Tackling Disengagement with Workplace Gamification


At a time when companies across the board are looking to improve employee engagement, workplace gamification is an emerging strategic movement, capable of transforming how employees go about their jobs and find a sense of community at the workplace. We discuss the many facets of workplace gamification and its four key benefits.

While employee engagement levels have been steadily rising, it remains an issue for a huge segment of employers. 36 percent Opens a new window of businesses report that employee engagement is a big challenge and continue to look for new ways to connect with their workforce. Even more alarmingly, 6 percent of businesses have no strategy or documented plan in place to improve their engagement metrics. In this context, workplace gamification emerges as a viable method for engaging and involving employees at every level – this spans key areas from productivity to HR services and L&D.

Also read: Why 2019 will be the Year of Gamification in Corporate LearningOpens a new window

Workplace gamification can be especially useful for employees who have been around for a long time, as engagement numbers witness a drastic decline after the first few years of joining. Let’s consider four ways in which workplace gamification can help.

4 Key Benefits of Workplace Gamification

  1. Workplace gamification promotes friendly competition and imparts a sense of achievement in employees: By instituting challenges/milestones and creating an evolving narrative, employers can instill a sense of competition and motivate employees to perform better. These goals can also be customized in line with personal professional targets, helping employees get back on their path to development.
  2. Workplace gamification makes feedback and rewards more transparent: It’s a proven fact that employees tend to perform at higher levels when receiving continuous feedback/responses from their team members or managers. A gamified framework regularizes feedback scenarios, calling for scores and ranks at regular intervals on the productivity value chain. Further, all rewards (monetary, benefits, or simply recognition) are automatically linked to feedback, ensuring the system remains transparent and fueled by accountability.
  3. Workplace gamification helps strengthen inter-personal relationships: Social connections are a great way to make sure that employees remain engaged and invested in the organizational fabric. By gamifying the social elements on a company intranet, it is possible to inspire connections across diverse teams and hierarchies, fostering a sense of community in the workplace.
  4. Workplace gamification leads to improved user experience: In the modern workplace, employee experience is as important as productivity and retention. Gamification brings in smart interface and UX design, engaging employees via digital channels. Further, UX best practices are embedded in game theory – this maintains a high quality of employee experience, even as they navigate different channels and digital solutions.

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Introducing Gamification in the Workplace

Once the argument for workplace gamification is made clear, employers must explore strategies for implementing this methodology in various scenarios.

There are two ways to do this:

  • Adopt turnkey gamification-compatible digital modules across HR functions such as L&D, employee benefits, time & attendance, or even recruitment. GamEffective, for instance, focuses on performance management and L&D. “We’re trying to solve the age-old problem of lack of engagement with learning goals or performance goals. On the learning side, industry analysts are stating that LMS engagement is at 2% – 20% at most. On the performance side, managers are finding it increasingly difficult to engage employees in a dialogue about performance, communicate performance goals or guarantee alignment of the workforce,” GamEffective’s CEO and Founder Gal Rimon told us in an exclusive interviewOpens a new window .
  • The alternative is to apply the principles of game theory to regular workflows – this involves a careful combination of technology and business transformation strategy. First, it is important to encourage collaboration among the workforce; only when employees are eager to collaborate with each other and work in a shared environment, can workplace gamification succeed. Next, based on the unique organizational culture, the objectives and desired metrics are defined along with rewards and recognition types at each step. Finally, workplace gamification has to be complemented by continuous improvements – remember game theory is based on repeated engagement by the same participant. Without regularized changes and updates to the narrative, any workplace gamification project could fall flat.

Also read: Gamification and HR – Not Just Fun and GamesOpens a new window

In Conclusion

All of this does not imply that workplace gamification is a one-size-fits-all answer to engagement challenges. Motivation will always differ from person to person; someone could be motivated by power, others by achievement, some by a sense of community, and others with a feeling of competence. A truly effective workplace gamification framework will be able to emulate all these drivers in a gamified format, simulating the same through leaderboards, scorecards, badges, personas, and other elements.

At the end of the day, it is all about inspiring in your employees love for what they do; with routine tasks becoming monotonous sooner or later, workplace gamification provides the means to extend engagement even in the longer run.

How do you plan to adopt workplace gamification in 2019? Post your thoughts on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter and tag us to start a conversation.