What is Gamification: A Beginners Guide

Gamification is an incredibly potent way to boost engagement, reduce stress, and help people excel at work. 

The world of gamification is rich and rewarding. Workplaces that have gamified the office create happy, productive employees. But what exactly is it? How does it work? Can you use it to revolutionize your office for the better? In this article, we provide a quick survey of what gamification is, and how you can use it to benefit your business.

Game pieces on a board representing gamification


Fun is at the heart of any gamification effort. The idea is to add joy into a (sometimes) otherwise bland  office setting. All gamification efforts are united in the common goals of inspiring friendships, engagement, and productivity. But, they can vary pretty radically based on the goals of the business. 

For example, a business that is looking to boost engagement, and therefore accelerate productivity, may wish to begin an ongoing gamification effort. For them, such activities might happen weekly or monthly. 

Other businesses may simply wish to make boring but necessary workplace events more engaging. For them, they may simply inject gamification efforts directly into certain events. For example, they may begin meetings with a brief icebreaker game. They may build interactive games into conferences and parties to make them livelier. 

In all cases, repetition is a necessary for success. Just how much repetition is necessary depends on your goals. However, the “one and done” school of thought will never result in success. 

Of course, consistency is not the only element of a successful gamification campaign. It also matters who is bought in.

Gamification Should Come from the Top Down

It’s always important to make sure the gamification strategy flows directly from your goals. To that end, businesses should acknowledge the gap that can exist between management and general staff. A study from the Harvard Business Review revealed that 58% of people trust strangers more than they trust their own employer. 

Adding games into your business can help bridge that gap. But, to do so, it’s vital that everyone from all levels participates. Making sure management joins in any and all gamification efforts can do a lot to build trust and companionship.

Gamification Should Be Honest

It’s also important that your staff understand what is happening and why. Keep in mind that many American workers are stressed. This can affect both their mental and even physical health. Adding something new into worker’s lives without an explanation may only add to that stress. This is why games need explanation and transparency. By making everyone is one the same page about why you are integrating games, you ensure that games reduce stress and instead of adding to it.

Have Fun

Last but not least, all these efforts should be fun! No one is going to feel more engaged because of a half-hearted icebreaker game. Instead, take the time to plan activities that are actually enjoyable, like a personalized Live Trivia day. While this is often easier said than done, your efforts will be rewarded in the end. 

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