Revitalizing Employee Motivation with Gamification Strategies

May 1, 2024

A recent Harvard Business Review article went through how gamification can boost employee engagement and the quest for heightened employee engagement is a perpetual challenge for managers worldwide, underscored by rising disengagement trends that detrimentally affect productivity and retention. With this disengagement reaching a high in recent years, highlighting this article and the innovative techniques to motivate employees are imperative to combat this workforce malady. The article explores the dynamic potential of gamification in employee motivation, particularly focusing on its efficacious implementation and we are going to shorthand some of the points here.  

The Rise of Gamification in Performance Incentives

The crux of gamification lies in its roots — the essence of gaming, offsetting mundane tasks with elements of fun, competition, unpredictability, and challenge. Its arsenal includes goal setting, progress tracking, instant feedback, milestone badges, and competitive leaderboards. 

Why does this work? Gamification awakens our intrinsic motivational triad — autonomy, mastery, and community. It engages us with choices to craft our own experiences, a roadmap to skills proficiency, and fosters interconnectedness through communal activities. 

Gamification in Action

Instances of triumphant gamification abound — from United Airlines’ blunder turned into a learning experience to Uber’s and Southwest Airlines’ applause-worthy applications. At WorkJam, we include gamification in the form of badges, certificates, earning points for actions, and there is a leaderboard to track ranking within our digital frontline workplace app. This drives engagement and because employees can earn points as they learn, work, engage, and/or collaborate.  


Badges are a key gamification element in WorkJam’s personalization engine when coupled with the organization hierarchy. As you learn, you earn badges, and they unlock shifts and roles, and give you points for the leaderboard.  Badges drive a noiseless environment and gamification, but with them tied to learning, tasking, and shifts, it ensures productivity and performance are also a reward for the employer.  

Guidelines for Successful Implementation

However, for managers and HR professionals eager to integrate these methodologies, caution is warranted. Employ these cardinal principles to circumvent pitfalls:


1. Accuracy & Feasibility of Measurement

Your reward system must be able to objectively quantify performance effectively, with clear subdivision of goals that are manageable, cost-efficient, and open to transparent evaluation.


2. Newness & Additionality

Avoid substituting a consistent and expected bonus scheme. Instead, offer a novel or supplementary reward program to sidestep feelings of loss among employees.


3. Fairness & Transparency

Ensure that your reward system is viewed as equitable — opt for regularly attainable rewards and keep transparency to highlight a just and consistent relation between enhanced performance and increased incentives. 

A Blueprint for the Future of Engagement

Gamification can refresh management’s arsenal for employee engagement. When crafted considerately, these strategies not only motivate the entire spectrum of workplace performers but also resonate with the evolving paradigms of contemporary workplaces, which prize adaptive, inclusive, and engaging cultures.  


Managers and HR professionals who integrate these methods thoughtfully can expect a revival in employee commitment and a sustainable blueprint for operational excellence that celebrates and rewards performance, injecting a new vigor into the heart of frontline workers.  


Learn more about WorkJam and our gamified digital frontline workplace super app by requesting a demo today.  

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