Major retailers face many problems in a middling economy. These businesses often don't have any problems with recruiting new personnel, but high turnover and poor performances can be just as detrimental as staffing shortages. Coming up with ways of motivating personnel are therefore critical for success. When it comes to sales performance management strategies, gamification could provide the boost to productivity and engagement that businesses need.

This is the hope fueling Walmart's recent strategy for improving sales coaching and motivation in the workplace. The retail giant has been struggling to get better performances out of its personnel, as Brand Channel that stress and lack of advancement are making careers with the company hard to maintain. The corporation's CEO, Michael Duke, said that performance and revenue indicators from the previous quarter showed a lack of positive change, citing talent shortages and lack of competition in the workplace as key issues in motivating more improvement.

To fix these issues, the company is adding a form of digital gaming to its employee performance management software with a technique called gamification. This method makes everyday work activities into a point system whereby personnel can see how their effort translates into higher scores than their coworkers. Those who get the most points may be in line for special rewards, and quantifying personal productivity in this way encourages employees to try and outdo their peers.

"Gamification is a form of learning and engagement using games that leverage people's natural desire for competition, achievement, status and rewards," said Whitney Cook, a coaching and training specialist.

Self-motivating options
Other retailers are using the same kinds of strategies to encourage more consumer attention. For instance, BRW wrote that Wynbox, a gamification company, helps airlines and hotels bring in more revenue by adding instant win opportunities to current corporate software options. These features get customers to purchase a vacation or book a flight first before giving them a chance to potentially win the entire package for free.

Gamification for sales coaching works in a very similar way. These programs create a system wherein personnel are given a means of tracking their performances and motivating themselves to earn more points. The promise of rewards for jobs well done or in some cases just outdoing the rest of the office serves as the prize at the end of the quarter and gets better results for the corporation as a whole.