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Aug 3, 2021

How to Use Gamification: 5 Steps to Using it as a Great Employee Training Tool


Creating a workspace that motivates, engages and elicits the best of your employee is possible — through the exciting concept of gamification. We break down the important aspects so that you can apply them to your company and workplace for optimum results.

Getting your head in the game

Over the last few years, gamification has been punted as a great training method, particularly in the workspace. By applying the elements usually associated with games (like rules, competition, and point-scoring) to non-gaming contexts, employees are much more likely to absorb the information you’re trying to impart.

While it would be easy to dismiss the ideas behind this gameplay method as another example of fad-driven management consulting, it can be incredibly effective.

According to a study from research specialists Markets to Markets, training games promote better learning outcomes and higher engagement. In order for gamification to have a real impact, however, it needs to be properly implemented.

To ensure that it is, use these five rules in the workplace:

1. Obtain consent

Nobody likes being forced to do something, no matter how much you promise they’ll enjoy it. That’s especially true in the workplace. In a study by Wharton management professor Ethan Mollick, employees who consent to games are more likely to have positive feelings towards their company. Extra points for your organisation when employees understand the rules and feel like the game is fair.


For anyone who doesn’t consent, meanwhile, having to play the game can cause negative feelings about their job and a decrease in performance. It’s therefore imperative that you get the consent of your employees before embarking on any new project.

2. Tell a compelling story

Games are a form of storytelling. The best games suck us in and make us want to see where the story goes. If you’re implementing gameplay in your organisation, you should remember to give it a story with a compelling narrative thread. Allow your employees to explore that thread. If you’re unsure where to start when it comes to narrative, remember to focus on four key elements: characters, plot, tension and resolution.

3. Provide a challenge

When designing your project, there is an important point to keep in mind. The games that people go back to time and time again are the ones that provide a real and meaningful challenge. If the tasks you give your employees have no degree of difficulty, will they really take anything away from it? The idea is to give them a safe space where they can work through similar scenarios faced on a daily basis in their jobs. Create a physical barrier that they have to get over, character objections, or the conflict between time, budget and quality.


While the game should be challenging, you shouldn’t lean too far in the other direction. The game shouldn’t be so arduously difficult that people don’t want to participate.

4. Make it visual

If you really want to get your employees excited about your project, it’s important that your make it as visually appealing as possible. Think beyond pens and notepads. If you’re doing something in the physical space, use props, posters, and any other collateral that relates to your company. 


If you’re building a digital form of communication, put real thought into the aesthetics. Remember, you’re competing with hundreds of other apps on your employees’ devices. You need to stand out.

5. Let your employees explore

Finally, remember the goal of gamification in employee training. It is to provide a way for your employees to arrive at solutions to problems themselves, rather than getting instructed on what to do. It’s important that you give your employees the freedom to choose different paths. It helps them experience gameplay based on the choices they make. This way, they can take risks, learn from mistakes, and build critical skills.

Game on and add gamification in your workplace

By using these methods and the right approach, gamification can truly optimise the workspace. If you need help building the right programme for your employees, contact Engage Me.

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