Turning Work Into A Game
The business fraternity has continually made findings on the most appropriate techniques to bring out the best results from the human resource. As motivated by the new frontiers of productivity that human resource management, business now makes innovations of increasing output per employee that target personal interests and incentives to work. History of business management practices illustrates that this observation facilitated the replacing of scientific management with tenets of human resource management. Dramatic paradigm shift identified in the management perspectives demonstrate the need to establish interest and create incentives to productivity among individual employees. About a century ago, it would be unconceivable that businesses would consider providing individual level of interest as a productivity enhancement strategy. Raising levels of confidence and satisfaction for various tasks and assignments involves a lot of personal effort in overcoming dissatisfaction.
Turning work into a game involves sharpening of motivational skills in order to facilitate conversion of negative energy into a positive usable energy towards completing a particular task. In view of the inherent motivation capabilities that human brains have, particularly in regards to work and assignments, constant interest may not be guaranteed throughout tasks unless extra skills nurtured to sustain resilience. Demanding and energy draining tasks, such as in employment where employers expect flawless and constant delivery expose individuals to risks that may force extra resilience on the employees (Leahy 85). Within the wider consideration of a result demanding assignment delivered by an uncontestable authority, such an assignment may result in unspoken hateful interaction with a rather vital and unavoidable assignment.
Conflicting realities of service delivery point at the complexity experienced within the course of completion of a task. On one hand, self-affirmation theories support the importance of belief in the possibility of existence of one’s exponential potential, to defy all odds, which point at impracticality of various tasks. On the other hand, several environmental parameters make it difficult for the exploitation of opportunities availed by self-affirmation convictions. However, it is possible for an individual to concentrate a considerable amount of input into the personal attitude and behavior in order to defy constraints in the environment and achieve motivation in demanding tasks. In view of the need to uphold fairly constant levels of commitment and motivation in tasks such as work, interventions raising productivity and interest in the assignment provide the solution in managing internal and external factors at the personal level (Perry and Smart 102).
Game changers represent the category of interventions that dramatically enhance the outcomes of a particular performance. Transforming work into a game, with an intention of increasing interest levels as enumerated above is a perfect game changer at the personal level. Despite the conventional concept that formality of the assignment environment finds an official business space, game changers must not cultivate compromise leading to conflicting interests at the personal and institutional levels. What constitutes a game changer must therefore not amount to a contravention of the regulations laid down by the institution, since work and games have different levels of formalities. However, a closer look at the structure of organized games illustrates the hidden transformation power of games in terms of uplifting self-affirmation and motivation trajectories. Infusion of fun making environment such as humor episodes during breaks may eliminate gloomy factors (Friedman 180).
The similarities of games and work in terms of achieving a result reminiscent of rewarding victory sustain the logic of a concept of conversion of work into a game for purposes of commitment and motivation. Within the definitions of games and work, transposing vital lessons from each setting can provide invaluable lessons for improvement of outcomes. Certain criteria to highlight and facilitate the isolation and application of game lessons illustrate the practicality of relating games and work. Firstly, games have set time limits within which competitors must target to deliver the expected result and act as a yardstick of performance in a number of several games. As an illustration, several sports such as soccer and basketball have a set time limit when the teams settle their doubts of the stronger side. The concept of time in games introduces the element of conversion of time as a resource into results.
One conspicuous attribute of time as a resource is its limited availability for every player to make a contribution worth of recognition during the match. In a similar conceptualization, work has limited duration of time during which employees must target to achieve specific goals for self-actualization alongside the satisfaction of the employer just as spectators expect of their favorite teams. The stipulated time limit provides the opportunity for the mind to optimize potential through enhanced accuracy and less wastage of time. The logic behind the transfer of interest witnessed in games with respect to beating time regulation informs the conversion of time into a revenue generating resource to surpass the allocated budget to meet the costs of production. Allocating sufficient time to assignments is a game changer approach where results attained within the stipulated time reveal the success of the individual as encompassed in ordinary game results.
A different game approach in raising concentration and commitment is the division of a whole assignment into simpler and specific tasks. The general concept of a game has two different tasks towards achievement of success. Several games have an attack and a defense functionality, which represents achievable scopes of a game. Using the example of boxing as a game, defense and attack are equally important to protect all acquired gains from the competitors’ interests of outcompeting attained points. Whereas defense involves safeguarding of the achieved points in a game, attack ensures the sustainability of the win in the event that the acquired gains lose marginal ability to cope with challenges as the game proceeds. Protection and accumulation of more resources present work with important concepts of tasks that work and play must attain. Dividing the two concepts into more detailed and achievable tasks facilitates in the productivity of the individual within the set time limits (Gardner and Shah 27). Division of work into achievable tasks enables the individual to determine what move requires completion during a particular period. For instance, to-do-lists facilitate the conversion of limited time resource into a strategic gain protection and gain wealth accumulation.
