How Gamification In The Workplace Impacts Employee Productivity


Gamification is the latest trend to land in workplaces and is effectively helping employers make work more enjoyable for employees by tapping into the need for instant rewards, gratification and feedback. Using gamification practices is a great way to boost employee engagement, improve productivity, and keep good talent in the company longer.  

Recent studies have found that using game-based motivation increases engagement by 48% and 72% of employees believe that gamification inspires them to work harder. LiveOps, a cloud-based contact centre solutions company with over 20,000 remote customer service agents, wanted to gamify their employees’ activities to increase their engagement and their productivity, and decrease the company’s high turnover rate.  Rajat Paharia, founder of Bunchball, came to the company with a solution; an app whereby employees earned rewards when they completed training, and hit call time and quality KPIs. For LiveOps, the gamification tool was a huge success; within a week of launching the programme, 80% of the company’s agents opted in. Participating agents outperformed their peers by 23% in average call-handle time and boosted customer satisfaction by 9%.

As shown in the example above, gamification can be used to:

  • Educate employees
  • Motivate employees
  • Engage employees
  • Boost productivity
  • Lower turnover rates

An effective gamification system impacts employees’ attitude and behaviour in the workplace through:

  • Motivation: The offer of rewards and recognition motivates employees to work harder towards the goals and targets set for them.
  • A sense of competition: People are competitive by nature – employees like to compete with themselves or with others for rewards and opportunities.
  • A sense of purpose: Gamification rewards aren’t always monetary; some companies offer career development and training courses, and this gives employees a sense of purpose in the company. They are motivated to work hard by opportunity of upskilling or moving up their career ladder.

How to implement gamification in the workplace:

  1. Define your goals: Know what you want to achieve and why. This will help you create a gamification system that work towards the organisation’s overall goals and milestones.
  2. Understand your employees: You need to know a) what you want your employees to achieve through and b) what rewards and incentives will motivate them to hit their targets.  According to One4all’s UK Managing Director, Alan Smith, ‘Gamification is all about fun and competition, so it’s important to choose a reward that your employees will want to strive for. Whether your system is based on small, regular prizes or long-term projects, One4all Gift Cards offer manager flexibility to reward their staff quickly and conveniently with a gift they will truly value.’
  3. Make sure it’s fun: Research has shown that 95% of employees enjoy using gamified systems. Involve your employees in the creation process as much as possible; gather ideas from employees and put together a small group to beta test and become advocates for the system when it’s rolled out.
  4. Track, track, track: Leaderboards are an essential element in any gamification system, big or small. These need to be kept up-to-date to help employees stay on track of their targets.

A successful example:  

Enterprise technology giant, SAP, needed to find a way to motivate and train sales professionals for complex consultative meetings with potential clients. Instead of using traditional methods like coaching and five-hour meetings, the company created a gamification app, Roadwarrior. In this system, real life examples and data are used to create simulated meetings which SAP’s sales representatives take part in. They answer questions successfully to earn badges and unlock higher levels within the game, and a virtual leaderboard motivates them to work harder against others. This is a perfect example of a successful gamification system as not only is it enjoyable for employees, it teaches them essential skills and information needed to improve their roles in the field. It worked because SAP understood what their employees needed and introduced a system that was fun but effective in achieving the overall goal.