HR and Gamification


Gamification in the workplace is a trend that started around 2015 and has become increasingly popular in the training and development world. For those of you who are not familiar with the concept of gamification, let’s start with the basics. The Training Industry defines game-based learning and gamification, which are two closely related concepts, in the following way:

Game-Based Learning is training that uses game elements to teach a specific skill or achieve a specific learning outcome. It takes your core content and objectives and makes them fun.

Gamification is the application of game mechanics in a non-game context to promote desired behaviour and drive learning outcomes. Think points, badges, leaderboards, and incentives.

Game-Based Learning vs. Gamification: Do You Know the Difference?

Why use gamification in the workplace? Some believe gamification in the workplace can improve productivity, employee engagement, and motivation. If done correctly it may be a great tool for skills development. Gamification does tap into the human need to participate, achieve, and to compete, which may breed exceptional employee performance. It can help bring workplace training to life.

For a deeper understanding of gamification in the workplace, click here and read this article from Radboud University.

Can using gamification in the workplace have negative effects? Yes, it can. Gamification can be expensive to set up if you do not already have an existing platform. Also, like any other learning interventions, it must be strategically linked to your organizations learning and business goals. According to Training Industry, gamification is not ideal for training that requires major behavioural shifts, but is best-suited to content that can be memorized.

Before an HR Department integrates gamification into workplace training or a development program, it must first think very seriously about the outcomes of extensive gamification. Will gamification of training breed positive or negative outcome in the workplace?

Discussion Questions:

Research a company that has successfully introduced gamification in the workplace. What was the specific purpose of the gamification? Where did it result in workplace improvements?

Research a company that has introduced gamification in the workplace and has seen negative results. What were the negative outcomes?

Research to discover some of the ethical issues of gamification in the workplace.


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