Gamification in the Workplace: Introduction, Benefits, Tips, and Examples

The saying “work hard, play harder” may be familiar to you, but is this really what gamification in the workplace is all about? Not quite. Although gamification in the office might take inspiration from games, its primary goal is to engage and encourage workers during tasks that are not games. Alternately, add a bit of pleasure to specific required duties.

If your staff knew they would earn points and receive incentives for completing crucial training on workplace safety, wouldn’t they be more motivated to do so? Or, wouldn’t a worker be pleased to find they excelled in their company’s cybersecurity test?

Scores, gamification, and badges are ideas we’re accustomed to seeing in video games, but they might also be employed in the workplace. But first, let’s look at how they might be used in the workplace. Let’s define gamification in the workplace in more depth.

What Is Gamification?

Gamification is integrating the game into eLearning and staff training programs. This approach lets a company include engaging, game-like elements that help employees engage in the training while effectively delivering the lessons, such as narrative, problem-solving, and incentives.

Steve Jobs reportedly said, “The one and only way to accomplish outstanding work is to enjoy what you do. Contrarily, gamification makes work more appealing and less stressful for employees. Employees are encouraged to work harder when they receive prompt incentives, regular feedback, and appropriate recognition.

Gamification at Work Is Trending 

Managers and workers may both benefit from gamification strategies, which increase engagement. As a consequence, gamification in the workplace market is anticipated to be valued at $30.7 billion by 2025.

A company’s productivity is increased via gamification, which combines tasks, corporate objectives, and rewards and recognition. Due to this, more than 400 major corporations, including Google, Formaposte, and Domino’s, have started to make significant investments in gamification.

It’s critical to realize that gamification does not aim to transform employment into a game. Instead, the goal is to combine gaming principles with work-related tasks to increase efficiency and make the work more fun. Encouragement of employee involvement also motivates workers to concentrate on the company’s success as a whole.

Workplace gamification benefits for employees include motivation and encouragement, a fun educational atmosphere, and a more inviting workplace. In this essay, we examine the advantages of this strategy and the reasons it is becoming increasingly popular.

There are several instances of organizations implementing gamification in their operations. Starbucks launched “My Starbucks Rewards” by gamifying its customer rewards program. Depending on how many purchases they make, clients can raise their degree of loyalty under this system.

Google encouraged its staff to keep a record of their corporate travel expenditures by gamifying the process for submitting travel reimbursements. The funds formally designated for their work vacation serve as an incentive for the employees to save. Employee savings are either given back to them as extra compensation or contributed to their chosen charity.

Benefits of Gamification in the Workplace

Gamification is an appealing technique to support your staff’s learning and development of new abilities they may use to improve your business. But is it worthwhile to spend simply because one of your rivals is doing so? Here, we highlight three commercial advantages of gamification adoption that demonstrate it is worthwhile for your organization to invest time, money, and resources in:

Enhanced Security: 

Since 40% of IT security breaches result from human error, investing in your staff’s cybersecurity education will always pay off. Because security training that incorporates gamification has proven to be up to 77 percent more successful than conventional educational training tactics, integrating the benefits of gamification in the workplace could be beneficial. Due to its growing popularity, you may use various gamification training tactics. Spend time conducting market research, choosing one affordable for your business, and then watch how quickly your staff picks up new techniques for protecting your data and thwarting any threats.

Reduced Employee Stress: 

According to a comprehensive review of prior research, people who played the SuperBetter app for 10 minutes each day for a month reported much fewer melancholy and anxiety symptoms than the review’s control group. In addition, the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center reports that recent research indicated that, compared to various other smartphone apps, SuperBetter had the highest impact on lowering anxiety symptoms. By providing your staff with subscriptions to gamification-based applications like SuperBetter, and Calm, all of which encourage the user to relieve stress through exciting and engaging activities, you can help your employees avoid burnout and experience the advantages of gamification in the workplace.

Draw Talent from Generation Z and Millennials:

It will be vital for your company to draw and keep this new generation of talent after Gen Z and millennials make up the majority of the working population in the nation. What will it take to entice these young professionals? Via the adoption of gamification in the workplace. Both generations love technology and spent their formative years engaging in video games that served as the basis for gamification. Both like a challenge and could be more interested and engaged in more traditional forms of education. With gamified training, they get what they want and prefer ingestible, inspiring, and engaging visual information.