According to various learning theories, human beings and animals employ different levels of interest in the learning process based on the perceived impact of outcomes realized at the end of the event. In view of the need to establish a particular level of attention and concentration in the activities undertaken, just like in a game, the definition of the goals is important in the delivery of results. Quantification of potential and enumeration of achievable goals facilitates setting out targets that an individual task can facilitate in terms of development. The correct interpretation of the magnitude of the demands expected in a task is important in order to project potential success likely to be achieved at the end of the task. Setting the goals of the task at the beginning of the assignment must coincide with the potential borne by the individual. Just as in the ordinary setting of games, work objectives and goals provide an important motivational standard. Goals definition must be shaped within a motivational picture in order to retain commitment throughout the task. Whereas the type of assignment that an individual engages in dictates goals, the professional background and potential possessed at the beginning of the task enable the definition of success range expected. It is important that potential define expectations in delivery of particular results, which underscores the importance of prior deliberation of outcomes at the end of the task. Underestimation and overestimation of potential in games leads to underachievement or humiliation when the competitor presents a challenge that does not coincide with personal abilities. It is more gratifying to miss the target when within the appropriate potential range than to achieve a win in a task ranking below the expected range of performance. Setting out achievable goals facilitates evaluation and exploitation of further opportunities as growth is accounted for in future development.
Additionally, prioritizing activities facilitates game plans in ordinary play setting, which can help work allocation in terms of task importance. Employees must possess skills to carry out the most critical activities of their assignments with the urgency reminiscent of their importance. For instance, games require a big deal of preparation through cultivation of constant and resilient practice behavior. The most important moves are identified in order to maximize usage of time as a limited resource to achieve results that are more critical first. In team games, the stronger members of the team get central roles to play for the success of the team. It therefore implies that identifying the most critical areas of input makes work easier and brings success closer.
According to recent human resource management insights, giving employees a more flexible environment to work in establishes higher levels of confidence and autonomy leading to better results. Just as in games where players’ creativity and decisions form a large part of the performance, it is imperative that the employees gain autonomy in several activities (Cornell and Tesser 503). Allowing workers to have a greater sense of control in their activities raises motivation and commitment. Whereas supervision and managerial oversight is irreplaceable in the organizational structure, some level of lenience that embraces a greater amount of delegation of responsibility creates satisfaction. It is intimidating if internal bureaucracies and bottlenecks put off personal motivation due to suffocation that leadership may create to the work force. Psychological satisfaction that an individual is in control of important decisions opens innovation and creativity for the organization.
Many work environments consider discipline as a central management tool in assuring compliance with the laid down regulations and operational procedures. Provisions of punishments and strict disciplinary sanctions form an important control of unruly behaviors, and employees are supplied with information clarifying the consequences of errant behaviors. If workers face such level of stringent punishments in errant behavior, it is only logical for a reward system to compliment such a system. The modern day motivational platform must aim at bringing balanced performance environment to the access of the work force. In view of the importance of rewards in improving commitment and interest in work assignments, it is important to consider the performance of workers under a reward system. Alongside a handsome remuneration system, performance based rewards increase incentives to achieve stipulated and anticipated results. In games, players stick their attention on the prize and concentrate their efforts to the attainment of the reward. The importance of achieving self-gratification upon receiving rewards in games can be transposed on a work assignment to bring out the best possible commitment to positive appraisal and evaluation.
Cornell, P. David. & Tesser, Abraham. “On the Confluence of Self-Processes,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 27(1991):501-526.
Friedman, S. Howard. The Self-Healing Personality Why some People Achieve and Others Succumb to Illness, Lincoln, NE: toExcel Publishers, 2000. Print
Gardner, L. Wendi. & Shah, Y. James. (Eds.) Handbook of motivation science. New York: Guilford Publications, 2007. Print
Leahy, L. Robert. Cognitive Therapy Techniques: A Practitioner’s Guide, New York, NY: The Guilford Publications, Inc., 2003. Print
Perry, P. Raymond., & Smart, C. John. Effective Teaching in Higher Education: Research and Practice, Bronx, NY: Agathon Press, 1997. Print