How Gamification Impacts Sustainability Activities and Their success pathways


With employee engagement levels dipping, is your company garnering adequate buy-in for CSR programs? We discuss how gamification could boost engagement and garner genuine interest, for your workforce

This is now, the new normal.

Today, more and more firms are looking to integrate gamification into their communication strategies, in a bid to capture the attention of multiple stakeholders, and reach the widest possible audience on their sustainability/environmental initiatives. What gamification also achieves, is the strengthening of messaging techniques, driving innovation and understanding.

Before we delve deeper into gamification, and its multi-faceted impacts, let us look at the challenges CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) programs tend to face.

Ensuring the understanding, engagement, and interest-driving capabilities of a CSR initiative is not always the easiest to achieve. HR teams are today, aware of the importance of engagement, and its all-encompassing effects on employee performance and morale. Often, cost-intensive CSR plans fail to yield the intended results, and vital corporate messaging is lost in the chatter – or in inadequate communications blueprints.

GamificationOpens a new window , has an important role to play, in these scenarios. Let’s explore its key result areas.

Playable and interest-generating

The embedding of gamification into business practices takes advantage of a fundamental human desire: the need for games, to actively interact with a program, score points or prevent losing a few, and in the process, picking up new learnings. Gamification uses design elements taken from various games, and adapts the same for other situations, creating an atmosphere of fun and innovation, transforming behavior and motivating people to do more.

Game design elements can vary across a vast canvas – social templates (the need to achieve, the desire to know more, and the like), and artifactual templates (leaderboards, levels of difficulty, solving complex puzzles), among others. Gamification reinforces positive emotions, and can greatly affect employee behavior.

This is succinctly summed up by Gal Rimon, founder at GamEffectiveOpens a new window , speakingOpens a new window about their proprietary solution: “GamEffective supercharges employee performance and learning by using digital motivation and feedback; it does so by using what we know about motivation, goal setting, and gamification.”

Actionable and wide-reaching

Gamification has found implementation across sectors and in differing contexts, such as education, health & well-being, crowd-sourcing, civic understandings, transportation, and sustainability. It has also found presence on online communities and across social networks.

Popular instances include, awareness on environmental issues, facilitating sustainable behavior, driving work efficiencies, increasing information desire, enhancing productivity, improving social bonding, boosting group reflection, and pushing user activity.

How it works for CSR

Gamification is a great tool for actioning a CSR campaign. Change LabOpens a new window used this methodology brilliantly to create a training portal, meant specifically for fundraisers. However, what’s need is a clearly-etched and vibrant campaign, built on parameters that arouse concern/interest/curiosity, and mapped to genuinely transforming existing systems. The primary focus then, is on quality and content.

Key elements to gamify a CSR campaign include a rich and meaningful narrative with exciting & dynamic rendition, clearly-outlined rules and goals, rewards & recognition on the way forward, instantaneous feedback, social reinforcement, communication between various groups, and achievable tasks.

Looking through all the data

A critical advantage is from the data that gamification sources, allowing firms to assess who’s doing what, and how. With this, HR teams can select people for tasks best-suited to them, reward employees for good work, and strengthen loyalty. Managerial teams can also locate skill-gaps or the need for deeper expertise.

“We’re trying to solve the age-old problem of lack of engagement with learning goals or performance goals. This requires separating the HR space into two distinct silos: systems of record (such as LMS, HCM etc) and systems of engagement. Systems of record contain information about employees, such as personal details, competency models, reviews etc. Systems of engagement seek to actively involve the employee with their content,” and gamification effectively unifies these two components, believesOpens a new window Rimon.

Reputation score-cards, individual or team achievements, as against KPIs, goals, rankings, expertise distribution – can all help to people knowledge on organizational capabilities and goals.

An app like SabaOpens a new window could significantly simplify this, combining video-based learning tools with rewards & recognition. “The ability to securely incorporate high-quality video content into both our social and formal learning will greatly improve the learning experience for our associates and increase their engagement,” mentionsOpens a new window Process Improvement & Training stakeholder, Tim White.

Well there you have it; gamification is now an innovative way of making CSR plans come alive, actually strike a chord with target audiences, and engage with people on CSR issues. It also, as we said, is a true connector, making employees feel at one with the company, pushing productivity and profitability to new highs, while containing operational costs – in other words, a true enabler for both business and society.