HR department

How Gamification will make you improve your Human Resources

What is Gamification?

Gamification is the concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals in non-game scenarios. This concept taps into the basic desires and needs of the user impulses which revolve around the idea of Status and Achievement.

It is a very practical technique to take advantage of big data, and it is a powerful tool for motivating better performance, driving business results, and generating a competitive advantage between employees. By capturing and analyzing the big data on behaviors, companies can create a more engaging experience that motivates employees. But this also works with users. It is expected that big data have a significant impact on sales on the 75% of the companies, by the end of the year. Gamification includes a number of psychological concepts, especially regarding motivation, behavior, and personality. Deep fluency and understanding of these concepts is one of the most important keys to proper implementation.

How to implement it?

For instance, this method offers new ways to align candidates with organizational goals. Instead of telling an employee that he is not meeting the company expectations, it is better to say that he did not clear the second level of the game. Instead of creating performance ratings, Human Resources can create transparent leaderboards with badges attached to each level, so that an employee knows how he or she is doing in his business unit, region, country or globally, and compare himself with other employees, as if they were players inside guilds. If an organization has an internal social media portal, the conversations and chatter around the game could be redirected to create employee engagement.

With employees

Using this method you could improve HR talent acquisition and management, by turning the hiring process into a gamified experience. For example, by rewarding prospects with both acknowledgement and tangible rewards for completing each step. Providing incentives helps to attract qualified candidates from the start. HR teams can also use gamification internally to reward top recruiters and incentivize employees to refer top candidates, like a sales function. The opportunity for an employee to earn Referrer of the Year status can encourage employees to take a more active role in talent acquisition, relieving some of the pressure from the HR department itself.

Your HR department can use gamification to promote a positive corporate culture by rewarding employees for cross-departmental collaboration, providing process or product improvement suggestions, for example, participating in company-wide volunteer programs. Track these activities and showcase employee participation to their coworkers, using a gamified platform, to provide intrinsic motivation. As an added benefit, the platform maintains a record of all employee activities in the program, which is quite valuable information when it comes time to consider promotions, raises and other tangible rewards.

Certain mandatory HR training like harassment, diversity and other compliance programs, are often not high on most employees’ priority lists, because they don’t see a relationship to their day-to-day job duties. Use gamification to motivate them to take time out of their busy day to complete these programs. Employees who earn rewards and recognition for having completed these tasks, or missions in the gamification lexicon, are far more likely to make it a priority. And, HR benefits from the ability to check those boxes for compliance in a timely fashion. And like mandatory training, mandatory paperwork and administrative requirements are off-putting for employees. Similar to training applications, rewarding employees with incentives for completing required forms can create a friendly competition where employees try to outdo one another for the prize.

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Image courtesy of Patrick Haney at

Jason Hanold explains that using gamification, HR departments can create transparent mission-based career paths, that show the steps employees have taken to level up in the organization, for example on what does it take to become CEO, like a road map to success. By showcasing this in a gamified platform, the employees can see what it takes to become the top salesperson. You can even design such programs to allow team members to recognize one another for contributions made toward a common goal. And, again, all of this data is traceable, creating a valuable historic record to capture employee and organizational knowledge.

With customers

A gamification platform could require users to log in with a valid email address or social media credentials. Using that, your company is able to gather data on that person and see what they do on your website. Each person could be associated with clicks, points, badges and achievements, all of which generate big data, valuable customer information and insights for your company. Even more, behavior analytics software can measure customer engagement, behavior, growth and user activities. This could be used to create missions for customers, like players attempting to achieve a goal within the rules and have a stake in the outcome. The rewards should be more than smiley faces and thumbs up and likes. They should be prices and things you could take to the bank. Also, gamification can help you remind your customers that you are present and engaged with them in order to stay in their top of mind.