Gamification in HR: 5 Examples and 6 Benefits

Gamification is a great way to engage employees. Find out how HRs use it to reduce absenteeism and turnover.

December 3, 2021 By Sara Ana Cemazar Share on Twitter! Share on Facebook! Share on LinkedIn!

gamification in HR

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

One of such innovative techniques is gamification. 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 employees.

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

What Is Gamification And How It Is Used in HR

With Millennials and Gen Z entering the workforce in larger numbers, HRs realized it would be a good idea to engage them with something that feels familiar.

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

Most common examples include allocating points or badges for finishing certain tasks. It gives people a new and fun way to learn.

gamification in HR

What Are Examples of Gamification in HR?

Some HR 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.

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.

gamification in HR

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

Onboarding successfully

Tom Haak wrote about an interesting onboarding experience at Deloitte. Namely, new employees group in teams that work together to answer questions on compliance, procedures, and company ethics.

Moreover, they provide virtual office tours for newcomers who can access it like a video game. This approach in onboarding can also be helpful for employees that will be working remote

Easier training and development using gamification

Gamification can be applied to many areas of HR, but it is especially impactful in training and 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 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.

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.

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’ motivation.

Why Is It Beneficial to Use Gamification in HR Activities 

The corporate training platform TalentLMS did research on the effects of gamification 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 that finish a training with gamification elements feel motivated compared to 61% of workers who find their non-gamified training experience boring.

gamification in HR

Let’s specify what are the other benefits of gamification in HR.

Supporting employees’ 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, employees complete their training more easily and 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!

Increasing engagement

Together with turnover, employee engagement is the #1 thing on every HRs mind. Since research shows that disengaged employees cause more than $500 billion 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 engagement is all about creating healthy everyday habits.

Reducing 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 HR activities helps to reduce absenteeism by engaging employees in their work. Also, gamification elements help with engaging employees to participate in certain activities like taking surveys or participating in healthy challenges.

Enhancing productivity

The example of Todoist app that allocates points for every task that employees resolve is a great example of how gamification positively affects productivity. The logic behind it is simple: gamification allows employees to get instant “rewards” to their actions, like points. This releases dopamine, the feel-good hormone, which makes employees want to get more of it, therefore, they get productive, achieve more points, and keep their dopamine high!

gamification in HR

Improving wellness

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 need 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 smart watches to a tracking software and compete to see who walks more.

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

Decreasing turnover

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

That’s why organizations want to drive the culture of appreciation in their rows. For that, they usually use employee recognition plarforms that utilize gamification elements 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 for employees’ engagement, productivity, and happiness. Moreover, it is one 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.

gamification in HR

Employees get motivated to participate in JobPts recognition programs because it’s fun. Workers can recognize each other for achievements or behaviour 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 catalogues.

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 the more impactful results. Our clients see increase in engagement, improved workplace culture, 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.