Gamification in the Workplace: Stats, Engagement, and Examples

From Digitalhrtech 

Elements of gamification have well and truly found their place in our personal lives. The most simple example is that of customers earning (digital) loyalty points unlocking a reward once they’ve reached a certain level. Gamification in the workplace, however, is not a new concept but still has a long way to go apart from perhaps in the learning space.

A recently issued report shows some interesting findings about the current state of gamification at work; how do employees experience it, what’s the relation between gamification motivation and engagement, and what’s the latest gamification trend known as recruitainment about? 

What is gamification?

Put simply, gamification is the application of game elements in a non-game context such as for instance, the workplace. It’s a commonly used marketing technique to boost customer loyalty and increase engagement. 

At work, gamification can be used to enhance employee engagement and we see many examples of game elements in for example employee training and e-learning. 

Some of the more common (and traditional) gamification features people encounter in the workplace include: 

  • badges
  • virtual or physical rewards for accomplishments
  • leaderboards
How employees experience gamification 

Trying to make life at work, and by extension, the employee experience more fun using gamification is all good and well, but what do employees actually think of this? 

Where would employees like to see more gamification in the workplace for example? 

In their training and in communication software, according to the 2019 gamification at work report (also see the image below). In other words: two areas that don’t necessarily involve people’s everyday tasks but have more to do with additional projects.

If we zoom in on the type of training employees would like to see a gamified version of, we see the following results:

  • Corporate compliance training (unsurprisingly, if I may add)
  • Training on products and services
  • Technical skills development 

As for how people feel during their employee training it turns out that 62% feel motivated while 31% feel bored and unproductive. 

Gamification, motivation, and engagement

Granted, the fact that almost a third of the employees feel bored and unproductive during their training isn’t great. Luckily, there is good news too: there is an interesting correlation between gamification in employee training and employee engagement. 

As you can see, it seems that employees feel much more motivated on the one hand, and a lot less bored and unproductive on the other when they receive gamified training. 

And there’s more good news. Gamified software can also have a positive impact on employee morale; the same research shows that 88% of employees say that the gamification in the software they use at work makes them happier. 

Examples of gamification at work 

Let’s take a look at some examples of gamification at work now. After all, looking at survey results is interesting, but we want to know what gamification in action looks like, right? 

Recently, we already shared a case study about how Bosch uses gamification to build HR analytics skills, but here are 5 examples that cover other parts of the workplace: 

ChoreWars

ChoreWars proves that even the most tedious, mundane office tasks can become fun. Companies can use the tool to turn ordinary, boring tasks (chores) into an engaging competition. 

The US Army

The US Army is known for its well-designed, and sometimes controversial, training games. An example of the latter is a recruiting/promotion tool called America’s Army. Candidates can download the game and test their skills in a multiplayer strategic shooter environment. The game is considered a “cost-effective recruitment tool” by the US Army and it promotes adherence to the US Army’s seven core values. As such, it also serves Employer Branding purposes. 

Google

You were probably waiting for Google to pop up here, right? Google uses a travel expense game that concentrates on employees who travel a lot. Every penny that they save on their travels and that is officially allocated for the business trip is paid back to the employees as an addition to their salaries or they can give it to a charity.  

Deloitte

Earlier this year, our friend Tom Haak from the HR Trend institute listed a couple of good examples of gamification in HR. One of them came from Deloitte. The company has digitalized and gamified its onboarding process; new employees team up with other newbies to learn about functional elements such as compliance, ethics and procedures online and they also get a virtual office tour that is designed like a videogame. 

Formapost

Formapost has been using gamification to improve its retention in the first few weeks (they lost about 1 out of 4 new hires). Their ‘Jeu Facteur Academy’ guides candidates through a normal day as a postal carrier giving them a realistic job preview and including everything from waking up early to job ethics. As a result, their early turnover went from 25% to 8%. 

Recruitainment

It’s no secret that when it comes to HR technology, we see a lot of the innovation happening in the recruitment space. Therefore it doesn’t really come as a surprise that the use of gamification in the hiring process – also known as recruitainment – is becoming increasingly popular. 

According to the gamification survey, 45% of people have already encountered game-like elements during the recruitment process. Another 78% even says it makes a company more desirable. 

We’ve already mentioned virtual office tours and gamified onboarding programs as examples of gamification in recruitment. Another well-known application of gamification in recruitment can be found in pre-employment assessment tools. 

On a final note 

Gamification in the workplace has the ability to make work more fun. It can have a positive impact on employee motivation, engagement, and even happiness. Life is a game they say, so let’s try and make the workplace look like one a little more. 

 

FAQ

What is gamification?

Gamification is the application of game elements in a non-game context such as for instance, the workplace. It’s a commonly used marketing technique to boost customer loyalty and increase engagement. 

How do employees experience gamification? 

Employees feel much more motivated on the one hand, and a lot less bored and unproductive on the other when they receive gamified training. 

What are examples of gamification at work?

Gamification in the workplace can be used for numerous purposes: to cut down on travel expenses, to improve employee onboarding, to make tedious office chores more fun, to cut down (early) turnover, to build HR analytics skills, and much more. 

What is recruitainment?

Recruitainment is the use of gamification in the hiring process. Examples of recruitainment are virtual office tours, the use of pre-employment assessment tools and gamified onboarding programs.