What Pokémon Go Can Teach Us About Great HR

by Mammoth Team on August 11, 2016


The success of Pokémon Go is a good reminder that play can enhance work. Of course, we’re not advocating that you ditch your work responsibilities in favor of

 catching a rare Aerodactyl or snagging an elusive Snorlax. That said, the game does provide some next-level lessons about HR, particularly about creating and maintaining a great workplace.

Here are four HR takeaways courtesy of the hit game: 

1. Work Together

Pokémon Go has become a hit because it creates and maintains an interactive and evolving culture. Strangers strike up conversations about the Pokémon they’ve caught, trained, and taken to the gym. Friends compete, celebrate victories, and share tips on mastering the game’s world. In short—the game brings people together and engages them in a shared purpose.

You can promote this kind of camaraderie in your workplace by finding ways for your employees to collaborate beyond their typical day-to-day duties.

When a team or department does well, talk about it. You might institute a recognition program where employees can thank co-workers by nominating them for an award. Programs of this sort create a more collaborative and appreciative culture.

2. Set Clear Goals

The game itself has some straightforward goals: catch Pokémon, level up, take over a gym, and so on. Clear and achievable goals are just as important in your organization. Make sure your employees know your company goals and the specific ways they contribute to them. This knowledge gives them a shared purpose, a sense of community, and contributes to your company culture.

Be as transparent as possible with your goals. When your team is up to speed on the company’s overall progress and can see how their roles contribute to its success, they’re more likely to work with others to achieve company milestones.

3. Augment Your Workplace

Much of Pokémon Go’s success comes from its twist on everyday reality and its involvement of players in the creation of that reality. You can do something similar in your workplace by thinking of ways to enhance your company’s culture. Give it character, and don’t shy away from creativity. For example, incorporate art that captures who you are as an organization. Invite employees to personalize the general workspace as they would their own. Hold a room or workspace naming competition. The goal is to make your workplace unique and interesting.

4. Have Fun

Play a little. Seriously. Come up with small prizes when business goals are accomplished. Consider ways your teams could compete for rewards. These prizes and rewards don’t have to be grand or expensive. After all, we live in a world where millions of people are motivated by collecting intangible fighting fuzz balls.

A small sign of appreciation can go a long way. Think more Pidgey than Mewtwo. If you want to go bigger, consider a short company off site or retreat that includes both work and play. Chances are your employees will come back feeling recharged and reenergized. Kind of like Pikachu himself.

Topics: Culture

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