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Ethical Considerations in Gamification: Balancing Incentives and Employee Well-being

August 22, 2023

Inviting gamification into the workplace is a powerful way to add value to your team’s daily lives. Gamification is the process of using game mechanics in non-game settings. With the help of rewards, mini-games, leaderboards, and other game elements – you can keep your team on task and inspired during their 9-5.

Sounds pretty great, right?

While gamification has worthwhile perks for employees and the business – there are a few ethical considerations you’ll want to keep top of mind when implementing a gamification strategy. 

We’re here to walk you through the pros and cons of gamification and how to implement a gamification strategy to ensure you’re balancing incentives and employee well-being. 

Let’s dive in.

The Pros and Cons of Gamification

There will always be pros and cons, no matter what strategy you must implement in the workplace. When trying to get the most from the workplace dynamic, there are a few things you’ll need to be mindful of to ensure gamification works to your advantage.

Here are the pros and cons:

Pro: Improved Work-Life Balance

Let’s face it: Gamification is a fun, interactive tool that can improve your team’s mental health and overall well-being. This strategy uses what we know and love about video games and finds a way to keep everyday tasks and projects into fun, innovative experiences for your team. The best part is you can use it in many different formats throughout the workplace experience.

For example, in a recent survey, 81% of job applicants find gamification used during the hiring and onboarding process entertaining and enjoyable. This means no matter how you choose to use gamification, everything your team accomplishes won’t always feel like work.

Pro: Instant Motivation Boost

According to a study by GCC Marketing, 71% of employees participating agreed gamification helps increase energy levels, and 66% believe that it decreases their stress levels. When there’s a reward program, game, or experience involved, your team is more likely to put in the extra work to get through their day. These small incentives will motivate them to take on more tasks during their 9-5 and encourage them to go above and beyond in everything they do. 

Pro: Keeps Employees Engaged With Mundane Tasks

Whether it’s your customer service team or sales team – each team member at your company has at least a few mundane tasks they dread getting through the day. With the right game elements, you can turn these everyday tasks into small challenges and competitions that keep your team inspired. This will ensure tasks are completed in a timely manner, and your team’s duties never get swept under the rug.

Pro: Increase in Productivity and Efficiency 

Game elements push your team to engage, collaborate, and work well with team members. This means gamification can help improve productivity and increase workplace efficiency. Whether it’s a contest to see who can bring in the most new business or a mini competition to inspire your recruitment team to look through CVs – every small gamified initiative you have can yield high results. 

Con: Employees Focus on Rewards, Not the Progress 

Research suggests that rewards and incentives are invaluable tools that can increase intrinsic motivation. However, if the messaging your leadership uses is always focused on the rewards and incentives on the table – your team will lose track of what’s really important. 

This means your team may be more susceptible to human errors and will cut corners to try to take home the win. The goal should always be to grow professionally and to reach your true potential – not just to earn rewards. With a tool like Spinify, we use progress bars and leaderboards to help your team visualize their success and focus on their professional development. 

Con: Gamification Can be Expensive to Implement 

If you plan to implement gamification without the help of software or tools, this can be a costly task for your team. Not only will your leadership need to set aside time to find new ways to engage with employees, but you’ll also need to track the success of your initiatives. With the help of the right software, you can automate your gamification initiatives and ensure your team is always engaged with the games and other game elements you implement. 

At Spinify, we understand that not all brands are created equally. That’s why we personalize your quote to meet the needs of your business. Once implemented, you’ll see an immediate return on investment. 

Con: Not as Effective Over Time

If you plan the same competition every week or month – your team will get bored. This can inevitably lead to burnout, distractions, and a lack of motivation. To ensure your gamification strategy stays effective, you must continue coming to the table with innovative ways to gamify the workplace experience. This will help you maximize efficiency and ensure the workplace gets the most from your gamified efforts.

Our Spinify Sidekick is an AI-driven tool designed to help you stay creative and innovative. With this resource, you’ll always have access to new ideas, smarter competitions, and intuitive experiments – so you can maximize the efficiency of gamification every day.

Con: Friendly Competition Gets Out of Hand

In a study done by ResumeLab, over 80% of respondents believe healthy competition is beneficial in the workplace. Friendly competition is designed to be just that – friendly! 

However, friendly competition can get out of hand if you don’t set the right ground rules and expectations. This can lead to problems with collaboration and communication between team members. 

Our sales gamification platform will inspire your team and motivate every participating individual. We’ll automatically reward individuals with badges when they reach their goal, celebrate every milestone, and ensure every employee feels recognized for their contributions. This will help lessen the risk of out-of-hand competitions and keep everyone satisfied. 

How to Make Gamification Work For Your Business 

To make gamification work, you must find a healthy balance that keeps your team engaged. 

Here’s how you can do that:

Keep Goals Top of Mind

When starting a new sales contest, mini-game, or competition – you should always be clear and consistent with your goals and expectations. Consider making the games and contests less about revenue goals and top performers and more about workplace efficiency and productivity. This will also allow you to create an even playing field for everyone and ensure that your top performers aren’t the only employees in the limelight.

Mix Things Up 

Gamification is supposed to be fun, interactive, and engaging. If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to mix things up and make changes with different game elements. Every game element can be used to your company’s advantage. 

For example, maybe one-quarter of you use progress bars to keep your sales team on track with day-to-day tasks. Then, the next month you may host a competition or use a leaderboard in the office to track everyone’s progress in real-time. Get creative and have fun!

Invest in Gamification Software 

To get the most out of gamification, you need a reliable partner that helps you automate your initiatives and keep gamification top of mind for your team members. Sales gamification tools like Spinify uses your sales reps’ data to create innovative gamified experiences for your team members. 

Stay Realistic With Your Expectations

The last thing you want to do is let gamification discourage your team. That means you may need to take a personalized approach for the person on your team and consider their own sales performance. For example, the goals you set for your top-performing sales managers aren’t the same for someone new to your company. Always take a personalized approach to ensure everyone is challenged throughout their workday and stays motivated. 

Build a Gamification Strategy That Delivers Results With Spinify

At Spinify, we’re more than just another sales gamification software. We’re a partner there to help you use gamification to the best of your ability and keep your team engaged, motivated, and inspired during the workweek. 

With our software, you can feel confident you’re using gamification in the most ethical way possible. Once you’re set up, you can completely customize the experience to meet the needs of your team, pushing them to be the best versions of themselves throughout the entire workweek.  

Book a free, personalized demo today to learn more about how Spinify can help you build the ultimate dream team!

Put those insights into practice.

Set your team up for success by improving their performance through gamification.

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