4 Ways to Use Gamification in the Workplace

4 Ways to Use Gamification in the Workplace


In 2013, the Gallup report on the “State of the Global Workplace” found that only 24% of Australasian employees are considered engaged in their jobs. Every manager knows that a checked-out team is bad for everyone, but how do you maintain morale? Enter gamification.

Gamification reframes the existing elements of tasks so that they are more intrinsically rewarding. According to gamification thought leader Jane McGonigal, “When you strip away the genre differences and the technological complexities, all games share four defining traits: a goal, rules, a feedback system, and voluntary participation.”

With that in mind, here are four ways to make gamification work for your team.

1. Work gamification into training

The foundation for employee engagement is built in the first days of a new job, and a good experience in training goes a long way. Given the choice between a static manual, an hour-long lecture in a board room, or a fun and challenging game which instantly rewards comprehension and retention, which would you choose? There’s a world of software and apps available to blur the lines between learning and playing, with the market improving all the time.

2. Be clear about objectives

When you implement a gamified solution you probably have a clear objective in mind: you want the employee to learn something, take an action, or achieve a goal. To really make gamification work, you also need to understand what the player wants and what makes the experience rewarding. When you judge the success of a game, both sets of objectives are important. An employee might achieve the business objectives but remain unfulfilled by the process: a recipe for disengagement.

3. Prioritise collaboration over competition

While healthy competition can be motivating up to a point, any game where there must be a loser can undermine the goal of engagement. When using gamification to measure and reward performance, the best results come from games where employees must work together to achieve goals. If there is an element of competition, it should be self-competition, where the employee is striving to outdo their own personal best.

4. Use gamification for workplace wellness

Gamification can also be used to make life better for your employees in other ways. Research has shown that the use of gamification in wellness programmes can be exceptionally successful. A healthier team who feel that their employer is invested in their well-being is a happier, more engaged, and more productive team.

Your experience with gamification

Has your business experimented with gamification? If so, what plans were implemented, and were they successful in boosting engagement? Leave a comment below to join the conversation.

This article was written by Tanya Ashworth-Keppel on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources were used to compile this article: Gallup, Carnegie Management, School of Thinking, ForbesAssociation for Talent Development and  CIO.

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