All Gamification in HR: 5 Examples and 6 Benefits
All HR and Workplace

Gamification in HR: 5 Examples and 6 Benefits

Author: Ravijojla Novakovic Last updated: December 3, 2021 Reading time: 8 minutes

Just like any other organizational department, HR has been profoundly affected by technological changes and digital transformation. This has allowed HRs to introduce innovative techniques to improve their goals and results.

One such innovative technique is the gamification of human resources. Gamification is omnipresent in consumer industries and apps that we all use on a daily basis. In HR, gamification is a powerful way to engage and motivate employees.

Read on to find out what gamification is and what the most illustrating examples and benefits of gamification in HR are. Before you continue, get our employee recognition playbook to find out more about creating impactful employee recognition programs. 

What Is Gamification, and How Is It Used in HR?

Gamification refers to applying motivating techniques usually found in games to non-game situations. In HR, it’s how online games are used to engage employees in different activities throughout the employee journey.

Since Millennials and Gen Z make up the majority of the workforce, successful companies tend to adopt HR gamification mechanisms to engage them as early as possible.

market forecast for gamification

Most common examples include allocating points or badges for finishing certain tasks. It gives people a new and fun way to learn. Granted, HR gamification would require a lot of resources since it needs to tie developers, strategists, HR professionals, and other stakeholders before it can become a standardized HR practice. However, the meteoric rise of investment in gamification techniques suggests it has a bright future ahead.

What Are Examples of Gamification in HR?

Some of HR processes and tasks that employees must do can be tedious. To make those tasks fun and achieve higher employee engagement, many HR tech providers offer gamification features.

Here are some examples of gamification in HR.

1. Gamification during recruitment

Probably the greatest example of gamification in recruiting is Google’s famous billboard math puzzle. The result was leading to another mysterious puzzle and eventually to Google’s job ad.

Other examples of gamification in recruiting include coding tests or using a service such as HR avatar that asks candidates questions.

2. Gamification in HR during the onboarding process

Tom Haak wrote about an interesting onboarding experience at Deloitte. His vision of gamification during onboarding describes groups of new employees paired with new hires in teams that work together to answer questions on compliance, procedures, and company ethics.

Additionally, they are provided with virtual office tours for newcomers who can access it like a video game. This approach in onboarding can also be helpful for employees who will be working remotely. 

3. Easier training and development using gamification

Gamification can be applied to many areas of HR tasks, but it is especially impactful in training and employee development. The most relatable example? Duolingo. Although it’s not primarily used in corporate learning, you can see how it can help you learn and have fun at the same time.

Another example comes from AstraZeneca, where they use a gamified employee training system called Go-to-Jupiter to teach sales staff about the most important products. With leaderboards, levels, and rewards included, 95% of employees complete every training module. Plus, it is a great team-building activity since employees are split into groups.

4. Improving policy compliance

Another example from Deloitte shows how their employees completed a cyber security awareness training by engaging in an escape room game.

They had to solve challenges in a limited amount of time to complete the game, and they learned lessons on secure device handling, data sharing, passwords, and more.

This helped employees to stay compliant with Deloitte’s data security policy.

5. Increasing engagement and productivity in everyday work life

Organizations that want to increase their employees’ productivity can use Todoist, an app that rewards you for completing tasks on time by allocating points.

The trick is that employees can exchange these points for rewards later on! This can certainly help to boost employees’ intrinsic motivation.

Why Is It Beneficial To Use Gamification in HR Activities? 

The corporate training platform TalentLMS researched the effects of various recruitment gamification techniques in HR. This 2019 study delivered some interesting results:

  • Gamification during recruiting makes an organization a more attractive employer, according to 78% of respondents.
  • Gamification positively impacts employee happiness and productivity, according to 88% of workers.
  • 83% of employees who finish training with gamification elements feel motivated compared to 61% of workers who find their non-gamified training experience boring.

Let’s specify the key benefits of gamification in HR.

1. It supports employee growth

As mentioned before, gamification is mostly used in LMS systems and training modules to drive participants’ engagement, teamwork, and course completion. 

