How to Use Gamification for Employee Recognition


When employees are happy, productivity increases by 31%, and task accuracy increases by 19%. It’s a proven that keeping your employees satisfied is always worth the effort. But what is the best way to ensure employees are happy in their daily roles?

HR teams have long attempted to answer this question. Is it a matter of higher wages? Hybrid work schedules? More benefits and perks? These productivity strategies certainly help employee satisfaction. 

However, another tactic may need to be added for employee recognition: Gamification! Let’s take a look at what gamification for employee engagement can do for your team:

3 Employee Engagement Game Types

So what exactly does gamification for employee recognition look like?

1. Competitions

Competitions were designed to encourage a specific behavior within an organization. Whoever earns the most points—or garners the most recognition during a set time—wins.

NTT Data employed this tactic when it wanted team members to adopt an internal social network. Employees gained “karma points” for logging in, posting content, and performing other actions on the platform. At the end of every month, the person with the most points won a valuable prize—like an Apple iPad. 

And the gamification strategy was a success. Nearly everyone in the company was using the in-network social platform within five months.

2. Games of Chance

Offering employees a game of chance is an easy way to implement rewards while helping to show your appreciation for their efforts. These games can be simple, like a prize wheel, slots, sweepstakes and scratch-offs, among other possibilities.

A use case could be as follows: When an employee is recognized for their good work, they’re sent a message with a link to a prize wheel. Every option on this prize wheel is something the employee can get excited about, like a $100 Visa gift card or a new set of headphones. This way, when the employee spins the wheel, they’re never left disappointed.

3. On-the-Spot Recognition Awards

There’s still value in traditional employee recognition strategies, as gaining a reward for a job well done is inherently gamified. You may opt for a simple certificate or trophy or get a little more creative. 

The Walt Disney Company tackles employee recognition with the Spirit of Fred Award, named after a former employee who exemplified everything a hard worker should be. Their award is tangible and covetable—a bronze statue of Mickey Mouse.

4 Benefits of Using Gamification for Employee Recognition

Aside from the many other benefits of business gamification, gamifying employee recognition is a more rewarding and straightforward process for both employees and management teams. 

Here are four benefits associated with gamification in employee recognition programs:

1. Makes Communication Easier

Gamification creates an open line of communication between employees and upper management. This helps your employees feel more comfortable offering positive and negative feedback.

2. Boosts Employee Morale

Gamification boosts employee morale in a few ways. Employee recognition helps build a culture of positivity as employees think about how they can recognize their peers—and gamification makes that process easier. And, as your employees feel a greater sense of camaraderie, gamification can also improve employee loyalty. 

3. Encourages New Behaviors

Recognition accomplishes many things, including congratulating employees for exemplary work and forging an association between desirable behaviors and rewards. As you reward employees for their actions, others take notice of what actions earn praise—and often try to replicate them.

4. Collects Analytics

This is a “behind-the-curtain” type of benefit: Gamification for employee recognition helps you collect data on your employees. As teams continue to use your gamification platform, management can pull data on who is the most engaged and recognized within the organization. 

How to Gamify Employee Recognition

With the benefits of employee recognition gamification clarified, let’s discuss how to implement a gamification strategy for employee recognition.

1. Identify the goal of your recognition program

Do you want employees to take a specific action? Do you want to improve productivity generally? The more detailed the plan, the better the outcome.

2. Fine-tune the reward system for the involved departments

What task would make the most sense to measure in a department? For example, reward your sales team for every call they check up on existing clients.

3. Clearly outline the rules and parameters of your gamification plan

Communicate what employees will and won’t be rewarded for, so they don’t accidentally spend too much time on the wrong thing and they don’t spend time on things that don’t get them rewards.

4. Create a reward budget

With a gamification rewards and recognition budget in mind, you can identify bonus size and prize price ranges ahead of time, which can help you promote rewards to your team.

5. Choose a gamification platform that suits your company’s needs

The right platform can make gamification easier for you and your employees. Here at CataBoom, we recognize that teams often need a recognition platform that is turn-key and immediately ready to deploy.

As an easy, quick-to-deploy option, CataBoom also created our HR Employee Recognition Gamification Bundle, which includes a pre-set amount of gift cards based on the number of email links you’ll want to include. It’s just one of the ways we can quickly—and easily—launch a gamified employee recognition program.

Leverage & Turn Your Employees into Engaged Assets

Aside from boosting productivity, gamified employee recognition shows good faith that you care about your employees and want what’s best for them. To ensure gamification works for you, consider a service that already has experience in employee engagement, like CataBoom. Click here to explore available game types!

Our HR Employee Recognition Gamification Bundle is just one of the many strategies you can use to engage and entice employees to take the actions you desire. Contact us, and we’ll create a tailored program to recognize your team today!

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