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Updated on November 18, 2022

Gamification In The Workplace: How To Keep Your Employees Happy, Motivated, And Productive


Despite popular perception, fun and games aren’t just for children but for adults as well. And by gamifying your workplace, you can help your employees see work through a more positive lens, making their experience engaging and enjoyable. 

According to recent findings, globally, around 70% of 2000 businesses have incorporated Gamification into their everyday operations, with nearly 100% of employees admitting that they thoroughly enjoy their gamified workplaces. Meanwhile, a 2019 gamification survey by TalentLMS, showed that 61% of people who received non-gamified training reported feeling unproductive and bored. 

Human beings are much better at learning when game-like elements are injected into learning. The reason for this is that this approach is both challenging and rewarding, which motivates people to become deeply immersed in what they do.

For example, some training programs are seen as mundane and repetitive, but with the help of Gamification, they can become much more enjoyable and immersive. 

In the workplace, you can include a scoring system, special achievement-based badges, exciting learning paths, and different difficulty levels for each stage/module. You’d be surprised by the rise in motivation in your employees. 

In this article, we’ll explore what Gamification in the workplace is, how to incorporate it into your business, and the many benefits that come with it. 

Gamification Defined 

Coined by serial entrepreneur Nathan Lands, the term “Gamify” refers to the application of video game elements into software to boost brand and product engagement and build team unity.

This can include customer/employee/learner perks such as freebies, monetary benefits, leveled rewards, special badges (e.g., VIP status), and other incentives to encourage user participation

Unlike traditional video games, Gamification is not about creating a new game that stands on its own but rather about extracting the most motivating and fun aspects of games and using them to improve productivity, physical exercise, flow, user engagement, and more. 

It is no longer a secret that companies that gamify their interactions with customers and employees drive more sales, have a better return on investment (ROI), reduce churn, and often reap more than double the benefits of their competitors.

Gamification tools can catapult user engagement to exceptional levels and have played a vital role in revolutionizing industries such as eLearning, iGaming, and others.  

So if you’re looking for something that will engage and captivate your customer base, Gamification might be the most potent option currently available. 

Gamification In The Workplace: A Detailed Breakdown

As previously mentioned, Gamification in the workplace refers to using game-like techniques in non-game environments. 

Businesses create internal tournaments/competitions to motivate and engage their workers in a friendly race with exciting rewards.

The following are examples of how businesses gamify work:

  • Workers who earn top scores on workplace safety can earn valuable company-branded items. This is how people are encouraged to put a tighter focus on trying to get as many correct answers as possible rather than rush through the test just because it’s mandatory. 
  • The business has created a series of online courses on various topics, and those who complete a course receive a certificate. This is how businesses motivate their employees to work on their skills and gain precious knowledge that can help them down the road.
  • Rather than helping their workers grow through manuals and presentations, a company can create short-length courses that include exciting quizzes, cool characters, a scoring system, and a leaderboard. By including interactive elements, a business can drive participation rates and increase worker engagement so that they digest and remember what they learn. 

Apart from immersing your workers, you can also use Gamification to attract new employees and reward loyal customers. 

Gamification At Work: Examples

In the following paragraphs, we will look at some examples of how popular companies use Gamification to boost employee performance and engagement, starting with…


ChoreWars has managed to make even the most boring and repetitive work processes fun. Businesses can take advantage of this tool to turn mundane everyday tasks into immersive and healthy competition. 

The United States Army

The US Army is famous for its deep and, at times, surprising training programs. For example, they have a promotion/recruiting strategy shooter multiplayer game called America’s Army, which potential recruits can download to put their knowledge and skills to the test. 

According to the United States Army, the game is a low-cost recruitment tool that promotes adherence to its seven core values, and as such, it also does wonders for its branding.


The Google company has a travel expenses game that focuses on workers who do a lot of traveling. Anything they can save on their journeys and is allocated officially for their business travels is reimbursed to the workers as a bonus to their salaries. They also have the option to donate it to charity. 


Deloitte is an excellent example when it comes to Gamification in HR

They have gamified and digitized the onboarding process in the following way: 

Fresh workers form teams with other newcomers to expand their knowledge in areas such as online procedures, compliance, and ethics. Employees are also guided through a virtual office tour that is designed just like a regular fun videogame. 


Cisco uses Gamification in the area of learning and development for many different projects. 

They started injecting gamified practices into their social media training sessions to motivate workers to expand their knowledge and learn new skills. 

Cisco’s marketing team takes advantage of Twitter’s power and influence to provide a better customer experience. They also learned how to use LinkedIn to expand their customer base, while HR personnel learned how to use it to find new employees. 

The company also has three levels of certification to keep track of and promote employee progress in using new skills and techniques. 

With the help of team tasks, they elevate the element of entertainment, and for performing different tasks effectively, players can earn special rewards like badges. 