Why and Where to Use Gamification at the Workplace?

Workplace Gamification has the potential to boost employee engagement and motivation, but it requires a systematic approach to be effective. The business transaction or tasks you would want to adopt gamification must also be carefully chosen, and the gamification mechanics must be developed with the same level of attention.

The following is a list of some business goals you may use gamification for:

Makes learning enjoyable and exciting.

Making learning more entertaining and engaging is the most typical application of gamification. Gamification inspires students to become involved in the education process as active participants. Ninety-nine percent of students said that the point-based system makes them more engaged, and 82% said that they appreciated the gamified experience’s numerous degrees of difficulty.

Strengthens your connections.

Hiring people who share the organization’s culture is crucial for engagement and retention. By making its training games accessible to the general public, the US Army has successfully expanded the usage of gamified events in its recruitment process. This gamified activity gave people an enjoyable, educational, and engaging virtual army experience.

Promotes an excellent work-life balance.

Given the prevalence of work-from-home (WFH), many businesses are using gamification in their wellness initiatives to motivate staff to maintain a balance between their professional and personal lives. Employees that are content are more engaged, productive, and upbeat.

Companies are using gamification in a variety of use cases to boost worker engagement and enhance process results. However, corporate learning continues to be the most popular area for gamification adoption in the workplace. Employees prefer gamification at work when it comes to communication and training, according to research on gamification at work.

Focus on areas where Gamification can be used:

Gamification for employee engagement examples can help an organization in a variety of ways.

  • Development and Learning

Games can help both new and experienced employees learn new skills. Gamification of learning platforms has the potential to improve retention and results.

  • Customer Service

Gamification achievements and rewards can motivate employees to provide better service to customers. They also encourage employees to share new solutions and ideas with their colleagues.

  • Increasing Sales

Gamification can improve salespeople’s collaboration. It rewards not only the final sale but also all of the steps that lead up to it.

  • Teamwork

Even in different offices worldwide, teams can use games to share information and learn from one another.

  • Corporate Culture 

Gamification can help spread the company’s culture through various projects and programs. It can aid employees in spotting changes to engage in molding the culture of the company.

Five Ways You Can Deploy Gamification in the Workplace

  1. Make your objectives clear and transparent

Establish clear objectives before you, and your employees get carried away with all the fun and games. Determine why Gamification is important and what you hope to gain from it. You can then decide what game to use to achieve your objectives. Of course, once you’ve established your goals, you must communicate them to your employees. Remind them that these games are for more than just entertainment. Maintain alignment between your activities and the goals of your company. Also, ensure these objectives are communicated to the rest of your team. Setting milestones is another effective way to motivate your employees. It gives them a sense of accomplishment, which makes the games more rewarding and relevant.

  1. Describe the game’s rules and procedures

Every game has its own set of rules that players must follow. As a result, knowing the game’s rules is critical so your employees can fully participate in your activities. Aside from your objectives, it would help if you also communicated the game’s rules and processes to everyone eligible to participate. This includes the criteria for determining whether or not they have won, the rewards at the end, the guidelines for qualification and disqualification, the duration of the activity, and what they must do to win. This ensures that everyone understands how it works. Similarly, they have a reference to refer to throughout the activity. Everyone will be competing fairly this way.

  1. Begin with the basics

Sometimes, less is more, especially when you’re just getting started. And, with Gamification, you should keep things simple at first. This means simple mechanics and short activities with corresponding payoffs. This allows you to test which ones work and which don’t without wasting too much time, money, and energy on inefficient processes. Starting with straightforward challenges like vying for the “top weekly customer satisfaction score,” “most resolved incidents in a week,” “flawless attendance for the month,” or “highest monthly quota achieved” can be a great way to begin. It is easily quantifiable, and your employees can immediately get their rewards. Similarly, all of these are attainable and align with your company’s objectives. Taking things slowly allows your employees to adjust and gain confidence.

  1. Offer tempting rewards and incentives

Gamification in business is also associated with a rewards and incentives system for your employee experience. These can take the form of acknowledgment, tokens, or both. This would give your employees the push and motivation required to participate in your activities. A recent study found that 83% of employees are motivated to perform better and work harder when they know there will be rewards at the end. Not to mention that creating a friendly and competitive environment gives them a reason to keep improving rather than becoming complacent in the long run. You must, however, ensure that your rewards appeal to your employees. For example, competing for the title of “top employee of the year” would necessitate more than a badge and a quick pat on the back. To entice your employees to work hard for the title, there may need to be more than a simple gesture in recognition of exceptional achievement.

