Passionately developing careers since 1958.
Engaging Through Gamification

Engaging Through Gamification

19th September, 2022

A growing body of literature, such as Kumar & Raghavendra (2015), Rivers (2016), and others, tackled the subject of using games to enhance employee engagement. Gamification is an instrument intended to offer participants a collaborative atmosphere in which they can self-develop through numerous tasks and goals while having fun and learning. Gamification creators can build an engaging gaming event for users by positioning the game system and subtleties in a way that will accept stories and feedback structures to allow players to uncover various game stages with easy progress. Although the development of games for serious purposes can be traced back more than a millennium (Wolfe & Crookall, 1998), many scholars have discussed the appealing aspects of computer games, grouping them mainly into three classes: challenge, imagination, and inquisitiveness. They discussed how these aspects are found in gamification and can address the lack of employee engagement and motivation.

According to several existing studies, gamification is defined as using game ideas and mechanisms in a non-game context. This reference's most highlighted critical component is improving the mundane by encouraging and motivating employees. In the future context, gamification is considered a component that improves engagement. Several organizations use the concepts of innovation in their organizational structure and culture. In addition, many institutions are willing to help organizations implement gamification in their processes (Hawkes et al., 2018). However, developing a new business model to introduce gamification is not a simple procedure and process as it involves challenges and rewards. Another concept of gamification that needs to be explained is transforming routine activities into meaningful games that can provide optimal individual experiences (Armstrong & Landers, 2018).

Gamification is considered an act that requires several components, such as devices, leader boards, levels, predefined goals, profiles, avatars, and how to connect all of these with the goals of the organization. With the help of gamification, employees are likely to lean toward a competitive environment within an organization (Saha & Pandita, 2017). The ideal plans are those that represent the values and ideas of an employee. Gamification is relied upon to get the employee to achieve a goal in a particular game and use the injected enthusiasm to achieve realistic goals. The main idea of gamification is to motivate employees through games and challenges to help them achieve meaningful goals. In addition, using gamification in the workplace makes learning more fun, thus increasing the organization's internal and external relationships (Robson et al., 2016).

Besides a platform or system, gamification is developed and introduced to make the organization more competitive and marketable. To achieve this, the organization needs to add a few elements and tools, such as incorporating social layers, balancing gameplay, gathering valuable resources, including the concept of virtual currency, and collecting a range of feedback. These elements are helpful for employees to add new strategies to interact with their peers on a similar platform for easy and challenging engagement programs. This inclusion is beneficial for motivating the employees by continuously encouraging them. In this way, the employees can fulfill their values and goals. By adding the idea of getting anonymous feedback, employees get a chance to either remove it altogether or even reduce their problems (Elm et al., 2016).

There are several ways in which gamification can involve employees at work, as it offers them the chance to discover new abilities and realize new means of resolving challenges. The reward structure and accomplishments in games generate a sequential change in behavior. Most notably, gamified events aim to give constructive comments to workers to improve their enthusiasm. In addition, gamification can increase employee engagement by breaking down complex tasks into simpler ones, which benefits both the employee and the employer.

It is essential to understand that gamification does not replace traditional employee motivation but serves as a complementary system to induce intrinsic motivation in employees when properly planned and executed (Burke, 2016). Incorporating gamification in employee learning has the vision of promoting fun and learning with the help of various features that allow employees to highlight their ideas and values, making them more motivated and encouraged to use this tool every time. As a result of gamification, employee loyalty has appeared in many study subjects such as commerce, education, learning, work, collecting data, and innovation of new plans (Dubey et al., 2017).

Leaders should use a diversity of tools to improve employee engagement. Gamification as an organizational tool should be embedded in the organization's internal processes and used to virtually and substantially track and reward employees. Therefore, leaders are encouraged to use gamification as it can cover fun activities that help them track, reward, and train their employees. Most research demonstrates that gamification is a successful employee engagement tool. However, if gamification is misunderstood or intentionally used to manipulate or confuse employees, the consequences will be disastrous.

