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Is Gamification the Next Step for Staff Retention?

Posted by: Mark Brown
Staff motivation and retention is one of the most important aspects of any HR strategy now that the world economy is healthier and people naturally look to move onto new career opportunities.  Motivated employees are more engaged, productive and loyal, meaning they will be much less likely to leave a company. 

With the current skills shortages and challenges faced by the Mining, Oil & gas and Energy sectors, achieving these HR goals can be some of the most difficult things to achieve. Over the past few years, there have been numerous trends and new approaches to boost motivation, one of these is the advent of gamification.

So what is gamification?

Companies have been applying game mechanics and design techniques to many work processes. However, as a recent report by Gartner*, the world's leading information technology research and advisory company, has shown, business leaders have differing opinions on the long term future of gamification. In a survey quoted in this report, 53% of people predict that gamification will be a widespread concept by 2020, while 42% think it will not become more mainstream in the arsenal of talent retention tools. 

So is gamification just the latest trend or does it have the gravitas to become a tried and tested part of employee motivation and retention?

To fully embrace this, companies do need to look at it becoming part of the overall culture of their business, it can’t just be implemented for isolated processes. It also needs to be clear at the outset that there is a serious background to the concept and is designed to enhance the employee’s work experience with the goal of bringing out a natural desire to engage in collaboration, interaction, healthy competition, achievement, problem solving and self-expression – all characteristics that are automatically triggered in gaming situations.

However, not everyone is familiar with the concepts of gaming, or even in some instances, social media, so some consideration must be given to the demographic of employees. So a different communication approach may need to be considered with the various generations within a business.

To be successful as a motivation and retention tool, gamification, like any other process needs to have a measure of success, which will mean implementing it in business processes and creating KPIs. If people are more engaged, work more efficiently and collaborate, there will definitely be tangible results - an increase in productivity, good employee retention and improved business outputs.

With a well-developed implementation strategy, combined with clear objectives and goals, gamification has the potential to be more than just a passing trend and could become a valuable tool to engage employees, to change behaviours, develop skills and drive innovation.

What do you think – have you implemented gamification within your organisation, or would you like to? And if you’re an employee – would you like to see this introduced within the company you work for – would it motivate and inspire you?  We’d love to hear your feedback, email us at

*Gartner's research on Gamification and Engagement
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