  1. Make use of data

Businesses are becoming more data-driven than ever before. You can easily mine and analyze data from various aspects of your business using the tools and software available. And, yes, Gamification can provide valuable information. You can learn about your employees’ strengths and weaknesses by incorporating Gamification into your workplace. Similarly, this allows you to identify areas where you need to improve employees and how to address such issues. This data can assist you in developing more effective business strategies and plans. More than that, it can help you in developing a strong culture for your organization to become future-ready. For example, using Gamification in HR can provide you with a wealth of knowledge regarding managing your employees. You can learn about the best gamification methods for increasing employee engagement, the most effective communication methods, the common skills you should train your employees in, and much more.

Gamification Examples

Some of the examples of gamification in the workplace known for making the workplace fun, intriguing, and easy are as follows:

  • Gamification in the Workplace at Salesforce

Silicon Valley’s top gamification vendor, Bunchball, provided a solution that integrates seamlessly with the UI. The straightforward program has a customizable featured challenge, a progress indicator, and a team leaderboard. The application functionality and team standings use points and progression bars to show where various teams stand concerning one another. Employees can choose between physical or virtual items on the incentive tabs. The gamified experience motivates sales teams since they receive real-time feedback that encourages them to meet short-term and long-term objectives.

  • Workplace Gamification on the SAP Community Network (SCN)

SAP Community Network (SCN) has effectively used game elements to boost member engagement. Users may earn points on the gamified network by blogging, participating in forums, updating wiki pages, or delivering white papers. The user’s awards and points are totaled across all locations and displayed on a scoreboard that is accessible to everybody. SAP has added extra incentives to make these points more valuable to the staff. The community network points amassed qualify as a KPI for employee performance appraisals. 

  • AstraZeneca Gamifies the Launch of New Medicine

To educate freshly hired sales staff on novel medical treatments, AstraZeneca introduced a new training program in 2015 dubbed “Go To Jupiter.” The following gamified components were employed in this training to entice learners: mini-games, rewards for noteworthy accomplishments, leaderboards, and team contests. As a consequence, student engagement levels reached 97%, and the learner completion percentage rose to 95%. 

  • Gamification Is Used By Deloitte To Develop Senior Leadership

To aid learners in the development of their soft skills, Deloitte included gamification components in its senior leader training through the usage of their leadership school. Learners choose personal learning objectives and investigate numerous training subjects during the course. After completing each assignment, students are awarded badges to commemorate their accomplishments. They may also view leaderboards that show the top 10 users across various activities.

  • Gamification in the Workplace at PwC to Find Talent 

PwC uses gamification to find fresh talent using the game “Multiply.” Candidates can play the game to determine whether they fit the company’s ethos and can work there. The game also brings players together to solve difficulties related to actual business issues.

Gamification in Training

Employees would want to see gamification in the workplace, technical skill development, service and product training, and corporate compliance training. With 83% of staff feeling driven by gamified learning, there is a significant positive association between gamification training and staff engagement. Employee motivation results in increased productivity and much-reduced boredom.

Research indicates that 70% of L&D specialists will include gamification in corporate training initiatives. The top three favored game aspects that incorporate learning are ranked matches, badges, awards, and visually represented dashboards and progress indicators.

  • Dashboards and progress bars: The dashboards and progress bars display the activity’s current state of completion in terms of a percentage or other metrics. Users are encouraged to finish the task and come to a logical conclusion by the progress gauges.
  • Trophies and badges: These are awards and recognitions for learners’ successes, displaying their mastery of a particular subject.
  • Leaderboards: Leaderboards show how students compare to one another and foster a culture of competition that will help them succeed in their chosen industries.

How Does Game-Based Learning Affect Employees?

In today’s fast-paced corporate environment, when it takes less time to reply to customer inquiries and launch products, self-learning is an integral approach.

Team members are encouraged to be independent and involved in their learning using game-based learning strategies. This kind of problem-solving is also made possible by the knowledge of engaging in a game alone, which is just as crucial as working with others. Inspiring our innate love of games, game-based learning solutions deliberately teach us new abilities and expand our knowledge. By doing this, employers can measure the experience while also giving learners a meaningful one.

