Gamification & Variable Compensation
Gamification is coming to the trucking industry, and Variable Compensation is the medium. What are Gamification and Variable Compensation? Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems. Variable Compensation is non-salary pay which is generally adjusted up and down based on the (ideally measureable) performance of the payee.
Variable Compensation is a concept that is far from new in the trucking industry. However, it has been rapidly growing beyond the traditional sales role since 2009. Adaptable companies are seeking internal means of increasing the effectiveness of their employees, and in turn profits. Through the competent introduction of Variable Compensation plans, employee motivation and performance can be augmented to achieve company goals.
Why does Variable Compensation work so well when done right though? It is because it also meets the goals of the employees/players, which is a key factor in effective Gamification. If the “player” does not get anything out of it, they will not continue to play, no matter how great you think the game is. Extrinsically motivated employees/players can often be driven by the promise of financial rewards, which a well-defined Variable Compensation plan clearly offers. Intrinsically motivated employees/players, however, are not as driven by financial rewards. For them, a well-defined incentive plan might offer them a personal challenge of increasing their own performance, or beating the performance of those around them.
Variable Compensation IS Gamification of the workplace, but gamification can do so much more! Proper gamification aligns employee/player goals with organizational goals, and when an employee’s goals are aligned with the company’s goal, great things can happen.