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5 Statistics That Prove Gamification is the Future of the Workplace

Tim Pickard
Tim Pickard

What motivates employees at work? Recognition, rewards and a sense of competition are all strong motivators.

Gamification works because it taps into each of these motivators to keep employees engaged. This convergence of technology and productivity is where game mechanics are used in a non-gaming context.

Traditionally, you can’t get further away from a ‘game’ than at work. However, in many companies, there’s a big problem with lack of employee engagement. If employees aren’t motivated to do their best, businesses will lose out. 

This is where gamification comes in. 

The Psychology of Gamification: Why It Works

According to Gamification by Design co-author Gabe Zichermann, “gamification is 75 percent psychology and 25 percent technology.”

So, what a gamification tool does is tap into the psychological behaviors that govern the day-to-day decisions we make – providing a platform for competition, sharing your achievements and managing the progress of your work.

The purpose of gamification, from an employer’s point of view, is to encourage the behavior you want. However, behavior is a hard thing to change.

According to Professor B.J. Fogg, an experimental psychologist at Stanford University, there are three elements that must converge in order for a change in behavior to occur: motivation, ability, and trigger. What’s most important is that all three things have to happen at the same time.

Successful gamification tools work because they:

  • Give users the motivation to do something (the chance to win, receive rewards or gain recognition)
  • Give users the ability to carry out a task – by facilitating it, or breaking each task into bite-size chunks, increasing the perceived capability for the user
  • Give the user a trigger or cue to complete the action

If all these conditions are met, gamification can change behavior, create motivation and keep employees engaged.

The following statistics prove that gamification is taking the modern workplace by storm. 

70% of business transformation efforts fail due to lack of engagement.

First, let’s start with a statistic that demonstrates why gamification is needed in the workplace. Businesses need to adapt to changing technology, market conditions, and consumer behavior, but can’t if they have an unmotivated team that are unwilling to change.

Companies need to provide incentives and employ the same techniques game designers use to keep players interested, in order to achieve the engagement needed for the transformation of business operations.

By the end of 2015, 40% of Global 1000 organizations will use gamification as the primary mechanism to transform business operations.

The popularity of gamification as a way to engage employees is growing. With 40 percent of the top organizations in the world using gamification this year – the percentage only looks set to grow in the next few years.

The worldwide gamification market will grow from $242 million in 2012 to $2.8 billion in 2016.

During this time, gamification tools aimed at businesses will also eclipse those aimed at consumers, showing not only a growth in the market but the value of gamification in the workplace.

53 percent of technology stakeholders said that by 2020, the use of gamification will be widespread.

While not a huge percentage, it still shows that just over half of technology stakeholders believe gamification to be the future of not only the workplace but of education and health too. The other 42 percent still predicted that gamification would play an important role in 2020, but would not be as widespread.

Stewart Agency managed to double the number of emails they collected over two years, in just three months with gamification.

Statistics about the growth of the gamification market may be impressive, but it’s not as impressive as seeing statistics showing the success of gamification in practice.

Stewart Agency wanted their team to collect more email addresses when talking to leads. To do this, they needed to motivate their team to want to change their behavior. They incentivized this with a competition, awarding sales people based on how many email addresses they could collect over several months.

The gamification of the sales process worked – in less than two months, they had almost doubled the number of emails they collected over three years.

Gamification is not only the future of the workplace – it’s how businesses are succeeding right now. NewVoiceMedia’s Motivate for your sales or customer service team can engage them in their job, encouraging best practices and pushing your team that bit further. 

Do you think gamification is the future of the workplace? Are you already using gamification techniques in your organization? Share your thoughts and experiences below.


Image Credit: SFIO CRACHO/Shutterstock
Tim Pickard
Tim Pickard Member
Tim joined NewVoiceMedia in July 2011. He has over 20 years' experience as a leader in the IT industry. He served as VP and board member of RSA Security's international business for seven years where he ran marketing in EMEA, Asia Pacific and Japan. He spent two years as Chief Marketing Officer for SaaS/Cloud-based email management provider Mimecast.