Gamification Within Restrictive & Tropophobic Workplaces Is Neither Ethical Nor Sustainable

Image for post
Image for post

Gamification is everywhere. Gamification is the application of game elements into non-game spaces. However, gamification tries to mask the fact that employees have little, if any, control over the games they are forced to play and hides the fact that these “games” are not games at all.

“Gamified systems are tools, not toys. They can teach complex topics, engage us with otherwise difficult problems. Or they can function as subtle systems of social control. The modern gamified workplace enables control beyond Taylor’s wildest dreams. Games are sets of rules prescribing both actions and outcomes. A gamified workplace sets not just goals for workers but precisely how those goals can be achieved.”

In other words, gamification of the workplace is Taylorism 2.0 but it’s not limited to the workplace.

“Gamification promises easy, centralised overviews and control. It’s a comforting illusion because de facto reality is not as predictable as a simulation. No matter how well-designed, a simulation cannot account for the unforeseen.”

At the end of the day, employees will send a strong message to their bosses because neither their work nor their health is a game.

One of the many problems of a gamified workplace is that it goes beyond micromanagement. “Gamified systems complicate and subvert ethical reasoning.”

There are only three ways to make your employees do something you want them to do:

  1. By Coercion
  2. By Collusion
  3. By Inspiration

Gamification is driven by coercion and collusion. The problem is that both are neither ethical nor sustainable.

Inspiration is the only ethical and sustainable way to make someone go beyond the call of duty driven by intrinsic motivation.

So, how can you inspire your employees to do not only something you want them to do but to go beyond the call of duty?

Here’s where the power of a crystal-clear vision of the most desirable future for all comes into play.

This crystal-clear Vision, though, must be based on moral authority, transparency, and integrity in order to truly inspire and become sustainable.

However, before this crystal-clear Vision can be adopted, a self-transformation process of the organization must take place. This can be accomplished in a single day. Here’s how step by step.

This is what creating a tropophilic workforce is all about.

JC Wandemberg Ph.D.

President & Founder

Sustainable Systems International

About the author: Dr. Wandemberg is an international consultant, professor, and analyst of economic, environmental, social, managerial, marketing, and political issues. For the past 30 years Dr. Wandemberg has collaborated with corporations, communities, and organizations to integrate sustainability through self-transformation processes and Open Systems Design Principles, thus, catalyzing a Culture of Trust, Transparency, and Integrity.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store