Using Gamification In The Workplace To Boost Productivity

Last Updated on July 13, 2022 by Milton Campbell

If you’ve ever played a game on your phone or computer, you know that it’s easy to get addicted. The little dopamine rush that comes with accomplishing an achievement or receiving a notification can be difficult to put down. It makes sense why gamification in the workplace is so effective and popular. It’s an effective way for managers and employees to motivate each other and increase productivity. But as with most things, too much of something good can have negative consequences so it’s important not to abuse this practice with your workers.

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What Is Gamification In The Workplace?

Gamification is using game-type elements to engage employees in solving problems, interacting with each other, and completing tasks. Game elements make the experience more fun and engaging for users. It’s not just adding points or badges, though, it’s about rewarding users for their input.

Benefits of Gamification at Work

Turning the workplace into a game for employees can reap many benefits for your team and organization. First, you will see an increase in employee engagement and productivity. Second, you will see your employees’ loyalty to the company increase as well as their desire for collaboration with each other. Thirdly, by implementing gamification at work you can increase retention rates and reduce turnover costs by creating a pipeline of engaged employees who truly want to be there every day.

Disadvantages of Gamification Of Work

There are a few cons to gamification. The first is that it can be a distraction at work, which means you may not get as much done as you would otherwise. It’s important to note, however, that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing (depending on how you look at it). The distraction may also make employees feel like they’re playing games all day instead of performing their duties. Which may actually lead to higher productivity.

If your employees feel like they aren’t being taken seriously or respected by management, they will likely lose interest in the game quickly and may quit their jobs altogether. Gamification works best when everyone involved understands its purpose. Not just management but also the employees need to understand the company goals.

See Related: 14 Easy Tips on How to Be More Productive

Workplace Gamification Ideas

Here are some ideas for how you can use gamification in the workplace to motivate your employees and get them engaged in the workplace:

Create a leader board

A leader board is a great way to motivate employees and give them a way to see how they are doing compared to their peers. If you feel like your employees are not as productive as they could be, this is one of the best ways to encourage them.

It’s important that you keep this leaderboard up-to-date at all times. This will show your employees that you care about what they do and want them to get better at it.

Make sure that everyone has an equal chance at being on the leaderboard by creating groups or teams for each individual department so there can be more than just one winner overall within each group/team.

That way everyone gets recognition for what they do as well as see where they rank against other teams/groups in terms of performance metrics such as time spent working per week (e.g., 40 hours), the number of projects completed successfully within those 40 hours (e.g., 5), etc… The more specific these metrics are toward actual work done instead of just productivity per hour spent working means even greater incentive!

Tie rewards to actions

The key to a successful gamification strategy is tying rewards to actions. This means that you have to identify what kinds of behaviors you want your employees to exhibit, and then design a system that rewards those behaviors.

The first step in this process is figuring out what kind of behaviors are going to help your company succeed. If you’re just getting started, it’s best not to get too ambitious. A simple goal like “finish all team projects on time” will work just fine for now.

Once you’ve identified some actions that need rewarding, it’s time for the next step. Designing a reward system around them! This can take many forms, but one thing remains true no matter which method you choose. Your choice should be made with the goal of maximizing impact by not only focusing on top performers but encouraging improvement across the board.

See Related: 21 Employee Recognition Ideas To Show Your Employees You Care

Offer Desirable Rewards

It is important to choose rewards that are desirable. If an employee does not want the reward, then it will not be very motivating. It is also important for the reward to fit with your company’s culture and values in order to increase engagement. You should make sure that there are various types of rewards available so that everyone can participate or enjoy a different type of activity on each occasion.

Rewards can be something that employees can use on the job or during off-work hours if they wish. Rewards such as gift cards or paid days off can be great. However, if you offer rewards such as access to professional development opportunities, which may include travel expenses, then this will benefit the employee and the company.

Employees should also have access to things they want but cannot afford. This could include anything from clothing all the way to more luxurious items such as electronics and vacations!

Challenge your employees to work together to earn rewards

The ability to work together is a hallmark of effective employees. You want your employees to be able to rely on each other. Trust that their coworkers will do their jobs well, and get the job done in a timely fashion. One great way to help foster this kind of environment is through teamwork challenges.

These can take many forms, from encouraging your team members to make sure they’re all getting along with each other during meetings or lunches (and rewarding them if they do) to holding contests where teams compete against one another by performing some task or achieving a goal together (and rewarding them if they win).

See Related: 12 Tips to Build Team Cohesion and Increase Success

Monitor The Success Of Gamification

You will want to monitor the progress of your employees and workplace gamification efforts. This is a great way for you to track their performance, make sure you are making progress toward your goals, and ensure that you are achieving the results that were expected from gamification.

Have frequent small incentives rather than infrequent big ones.

You want to make sure that you’re rewarding employees on a regular basis. Don’t wait until the end of the year to give bonuses or rewards. Because then it becomes less of a surprise and not really a reward at all.

Instead, think about little things they can do throughout the year that will earn them credit. Like finishing their annual review within 30 days or submitting their timesheets on time.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to make it too hard for employees to get these rewards. If you have something like “complete your annual review within 30 days,” but then they’re working 60 hours a week, they may not be able to meet this goal every single time! So instead try looking at smaller goals (like being punctual) and smaller incentives (like getting 20% off lunch).

Company Examples of Gamification In The Workplace

While gamification is still a relatively new concept, there are many examples of it being used in the workplace. One of the best examples comes from Google as a way to encourage employees to work harder and more efficiently.

When you look at what sets Google apart from other tech companies, one thing that stands out is how well they take care of their employees. They offer free meals and snacks on campus, free massages and haircuts, free massage classes, and even a nap room! These perks are part of why Google has such a high retention rate among its workers. People don’t want to leave such an accommodating environment behind!

Their strategy for encouraging employees to stay happy and engaged in their work includes using gamification tactics but they are not the only company. Ford, Disneyland, Microsoft, Cisco, and Deloitte all utilize workplace gamification to get the most out of their employees.


Gamification can be great for motivating your employees and getting them engaged in the workplace but make sure not to overdo it and know when it’s time to take a break from the games.

If you’re using gamification in your workplace, make sure to keep an eye on your employees’ health as well. While they are having fun and playing games with you, they will also have higher levels of stress if they feel like they have too much work or don’t enjoy their job. So, make sure that everyone is happy with their work environment while adding gamification elements into the office.

With all of these examples and ideas, there is no doubt that gamification is a great way to get your employees engaged and motivated. If you do decide to go with this type of strategy, make sure to monitor it regularly so that it doesn’t become a distraction or an annoyance.

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