Gamification Techniques

The following are some of the most efficient tried-and-tested techniques that have helped businesses in various industries find success.

1. Leaderboards

Leaderboards are a perfect way to list the points employees or learners have earned during their developmental journey. There are, however, some things to keep in mind before setting up a leaderboard. The benefits of healthy competition are dependent on the player’s drive to perform better than others or if they just want to avoid failure. If they’re competing to improve themselves, their performance will also increase. But if they’re in it just to pass, they won’t see much improvement. 

The drive to win only boosts performance if the game being played can give them a sense of heightened accomplishment and mastery, but it is not sufficient to protect them from the downsides of competitive social situations. If that is the case, you could set up the leaderboard in a way that makes everyone feel worthy and accomplished, no matter the size of their achievements. 

2. Badges 

You can set up different types of badges that can be earned through good performance. This could even be used as a substitute for traditional marks. It will make for a more fun learning experience, and the badges will motivate employees or learners to do their best to earn the shiniest badge. Badges should be awarded based on overall performance, timing, and homework completion, among other things.

3. Roleplay

Roleplaying is one of the most exciting aspects of video gaming. By giving people the opportunity to step into the shoes of different professionals such as a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, etc., you can unleash their hidden potential as they put their imagination to the test. In the process, they also learn new skills and increase their empathy levels. 

For example, through roleplaying, you could train a group of future nurses on how to handle stressful situations in the hospital. Two people could be playing the role of a panicked mother and her son who needs urgent medical care, and the other could be playing the part of the nurse. In this situation, the nurse would be able to test her reaction skills, as well as her ability to remain calm under pressure.

4. Competitions

Creating a competitive environment for learners is a bulletproof gamified solution for increasing motivation. For example, a teacher can set certain rules and standards, and any time a person from the class adheres to the rules and standards, the entire class earns a point. Should one student fail to do so, however, the entire class loses a point. If the class earns enough points to win the game, the teacher can reward the class with a prize of their choosing (e.g., a treat, a fun activity, or a longer break pause). 

The most potent strategy is to incrementally introduce a few gamified elements here and there and give it some time to see which ones work best and do the most to advance your employees’ or learners’ abilities. Needless to say, if something doesn’t work, you can just take it out and try something else. 

5. Visuals

Visually pleasing elements have the power to get people’s attention and make them feel much more engaged with their learning — and when it comes to eye candy, bright colors and graphics provide the most visually-pleasing learning experience.

6. Onboarding Missions

The onboarding process for employees often comes with tons of information about the company, which can be too much for newcomers to handle all at once. Instead of bombarding them with courses to complete and materials to read through, try including all the necessary information in fun onboarding missions for people to complete.  

For example, in their first few days in the company, new people can be given a mission of completing an e-Learning course on company basics. On their second mission, they could be encouraged to get to know key company personnel. You can add an element of fun to the process by giving people little rewards for their accomplishments along the way. 

7. Tournaments & Competitions 

We all enjoy friendly competition. By giving learners the option to compete against each other or as a team against others, you can massively increase their motivation. Also, introduce leaderboards/scoreboards so people can keep track of their achievements and do their best to earn a spot among the top performers. 

8. Constructive Feedback

Talking to your learners/students about their performance is an amazing way to keep their drive up, as it allows them to track their progress while they advance through each level of the game.

The Pros And Cons Of Gamification In The Workplace

Gamification can help you elevate the workplace in many ways. However, like everything else, it has its minuses. Let us take a look at both sides of the gamification coin, starting with the positives. 

Pros Of Gamification In The Workplace

1. Drives Worker Engagement And Productivity

Gamification boosts employee engagement and productivity in three crucial ways:

  • Focus: Activities with an interactive nature are separated into tears that meet certain KPIs while employees are kept focused on their given tasks. 

Gamified aspects are usually spread out into smaller targets that can be managed easily. This is a crucial part of training for new workers in distracting work environments. Workers are also incentivized by winning different kinds of rewards for completing tasks, so climbing the skill ladder makes them feel proud and truly valued. 

  • Learning: It may be a challenge for employees to learn the necessary skills promptly, especially since, nowadays, many people are onboarded remotely. 

For example, call centers can understand the progress of new and current workers and provide sufficient training depending on what developmental stage they are in, as needed, by employing gamified content such as special trivia sessions. 

Also, sessions can be set up in a way so that employers can focus on areas where staff need to concentrate the most. 

  • Motivation: Workers can earn points they can then use to buy things in a rewards marketplace as they go head to head to beat a gamified task or get the right answers in a trivia game. The more they participate in this kind of training, the more points they earn to spend on exciting rewards. 

Employers can also keep track of progress toward chosen KPIs during the employees’ journey. 

