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Gamification in HR: 7 Ways to Boost Employee Engagement and Productivity

gamification Nov 24, 2023

Gamification, as the name suggests, is the use of aspects and ideas from games in non-gaming environments. It has become an innovative method in the field of human resources.

By adding components like challenges, badges, leaderboards, and points, gamification in HR turns routine jobs into fun endeavors.

Its applicability is broad; among other things, it addresses team development, wellness initiatives, performance management, employee onboarding, and training.

Organizations want to increase productivity, foster a pleasant workplace culture, and increase employee engagement via the gamification of HR procedures.

So, without further ado, let’s see which 7 gamification strategies will provide your organization with the most significant benefits.

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#01 Leaderboards and Performance Tracking

Using a leaderboard system, you end up with achievement and performance metrics of employees visualized on real time basis. This is associated with the tracking of a number of metrics including sales figures, customer satisfaction scores, project completion times etc.

This encourages a culture of competitiveness, where employees may go beyond their limits to enhance performance. Don’t forget that, after all, gamification is 75% psychology!

This approach also gives feedback on the spot showing employees where they are and what can be improved.

Nevertheless, maintaining healthy competition without promoting a cutthroat environment is essential. Provide the metrics that are fair, open and balanced in different job functions.

Example: At a digital marketing agency, a real-time leaderboard is implemented to track the number of leads generated by each employee. This system is visible to the entire sales team, fostering a competitive yet supportive environment.

To ensure fairness, additional metrics such as lead quality and customer feedback are also incorporated into the scoring system.

#02 Reward Systems and Incentives

Who doesn’t like rewards? With this approach, employees earn points for accomplishing specific objectives or demonstrating desirable traits. Such points can then be cashed in for prizes such as vouchers, more days off duty or other motivators.

This strategy directly links employees’ actions to rewards and therefore boosts their motivation and overall employee engagement metrics to always keep in mind. It also enables the management to identify and acknowledge the efforts of employees.

However, it requires you to ensure that the rewards are enticing and valuable for the employees. Ensure that the points system is simple and elementary.

Example: A customer support center introduces a points-based reward system, where employees earn points for each resolved customer ticket, receiving bonus points for positive customer feedback.

Accumulated points can be redeemed for various rewards, including gift cards, additional break time, or the ability to work remotely for a day. This program leads to increased motivation and a noticeable improvement in customer service quality.

#03 Recognition and Achievement Badges

Employees need acknowledgement of their input to become motivated. The gamification of employee recognition, being one of the kinds of workers’ recognition that can make a real difference, also contributes to the improvement and dissemination of the corporate culture.

So, you will require a system where employees get badges or accolades for achieving milestones, imbibing the company values and accomplishing certain tasks. This could be displayed in their internal profile.

To maintain the novelty of such a system, you should hence ensure that new badges are introduced regularly. Make earning badges manageable and from well-defined sources.

Example: A software development company implements a badge system to recognize employees who excel in different areas.

Badges are awarded for various achievements such as “Bug Hunter” for identifying and fixing a significant number of software bugs, or “Mentor of the Month” for employees who go above and beyond in helping their colleagues. These badges are displayed on the company’s internal social network, providing company-wide recognition.

#04 Skill-Building Challenges

That is, any kind of challenge or quest useful for employees to acquire new skills via solving tasks (either problems or creative ones) or merely showing off some activity (answering industry-related questions).

Even though such challenges can be frustrating at times, if done right, they always encourage ongoing development and improvements. By offering the reward, they help in increasing employee’s engagement because it brings a feeling of accomplishment.

Match the challenges to employee development plans and the goals of the company. The challenges should be tailored to the different levels of skill and used as part of training programs for employee skill development.

Example: An accounting firm introduces monthly challenges where employees need to solve complex tax-related problems. These challenges are designed to be progressively harder, ensuring that employees at all skill levels can participate and learn.

Top performers are recognized at a monthly meeting, and all participants receive feedback to help them learn and grow.


#05 Team-Based Competitions

Companies must encourage teamwork. And this is just the strategy for it.

Particularly, employees operate in groups that compete with each other to achieve certain objectives or finish projects, thus encouraging cooperation and the spirit of togetherness. Additionally, this improves problem-solving abilities and fosters innovative thinking.

A trivia or quiz is the perfect excuse to test the brainiest of employees. The best thing about trivia is you can host it online and offline! Invite all employees to tune in to a social media wall with real-time updates and direct communication.

Remember, it takes diverse teams in order to have a blend of skills and perspectives. Also remember, the rules and objectives of the competition should be clearly defined.

Example: A retail company organizes an annual competition where teams from different departments work together to come up with innovative ideas to improve customer experience in-store.

