Increasing Employee Engagement With Gamification 1179

Increasing Employee Engagement With Gamification

This article is a part of the All Things Talent Magazine (May 2018 Edition) – An Initiative By |

“Setting up of game-based training is crucial, in order to understand individual employees’ and teams’ strengths and weaknesses across the business KPIs.”

– Stephen Baer

What motivates employees to do their jobs well? Competition with co-workers motivates some. The promise of rewards motivates a few others. Pure enjoyment of problem-solving motivates a lucky few.

Many companies are increasingly tapping into these desires directly through games, leaderboards, and prizes. World-class brands including Intel, Merck, Microsoft, Pfizer, and Target are actively using games in their workplaces. A recent report suggests that the global gamification market will grow from $1.65 billion in 2015 to $11.1 billion by 2020.

What is gamification? It’s the use of games and game mechanics to engage people, motivate action, promote learning, and solve problems. By using storylines, challenges, mystery, characters, progression, feedback, freedom to fail, and rewards, employers are engaging their employees on a much deeper level. The effectiveness of games is no accident. Games offer significant benefits, including:

  • Engagement – By introducing an element of fun, games increase the engagement, interest, and motivation level of participants. As a result, they are also more attentive and willing to spend more time on learning.
  • Interactivity – Traditional learning methods frequently promote the passive intake of information. By comparison, games make training interactive. Through game theory, students participate in the experience, engaging in active learning and processing.
  • Increased understanding and retention – The engagement and interactivity aspects of gamification contribute to enhanced intake and retention of information. Studies have shown that game-based training can increase employee retention on course material by 9.5 times within 6 weeks of the initial training.
  • Immediate feedback – Games provide instant feedback about the success of the learner, which can motivate them to work harder or to keep up with their current level of learning. Games also provide feedback along the way about how close the learner is to achieving their goals, keeping them motivated, and providing valuable information about their progress.

“Some people are motivated by competition. Others are motivated by collaboration.”

But the word “gamification” and the widespread, conscious application of the concept only began in earnest about five years ago. Thanks in part to video games, the generation now entering the workforce is especially open to the idea of having their work gamified.

Also Read:  Talent Mantra: People Should Lead People

Some people are motivated by competition. Competitive games help us sprint the extra mile and prove, not only to ourselves but also to others, how great we can be. Others are motivated by collaboration. Collaborative games create a strong bond between co-workers. If one person does not know the answer, the team suffers. So, everyone is encouraged to help each other out.

Almost everyone is motivated by rewards. And rewards come in all shapes and sizes…cash bonuses, extra vacation days, a private lunch with the CEO. Proper time should be taken to understand what incentivizes the employees and that can be utilized as a reward in order to master what’s most important to the employer.

Keep things playful. The message to be focused on is self and team improvement vs. winning. As soon as competition shifts from wanting to win to wanting to see someone lose, it becomes toxic. This toxicity can even seep into a team itself where people battle to take the number one spot and lead their peers. To avoid competition filled with animosity and bitterness, the focus point of games should be winning through knowledge and not an arbitrary skill.

Analysis of data is important no matter how much in quantity. Setting up of game-based training is crucial to understand the individual employees’ and teams’ strengths and weaknesses across the business KPIs (analytical skills, communication skills, creative skills, listening skills, logic skills, problem-solving skills, etc). Increase in the amount data collected will result in higher improvement of the business.

“Proper time should be taken to understand what incentivizes the employees and that can be utilized as a reward in order to master what’s most important to the employer.”


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Stephen creates digital solutions designed to educate and activate audiences. Since the launch of “The Game Agency” eleven years ago, Stephen and TGA has developed award-winning game-based solutions that have been used for new-employee on-boarding, sales and product training, leadership development, and many other training topics. Stephen has also made significant contributions in shaping the education industry and disrupting the traditional learning methods after creating various interactive games such as S.T.E.M, Financial Literacy, and Social Skills which have been deployed in thousands of schools. He is also a monthly contributor to

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