2. Encourages And Strengthens Teamwork

Gamification has various crucial components, one of which is the competitive element. That is the key aspect that helps employees compete against each other while learning the skills that ultimately help them and the company rise to the top. 

It’s crucially important that employees feel like they’re a vital part of the team at any time. 

When like-minded people work side by side towards reaching the same goal, no hurdle can stand in their way. 

Nowadays, workers are often involved in company activities, and Gamification makes these much more fun and enjoyable. 

3. Encourages Smarter Thinking And Creativity

Gamification has the power to help employees approach different high-risk situations in more creative ways. 

Businesses can include various elements to make games more challenging and introduce employees to the most difficult-to-solve problems they may come across. 

Hence, learning games are perfect for stimulating out-of-the-box thinking. 

4. Provides A Defined Call To Action

Another great thing about Gamification is that it gives employees immediate feedback on their performance as well as guidance on the next steps by integrating with workplace apps. 

In addition, it can work like magic when it comes to onboarding new workers.

Thus, following an outlined step-by-step process can lead to much better performance. 

5. Can Be A Great Tool For Valuable Feedback

Scheduled performance updates are valuable feedback mechanisms if the performance monitoring process is computerized and integrated with business applications. As an employer, it is advisable to assess people against their previous performances rather than on the current leaderboard.

Gamification feedback systems such as leaderboards can be used regularly via auto updates. Another positive here is that they provide continuous feedback, whether it is on a weekly or monthly basis. 

Cons Of Gamification In The Workplace

Even though Gamification in business environments can help workers overcome obstacles and build their skills more quickly and efficiently, it can also have some weak points, including:

1. Can Be Messed Up Easily If Not Done Properly

Many businesses make bad strategic approaches when it comes to Gamification. 

They often push point systems, leaderboards, and badges, on every task instead of constructive deeper, more thought-out experiences that merge the spirits of teamwork and competition. 

Also, they can fail to bring about engaging and relevant work environments for their workers. 

2. Can Feel Pushy And Boring

When a company forces employees to take part, it can foster an environment of dishonesty. 

Naturally, this can make people look for ways to cheat from the very start of gamified activities like competitions. 

Hence, it comes as no surprise to anyone that a game-like work environment can also attract the wrong kind of employees — those who are more likely to look for cheap shortcuts to get a raise or a pat on the back. 

3. The Excitement Can Diminish Over Time

When it comes to Gamification, it’s not always easy to keep things fresh and engaging.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it can become tedious for workers to keep themselves motivated by competitions and rewards they wouldn’t normally find fun and engaging, so you need to craft your approach in a way that would be inspiring to all. — A One-Stop Gamification Solution

When it comes to Gamification, is a trusted and globally recognized leader in the field. And while it has a tight focus on the iGaming, Casino, and Sports Betting industries, can be integrated with and help any business reach new levels of success. is a leader in providing state-of-the-art Gamification and CRM automation software solutions. Its CRM tool combines player analytics data with machine-learning algorithms to help businesses of various industries gain a deeper understanding of people and their needs while also providing valuable data insights to ensure retention, loyalty, and much more.

As a leading Gamification & CRM Automation solution, Smartico offers:

  • Various intuitive challenges and gaming techniques.
  • High-value incentives that encourage long-term loyalty and retention, elevate player value, strengthen engagement, and boost user acquisition.
  • Multi-Currency/Language/Deep Brand Support.
  • Missions – Engage players with fun real-time solo or multiplayer tasks.
  • Points – Encourage players to keep coming back through point-based incentives and unlockables.
  • Badges – Stand out from the rest with sleek badges and earn free spins for each earned badge.
  • Levels – Players gain experience and special perks after each successful level or tournament completion.
  • Incentives – Motivate players to come back for more with unique rewards and bonuses. 
  • Marketplace – Players can actualize their points by cashing them in for free game spins or other awards, such as online shopping vouchers. 
  • Mini-Games – Players can reset their senses through short, award-earning games.
  • Tournaments – Set your own qualification rules and offer your customers a powerful endorphin rush with Smartico’s special tournament system.
  • Leaderboards – Set daily, weekly, and monthly prizes and watch your user engagement skyrocket.
  • Bonus Engine Integration – Cash bonuses, free spin bonuses, and more.

And that’s just a small sample of what’s on offer. Smartico can help your business grow exponentially by supplying the solutions needed to bring the motivation in your company to a whole new level. Book your free in-depth demo today at:  

Final Words

If done right – exciting gaming elements applied to relevant situations – employees and students can experience a rise in motivation and engagement with the content. With the help of Gamification, people can find the motivation to fully engage with their work or studies while building skills and improving their memory retention abilities.  

Gamification is bringing new levels of success to businesses of various industries and is here to stay. By ratifying the workplace, you motivate employees to focus on results, which has the potential to turn them into masters of their craft. In turn, this drives sales and business growth. With Gamification, the sky is the limit. 


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