Employees’ development and growth are essential to companies that want to stay competitive in the market. By introducing gamification elements to employee experience, employees complete their training more easily and encourage employees are inclined to partake in similar activities in the future.

It is only logical: making the learning process more fun will make students want to learn more!

2. Gamification engages employees

Together with turnover, increased employee engagement is the #1 thing on every HR’s mind. Since research shows that disengaged employees cause more than $500 billion in annual losses to US companies, it’s important to apply any technique available to alleviate this costly issue.

Gamification helps employers to raise their employees’ engagement by making tedious tasks fun. It may not seem as much, but improving employee engagement is all about creating healthy everyday habits.

3. HR Gamification can reduce absenteeism

Absenteeism is another costly element that employers have to deal with. Absenteeism refers to a frequent lack of work attendance. It is caused by employee burnout, low engagement, poor employee health, and other factors.

Gamification in various HR processes activates employees and changes their perception of work. It provides a break from their usual work activities and rigid structure so that the tasks themselves do not contribute to burnout. Once employees are rested, they can resume their usual duties. Also, gamification elements can create health-themed challenges and educate employees on how to take care of themselves more easily.

4. Enhance productivity with game design elements

The example of the Todoist app that allocates points for every task that employees resolve is a great example of how gamification positively affects employee performance and productivity. The logic behind it is simple: gamification allows employees to get instant “rewards” for their actions, like points. This releases dopamine, the feel-good hormone, which makes employees want to get more of it; therefore, they are productive, earn more points, and do not give up.

A textbook example of using gaming elements to keep people engaged comes from Duolingo.

duolingo gamification
Source: Medium

Duolingo’s point system is designed to keep users engaged long enough to finish various lessons. It works great for building consistency in daily practice.

5. Improve employee wellness in a fun way

The combination of a sedentary lifestyle and rising healthcare costs is a nightmare for organizations. Luckily, employee wellbeing became an important topic during the pandemic, and many employers realized they needed to address it.

Some examples of gamification to improve employees’ wellness include collecting points or badges, individually or as a team, for being physically active. For example, employees can connect their smartwatches to tracking software and compete to see who walks more. They can solve quizzes, participate in company challenges and finish games that contribute to a healthy workplace culture.

This motivates employees to move more, which can help them preserve their mental and physical health.

6. Decreasing turnover

Employee turnover is probably the most important metric in HR. Optimizing employee retention is often one of the main HR KPIs. Statistically, one of the main reasons why employees quit is a lack of recognition for their work and accomplishments.

That’s why organizations want to drive a culture of appreciation in their rows. For that, they usually use employee recognition platforms that utilize gamification game elements and design elements made for high user adoption. Read more about such solutions in our next chapter.

Engage Your Employees With Employee Recognition Platform JobPts

Employee recognition plays a crucial role in employees’ engagement, productivity, and happiness. Moreover, it is one of the key elements of the essential aspects of positive company culture.

However, it is challenging to implement and maintain effective employee recognition programs in enterprise organizations. That’s why we created an employee recognition platform that uses gamification elements.

JobPts Gamification for More Engagement

Employees get motivated to participate in JobPts recognition programs because it’s fun. Workers can recognize each other for achievements or behavior that’s in line with the company’s values by sending points and appreciative messages.

Moreover, recognition programs can be built to feature different levels of progress and display leaderboards. This element of competitiveness drives participation and motivates employees to be better than their peers.

JobPts recognition programs can be non-monetary or monetary. When organizations choose the latter, they can enable employees to redeem the points they’ve collected for various rewards in customizable and globally available rewards catalogs.

All these gamification elements lead to a better adoption of employee recognition programs. Since JobPts also includes social recognition elements, recognition can be seen company-wide, which is great for inspiring even more appreciative behavior.

With better adoption come more impactful results. Our clients see increase in engagement, improved workplace and company culture together, increased productivity, and lower employee turnover as the biggest benefits of JobPts.

Learn more about JobPts and get in touch with our team to find out how JobPts would fit into your organization.

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