Gamification has several significant effects on employee engagement where such programs are associated with intellectual change, effective and social engagement. According to previous and existing studies, the most common methods of gamification include rewards, points, leaderboards, virtual currency, badges, and achieving goals. Gamification has remarkable business impacts as it can eventually increase employee and organizational performance. In summary, gamification is a topic that serves as a tool to improve user efficiency, entertain routine activities, and facilitate learning, training, and engagement. I advise you to use gamification as it is a powerful mechanism that has many benefits when properly applied.

References

Armstrong, M.B. and Landers, R.N., 2018. Gamification of employee training and development. International Journal of Training and Development, 22(2), pp.162-169.

Burke, B., 2016. Gamify: How gamification motivates people to do extraordinary things. Routledge.

Dubey, M., Chavan, V. and Patil, D.Y., 2017. A Conceptual Study of Selected Companies using Gamification for Employee training & development as Engagement Approach. Global HRM Review, p.73.

Elm, D., Kappen, D.L., Tondello, G.F. and Nacke, L.E., 2016, October. CLEVER: Gamification and enterprise knowledge learning. In Proceedings of the 2016 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play Companion Extended Abstracts (pp. 141-148). ACM.

Hawkes, B., Cek, I. and Handler, C., 2018. The gamification of employee selection tools: An exploration of viability, utility, and future directions.

Kumar, H., & Raghavendran, S. (2015). Gamification, the finer art: fostering creativity and employee engagement. Journal of Business Strategy.

Pandita, D., Bedarkar, M., Agarwal, R., & Saini, R. (2010). Digitalizing human resources through gamification for employee engagement. Symbiosis, 2016.

Robson, K., Plangger, K., Kietzmann, J.H., McCarthy, I. and Pitt, L., 2016. Game on: Engaging customers and employees through gamification. Business horizons, 59(1), pp.29-36.

Rivers, L., 2016. The impact of gamification on employee engagement in advertising agencies in South Africa (Doctoral dissertation, University of Pretoria).

Saha, M.D. and Pandita, D., 2017. Digitalizing human resources through gamification for employee engagement. ELK Asia Pacific Journals.

Wolfe, J. and Crookall, D., 1998. Developing a scientific knowledge of simulation/gaming. Simulation & Gaming, 29(1), pp.7-19.

About the Author
Charles J. Tawk, DBA

Partner

Dr. Charles Tawk is a Partner with Meirc Training & Consulting. He is the author of Scattered Thoughts for Business and Life (First Edition 2022, ISBN 978-0-578-33268-0). Dr. Tawk holds a Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) and a Master of Applied Business Research from SBS Swiss Business School, a Master of Science in Human Resource Management and Training from the University of Leicester in the UK, and a Bachelor of Law from the Lebanese University. In addition, Charles is a senior certified professional by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM-SCP), a certified project management professional (PMP®), a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI®), an advisor with the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council, a certified training practitioner (CTP) from the Institute of Performance and Learning, and an Associate Certified Experts Career Coach (ACECC). He is certified in occupational health and safety from Nebosh and is a registered organization development consultant (RODC) with the International Society for Organization Development and Change (ISODC).

View profile
Another Forest Leadership Lesson
Another Forest Leadership Lesson

Once upon a time, in a lush forest in a faraway land, animals of all kinds…

Charles J. Tawk, DBA
12th November, 2023
Read More
Building a Culture of Continuous Learning
Building a Culture of Continuous Learning

During times of turmoil and when it comes to reduced corporate spending,…

Rabih El Khodr
1st August, 2023
Read More
People Analytics: Transforming Organizations Through Power of Data
People Analytics: Transforming Organizations Through Power of Data

Data is crucial in shaping business strategies and decision-making processes…

Charles J. Tawk, DBA
20th June, 2023
Read More
The Impact of AI on the Corporate Training Industry
The Impact of AI on the Corporate Training Industry

Having been at the forefront of corporate training for two decades, I…

George R. Khayat
8th June, 2023
Read More