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Increasing Employee Engagement Level with Gamification

November 30, 2017Blog

posted by Voravee Ruengaramrut

Autor: Voravee Ruengaramrut



The term “gamification” usually is defined as the use of gameplay mechanics for non-game applications(Deterding et al, 2011). Gamification’s main goal is to rise the engagement of users by using game-like techniques such as scoreboards and personalized fast feedback (Flatla et al, 2011) making people feel more ownership and purpose when engaging with tasks (Pavlus, 2010). 

Various studies focus the used of gamification for customer engagement in many layers such as in terms of co-creation between customer and organization or increasing customer loyalty level toward brand or product. The most obvious and classic example of the used of gamification is, Starbucks Coffee Company.  Starbucks uses gamification tactics to enhance the Starbuck’s customer experience and to boost sales as well. Customers register for My Reward through an application. Every time customers purchase a Starbucks product, they accumulate stars (which actually look like cups that are diagramically filled in). To encourage more of customer’s effort to collect points, Starbucks Reward has also setup three levels of customer loyalty, which are welcome, green and gold level. Each level has different benefits. With this level clarification for loyalty program, customers need to make an effort to use Starbucks card or application at the time of their purchase (Ruengaramrut, 2015).


Gamification & Employee Engagement

On the other hand, the image of gamification for employee engagement seems to be more bitter pill due to the image and way that people react to the word of game appears to be more competitive than collaborative tool. With the competitive image, some people still look at gamification is not the right tool to create engagement in the organization.

The reason that why some organizations fail to use gamification as the tool to increase engagement is, they fail since the game design stage. To find the right game environment need to consider the game element that fit with people behavior, which means implementer need to deeply understand nature of people in the organization. If any organization are new to create the gamified environment, group activities for gamification should be the great start.

The benefit of implementing gamification in the organization is not only for increasing engagement level but in the meantime; you can expect gamification to be the trigger tool to enhance performance in the organization as well. Even starting with group activities, once when the employees go through the process, they will begin to improve their performance due to individual interaction also create the impact to the group.  According to this organization will gain two impacts from the gamification implementation, which are collective and individual level.


The example of implementing gamification for increasing engagement level in organization

: Increasing engagement level for performance evaluation process with gamification

Most employee spend less of time to complete the evaluation process before the evaluation period, which employee might not crystallize with their target or might even forget their target.

According to above, organization can use gamification as trigger tool for employee in organization by design the group activities, including the journey for everyone and do the competition at the department level. With this environment, when individual also creates impact to team, people will more engage with the process, since all their activities create impact to others.

There is various type of mechanism from gamification that can use in organization. To finding the right game mechanism and environment that fit with nature of organization are the critical tasks that all implementers should study before implementing the gamification to organization system.



Deterding, S., Sicart, M., Nacke, L., O’Hara, K., & Dixon, D. (2011). Gamification: Using Game Design Elements in Non-Gaming Contexts. In Proceedings of the 2011 Annual Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA ‘11 (pp. 2425–2428). New York: ACM.

Flatla, D., Gutwin, C., Nacke, L., Bateman, S., Mandryk, R. (2011) Calibration Games: Making Calibration Tasks Enjoyable by Adding Motivating Game ElementsUIST 2011, Santa Barbara, California

Pavlus, J. (2010) The Game of Life. Scientific American, 303, 43-44

Ruengaramrut, V., Ribiere, Vincent., Ammi, Chantal. (2015). A Component Diagram Presenting a Gamified Environment Supporting Customer Engagement in a Service Innovation Process. Proceedings of the 12th International conference on Intellectual Capital Knowledge management & Organizational Learning ICICKM.


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