Article

Bringing Gamification to the Warehouse

By Peter Schnorbach,
Bringing Gamification to the Warehouse

The technology behind labor management systems (LMS) has come a long way in recent years. Earlier this month I posted an article that explored the results of a survey around mobile technology and its impact on warehouse leadership. The results showed that increased mobility could address productivity challenges, getting managers out on the floor with associates, instead of remaining chained to their desks.

It’s clear that mobile is here to stay, both in the warehouse and out. And as we embrace mobile technologies full force, it’s time to also reexamine our employee engagement techniques in the warehouse and across the supply chain. How do we ensure workers stay motivated and aware?

Engagement techniques of the 20th century are archaic, based on non-digital, non-interactive information that does little to foster communication, collaboration or excitement across the warehouse employee base. To succeed in building engagement in the 21st century warehouse, leadership must be intelligent, collaborative, personal and mobile. Managers should strive for a few key elements:

  • Informational flow with minimal hardware or application restrictions
  • Information availability anywhere and anytime
  • Integration of quantitative and qualitative information
  • Gamification capabilities for engaging employees

Let’s explore the idea of gamification in LMS for a moment. Gamification uses design and interaction techniques from video games in non-gaming scenarios. It can be a powerful way to build employee (and customer) engagement and ultimately glean insights needed to foster innovation and product or system development. In fact, gamification is becoming an increasingly popular business tool across industries.

The warehouse presents a perfect scenario for using gamification elements to spur productivity and keep employees engaged and focused. Warehouses can have anywhere from dozens to hundreds of employees, many of whom likely don’t interact on a regular basis. By using elements like challenges, badges, levels and leaderboards, gamification can help create a more interactive and compelling workplace environment, making it a highly effective component of an LMS tool.

With gamification options, virtual rewards can be given instantly, social connections can be built with colleagues and job tasks are made more interactive and competitive, which boosts performance. In the long run, gamification enhances employee experiences, leaving individuals more engaged and satisfied with their work, key attributes for reducing churn and maintaining a happy and productive warehouse workforce.

We are still in the early stages of seeing gamification elements in LMS, but it holds great promise as a tool to help revolutionize the warehouse workforce.