A Bulgarian startup has created an online gamified team-building platform which encourages company employees to work together to meet challenges around streamlining communication, increasing productivity and boosting creativity at their firm.

HR: Ideedit provides an online challenges playground to help team-building

How to increase employees’ level of personal engagement at work is a question that is exercising the minds of a good many company managers nowadays. In fact, reports opinion survey specialist Gallup in its study State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for U.S. Business Leaders, seven out of ten company employees responding to a recent poll in the United States said they felt ‘disengaged’ from their work. While traditional ‘team-building’ activities are rather expensive both in terms of both money and time, Ideedit, a startup with bases in Bulgaria and the United States, is now offering an online team-building platform that enables company colleagues to get to know each other better, work together to solve concrete problems, and show off their creative qualities. “The aim is to draw people out of their day-to-day routine by getting them to perform entertaining and useful tasks, as a team,” explains Ideedit co-founder Svetla Markova. “Employees who spend the whole day at work together often know very little about each other,” she points out, adding: “However, a number of studies have shown that close-knit teams made up of colleagues who know each other well outside the workplace perform much better in a crisis.”

Fun challenges to motivate staff

Every company registering to set up team-building challenges on the Ideedit platform is allocated its own branded corporate "channel" -a private online area in which team members get together and work on various motivating challenges. Individual members can suggest a challenge, and the team will take a vote on whether or not to go for it; or else they can select challenges from an existing ideas catalogue.  Each challenge is topic-based: improving communication, boosting people’s morale, stepping up corporate social responsibility actions, stimulating creativity, etc. “Challenges may also take the form of an entertaining competition -creating caricatures of colleagues, jogging over a period of a week, and so on -or a straight business task such as designing a product logo,” explains Svetla Markova. Ideedit has incorporated some standard gaming elements into its offering: the site automatically awards points to members according to the number of challenges they post, take on and complete; and as they gain more points they rise through various levels. Each team also has a ranking system which gives members individual scores based on their engagement in the various ongoing activities.

Fostering sustained employee engagement

Nowadays, even when employees would like to give their very best, they are not always in a position to do so, as is shown by the 2012 Global Workforce Study by Human Resources consulting firm Towers Watson. This is why it is important to generate sustained employee engagement. In other words, firms need to take steps to ensure that their staff feel good at the physical, emotional and social level. “It’s up to the HR department to do more towards employee well-being, in tandem with the company management. These are after all the twin guardians of the company culture,” underlines Svetla Markova.  At the moment, Ideedit charges clients at the rate of $1 per employee-participant. In future, the founders are planning to build up a large catalogue of activities designed to boost employee engagement in the long term.

By Ruolin Yang