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The Psychology of Gamification: Why It Works

November 19, 2022

Psychology of Gamification: Why It Works

Whether it was on your phone or with a gaming system you have at home: Chances are you’ve played your fair share of video games. Video games are a fun and interactive way to keep yourself entertained and challenge yourself to think strategically about specific tasks. 

The best part? They are known for providing a much-needed dopamine hit you won’t get anywhere else. Games provide your brain with a hyperarousal experience. During the gaming experience, the reward system in your brain releases dopamine, giving you that feel-good feeling that keeps you coming back for more. 

What if we told you that you could get the same happy feeling from utilizing gamification solutions in the workplace?

Gamification works as a tool that allows business to keep their employees connected innovatively. It inspires communication and collaboration, pushing your team to rethink their 9-5 by having more fun throughout the workweek. By using game techniques in non-game contexts, your business can inspire and motivate employees to do more and feel good about doing it.

You may wonder how adding game mechanics to the workplace changes the dynamic. Well, it’s science. (literally)

We’re here to walk you through the psychology behind Gamification and provide you with some of the benefits of implementing it in your workplace.

Let’s take a closer look:

What is Gamification?

Gamification is all about introducing game-like elements to the workplace. It challenges business leaders to go against the status quo of the corporate world and encourages them to take an innovative approach to the workweek. 

For example, let’s say each of your sales teams has a goal they need to reach every month, or you want to see success with specific marketing campaigns from your marketing team. If you only remind them of their goal, it could lead to burnout and unwanted turnover. 

However, if you raise the stakes with incentives or create a digital leaderboard, you can keep your team inspired by friendly competition and pushes them to do more throughout the workweek. This is what Gamification is all about.

With the help of gamified dynamics, your team can earn points, rewards, and incentives for their hard work. It can also easily turns their 9-5 into a fun, interactive experience all your employees enjoy.

The Psychology of Gamification

Psychology of Gamification

Before diving into the power of Gamification, let’s think about the psychology behind the classic employee of the month example. Chances are, you’ve worked at least one job that has an employee-of-the-month system. 

Every month, one employee is rewarded with this title and receives the recognition they deserve for their hard work. An employee of the month program utilizes gamification elements to reward employees and push them towards new achievements. 

Every time an employee comes to work or clocks in for their shift, they actively play this game and look for ways to come out on top. With a game like this, you have the power to keep your team engaged during the hours of 9-5. 

The employee of the month reward will always be in the back of their mind. Every time they pick up a new project or go out of their way to make a client happy, they’ll know they’ll be at the top of the list for this reward. This will motivate them to go out of their way for projects and tasks every time they clock in for work. 

Why does Gamification Work?

Now, how exactly does Gamification give your team that extra boost of motivation? Because people love rewards, recognition, and incentives! The healthy, friendly competition pushes them to do more and be better employees. It gives the individual the drive they need to be great, task-oriented employees.

This is what we refer to as motivation science. Motivation is a stimulus that inspires creative expression and encourages your team to do more with their workweek in exchange for a reward. 

Here’s how:

Inspires Independence

The introduction of games inspires coworkers to be independent. They can willingly opt in or opt-out of the experience the game provides. It also means they can make their own choices and create an experience that benefits their preferences. If you have a competitive group of employees, the game mechanics will inspire them to do more. 

However, for the individuals who just want to show up and do what they need to do, the game dynamics might not have the same effect, and that’s okay! Every employee’s experience is different. Introducing Gamification will allow you to find the business leaders and give you the knowledge you need to make promotions or changes.

Provides Purpose

Motivation science gives your team members purpose every time they clock in. They feel inspired to do more and do better throughout the work week, knowing they may be rewarded for their efforts. Without the game elements, your employees may feel uninspired throughout the day. Without motivation, it may lead to lower productivity levels and a decrease in the quality of work they produce. 

Challenges Mastery

It also encourages your team to try to master the game. Every time a team member starts their shift, they’ll crave positive feedback and strive to push themselves further for the reward. This will motivate them to try harder and do more during their work week because they’ll create an emotional connection to the game. 

Inviting Friendly Competition to the Workplace

Gamification does two things, it motivates your team to do more and keeps them engaged with their coworkers. Engagement levels are integral to a thriving workplace culture.

A little friendly competition has the power to fuel your team’s success. With the help of gamification strategies, you have a unique opportunity to motivate employees while inspiring them to do more in the workplace. You can help them foster new connections within the company while increasing productivity and encouraging your team to produce higher-quality work.

Gamification works to help your team visualize its success. With a progress bar, online games, and a leaderboard, you’re team will understand what they need to do to outperform their peers and get closer to their goals. 

The Benefits of Incorporating Game Elements 

Improve Employee Engagement 

In a survey done in 2021, over 73% of working professionals considered leaving their jobs. One of the best ways to combat this turnover and ensure your employees are happy is to look for ways to increase engagement. 

Employee engagement is crucial to retaining top talent and ensuring your team produces the highest quality work. The right gamification solutions can help with employee engagement and keep your team connected throughout the workweek. 

Every game, incentive, and reward introduced is a new opportunity to connect and engage with your coworkers. With higher engagement levels, you can increase profitability and incentive your team to do more throughout the workweek. 

Lower Retention Rates

Retention is an ongoing problem in the United States. By 2030, low retention will cost the US over $430 billion a year. The only way to fix this project is to focus on adjusting company culture and increasing engagement opportunities.

A high turnover rate can lead to low motivation and higher costs. To maintain your competitive edge and retain top talent, you’ll need to look for innovative ways to keep employees engaged and improve the workplace experience. With a gamification strategy, every day becomes an interactive experience. Consider scheduling virtual events and using gemination to improve the workplace dynamic. 

Your team will enjoy working with their coworkers and the ongoing social interaction with other participants. If everyone enjoys where they work and who they work with, they are less likely to look for new opportunities. 

Increase Productivity 

Put yourself In your employee’s shoes. If you had the motive to do more throughout the work week, would you? If you knew a reward was waiting for you on the other side, would that push you to do more?

With rewards and incentives, you have the power to improve productivity and the quality of work your team produces. Every day your team members log in to start the work week, they’ll feel inspired to do more and be more. 

This inspiration comes from the psychology associated with a reward system and the chosen game mechanics. If they complete tasks on time or receive an incentive, they’ll feel inspired to continue producing high-quality work every time they log in.

Enhanced Company Culture 

Games and friendly competition brings people together. It inspires your employees to enjoy what they do and confidently take on every task. With a gamified system, you have the power to create a thriving company culture.

Every time they clock in to start their day, they’ll feel connected with their coworkers and inspired to get that much-needed hit of dopamine to keep them going. 

Gamify The Workplace with Spinify 

At Spinify, we provide businesses of every size with an easy-to-use gamification solution. With the right gamification software, you can foster authentic connections in the workplace and improve productivity levels using the psychology of Gamification. Our platform helps your team hit KPIs, stay engaged, and have fun at work. We use gamification technology to motivate participants and hold them accountable for their goals. 

Whether you have a remote workforce you want to keep engaged, or you’re looking to challenge your sales department with some friendly competition: We have you covered. Book a Demo to get started today!

Put those insights into practice.

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

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