Puzzles, games that require players to solve problems and strategize challenge-based games, and situational judgment situations are all examples of teaching tools. The objective is to stimulate creativity, foster teamwork, and spark a fresh solution to problem-solving.

Also read: The Ultimate Guide to 360-Degree Feedback in the Workplace

Wrapping Up

You will get an idea about how to arrange and carry out gamification tactics at your organization with the aid of these ideas and insights regarding gamification for business.

Workplace gamification has the capability of making work more enjoyable. Employee engagement, happiness, and motivation may all increase as a result. They say that life is a game; therefore, let’s strive to make work seem more like a game. 

The use of gamification in the workplace will advance along with technological advancement. Reach out to Engagedly if you’re seeking a technological partner to help you adopt gamification.


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6 Problems Companies Can Reduce With Gamification

According to a statistics compendium published by Gitnux, 9 out of 10 employees noticed a rise in their productivity once a company integrated gamification techniques into the work experience.

The stat alone indicates that gamification has its place in the workplace. After all, it is common to see the trend of gamification growing in human resources. Specialists are looking at the available gamification mechanics and how these mechanics can be integrated with an everyday work environment. 

What Makes Gamification Effective?

If your supervisor puts in the effort to gameify the department, it means that they believe in the method. But where does such an approach come from?

Take yourself back to the days of when you were a student. The odds are that instead of doing schoolwork, you were more interested in playing games. The desire to procrastinate is hard to resist when you are surrounded by friends who encourage you to go outside and have some fun. And what about video games? Many of us have spent hours and hours on those.

The idea behind gamification’s success can be attributed to two notable characteristics—collaboration and game immersion. 

You cooperate with others and immerse yourself in a reality that helps you escape dullness. In a workplace that gets monotonous, introducing even a little bit of gamification can make a significant difference.

Also Read: The Growing Trend of Gamification in HR

The Benefits of Gamification

Benefits of gamification

It is also worth mentioning the benefits that come from gamification. It is not just a company as an entity that can benefit from it. Individuals stand to gain something valuable as well, which further encourages them to engage with the system. 

Besides the aforementioned aspect of having fun, gamification also:

  • Improves memory and attention span
  • Enhances storytelling and imagination
  • Helps with decision making
  • Creates a sense of achievement

Understanding how gamification benefits individuals makes it easier to see why the implementation of the concept can reduce certain problems that a fair few companies struggle to overcome. Let’s take a look at those problems in detail.

Employee Attraction, Motivation, and Retention

Employees are the heart and soul of a company, and it is up to the higher-ups to keep them happy and engaged while also ensuring that the right people join the team.

There are multiple perks that influence a potential recruit’s decision whether to join or not. It might not seem like a big deal, but if a company has a digital environment to help employees reach their goals, it will stand out from the competition.

An employee can join and play a game that tracks their status and goals. Once the participant clears a stage, they can move on to the next goal. A sense of direction also works as a means to motivate and encourage employees to continue. And if there is a reward in it, then that further boosts the desire to participate. With all that said, an employee who is happy and motivated will be much easier to retain, even if they receive offers from other companies.

One final thing to note, of course, is the fact that different departments have different priorities, and not every single person in a department is likely to have the drive to join. As such, it is crucial to think about different gamification levels and techniques that should be introduced.

Also Read: Hiring Advice: Staffing and Employment Trends for 2023

Employee Health

In a busy work environment where productivity and profits are prioritized so much, it is common to see health being overlooked. 

Overworking yourself to a point where you suffer consequences later is hardly ideal for long-term success. 

Implementing gamification is relatively simple. You can hire an app developer or pick one of the already available applications and encourage employees to treat using these apps as a game.

For example, an app could track one’s time spent in front of a monitor or how many calories they consume on average throughout a week or a month.

Setting goals to take regular breaks, balance your diet, or spend more time can be treated as a game so long as you track your progress and checkmark goals. 

By prioritizing employee health, a company further strengthens itself as a responsible employer. And similar to work productivity, instances of success in overcoming health problems or maintaining a positive result can also be rewarded.

Maintenance and Development Costs

By gamifying the workplace, a company stands to reduce its maintenance and development costs long-term. The overall savings might not be significant, but every little bit helps, especially for those who run on a tight budget or want to dedicate more resources to the well-being of the employees.

