Healthcare Isn’t a Game … But Maybe It Should Be!

Travis Frosch

Power up Your Employees, Especially Millennials, with Gamification

Pop quiz! Which generation group makes up the largest percentage of our workforce in 2016?

If you said anything other than millennials, you’d be incorrect. Millennials – those aged 18 to 34 – represent 2.4 billion of the world’s population; greater than 83 million in the U.S. alone. In just nine years, they’ll make up more than 75% of the global workforce¹. Let that sink in for a second.


So what’s the problem?

A recent Gallup report estimated that 71% of millennial workers are not fully engaged at work2. And when they aren’t fully engaged, they don’t stick around. Studies have indicated that more than 60% of millennials leave their employers within 3 years. The replacement cost for their ex-employers ranges anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000… each³.

With millennials basically taking over the workforce, it’s a big problem if your organization can’t keep them happy and productive. So how can we keep millennials more engaged? What could make their work more fulfilling and gratifying for these digital consumers?

The answer, in part, may be to reward them and make work fun! Countless studies have indicated that competition between teams and coworkers builds camaraderie and morphs employees with average output into high-performing team members or individual contributors.

One thing to consider is that millennials are the first generation of digital natives; they were brought up when computers, video games and the Internet had already become commonplace. Combine that with millennials’ well-known fondness for sharing their triumphs and tragedies on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (we won’t even touch Snapchat), and we may be onto something very effective at engaging them: workplace gamification.


Gaining employee engagement through gamification.

A few years back, I visited a very high-performing client, top tier for just about all of the key performance metrics we track. We were working with them on a collaboration project developing an advanced analytics solution using FastWorks (FastWorks combines a set of tools and behaviors designed to deliver better outcomes for customers faster). Through our weekly discussions and feedback cycles, I could just sense something was different…

During a break from a workout at their offices, we took a walk through one of the areas where their revenue cycle teams were working on billing for services and resolving claims denials. Then I saw it, everywhere! They had large screen displays all over the office showing the performance of the different teams. They were using analytics dashboards to create a gamification system highlighting the daily, weekly and monthly top performers, all of whom they were rewarding.

I talked to a few of their team members and management, and they all loved it.  They have experienced a low turnover and staggering results after designing the solution on top of Centricity™ Business Informatics, which is GE’s Business Intelligence platform for their flagship Revenue Cycle Management product. Brilliant!


The game is changing. Are you?

As analytics become more advanced, scalable and integrated into workflow systems, the opportunity to introduce gamification is ever increasing. Think of the possibilities: creating analytics dashboards and making them look like leaderboards of a popular videogame, complete with badge systems and visible indicators that someone or some team is moving up through the ranks, and then embedding them directly into workflow applications.

Those who seize the opportunity, like the client above, will gain an edge. Not only in terms of outperforming your direct competition, clinically, operationally or financially, but also by attracting, keeping and motivating top millennial talent through gamification.


1Pew Research Center – Millennials surpass Gen Xers as the largest generation in U.S. labor force
2Gallup – Majority of U.S. Employees Not Engaged Despite Gains in 2014
³Dan Negroni – Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage and Maximize Next Generation Leaders in the Workplace

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