Office Operations
How Gamification Can Improve Employee Engagement
Featured Today

How Gamification Can Improve Employee Engagement

July 23, 2019
chess board

The newest trend in increasing workplace productivity is called gamification, and it’s working for managers across the world. The theory is rooted in positive psychology, the idea being that making tasks into a “game” will motivate individuals to complete them faster and more enthusiastically, almost like they forget it’s “work.” It taps into the brain’s reward center, motivating individuals to complete tasks in order to receive the reward. When a reward is doled out, be it moving to the next level or just seeing your progress meter increase in size, individuals experience a hit of dopamine, a feel-good chemical. This motivates them to do it over and over again. It’s why so many people are inexplicably addicted to Candy Crush and other games. It allows managers to increase employee productivity passively, without becoming that nagging boss. It makes progress trackable, and feedback specific and regularly given. Gamification in the workplace is the adult version of asking a kid to go get something and promising to time them in return. Here’s how to implement it in your workplace.


This user-friendly game is used in classrooms across the world, and for good reason. All participants need is access to a phone or computer where they can enter a custom link. Questions appear on whatever main screen there is, and players can choose corresponding answers on their own devices. They earn points for answering quickly and correctly. After each question, players see who’s beating them and in what place they rank. Questions are custom made by whoever creates the game, a feature which managers could easily utilize to quiz employees on company policy, risk management, or to lighten the mood and get to know each other. 

Pat On The Back Game

Gather employees and managers and encourage everyone to pat someone on the back who they feel deserves it that week. Declare a winner each week based on a different metric, whether it’s the most pats, the most pats from different people, or most in the shortest amount of time at the company. 

Pick Out Of The Hat

Fill a hat with pieces of paper on which company values are printed. Have each employee choose a value out of the hat and give it to the coworker they think most embodies that quality. It will help fellow employees see what corporate values look like in a real person.


This app is great if you’re looking to receive feedback from employees in a low-risk way. Similarly to Kahoot, users visit a unique URL and answer questions you’ve entered. The difference is they write in their own answers, and there’s no “correct” one. Answers can then be compiled into charts, Q&A formats, or even word clouds. It makes for a great interactive component to a presentation.

Pear Deck 

This add-on for Google Slides brings interactive elements to the most corporate presentations. It can be used as a game-style show, or track employee progress on training modules. 

Pomodoro Timer

This popular productivity techniques asks you to work uninterrupted for 25 minutes and then reward yourself with a 5-minute break. It’s employee gamification at its simplest. It may not sound like much, but you’ll be surprised how quickly 25 minutes pass, and how motivated you’ll be to avoid distractions when you know a break is looming. You can use your own stopwatch, or any of the thousands of timers out there. 


This software is great for motivating sales teams. With progress trackers and customizable goals and challenges, your sales team will be motivated to do their best work.



This employee gamification app actually helps your company (and your employees) save money in a real, measurable way. If you send your employees on a lot of business trips, this app is a must. It helps employees to plan a budget for their trips, motivating them to save the company money by letting them keep a set percentage of what they don’t spend. Instead of forcing HR to be the bad guy who makes everyone fly economy, empower employees to make their own choices in their own and the company’s best interest. 

Learn Upon

This system is ideal if you do a lot of employee training online. It allows employees to earn points, track progress, and compare with coworkers. It allows managers to set benchmarks and goals and assign new learning modules. 

Do It Now

This personal productivity app encourages you to get boring tasks out of the way by advancing your player to the next level each time you complete one. It also helps you organize “to-dos” and allows you to set reminders.


This personal gamification app aims to help you build healthy habits, and get rid of bad ones, by rewarding or punishing you for completing tasks (or failing to do so). It allows you to break tasks into daily habits and one-time to-dos, track progress and even earn rewards! 

Life RPG

This sleek, professional-looking productivity app is perfect for those prone to getting overwhelmed. It lets users add attributes to certain tasks, such as being extra stressful or inducing fear and helps you prioritize as such. Users can sort tasks by urgency, or enter their energy level and let the app choose a task or appropriate difficulty. It also works for big projects, as users can break them into “sub-missions.”

Let’s Review: 

  • Kahoot
  • Pat On The Back Game
  • Pick Out Of The Hat
  • Mentimeter
  • Pear Deck
  • Pomodoro Timer
  • Sales Force
  • Rocket Trip
  • Learn Upon
  • Do It Now
  • Habitica
  • Life RPG

Written by:

Angela Hwang
Account Executive at Kisi