Micromanaging can be a cumbersome and unfruitful task. It’s something most sensible and progressive managers and leaders avoid. And why not. Your employees don’t enjoy being constantly pestered about what they’re doing, how they’re doing it and when they’re going to get work done. It’s unnerving and quite annoying to have your boss frequently checking in and following up to you. It shows lack of respect and trust. And that’s what you don’t want your employees to feel – untrusted and not respected. You don’t want to manage tasks for them. You want them to get things done on their own.
Of course you don’t want to micromanage – you don’t have the time nor the mental bandwidth to do that. However, ensuring your team gets things done is important. Task management is something every leader needs to feel comfortable with so that they have the peace of mind knowing the team is performing efficiently and effectively.
So, how do you manage tasks without micromanaging? Here are five ways gamification can help you manage tasks successfully.
1. Think Beyond Tracking Tasks
As a leader and manager let your team “own” their work. Ownership is an important element in team dynamics that can help your employees feel a part of something that’s bigger than them. It teaches them how to be responsible and accountable. Hence, once you’ve assigned tasks don’t wait for them to be marked as completed. Instead, get involved in the process. Help your team with their reasoning and thinking. Coach and mentor them, rather than just waiting for them to produce results. As their leader it’s your responsibility to guide your team towards results. Don’t just act as a watchman who’s always keeping an eye on them.
In the gamified world once you’ve set tasks for your team the feedback you provide them is crucial. Feedback in gamified task management platforms helps them to understand what they’re doing correct, encourages positive behavior and lets you play the role of a coach.
2. Reinforce Their Contributions
Your team can easily forget why they’re doing what they do thanks to the daily grind. It’s only natural that day-to-day operations just beats them down to a point of demotivation and unproductive performance levels. That’s why you need to help remember why they’re doing what they do, and how important their contributions are to the team and company. Reinforce to them how valued they are and how the sum of each of their contributions is positively impacting the company. Also, share your goals, visions and strategies with them so that they completely feel a part of the team, rather than just workers. For your team to keep performing you need to keep them engaged and focused.
Through gamification you can easily communicate to your team the bigger picture of what the team is working towards. All tasks add up to a bigger goal that everyone is striving to achieve and complete. When they see where their contributions are adding up to, they’ll feel more engaged and valued.
3. Make Goals Visible
When employees are unclear of the company goals, strategies, objectives and purpose they lose interest and focus. Thus, they’ll be demotivated, unconcerned and least interested in being productive or doing anything for that matter. That’s why it’s important for you to work on keeping your team engaged. And for that you need to make strategies, goals, objectives and the overall purpose visible and accessible to your team. Once, they understand what’s going on, they’ll align themselves and their skills to achieve the bigger goals.
In the gamified world, goals can made visible by allowing users and gamers to see what everyone’s doing, where everyone’s achievements are adding up to and what it’s all for. Each employees’ tasks are tallied and added to the overall company goals and hence, employees can clearly see how their work is impacting the business.
4. Encourage Healthy Competition
Competition is a great way to boost team spirit and individual performance. It’s not about getting people against each other. Rather, the idea is to promote healthy, friendly and productive competition that encourages higher levels of performance and output. You want your teams to be striving for more – more than just paper in, paper out. What you’re aiming for is encouraging your teams to raise the bar, tap into their true potential and push their limits to produce even more than they currently do.
Gamification has helped many companies engage employees and promote positive work habits. It also has helped companies encourage their employees to compete and push themselves to really utilize their skills and talent. When you’re able to see how your colleagues and competitors are faring against your own performance, you’ll be motivated to stay ahead of the pack.
5. Avoid Duplication of Work
I’ve heard of situations where two employees of the same team have needlessly been working on the same task or project, ultimately wasting time, resources and energy on something that really only one person should have done. It’s not often that happens, however, it could be something as small as two people replying to the same client email or working on the same report. Whatever, it is, it’s still ineffective and completely unproductive. Which is why it’s your responsibility to ensure tasks and goals are clearly defined, assigned and communicated. There can be no ambiguity in anyone of your team members. There’s just no room for it.
Gamification allows managers and leaders to clearly assign tasks, define every team members roles and chalk out everyone’s contributions and path to success. If you’re using an effective gamified task management tool, you’ll never face such problems and always get the work done, without any micromanagement.
And there you have, 5 creative and brilliant ways gamification has helped managers and leaders across the globe manage tasks and ensure results are always achieved. I’m sure once you gamify task management in your company you too will start to experience “real” results.
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Paul Keijzer is the CEO and Founder of Engage Consulting and the co-Founder of The Talent Games, which aims to transform HR by digitising talent processes and creating more engaging and productive workplaces through gamification and mobile technology. As a global HR and Leadership Management expert, Paul knows how to combine business insights with people insights to transform organisations and put them on the path to growth.