Increasing Employee Production
Work can sometimes get kinda boring and tedious and because of that production can decrease and workers may give just enough to get by. Sometimes employees need an incentive to motivate them to always execute their job above and beyond at all times. This is what Applebee’s is trying to accomplish with the use of gamification.
The first benefit of this is increase in server production. Employee’s will give more effort towards completing the objectives listed on Brunchball (the app they used to launch their gamification system). They see a prize they want so they work even harder to reach the amount of points needed to collect that specific prize. Not only that but increased employee production could lead to greater tips for servers and they may realize that if they do their job this way all the time that may become a steady thing so employee production could stay up even if the app ever goes away.
The second benefit is Applebee’s can see what is selling a great amount and what is not selling much at all. Applebee’s with this information can decide what to take off the menus and what meals to suggest to customers more so that they can generate more revenue from them. In the article a man named Jenkins was quoted saying “We are targeting items that we see an opportunity to sell more of, some stores might sell a lot of this item and some may not, so we want to bring the lower stores up to the average.”
The third benefit is all around increase in customer service. The article says that in the top 50 percent of restaurants using this type of system there is data that shows that customer service has increased. This app is a great way to boost morale and individual performance by everyone in the restaurant.
I think there are some downsides to this system. One downside is they do not think about a long term way of keeping their employees happy, because most likely this production will be temporary. In the article Andy Petroski, corporate faculty member of learning technology at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, talks about this. Another downside is it does not give a way to make sure that the works are indeed doing their work instead of just cheating the app. Samantha Searle says “….rather than creating unintended behaviors and side effects as employees are tempted to game the system to get their rewards.”
I think this can be an effective way to improve production in restaurants and other business but you must have a plan to make it last.
Brousell, Lauren. "How Applebee's Uses Gamification to Retain Staff, Boost Sales." CIO. N.p., 1 Oct. 2015. Web. 01 Oct. 2015.