The competition fosters cross-departmental collaboration and results in several implementable ideas, improving the overall shopping experience for customers and boosting employee morale.

#06 Gamified Learning and Development

Gamification and learning go hand in hand. This leads to more meaningful professional learning, enhanced retention of information, and an accelerated learning process.

Therefore, when designing training programs entrench gamification in training and developing employees. They can also engage in the learning process easier if you add interactive e-learning modules, quizzes and simulations.

Learning objectives should be aligned with game elements, it must be accessible from different devices and deliver instant feedback to learners.

Example: A global tech company integrates gamification into its online learning platform, creating interactive modules for software training. Employees progress through levels as they master different software features. Top performers are recognized on a monthly basis.

This approach results in a significant increase in software proficiency across the company, as employees are motivated to engage with the training material regularly.

#07 Wellness Challenges

A happy worker is a productive worker. So, promote gamified wellness challenges for employee well-being in order to build an excellent workplace culture.

Offer points, badges, or leaderboards for daily step count challenges, sessions of mindlessness, or healthy eating.

For instance, companies can provide a low calorie meal kit once a week to promote healthier eating habits among employees. The 'low calorie meal kit' can include a variety of nutritious, easy-to-prepare meals, encouraging individuals to make healthier choices while also adding a fun, experiential component to their food consumption. Points or badges can then be rewarded based on how often employees opt for these healthier options.

This helps in the overall well-being of the employee, reduces stress, and helps maintain a healthier life style. Challenges can also be done in groups and contribute to strengthen team bonding.

But, make challenges accommodating to all sorts of physical abilities and health statuses. Have a range of challenges to suit different interests.

Example: A health insurance company introduces a wellness program where employees participate in monthly challenges, such as achieving a certain number of daily steps, practicing mindfulness, or participating in healthy eating challenges.

The program leads to a noticeable improvement in employee well-being and a reduction in stress-related sick leave.

Essential Software Tools for Gamification in HR

In this section, we provide a curated selection of software and platforms specifically designed to augment your gamification strategies. Use such software in conjunction with various sales tools for best results.

Gamification Software

Use gamification software designed to support in implementation, management and tracking of success on such HR processes.

Our pick: Bunchball Nitro. The platform applies data-driven gamification to interact with employees’ behavior as they can align their responsibilities towards the company’s objectives. It provides real-time leaderboards, badges and challenges for the HR team to engage and motivate.

HR Information Systems (HRIS)

With HRIS, gamification can be integrated into the existing HR processes and systems which will provide an all-round experience for employees.

Our pick: Workday. An integrated HRIS with gamification embedded in different HR processes such as training and development programs, performance management regimes, and employee involvement activities. Using Workday, HR teams are able to manage gamification within the entire system of overall HR functions.

Analytics Tools

With tools for analytics you can effectively… analyze relevant metrics including employee performance data and engagement scores, to assess how well gamification strategies are working, making them an essential productivity software.

Our pick: Tableau. This is a potent data visualization tool that can enable HR teams to understand employee data, shift performance metrics and determine the effectiveness of gamification initiatives.

Employee Feedback Platforms

Employ platforms providing employees with the opportunity to give anonymous feedback regarding gamification initiatives you've implemented.

Our pick: SurveyMonkey. An online survey tool to gather insights from staff for HR teams who want to know how gamified initiatives work and ways by which their effectiveness can be improved.

Common Best Practices for Gamification in HR

  • Meaningful rewards. Obviously, giving out rewards throughout your overall gamification system is essential, but make sure they’re relevant to your employees, delivered in a timely manner, and accompanied with recognition.
  • Inclusivity. Make sure the gamification system is accessible to workers of all ranks and departments so that they may participate and reap the benefits.
  • Balance. Maintain a healthy equilibrium between a collaborative environment and healthy levels of competition.
  • Continuous improvement. The gamification elements should be regularly reviewed and refreshed so that they continue to make sense, serve a purpose, and provide enjoyment for all employees.
  • Feedback and adaptation. Solicit the groups’ feedback on their gamification experiences and improve it as per the comments made by these workers.



In this article we've detailed gamification in HR, revealing approaches to enhancing employee motivation and performance, including gamified learning, performance tracking, and employee recognition.

Embrace gamification and enjoy a motivated workforce that will be instrumental to the company’s success.


Nina Petrov is a content marketing specialist, passionate about graphic design, content marketing, and the new generation of green and social businesses. She starts the day scrolling her digest on new digital trends while sipping a cup of coffee with milk and sugar. Her white little bunny tends to reply to your emails when she is on vacation.


Zoi Kotsou

Copywriter - Content writer - Content Strategist

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