How to Use Gamification to Boost Employee Engagement


This article was originally posted on HR Gazette.

As more companies realize the economic value of having an engaged workforce, we’ve seen an abundance of ping pong tables, kegs and snacks pop up in offices.

High employee engagement is linked to:

  • Better customer engagement
  • Higher productivity
  • Better retention
  • Higher profitability

While these perks are great and can promote comradery, they don’t necessarily boost employee engagement. However, there is a fun way proven to boost employee engagement: gamification.

How Gamification Motivates Behavior

Gamification is the process of adding elements of game playing (i.e., points, leaderboards, competitions, etc.) to something in order to increase participation and engagement.

Gamification works because it motivates behavior through:

  • Competition – People are naturally competitive and want to succeed.
  • Rewards – People are more inclined to participate when they’re receiving something in return.
  • Recognition – Recognition makes people feel appreciated and proud, and positively impacts attitude.
  • Cues to action – Prompting people to complete an action makes it more likely they will follow through

How to Use Gamification to Motivate Employees and Increase Engagement

  1. Set goals: If you want to use gamification to boost employee engagement, you need to determine how you’re going to measure engagement. One way this can be accomplished is by conducting a regular employee engagement survey to compare results.
  2. Find the right technology: There are a number of employee engagement solutions that use gamification to motivate behavior. Investing in the right technology will allow for a streamlined, scalable program. The easier it is for employees to use, the more likely they are to participate.
  3. Set employees up for success: Make sure you explain the purpose of the program to employees and teach them how to use any new employee engagement technology. You could even set up a fun launch party to generate excitement around the program.
  4. Tailor the program based on results: After the employee engagement program has launched, identify the key motivators for your employees. Tailor your program to maximize ongoing engagement based on their motivators.

Benefits of Using Gamification in the Workplace

Introducing gamification into the workplace offers a number of benefits:

  • Instant gratification – Employees are rewarded instantly for their efforts with fun gaming elements like competition, points and leaderboards.
  • Real-time, personalized feedback – When asked to provide ideas or fill out pulse surveys, employees can receive personalized responses back promptly without having to wait for an annual review.
  • Peer-to-peer recognition – Gamification makes it fun for employees to recognize their co-workers for their hard work.
  • Strengthens corporate culture – Incorporating gamification into an employee engagement program helps define your company’s culture both internally and serves as a great tool to attract fresh, new talent.

While it may seem counter-productive to introduce gamification in the workplace in order to increase employee engagement, the results are clear. Engaged employees work harder, smarter and will help grow your business.

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