Human resources (HR) management is essential to the success of any company, especially in the current professional landscape. However, today it can feel more difficult than ever to motivate and engage employees, as well as foster a sense of development and collaboration. Perhaps surprisingly then, gamification in HR has emerged as a powerful strategy to achieve these objectives.
But the real question is, can the HR department truly benefit from using games? Below, we tell you everything you need to know about gamification in human resources: what it is, its advantages and applications, and crucially, how to implement it strategically.
The role of gamification in HR
Gamification is a methodology that integrates gaming elements and mechanics into areas or contexts that are not traditionally recreational – such as corporate training processes. In human resources, the act of gamification involves applying these mechanics to the relationship between the company and its employees. This can help to achieve such objectives as motivating, building loyalty, developing talent, reinforcing commitment and generally strengthening a company’s organizational culture.
The specific objective of gamification in HR is to make activities such as training, internal communication campaigns, or selection processes more fun. To achieve this, the same principles that attract people to playing games – challenges, levels and rankings, for example – are built into these familiar corporate processes. The newly gamified structure stimulates employee creativity, encourages them to pursue specific objectives, and motivates them to participate actively in the company culture.
The benefits of gamification in HR
According to KPMG, two out of three human resources managers agree that the sector is undergoing a digital transformation. However, it’s exactly this transformation that has prompted the development of new techniques designed to improve results not only in HR, but also many other departments.
Gamification is one of these innovative techniques, and offers multiple benefits to the human resources department, including the following:
Employee motivation should be a top priority for any company. Factors such as productivity and a workforce’s commitment to its company depend on it. According to Gallup, motivated and committed teams are 21% more profitable and have 41% lower absenteeism rates.
Gamification helps break up normal work routines by offering employees a more dynamic and engaging way to accomplish specific tasks. Additionally, it motivates them to take part in company activities such as healthy challenges or competitions.
Reduces the dropout rate of training
Training is another essential element in any organization, especially when it comes to acquiring key skills for the future or filling skills gaps in teams. However, all too often employees abandon training before completing it due to lack of interest.
Gamification not only motivates employees to get involved with their training, but through dynamics such as challenges, competitions and classifications, it actually encourages them to keep bettering themselves in the pursuit of ranks and titles. This not only lifts completion rates, but also helps employees to grow professionally.
Enhances the work environment
Through games, employees can get together and discover similar interests that improve their interpersonal relationships. Healthy competition, such as a 10-day healthy habits challenge, can inspire employees to participate, get to know each other better, and motivate each other onwards. This not only boosts individual wellbeing, but also makes for a more satisfying work environment.
Strengthens the employee’s bond with the company
Gamification helps companies develop a fuller profile of their employees and, on the other hand, employees to get more involved in their company culture. Members of the workforce become more than just employees, turning up daily just to fulfill their obligations. Instead they become colleagues, sharing interests and developing a sense of belonging.
Improves knowledge retention
Finally, gamification improves knowledge retention by transforming long, theoretical and potentially boring lessons into fun and motivating interactive activities. Games present employees with challenging scenarios and give them the opportunity to make their own decisions by analyzing the options in front of them, ultimately making learning more meaningful.
The applications of gamification in HR
If you want to enjoy all the benefits we’ve explored above, you’ll be pleased to know that there are multiple ways to apply gamification techniques to HR. Below, we look into some of the most common:
Training and development plans
Applying gamification to training and development is one of the most common methods of integrating it into HR. It’s also one of the most successful, since gamification has quickly become an outstandingly attractive and effective learning tool.
So much so, in fact, that 83% of employees who receive gamified training feel more motivated at work, and this is hardly surprising, since the methodology transforms learning into a fun and interactive experience. If you want to discover more statistics on the subject, and find out what gamification activities you can integrate into your training, then check out this article.
Performance appraisals are a necessity for improving productivity and competitiveness, but they are often seen as a tedious task by both employees and managers. Gamification, however, can change that.
Games are also ideal tools for evaluating workers in real time, while simultaneously helping to improve their learning thanks to immediate feedback. Through gamification it becomes possible to evaluate skills decision-making, conflict resolution, and even empathy.
Gamification is also a perfect way to search for and select new professional profiles to expand the talent pool of your workforce. For example, you can make use of games and dynamics that let you visualize candidates’ skills, or test their reactions to various situations.
Furthermore, gamification makes the whole hiring process much more efficient, since it allows you to easily analyze the results of each step. This is not only true when it comes to new candidates, but also applies to employees already embedded in the company, and looking for promotion.
The onboarding process is essential to help new employees understand their new company culture, their responsibilities and the wider professional atmosphere. And gamification is a great strategy to turn this process into something much more friendly and effective.
Through game dynamics, employees can get a handle on corporate culture and enjoy interactions with their colleagues. Activities like interactive maps can help them learn about nearby workspaces and places of interest. Not enough? How about a survival challenge across their first week of work, where the new employee embarks on a series of missions and tests to get them familiar with their new role in a fun way.
How to integrate gamification into HR
When we look at all the benefits and applications of gamification in HR, it’s easy to understand its startling rise in popularity among companies. So, finally, we’ll show you how to integrate gamification into your HR department in 3 simple steps:
1. Identify clear objectives and metrics
Before implementing gamification within your HR processes, it’s important to have clear objectives. Are you looking to retain employees? Do you want to improve your training process? Or maybe develop a more effective onboarding plan? Gamification will offer greater rewards when implemented with a set of clear objectives.
2. Design gamified activities
The second step is to design effective gamification activities tailored to your objectives. To do this you must select the specific game elements that match your interests. For example, if the objective is to identify potential leaders within your team, an ideal game would be a set of simulated team challenges where each employee temporarily assumes a leadership role.
If your goal is to improve training, opt to include motivating game mechanics such as points, badges, and rankings. If you want to learn more about the key steps when it comes to implementing gamification, check out this article.
3. Carry out periodic evaluations
After implementing a gamification program in your HR department, it’s important to evaluate its results. This evaluation should consider employee perception (which you can gauge through a simple survey), participation rates and, above all, results. This way, you can determine if your gamification strategy has been successful or not.
Selecting the right technological tools is key to the successful implementation of your gamification strategy, and can help enhance many of your company’s internal processes. Whether you want to gamify employee training, overhaul your onboarding programs, or simply strengthen your company’s culture, at isEazy Game we can help you transform your training into a unique experience.
Easily convert any existing content into a game, add simple but effective dynamics, and let your employees celebrate every victory! Try it for free today and discover how we can help you unleash your team’s true potential.