Is Gamification the new best friend of HR?

Employee engagement techniques, like intranet information sites and coffee room poster campaigns have become passive these days. Gone are the days when they could hold the concentration of employees to make any impact other than wasting HR budgets. The posters have become just wallpaper.

This shows the sign of hierarchical, siloed and industrial-age top-down management approaches that fail to give the structure or cohesion that lets organisations gain the most from their workforce and achieve corporate goals. Contrastingly, in new, pulsating `socially connected` digital-age `bottom up` systems, networking is both enabled and encouraged and cross-departmental teamwork and flexible is the norm. These organisations are now time and again able to display business success and out-perform.


Ensuring efficient and effective teamwork in this new world relies on enabling individuals to work together and network across departmental boundaries and encouraging the same; to take rights of corporate challenges and be known and rewarded for their behavior and innovation. Making corporate goals and reward system transparent to the whole organisation breeds innovation and engagement that  creates opportunities and delivers the possibility to bring fresh thinking to swiftly solve problems across the enterprise and its customer and supplier base.


But what individuals anticipate from their organisations is, in reality, shifting rapidly. The doorway of Generation Y into the workforce is primarily altering the way that organisations should now operate. The idea of responsibilities and rights grow as the once solid border line between what was once considered leisure and work time blurs. Company technology also needs to adapt as employees wish for the same devices in the office as they have at home – they look for mobility and they covet apps. This is the age of bring your own device (BYOD).

However, the good news lies in the fact that using such persistent technologies in a way that people understand, organisations can frequently fit the employees into place and simultaneously create real and quantifiable behavioral change that produces major business value. The solution to this is another notion that has evolved from the home into the workplace. It is called gamification.

The most vital question to tackle is how businesses can take benefit of gamification, what is an appalling buzzword but, in actuality, a convincing means that can assist drive business performance by letting and encouraging ‘intrapreneurship’ at every levels of the organisation.

Gamification is defined purely as the application of concepts of game theory and ways to non-game activities, or expressed in a different way, the skill of bringing the identical dynamics of mutual problem-solving used in games to business applications.

This is significant as gamification can be a key module in harnessing the normal competitiveness of human beings and the craving to be recognized to improve processes, increase efficiency and deliver better work satisfaction. The confirmation is clear, people of every age working collaboratively to crack challenges in a practical world is something we evidently take pleasure in. Such is gamification’s efficacy in improving the world of work that foremost industry analyst, Gartner, had predicted that by 2014, more than 70 % of Global 2000 enterprises will include at least one ‘gamified’ application being used by employees.

This may engage deploying mechanisms such as rewards, levels challenges and leader boards. By having a game environment among employees, they have been shown to be more aligned with corporate goals, more creative and more productive. Driving modernization and intrapreneurship all over the business using technology to organize games mobile apps allow these mechanics to be distributed to the employees irrespective of where they are based or their method of working.

Ground-breaking though it may seem, elements of this valiant fresh world already exist. Customary employee-of-the-month schemes and sales leader boards, are the two examples that have been about in segregation for some time in an effort to accomplish the same results, support individuals to grip challenges and work together to drive precise goals, both personally as well as for the business.

So, gamification lets organisations to drive steady improvement in performance through the use of social, intuitive and mobile applications that allow, augment and measure the result of employee behavioural change. Mixing technology advances with game mechanics and mobility lets businesses to align employees behind corporate goals, promote competition, enable cross-departmental collaboration, ensure obedience and assign compensation.

Every department can gain from the exercise of game mechanics: for instance, by cheering sales and call centre employees to return customer calls and resolve issues quicker through by “gamifying” the customer relationship management procedure.

As well as ensuring gamification is used to pick up the excellence and impact of employees’ work lives, HR departments should use the identical systems to ensure that HR personnel are recognized and rewarded for innovations, such as improved induction techniques or new training schemes developed resulting to a faster time-to-productivity for new recruits.

Gamification is hugely effective but largely untapped technique and is likely to stay just a ‘buzz word’ till companies remain untrained to chase the rules and spend time and effort to give live statistics feeds.  Similar to most things, there is a connection between effort and reward!

Having said this, the most excellent “games” are those that merge technology with real play and real people. If you’re in any hesitation, watch how much fun and entertainment kids can have with a couple of sticks and an old blanket and weigh against that to their school time. The eminence of the interactions is what’s most imperative whether we are working, learning or just having fun!



This article is written by Debalina Haldar, class of 2015 student at IIM Lucknow. Her novel, The Female Ward, was published in May, 2013. She is the Creative Head and Core Coordinator of the Media and Communication Cell at IIM Lucknow.

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Debalina Haldar

an 'unlikely uncommon quintessential' engineer