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Although not quite the new game in town, gamification takes off

Companies implementing the technology aim to improve employee engagement and retention. Watch our Master Class on gamification below the article.

What is gamification and where does the concept originate from?


Gamify defines gamification as using game-design elements and game principles in contexts like the workplace, education and health, with classic elements such as points, badges and leaderboards. While points identify progress and badges display achievement, leaderboards present competitive placement.


Although not a new concept, some sources say the term gamification gained widespread usage after Gartner added its analysis of the word to its annual hype cycle of hot tech trends in 2011. However, it can be traced back to 1896 when marketers sold S&H Green Stamps to retailers to use to reward loyal customers. Then, in 1908, the Boy Scouts of America awarded members with badges showing proficiency in various activities like canoeing, camping and climbing.


Today, gamification is prolific – from people using their Fitbits to track health-related goals related to exercise, sleep and calorie intake to SAP acquiring Qualtrics, an experience-management software provider to deliver better customer, employee, product and brand experience.


How can gamification help with employee engagement?


For employers, gamification helps make every-day, mundane tasks more stimulating, rewarding and fun. But fun is just half of the equation.


The other half is creating a solid recognition and reward system for employees – a “what’s in it for me?” that’s worthwhile. Therefore, companies implementing gamification into the workplace must decide what rewards are given to as workers earn points, badges and achievements. How about days off for reaching a certain goal? A bonus or pay raise? A company-paid vacation? The best parking spot in the lot?


Offering such incentives through gamification gives employees responsibility over their performance. They might have certain tasks to check off a daily list, which will get them their hourly or salaried pay. But those who are more ambitious and want to move ahead can improve their performance and pay or incentives by reaching certain gamification milestones.


During the Great Resignation, gamification can help with recruitment and retention. For those working in industries with fairly normalized wages, like in warehouses and fulfillment centers, having fun on the job through gamification and getting incentivized for picking more accurately or getting a shipment out the door quicker often leads to loyalty and therefore, retention.


Simplifying tough tasks while making them more enjoyable


If a business is genuinely interested in increasing its business metrics, including employee retention, increased productivity and improved accuracy, considering gamification is a great step forward. It can greatly improve the onboarding process, which is dismal in many companies.


Let’s talk about the unfortunate statistics around onboarding, for instance:


  • New hires are expected to complete 54 onboarding-related activities, on average.
  • Negative onboarding equates to an employee seeking a better opportunity – two times as much.
  • Well-structured and organized onboarding increases the likelihood employees (by 69%) will stick with a company for three years.


To take the pain out of the arduous onboarding, gamification is the name of the game. For instance, Deloitte designed a gamified onboarding process for analysts aimed to engage them from day one.



How popular is gamification now?


Unlike many industries, gamification took off during the pandemic, gaining significant revenue by users in lockdown. Although gamification was increasing before COVID-19, the upsurge in revenue growth during the past two-plus years is expected to continue.


According to the Gamification Market Research Report, the gamification market, worth US$9.1 billion in 2021, is estimated to reach US$30.7 billion by year-end 2026 – expanding at an annual growth rate of 27.4% in the same timeframe.


Businesses in a variety of sectors are catching on because they are finding gamification is a successful way to better engage employees. Not only does it increase their on-the-job satisfaction, but it also reduces churn, particularly in industries that are relying on hourly workers.


Get in the game or be left behind


Gamification’s popularity is increasing for businesses, employees and consumers. It can make mundane tasks less arduous and can help businesses of all types increase competitiveness.


This is why Körber created Vaibe. We understand, through talking to our valued customers, that gamification is so much more than playing a game. It’s about employee attraction, retention and engagement.


It’s a full-on, game-on experience that helps decrease churn and increase employee productivity and a feeling of belonging to an organization.


Learn more about gamification in the webinar below and on the Vaibe website.



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