Reasons Why Gamification is Winning in the Workplace

Gamification has become one of the hottest buzzwords in the learning and training industry.  With more and more organisations seeking to use gamification as a means to boost employee motivation, engagement, and enjoyment in training experiences, we ask ourselves, what makes gamification effective? 


What is gamification? 


Before diving into the nitty-gritty of gamification, let’s start with the basics. 


Gamification is defined as the application of game-playing elements to another type of activity.  In other words, it refers to applying fun and engaging elements found in games to non-leisure contexts, such as training. 


The goal of gamification is to incentivise users to complete set tasks, with the aim of increasing user retention within your product or service.


When used adequately, gamification can encourage learners to apply their learning on the job, by challenging them with real-life situations in a controlled environment.


Gamification enhances learning


Games work because they satisfy our basic need for self-fulfilment, they motivate us intrinsically.  Our need for recognition, reward, status, and achievement can all be met by means of gamification.


As  humans we need to have goals, we want to feel valued, we are competitive and have a need for dominance and fame – this is where gamification comes in.


The aim of gamification within the training and development environment is to make learning fun and engaging, and done correctly it results in a more productive workforce. By creating incentive to complete tasks, employees are motivated to engage as they feel rewarded for their time and and are in turn more willing to work. 


Gamification is an efficient learning strategy that can be used to significantly improve the learning experience, as it:

  • Promotes friendly competition

  • Imparts a sense of achievement in learners

  • Engages learners to achieve the desired behavioural change

  • Motivates learners to advance through the course and take action, thus influencing their behaviour


Getting started


A case study by Deloitte emphasised the importance of 3 key questions. Findings show that before implementing this effective learning tool, it is important that executives view gamification as a business improvement initiative, and start by addressing the following business-related questions:

  • What are your business goals?

Define the problem you’re trying to solve. Question whether gamification is the correct tool for the job. 

  • Who is your audience?

Define the end user. Will this be directed at internal employees or external stakeholders, such as distributors or sales reps?  The goal is not to trick target audiences, but rather to combine behavioral science with social technologies to increase collaboration and engagement levels.

  • How will you track success?

Set measurable objectives so you can determine the success of your gamification efforts. Remember, you need to capture and analyse data, define your metrics, and set benchmarks. 


Only after these three questions are addressed should implementation start to take place. With the right strategy and full support of top management, gamification can prove the winning formula to learning and development of any workplace.