by B. Leach | Sept. 18, 2023 | 5 Min Read

Examples and benefits of workplace gamification


By integrating game-like features into work scenarios, like mandatory training, you can create a more engaging and productive environment. Workplace gamification doesn't dilute the seriousness of work but enhances motivation, learning, and collaboration.

Here’s what you can expect to learn from this blog on gamification in business:

  • What is gamification in the workplace?
  • 10 benefits of gamification in employee training
  • Examples of gamification in the workplace
  • How to implement gamification in employee training

Let’s start by defining gamification and what it can bring to your workplace.

What is gamification in the workplace?

Workplace gamification refers to the application of game-design elements and principles to engage employees in real-world business contexts. Gamification makes boring, mundane tasks (think: onboarding training) fun, rewarding, and memorable by tapping into innate desires like play, competition, and achievement.

Key components and principles of gamification in the workplace include:

  • Points and Scoring: Employees earn points for completing tasks or achieving certain behaviors. These points can sometimes be traded for rewards.
  • Leaderboards: Rankings of employees based on their scores or achievements, fostering a competitive environment.
  • Badges and Achievements: These symbols or icons represent certain milestones or accomplishments, serving as visual tokens of achievement.
  • Levels: Indicators of progression, often used in training scenarios where employees "level up" by acquiring new skills or knowledge.
  • Challenges and Quests: Specific tasks or projects that, when completed, result in earning points or other rewards.
  • Rewards: These can be virtual (like points or badges) or real-world rewards, such as gift cards, a preferred parking spot, or even extra PTO.
  • Collaboration: Some gamified systems emphasize teamwork, encouraging employees to collaborate to earn group rewards or achieve common goals.
  • Narrative: Crafting a storyline around tasks or projects to make them more engaging and purposeful.

The primary objective of gamification in employee training is to enhance learning and retention by making training content more engaging and interactive.

Examples of gamification in the workplace

Looking for some real-world examples of gamification in the workplace? You’re probably familiar with consumer-centric gamification like Starbucks Rewards, but here are a few of the best gamification examples in corporate environments.

NTT DATA: Develop soft skills in leaders

The systems integration company NTT DATA believed that “Leadership cannot be taught, it has to be experienced.” So, they turned to gamification. NTT DATA’s Ignite Leadership game was aimed at developing five key soft skills for leaders: negotiation, communication, time management, change management, and problem-solving. The game allowed players to collaborate, get instant feedback from peers, and be recognized for their achievements. Managers could then identify potential leaders based on their gameplay.

Microsoft Teams: Incentivize change management activities

The Incentives App template for Microsoft Teams allows organizations to gamify adoption and change management activities. Admins can assign points for completing adoption activities, create rewards, and specify the point levels users have to reach before unlocking rewards. Employees can use the app to view their accumulated points, track their position on a leaderboard, and request and claim rewards once eligible.

Apple Watch: Encourage movement

One popular Apple Watch feature is its fitness tracking capabilities, known for its daily move goals (Move, Exercise, and Stand). These move goals are tracked by three appealing and colorful rings that you aim to close each day. The Apple Watch reminds, encourages, and celebrates users as they progress or reach their goals each day. Organizations promoting wellness can set up internal competitions or challenges where employees compete to close their rings (Move, Exercise, and Stand) or reach certain milestones.

10 benefits of gamification in employee training

Having a hard time getting employees to complete their droning training materials? Consider gamifying the content—here’s what to expect when you do:

  1. Increases Productivity: Data analyzed by Zippia showed that 90% of employees say gamification makes them more productive at work.
  2. Improves Performance: A study by KPMG notes that gamified training can improve employee performance across the board.
  3. Increases Engagement: When you take training and gamify it, employee engagement increases. Games capture and retain the attention of employees, making the learning process more interactive and enjoyable.
  4. Improves Retention and Recall: The interactive nature of gamified learning can lead to better knowledge retention and reinforce learning content.
  5. Provides Immediate Feedback: Gamification often provides instant feedback, allowing learners to recognize their mistakes immediately and learn from them.
  6. Fosters Motivation: Earning rewards, badges, or climbing leaderboards can motivate employees to engage with training materials and reach learning objectives.
  7. Encourages Continuous Learning: Gamified systems often have levels or stages, encouraging employees to progress and explore more advanced topics.
  8. Promotes Collaboration: Team-based games or challenges can promote collaboration, emphasizing the importance of collective knowledge and cooperative strategies.
  9. Customizes Learning: Some gamified platforms adapt to the learner's pace, performance, and preferences, offering more personalized training experiences.
  10. Facilitates Behavioral Change: By rewarding specific behaviors and strategies, gamification can help inculcate desired behaviors and practices in employees.

Incorporating gamification into employee training is incredibly beneficial. However, you’ll want to ensure that the game elements align with training objectives and that they serve to enhance, rather than distract from, the learning content.

These benefits and examples of gamification in the workplace are just a drop in the bucket compared to what’s possible in your organization today. Want to see how gamification can work for you?

Implement gamification in employee training with Spoke®

A robust skill-building platform plays a pivotal role in training your employees effectively. And as we’ve outlined above, one of the standout features driving effective training is gamification. From points and rewards to friendly competition, gamification transforms mundane training tasks into engaging, interactive experiences.

At Unboxed Training & Technology, we created Spoke® – the world’s best skill-building platform – to take the concept of Skill Agility® – the ability to rapidly identify and acquire new skills in response to changing business needs – and make it a reality. Spoke® offers a wide range of features – like gamification – designed to help learners and organizations reach their full potential (while having a little fun).

By integrating custom training games into Spoke®, your employees can access centralized, engaging content wherever they are, whenever it’s most convenient. Plus, intuitive data reporting makes it easy for admins to track course progress and completion.

Ready to redefine L&D at your organization? Request a demo to learn how we can help you integrate gamification with employee training content in Spoke®.

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