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?

  • 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 '19 at 23:02

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 '12 at 14:40
  • 13
    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 '12 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 '15 at 6:17
  • 4
    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 '19 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.

Further reading


Being a pioneer in the industry for quite some time now, I believe I’m experienced enough to answer this question. But before I proceed further, I would like to give a gist of what exactly gamification means and how it motivates organizations achieve their goals.

The word “gamification” simply means, being able to take up compelling and fun elements from games, and implementing them in our day to day activities. Well, the aim is to make work seem less boring, more engaging and attractive.

Please do not mistake this concept, it is not to turn work into a game. But it is to drive human engagement, where they can compete, improve and outdo others.

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For nearly a decade now, HR leaders have been struggling to enhance their learning programs to make them engaging and productive. Today, with gamification concept, the results turned out to be remarkable and interactive. The gamification phenomenon has taken the corporate learning structure to an entirely newer level, and for good reason. Through gamification, one gets to address some basic human traits and enhance employee engagement. In addition to this, it also helps promote natural instincts in human so that they can compete and outperform the other.

As per a 2017 report by Business Standard, over 10% of the tech corporations worldwide have gamified learning programs.

What motivates employees at a workplace and examples of how gamification is reshaping corporate training?

No doubt, rewards and recognition are the topmost things that motivates employees.

Listing down few great gamification examples:

  • Gamified Product Training – Scenario based learning where learners need to explain the features and functions of software to the clients. One earns a badge or trophy as he progresses.

  • Learning Portal with Quizzes (Gamified) – A portal that allows learners to deliver products and training to employees.

  • Gamified Quiz – The learner navigates through a maze by answering questions to complete challenges and move to the next level to gain bonuses.

  • Complete Gamified Learning Experience – A 3D virtual environment where learners are supposed to build turf club assets and complete tasks, gain expertise and badges.

Today, gamification is raising the bar in modern workplaces, the time is here to make it a fit in the HR field.

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