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How to use gamification in the workplace

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Getting to grips with how to use gamification in the workplace is one of the most important things any HR practitioner can do for their team at the moment.

Times may be tough and the future of work may look a little murky as we all try to navigate a brave new normal, but there is also plenty of stuff to be excited about - including awesome new HR tech that leverages the many benefits of gamification. 


bountiXP is known as a cloud-based employee recognition and engagement solution that gets serious business results, but we’re also all about that gamification life. We believe behaviour change should be fun. 

This is why we give our clients the option of gamifying their program once their core metrics have been entrenched and they have access to a nice juicy database of performance and behavioural insights that speak to their team's needs in particular. 

By looping in the functionality of Playa, the gamification platform that falls under the bountiXP suite of user-friendly tools, employers can supercharge the application to draw players into a world of self-discovery and immersive motivation by means of cleverly designed motivational nudges, performance triggers and feedback. The result? Deeper engagement and measurable behaviour change. 

Please subscribe to our YouTube channel for awesome video content on everything from addressing common barriers to employee engagement, to employee recognition hacks. 

Pretty cool right? 

But let's take a step back and consider the notion of using gamification in the workplace as a concept for a moment. This is a good way to understand why it works so well. 


What exactly is gamification? 

Gamification, by definition, refers to a process of enhancing the overall user experience of certain activities and processes by applying game mechanics in order to engage, influence and motivate the user to interact. 

When you gamify a set of activities with compelling actions, processes, and control mechanisms you create a type of playing field of rules and rewards within your internal business processes. This makes it fun, challenging and satisfying to get in on the action. 


Let’s explain it at the hand of a practical example. 

Networking hardware company Cisco Systems wanted to get some internal competition going among their employees in order to turn their social media into a vibrant brand asset. So, in order to turn their team into kick-ass online brand ambassadors, they created a gamified SM training program that challenged them to progress from specialist, to strategist and master as they gained more knowledge and experience. 

As you can see, this is a much more effective way to encourage employees to benefit from ongoing learning opportunities than making it a compulsory KPI, for instance. 


Why do our brains love it so much? 

Our brains are hardwired to love games. We have this innate desire to receive awards, tick off achievements, and engage in competition with our peers to attain status among our group. When you look at it from this angle, you can probably tell that this stems from prehistoric times when the group member who could climb the highest, or carry the heaviest thing, would naturally progress in status because they are more adept at a) surviving, and b) getting stuff done. 

These days you can still get a lot of props for carrying really heavy things if you’re part of the CrossFit crowd, but we mostly tend to be more concerned with mental productivity in the workplace. As such. adding elements of gamification to conventional processes bridges this ‘excitement’ gap to get employees amped to engage in healthy competition (often with themselves) on a cerebral level. 


How can gamification be used in the workplace? 

Well, the sky’s the limit really - there are so many applications for gamification technology it’s a little ridiculous to be honest. In the end, it will boil down to what you want to achieve. However, there are certain tried and tested ways in which it can be applied. This includes: 


  • Making learning fun. Companies like Deloitte understand that a robust business model hinges on an adaptable workforce. As such, they boosted their Deloitte Leadership Academy training program with gamification to improve engagement, and succeeded in getting a more than 30% boost in participation levels week on week. 
  • Developing a strong employer brand and corporate culture. Hiring for cultural fit is one of the best ways to ensure that your people are happily engaged in their work. The U.S Army used gamified experiences to entice suitable recruits when they turned their training games into an awareness campaign by making it accessible to the public. 
  • Encouraging a healthy work-life balance. Happy, healthy employees are more productive, less likely to call in sick or burn out, and just more positive in general. In short, they're good for business. This is why many companies are choosing to weave gamification into their corporate wellness programs so they can enjoy the same levels of engagement associated with apps like Strava and Vitality Active.  
  • And so much more!

READ MORE: 8 Ways to help your employees achieve work-life balance


There you have it - a concise introduction on how to use gamification in the workplace to your business’ advantage. Check back soon for more insider insights on the latest HR tech trends and how you can leverage it to pave the way for awesome employee engagement levels. 

In the meantime, remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel for super helpful video content on topics like creating a fool-proof communication strategy and the importance of forming an employee recognition task team. 

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