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Gamification: A guide to bringing fun into your organization


“Humans are hard-wired to enjoy games and have a natural tendency to interact more deeply in activities that are framed in a game construct.” – Gartner

Organizations are looking for ways to be more innovative and engaging. Gamification has been proven to do just that. This guide will explain how to gamify your organization so that you can create a fun and productive work environment.

If you’re looking for a way to increase workplace productivity while injecting some fun and excitement, look no further than Gamification. Gamification is the use of game elements in non-game contexts, and it’s been shown to be a highly effective way of engaging employees and encouraging innovation.

This blog discusses Gamification and how businesses can adapt it to increase employee satisfaction, motivation, and commitment. So let’s get started!

What is Gamification?

Gamification is adding game mechanics into non-game environments, such as work, learning management systems, or business, to increase targeted outcomes. In addition, Gamification aims to engage with consumers, employees, and partners to inspire collaboration, sharing, and interaction.

The Value of Fun & Happiness in the Workplace

Promoting fun at work can positively impact several organizational functions and processes, including training, satisfaction, productivity, and engagement. However, the concept of using fun in the workplace is new.

Psychology teaches us that doing pleasurable activities releases dopamine, which leads to positivity and can counteract more uncomfortable feelings of boredom and stress. Finally, having fun allows us to connect and bond with colleagues and the organization.

There have been several academic studies on using fun to improve processes, practices, attitudes, and outcomes. Some of these studies include:

A 2015 study by the University of Warwick found that happy employees

  • increase productivity by an average of 12% to 20%

A 2019 study conducted by eLearning Learning concluded that knowledge retention increased.

  • Knowledge retention increases by 30% if an oral and/or text-based presentation is accompanied by images, infographics, and other types of visuals.

A 2020 study by BrightHR found that employees who have fun

  • 79% of employees think fun at work relieves stress
  • 62% of employees who have fun at work take fewer sick days
  • 87% of employees are less likely to leave if they are engaged at work

Many people would agree that when you enjoy what you are doing, it is more likely that you will do it well and continue to do it over a long period. However, it is new that an employer should go out of their way to empower employees to have fun in the workplace.

How can Gamification be used in business?

Gamification practices are an effective method of engaging employees, increasing productivity, and retaining employees. According to recent studies, game-based motivation increases employee engagement by 48%, and 72% of employees believe that Gamification inspires them to work harder.

The application of Gamification can be used for:

  • Training and employees development
  • Increasing employee motivation
  • Improving employee engagement
  • Enhancing employee productivity
  • Reducing voluntary turnover

What are game elements?

Essential game elements or characteristics include a narrative, rewards, timers, personalization, and rank. These game design elements add structure and context to the business constituent, such as employee training, customer service, sales, or production process, that the company intends to improve through Gamification.

Narrative: stories or narratives help to create context and build an emotional connection to the object, process, and outcome.

Reward System: provide a system of reward and achievement; when participants achieve outcomes that support the game’s objective, they are rewarded with points.

Rank: ranking is an extension of the reward system. This enhances the competitive aspect of the process, which helps to improve efficiency, innovation, and recognition.

Time: time-sensitivity helps to add urgency; the participants have X amount of time to achieve the desired outcome. (hours, days, weeks)

Personalization: using avatars, colors, and team identifiers, helps individuals or groups identify themselves with the process.

How do game design elements improve employee training?

Gamification is collaborative or competitive activities played according to a set of rules. Thus, gamification techniques result in a swifter learning process, greater learning retention, and improved behavior modification.

In training, game elements facilitate a learning context that appeals to our intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. A training environment can capture the trainees’ attention, interest, and focus through game mechanics.

It is important to note that gamification techniques appeal to emotions which are a powerful tool for learning. Emotions facilitate the encoding and retrieval of information more effectively, making the learning process much more efficient. In short, adding gamification elements to the work environment creates an emotional connection between the work, content, and trainees.

How does Gamification increase employee motivation?

Gamification adds game elements (such as points, levels, badges, and others) as incentives to use in a learning system; the critical aspect of Gamification offers rewards that provide extrinsic motivation to the user.

  • 83% of employees who undergo gamified training are more motivated at work (TalentLMS, 2019).
  • 72% of employees said Gamification motivates them to work harder (Review 42, 2021).

Game design elements appeal to both internal and external motivators:

  • Extrinsic motivation is externally driven, while intrinsic motivation comes from within. For example, extrinsic reward often refers to tangible rewards for completing a work task (similar to a goal or reward-based playing games).
  • Intrinsic motivation: on the other hand, employees feel satisfaction and enjoyment from simply seeing success within the achievement portion of the game mechanics.

How does Gamification improve employee engagement?

The idea behind Gamification is to introduce a competitive element to employees’ tasks, using public recognition and rewards to give them a greater incentive to meet personal and company goals.

  • 86% of young job applicants think that Gamification at work is fun and enjoyable (ResearchGate, 2019)
  • 71% of employees believe that Gamification increases energy levels (eLearning Industry, 2020).

How does Gamification enhance employee productivity?

Adding game principles such as time-based rewards and rankings is an effective way to increase employee engagement and productivity by activating the natural competitive energies within people. Employees are more motivated when they have goals to work towards. Further, gamification elements provide feedback, which helps employees learn from mistakes and improve their performance.

  • 89% of employees think they would be more productive at work if it were more game-like (TalentLMS, 2019).

Lastly, Gamification lets employees see their progress in applying what they’ve learned in non-game contexts.

Game-based learning is a great way to motivate employees and get them more invested in their work. If you’re looking for a way to improve corporate training as well as increase employee satisfaction, motivation, and commitment, look no further than Gamification. A gamification strategy can be adapted to any business or work environment, so there’s no excuse not to try it. Have you used Gamification in your workplace? What were the results? Let us know in the comments below.

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