By Karyn Rhodes, VP/Director, Complete Payroll Solutions

In today’s competitive labor market, employers are turning up their efforts to attract and keep workers. An increasingly popular approach to engage employees is to apply game-like traits in the workplace. This technique is gaining traction among HR professionals in several key areas of employment:

  • Recruitment: More and more companies are creating online games and apps to gauge a candidate’s skills, readiness, and fit for the role while also making the brand come alive by exposing them to a bit of the organization and its culture. UberDRIVE is just one example of a mobile game that gives users a glimpse into a day in the life of a driver.
  • Training: Lots of employers are using gamification to reinforce training content. In January, Walmart started using a video game app designed by a Walmart associate called Spark City in which players design an avatar and run a department to improve their understanding and add some fun to their curriculum.
  • Leadership Development: In some organizations, gamification is used to encourage employees to tackle complicated issues by submitting answers to questions for use in their departments – from QA or customer service – that garner them points displayed on a leaderboard. By developing effective problem-solving abilities, these employees are also learning essential leadership skills that can position an organization well for the future.
  • Employee Motivation: Because game-like activities are fun, interactive and, frankly, addictive, employees are encouraged to stay engaged, especially when they have the opportunity to feel a sense of achievement like continuing to reach new levels as they progress through the program, getting rewarded with badges, or even having a chance to “win.”
  • Collaboration: Some companies use gamification to foster collaboration and build stronger relationships that can lead to better alignment through game apps that require employees to work together as a team to accomplish a goal – increasingly common during new worker onboarding.

Gamification can be a powerful way to elevate the employee experience. And employers using it are also winning. Just be sure to make sure your strategies are linked to defined objectives before you set out to play.