Gamification in the Workplace – Episode 8 Follow-up

Within minutes of the above tweet to my teaching account being posted, a conversation ensued that had given me extra motivation to focus this blog on gamification in the workplace: AJ offered to share an article I’ll draw on below and another student expressed interest in learning more about it as well. I should also point out that this conversation took place within a gamified course that uses various mechanics to prompt online activity relating to the weekly topics (if you’re interested in further details, see Episode 3 and our earlier blogs on the Tiffit system here and here). To complete the circle, this week’s topic within the digital media subject those students are enrolled in is gamification. So from gamified learning about gamification, this blog about gamification arises…

It’s on like Mike Han by Andre Charland (CC BY 2.0)

With their frequently unglamorous decor, offices are not necessarily the most game-like environments, but they don’t have to become fantasy role-playing game environments to be made more engaging. The above example is not the first time I’ve witnessed a student applying their learning about gamification to their current professional lives. Another student who was already working in a supervisory position regularly posted to her peers about the ways in which she was gamifying her team’s activities. Danielle’s own experiences of the collaborative/competitive use of Team Treehouse discussed in Episode 8 highlights another potentially valuable application of gamification in an organisational context. Such instances raise important questions of if, when, where, how, and why gamified practices might be introduced into different work environments – questions I partly reflected on in the latest Periscope broadcast:

Darshana Narayanan et al. highlight in their article ‘Gamification of the Hiring Process’ that applying game mechanics in the area of HR responds to three key problems: the need to distinguish more efficiently between the often amorphous mass of job applications for advertised positions; the need to mitigate ongoing bias in selection processes to ensure workforce diversity; and the need to reduce the immense cost of employee attrition. The concluding summary of this article is worth quoting in full here:

According to industry trends, 30 to 50 percent of recruiting efforts fail, meaning that the job offer is not accepted or the person resigns within the first year. This is not a consequence of deficient human capital; it is the consequence of using impoverished data for key decision-making processes. The right game-based assessment can drastically improve the hiring process. Gamification can increase engagement, get an objective read on behavior, and provide a platform for blind auditions. In symbiosis with advanced analytics and data-driven decision-making, we can now achieve recruiting efficiency, unbiased talent assessment, and increased employee retention. (Narayanan et al. 2016, p. 34)

Jessica at the office by Jeremy Keith (CC BY 2.0)

The usefulness of gamification beyond motivating and enhancing different forms of engagement alone is worth underlining here, making the case for more research into – and applications of – gamification ever stronger. And with a recent prediction that the global education gamification market is set to grow by 66% over the next four years, that research and implementation is no doubt just around the corner…

How have you gamified your workplace?



Narayanan, Darshana, Avital Gertner-Samet, Matthew Malter Cohen and Friday Polli, ‘Gamification of the Hiring Process’, Workforce Solutions Review, September 2016, pp. 32-34.


Feature image: Office by Chris Clogg (CC0 1.0)


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