Introducing game principles to benefit recruitment, L&D, rewards management, and employee engagement

Gamification in HR: motivating, training and recruiting through the game perspective

Gamification is one of those buzzwords you hear now and again in different contexts (including business in general and HR in particular). But what does it actually mean? Gamification is defined as the application of game principles to the non-gaming environment for the sake of making routine duties more inspiring and enjoyable.

People love being amused and are very competitive – not only in purely recreational activities but also in mundane scenarios. Riding this wave, gamification has found its most recent application in human resources. Many game attributes, such as fun, play, addictiveness, progress, mission, game KPIs (points, badges, leaderboards) and competition are now applied to a range of operations inside a company – in benefits administration, learning & development and, of course, employee engagement. 

Gamifying your HR activity

It’s considered that gamification is 75% psychology and 25% technology, and thus is very coherent with the HR function. Indeed, gamification has implications for some of HR’s biggest goals: engagement, productivity, and knowledge retention. It’s particularly relevant for the modern HR shift when the new generations getting on board (from Millennials to Generation Z) need to have a meaning behind what they do and highly value workplace satisfaction – even more than their wage rate.

Bringing games in your employee engagement

From the psychological angle, as proved by the latest game theories and behavioral psychology, games elements in the workplace boost employee engagement by triggering goal-setting, motivation to succeed, a drive for instant gratification, and a competitive streak. According to the TalentLMS research, 84% of employees think that gamification would make them more engaged and 85% would spend more time working with software that is gamified. Play is indeed capable of lowering stress levels, strengthening motivation and enhancing diligence, resilience, and concentration. Via gamification people get the recognition they need and feel like they have accomplished something, but in a fun way.

How can gamification be implemented in a corporate environment? For instance, some companies that had problems motivating employees to do boring data-entry tasks have managed to gamify the process with special software. The programme tracked performance and speed, enabling people to monitor their progress, compete with their peers and gain virtual rewards. As a result, data-entry completion was significantly improved.

Gamification linked to recruitment

Gamification in HR is not only about engagement stimulation – it can be incorporated into recruitment practice as well. Some companies in tech have already started immersing job candidates in coding play challenges to discover the best talents.

Other recruiters are considering shaping the hiring process into a gamified experience by rewarding potential employees with virtual perks for completing each recruitment step, from CV uploading to job offer acceptance. Another method of gamification is to set a number of online business challenges based on real company cases to test the candidates’ decision-making in a game simulation mode.

Training and Learning: better through games

Game engines can be very handy for your L&D strategy since some employees are not very highly motivated to spend hours on a study session. Fortunately, adding a gamification experience to eLearning can spur them into action. Companies may create their own virtual learning academies with missions, scores, badges, and leaderboards to involve employees in getting new skills and be active in corporate studying.

Gamification also assists in knowledge retention: a study by Indiana University showed that game-based learners retained 45% of knowledge 6 weeks after training, compared to just 4% of knowledge retained by non-game learners.

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