Pokemon GO is, for all intents and purposes, a phenomenon. Launched only a week ago, this augmented reality app is already bigger in the United States than Tinder, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. Let’s just say, chances are if you see groups of people out walking with their heads down in their phones, it’s likely they’re hunting for a Pikachu.
The game requires users to travel, whether it be around their neighborhood or their whole city, to collect items at Pokestops, catch Pokemon, and even to team up to battle at “gym” locations in the hopes their team can take over and “own” the gym.
But, aside from being a great way to explore new places and meet new people, Pokemon GO can offer some insight into the way we approach managing people in the workplace. That’s why we’ve come up with the top three lessons for managers from Pokemon GO.
1. “Power Up” and “Evolve” Your People.
When you catch a Pokemon within the app, you have the ability to “Power Up,” making it stronger than it was before, and you also have the ability to “Evolve” your Pokemon, transforming them into different, much more powerful versions of their former selves. What most managers may not realize is that they hold that transformative power for their employees.
A study by Cicero Group states that employees who receive strong recognition are 33% more likely to proactively innovate than those who do not. Additionally, O.C. Tanner’s 2015 Great Work study found that employees who work at companies where it is believed all employees should perform great work and actually take the responsibility to perform great work see, on average, a 14% increase in productivity.
A manager’s approach to things like recognition and empowerment not only have a large impact on the work being done, but also on the people doing that work. And today, when recognition really is as simple as a click of a button, all managers should want to take that time to Power Up their teams, not just for great work results, but also for lasting transformation and growth within their teams.
2. Sometimes The Most Unlikely Places Yield The Best Results.
The best Pokemon to catch often pop up in the most unexpected places, and at the most random times. The same can be said for the best people to hire, and yet we are still heavily reliant on resumes and cover letters to fill vacant roles on our teams.
We’re not saying to throw that stack of fresh resumes in the bin and start over. But perhaps something can be learned from companies like Zappos and Quicken Loans, which havemoved away from traditional hiring models in order to find the candidates that truly fit their company culture.
These and other companies like them don’t necessarily wait for the resumes to roll in to them. If there is a specific type of person they’re looking for to fit the roll, they go out and actively search for that dream candidate. And the process is constant. We’ve heard of recruiters being sent out into the field to find people in coffee shops and at bus stops. Ultimately the goal is to get out of the box, and there you’ll find the unique candidates you’ve been looking for.
Great people can be hard to come by, and often times that’s because they are already employed and under your radar. You’ve got to make the effort to go out and find them.
3. GO. GO. GO.
Ultimately, one of the coolest things Pokemon GO does is to mobilize people. People are getting out of their homes and not only are they being active with all the walking the game forces you to do, but they are exploring their neighborhoods and their cities, and they are meeting and getting to know new people.
Often the office environment can be deficient when it comes to face-to-face time. We rely heavily on technology for communication, and the workforce today has more to do than ever before. These two things add up to managers spending less time interacting in person with their teams.
For managers, spending quality time with staff on a consistent basis is vital to fostering success within the team and ultimately a successful business overall. Face time with a manager can increase employee engagement, productivity and improve an employee’s overall feelings toward their job and the company as a whole.
It’s imperative that managers make genuine and consistent check ins with their team a priority in order to build the rapport necessary to nurture productivity and overall satisfaction with employees.
By Lindsey Sine on blog.octanner.com
*Tittle has been adapted from original*