Creating a fairer world through gamification

The University of Glasgow’s Adam Smith Business School and the University of Edinburgh Business School are working together to raise awareness of the importance of paying a living wage, reports Ellen Buchan

Doing business in a more responsible manner has often been shown to come with the added perk of also being good for business, but so many companies still fall short. In the UK, paying the Living Wage is a case in point. 

The Living Wage differs from the UK’s National Minimum Wage, which is the legally required amount that workers have to be paid. It is, instead, a voluntary scheme, where companies pay workers based on a figure suggested by the Living Wage Foundation that is designed to allow workers to meet their basic needs.  

Companies that commit to paying a living wage have been found to gain benefits that include employees taking fewer sick days, higher employee retention and reduced recruitment costs. Employees are more likely to upskill, have upward mobility, be more productive and have higher job satisfaction. It seems like an obvious win-win, so why does the UK still have 1.6 million workers that are not being paid the Living Wage? 

The University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School and University of Edinburgh Business School have partnered with EAWOP (European Association of Work and Organisational Psychology) and ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) to raise awareness of the importance of paying a living wage. 

They have, for example, created a game, called SuperbMarket, in which players follow four characters in experiencing how different conditions at work impacts staff, their workplaces and society. Its aim is to highlight the consequences of companies not paying a living wage. 

‘A living wage is one that enables workers to meet their everyday needs and to meaningfully participate in society beyond just “surviving” financially,’ said Rosalind Searle, from the Adam Smith Business School and Director of the EAWOP Impact Incubator.

‘A living wage gives workers choices to allow them to change their lives and move out of poverty, meaning they can develop their capabilities for future employability – from learning to drive a car to undertaking other forms of education and skills development,’ Searle added.

This article is adapted from one which originally appeared in Ambition – the magazine of the Association of MBAs.

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