not least) trend of 2019.
Allegra is Oak’s expert content writer known for her humility, hilarious self-deprecating humour, and stunning intellect. She provides absurdly helpful content (sometimes through absurd themes, such as zombies) about employee engagement, creating awesome work cultures and solutions to internal comms challenges. Allegra is American, but that's not held against her as long as she writes in the Queen's English. You can find her typing away in the 'special corner' at Oak's Gateshead office.