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Building a Culture of Appreciation with Gamification

How can we leverage technology, AI, or gamification to improve the humanness of our work?

How can we leverage technology, AI, or gamification to improve the humanness of our work? The data and insights we draw from technology can empower us to improve the employee experience. Glen Cathey, Senior VP and Head of Strategy and Innovation at Randstad, is all about leveraging tech to improve HR practices.  

Glen joined Centrical on episode 10 of the BOOST podcast to chat about trends he’s seeing and how employers can build a culture of appreciation—and why it’s important. Here’s what we took away from what he had to share.  

Employee Experience through Performance 

One of the most obvious ways to leverage technology in the workplace and HR domain is to boost employee performance. Glen is a fan of digital tools that help people learn their job more effectively and demonstrate their learning.  

Think of typical onboarding and training processes—it usually involves watching videos and perhaps a few questions to see if they retained the information. But that doesn’t guarantee they can do certain elements of the job.  

Instead, ongoing training and coaching are required. Glen describes leveraging data on performance metrics to encourage employees and help them improve. But this must come from a coaching perspective rather than a micromanaging one. Just as a coach might review footage of a recent football game, a manager can review metrics with an employee to see what they’re doing now and how they can improve.  

Mindset is everything when it comes to this. It’s not about making people feel bad about what they’re doing but helping them be the best they can be… and leveraging digital tools and gamification to get there!  

Employee Experience through Recognition 

A second use for digital tools in the HR arena is to increase the employee experience through recognition. Glen describes a software program they use at Randstad called “MeMo” (Meaningful Moments). It’s an app, essentially, that allows people to recognize their colleagues for exceptional work. It features leader boards and prizes that some people can get monthly.  

This is just one example, and each company needs to figure out what works for them. However regardless of the tech, what it comes down to is creating a culture of appreciation, where employees are recognized for their work.  

The important piece to remember is that recognition can be private or public—both fit into a culture of appreciation. It can be meaningful for people to receive praise in public and it sets the tone for giving and receiving recognition in the workplace.  

Employee Experience through Relationships 

The last thing that we touched on with Glen surrounding employee experience, recognition, and performance was to think about the types of relationships in a workplace. Leveraging data and insights to help employees improve is only a piece of the employee engagement and effective coaching puzzle.  

To build sustainable and meaningful engagement we must go beyond data, there’s a fundamental peer relationship between you and your colleagues that cannot be ignored. And like in any relationship, people want to feel heard, valued, and appreciated.  

In the context of a relationship, there must be a sense of safety before anyone can take risks or innovate. Workplaces must foster a safe environment for people to fail without fear of retribution—Glen shared how the psychological safety in his workplace and work relationships help people take risks and be creative, ultimately leading to a great employee experience and company outcomes. 


It’s impossible for us to cover all the amazing insights Glen had to share with us, so go and have a listen to the full interview on episode 10 of the BOOST! podcast, powered by Centrical. And if you want to connect with Glen (or hire him for his voice talents), find him over on LinkedIn 

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