Using Games to Get Employees Thinking
Organizations can make productive things happen byletting their workers compete for virtual points.
Kenrick Vezina | Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Department for Work andPensions uses a game calledIdea Street togenerate newideas from employees.Credit: U.K. Department forWork and Pensions
Companies have been using crowdsourcing to get large groups of outside volunteers to answer a question or perform a task, butnow they are finding ways to crowdsource internally
by usinggames and contests that entice employees to generate, hone,and implement ideas.Nearly two years ago the U.K. Department of Work andPensions (DWP) began asking its employees to play a gamecalledIdea Street in their Web browsers. The game is like a
suggestion box for the agency, but it rewards players forgenerating new ideas: they get DWPeas
a virtual currency to beused in the game.By implementing suggestions made through the game, thedepartment expects to save roughly $30 million by 2014,says David Cotterill,the DWP's deputy director of innovation.
Some of these ideas are deceptively simple but improve theefficiency of the department, such as a new way for employees toreserve conference rooms and a simple app that analyzes theDWP's data-storage availability.