In this case, the purpose of gamification is to create a knowledge base and build a tool that collects data about employee engagement, training, progress, and so on.

It becomes much easier to identify which methods work and which do not when you have a gamification system in hand to provide instant results based on past experiences.

If a method is successful, it is worth continuing to use it and maybe developing further by investing more. On the other hand, if one of your gamification techniques did not prove good, you will have a piece of data to justify giving it up. 

Also Read: 8 Expert Strategies To Enhance Employee Productivity

Customer Loyalty and Brand Awareness

Brand Awareness

There are true and tried methods to boost customer loyalty and raise brand awareness. However, it does not mean that you cannot look for new and less conventional ideas.

Even if it is for the sake of variety, businesses stand to gain if they gameify certain aspects of their products and try gamification in sales.

First of all, you need to decide which elements you want to introduce. Choosing between one of the following should be a good start:

  • Points
  • Levels
  • Virtual currencies
  • Badges
  • Leaderboards

From a consumer’s point of view, there are two notable points of attraction. The first is competition against others, and the second is taking a direct advantage by participating.

Breaking these two down, let’s cover the competitive side first. Take Duolingo, for example. This well-known language education app has weekly leaderboards and multiple divisions that encourage users to spend more time on the app to learn and collect points and achievements because they want to be at the top of the leaderboards.

As far as the direct benefits go, those are pretty self-explanatory. If a service offers a discount code or a loyalty badge that enables free shipping, for instance, you can expect the engagement rate to grow significantly. 

So what does this all lead to? By engaging with the product, customers become more attached and loyal. Not to mention that they are more likely to share their positive experiences with others. And considering how effective word of mouth is, it is understandable to see more and more companies try gamification marketing a go.

Data Collection

In the era of digital information and strict laws on data management, it is tricky to collect data and utilize it. 

Brands make decisions based on the information they have. Customer demographics, habits, and other details help create a consumer persona that can then be utilized to create your targets.

However, businesses have to align the data collection with GDPR. Otherwise, they stand to break the law and face consequences.

The great thing about gamification is that it helps you circumvent the regulations. There are certain tools and services that let brands collect data legally. As for how this data is utilized, it is entirely up to the companies that gather the information.

Multiple Platform Reach

Roughly half of all the internet traffic comes from mobile devices. The other half is from desktops. 

The split creates quite a few problems for brands that are looking to create a universal marketing campaign to cover as many potential consumers as possible.

For example, ads display differently on smartphones compared to desktop computers. Or, if you open an email on a tablet, the odds are that it will not display as the sender initially wanted. Sure, in some cases, the fault lies on the user’s end because they do not have optimized devices. 

According to the Backlight blog, failing to clear the cache, remove spyware, or enable updates leads to performance and display issues. However, as a brand, you do not focus on these obstacles and want to do what you can do.

It is about efficiency. Managing resources is easier when there is a marketing method that works on multiple platforms.

Gamification is exactly that. Social media, apps, software as a service, and anything else with the potential to be gamified on both computers and mobile devices opens opportunities to make the most out of gamification without worrying about restrictions.

Also Read: Engagedly Gamification Module

Closing thoughts

All in all, the fact that gamification solves such significant problems illustrates why gamification solutions are on the mind of those managing both big and small companies.

The idea of gamifying your work environment is still relatively new and comes with certain challenges, but the benefits outweigh the drawbacks by a significant margin. As such, if your organization has not considered implementing gamification, now might be a good time to reconsider.

After all, companies that do not bother with it stand to fall behind the competition, and it can be difficult to make a comeback once everyone else is ahead.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is gamification and it’s example?

Ans. Gamification is the application of game elements and mechanics in non-game contexts to engage and motivate individuals. It involves incorporating elements such as points, badges, leaderboards, challenges, and rewards into activities or systems to make them more enjoyable and encourage desired behaviors.

Example: A fitness app that uses gamification could award points and badges to users for completing daily workouts, achieving personal milestones, or participating in challenges. Users can compete with friends on leaderboards, earn rewards or virtual goods, and track their progress visually. This gamified approach helps to motivate and sustain user engagement in their fitness journey.

Q2. How does gamification work?

Ans. Gamification works by incorporating game elements like goals, challenges, rewards, and competition into non-game activities. It engages and motivates people by tapping into their desire for achievement, progression, and social interaction.

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