Boosting productivity with gamification

gamificationIf your organisation is looking to boost productivity then improving employee engagement can have a positive impact on your bottom line. According to analysis of 1.4 million employees conducted by the Gallup Organisation, organisations with a high level of engagement report 22% higher productivity.


What is employee engagement?

I prefer simple rather than scientific definitions, so for me employee engagement is a combination of enthusiasm, dedication, commitment and involvement in the organisation. It’s about employees wanting to come to work, understanding how their role contributes to the success of their organisation and knowing what they need to do to be successful in their role.

And whilst improving employee engagement will boost productivity there are a number of other business benefits, organisations with high engagement levels have:

  • Lower staff absenteeism
  • Lower staff turnover
  • Higher quality of work
  • Fewer workplace accidents

But many organisations struggle to improve their employee engagement levels. Why is this? There are a number of factors, including:

  • Organisations don’t make employee engagement part of their overall business strategy.
  • Organisations don’t use the data they gather to address issues that will improve employee engagement.
  • Organisations don’t understand employee engagement and therefore put the wrong initiatives in place.

If you’re committed to improving employee engagement to boost productivity then the first step has to be making engagement part of your overall strategy. But the implementation is key.


Why gamification?

Gamification can be used to encourage desired behaviours, drive participation, educate and ultimately improve engagement. People are naturally competitive. Offering us the chance to receive some form of reward for completing an action appeals to our competitive nature.

Adding gamification to your site can boost engagement by a third.


By using gamification to drive employees to perform certain actions, such as hit a sales or customer service target, organisations can not only boost productivity but also demonstrate the link between the individual’s purpose and the organisation’s purpose. Plus by setting incremental targets that are achievable for the individual and personalising a website with suitable communications, rather than applying a ‘one size fits all’ approach, organisations can engage employees at all levels, not just top performers.

gamificationGamification can give you influence over your employees actions. Technology has changed the way we work and it can also be used to improve employee engagement. Social media techniques, mobile applications and other technological advances are an important tool and when used in the right way, can have a huge impact on encouraging employees to recognise their peers and to keep them engaged in any chosen programme. If employees are enthused by gamified applications then there will likely be a knock on effect on overall engagement levels.

If the technology applied is well aligned to your objectives, it can have a genuinely positive impact on engagement and employee productivity.


Designing your gamification programme

Whilst gamification can boost your employees’ productivity, there is a caveat. Like any HR programme it needs to be properly thought out, planned and part of the overall organisational strategy.

When designing your gamification programme it’s important to make sure there are clear objectives and the results can be measured – after all it needs to be much more than just a flashy game on your staff website.

Start by focusing on the purpose: What is the purpose of employees’ individual roles and how do they contribute to the goals of the organisation? Then design your programme to ensure that your employees can see the connection between their role and the overall goal of the organisation.


Get gamification right and it could have huge impact on the success of your employee engagement programme and ultimately the success of your business.


John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.
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