From Wikipedia:

Gamification is the use of game design techniques, game thinking and game mechanics to enhance non-game contexts. Typically gamification applies to non-game applications and processes, in order to encourage people to adopt them, or to influence how they are used.

Are there any resources available on how to take first steps in introducing gamification into a workplace? What are the best ways to start this process?

  • 6
    Note that the wikipedia article tells you what "gamification" is, but it doesn't tell you whether it's a good idea or not. In many situations it is not. Especially if you have intelligent people who will see at just as cheap manipulation.
    – gnasher729
    Jun 15, 2019 at 23:02

2 Answers 2


There are lots of ways to do this! Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Whoever solves this tough problem can leave an hour early on Friday.
  • Whoever takes this unpleasant assignment gets a free lunch.
  • If the team can overcome this obstacle, I'll give you all next Friday afternoon off.

Now the only downside to this - and some people really feel this is significant - is that it trains your team to expect rewards beyond the normal rewards of working. You will need to decide if it's worth it.

  • 4
    If your workplace has a tech support group, using the StackExchange model of reputation to help answer customer questions isn't a bad way to go either, so long as you make sure not to de-prioritize some customers' inquiries.
    – jefflunt
    Apr 14, 2012 at 14:40
  • 19
    This answer seems to be promoting the idea of using Gamification to create extrinsic motivators, but this is a dangerous path to follow.
    – Mark Booth
    Apr 16, 2012 at 10:54
  • @Mark Booth I agree. I think that the rewards should be a bit more fun oriented rather than time/money oriented May 8, 2015 at 6:17
  • 5
    This is answer is not good, as this may create a very hostile workplace - it's not just that the team will work to rewards, individual will work towards rewards. It may go as far as indiviuals picking "lucrative" tasks and competing over them, even more than it would be in a normal workplace dynamics.
    – Sascha
    Jun 14, 2019 at 9:53

Arguably the simplest form of gamification would be a friendly contest. It could be anything, as long as it's work related, fun, and not too competitive. Fun rewards could range from silly t-shirts to books, nothing too pricey, you don't want people to get fixated on the price. The contest topic should be something related to the current goals of the company / team / project, whichever applies most, and it shouldn't be anything more serious than a friendly challenge. Whoever fixed the most bugs this week gets a silly t-shirt it's quite different than whoever comes last will be fired.

Next you could have some kind of leaderboard, if your work has easily quantifiable aspects. To continue with the bug fixes examples, whoever fixes the most bugs each week gets a gold star, or any other silly achievement token you can think of, and every now and then the leader gets a price, bit more pricey than a book (two books?), or a couple of days off work.

It would be impossible to come up with specific guidelines for gamification, as the process is entirely subjective (what's fun for me may not be fun for you), and quite dependent on the nature of your profession and the dynamics of your workplace. For example, there were gamification elements in every job I had, even in the strictest and most disciplined environment I had to face, the army. Getting a bit more recreation time than the rest of my company for disassembling and re-assembling my Heckler & Koch G3A4 in record time (don't ask, I don't remember) would be one example.

And, of course, no answer on gamification would be complete without a mention to Stack Exchange. Chances are there is (or there will be) a Stack Exchange for your niche, and if you think about it, it's a ready made gamification platform for your company. Have your team mates compete by providing excellent answers or asking great questions, and use the existing reputation / badge mechanisms to quantify their contributions and reward them. If you are a manager, you can always spice things up a bit and ask questions on work related issues yourself, rewarding employees that would give you great answers.

What you need to remember is that gamification is not about getting direct and immediate results, but mostly about having fun. Small and frequent rewards, preferably awarding the less illustrious aspects of the job (think: documentation), and always light hearted in nature, as the core concept behind gamification is encouragement and further engagement, not competition.

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