How To Implement Gamification Into Your Workplace While Maintaining Professionalism

Gamification and HR

Gamification is the process of applying gaming principles to non-game instances.

Gamification can be a highly effective tool for keeping employees engaged. However, one downside of gamification is that it can sometimes cause a business to appear less professional. Fortunately, there are some methods your workplace can implement that will keep your office professional while also creating incentives for great performance.

Gamification Basics

Gamification involves creating an alignment between incentives and motivation. Employees are provided with rewards for achieving milestones. This could come in the form of useful rewards, such as a bonus, or can come in the form of recognition. In the meantime you can even make it fun! Provide competitions and challenges for your employees to help make work more fun.

Rewarding Employees

One of the challenges of rewarding employees just with money is that employees eventually become desensitized to these rewards. Larger paychecks are thrilling initially, but employees inevitably become desensitized to them. However, it is unrealistic to forever inflate the size of your employee’s paychecks for each victory. Therefore, other incentives need to be devised.

Instant Feedback

An important part of gamification is to provide instant feedback. For example, to get cashiers to ring up customers more quickly, Target has implemented a red/green system in which a green light flashes when the cashier is close to the ideal speed, while a red light flashes when the cashier isn’t close to the ideal speed. The most important part of this approach, and what keeps it professional, is that it only takes one aspect of games and incorporates it into the workplace rather than turning the cashier’s job into an actual game. The green light rewards the cashier by providing recognition for a job well done.

Adapting To A New Workforce

Gamification still needs to incorporate the basics of good management that managers will often learn when working on their online mba programs. However, when working with millennials, traditional notions of motivation, such as the simple transaction of money for labor, do not work for newer generations of workers. Millennials, for example, need to feel that their work is meaningful in order to be motivated to perform it. This is accomplished by providing more transparency in how the actions of the employees have a real world impact.

Tracking The Results

Regardless of the method used to increase gamification, a professional manager will track the success of the program to determine whether it is increasing or decreasing performance. Gamification approaches that have worked well for some businesses have actually lead to a fall in productivity for other businesses, often the result of differences in the types of employees hired.

About the Author

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max. Kara recommends looking into online MBA programs for more information on how to effectively implement gamification into your workplace.

  • Pierre S.

    Hi there,
    Thanks for writing about gamification. I hope the idea will spread around more rapidly. I’ve changed a job lately just because they offered nice tools to motivate the team. Two tools I can recommend: (more versatile) and (better inegrated with the tools we use). Any other examples?