3 Examples of Gamification in the Workplace

Productivity metrics are at an all-time low in the U.S., with 70 percent of people in the current work force labeling themselves as “disengaged” or “actively disengaged” at work, according to a recent report from Gallup.

To reverse these declining engagement trends, several leading companies are turning to gamification. What is gamification, exactly? Gamification is the concept of applying game-design thinking to non-game application to make them more fun and engaging. If this concept seems new to you, get this: gamification has actually been around for a long time. Think, employee of the month or salesperson of the quarter.

But only recently has gamification become big business.

“Injecting fun into something that is generally seen as boring or task oriented not only can increase engagement but also drive innovation and productivity, which is something your company desperately needs,” says Jessica Miller-Merrel, HR veteran and founder of Blogging4jobs.com.


According to a recent infographic by Officevibe:


  • 89% of employers think their people leave for more money, but only 12% of employees actually leave for more money
  • 70% of Forbes Global 2000 companies will use gamification to boost engagement, retention and revenues

Gamification can help companies create an active, engaged, productive team – especially among new hires. So what exactly is gamification? Here are four examples to show how leading companies are implementing gamification in the workplace.  


Salesforce users hunt for chickens

Facing the harsh reality that 50 percent of all CRM implementations flop, Salesforce (Concur customer) recently implemented a gamification platform to increase usage and engagement with its system.

To achieve the status of “Big Game Hunter,” sales people start as “Chicken Hunters” and ascend levels to bigger and better status as they use more of Salesforce’s features. One customer reported compliance increases of over 40 percent.  


Fun with cleaning

Lawley Insurance was experiencing inaccurate sales forecasts due to “messy” pipelines, so it ran a two-week contest to clean them up, rewarding points for updating opportunities, updating close dates, logging prospect phone calls and logging prospect meetings.

The contest was responsible for generating the same amount of Salesforce activities in two weeks as had been created in the prior 7 ½ months.  


Caution: Not all games are created equal

Long wait times were plaguing Omnicare’s helpdesk, which provides support for its pharmacy management software. In an attempt to improve efficiency through gamification, Omnicare added a leaderboard and issued cash rewards to employees with the fastest times on the floor.

The results?

Wait times actually increased and employee turnover spiked. Ouch. So why were the results so different than the somewhat-similar system implemented by other companies? Turns out the “high tech” help desk employees didn’t view the game output as positive feedback, but rather as “Big Brother” watching over them. Eventually Omnicare changed and improved the system by focusing the rewards around a series of achievements instead of timing.


How can you gamify normally-tedious processes at your office? Can you gamify your expense reporting process? Well, if you’ve been using a spreadsheet all these years, then by comparison submitting an expense report form via an automated expense solution like Concur will certainly feel like more fun, and the enhanced reporting features Concur offers will help gamify your results around the office.


Loading next article