Gamification is fast gaining a lot of attention in the corporate world today. It’s being used to engage customers to help build loyalty and gain meaningful insights to consumer behavior. Internally, its application has helped companies with their talent management initiatives, particularly engagement, motivation, attracting and retaining employees. Sure, the concept is still relatively new and some people still have a hard time wrapping their heads around how playing games can really impact their business. However, the companies that have implemented gamification, both internally and externally, have learned that such programs have remarkable powers to boost motivation and influence behavior.

Why is gamification so successful? Gamification applies techniques to motivate and encourage behavior that’s in line with company strategies. These techniques employ the gameplays of traditional and social/online games to non-gaming environments, creating a highly engaging experience that facilitates companies to achieve real business goals and objectives. For employees, the application of gamification boosts their feeling of being recognized and rewarded and enhances their ability to progress their careers.

At first glance, people feel gamification may be the perfect solution to motivate performance for their sales and customer support functions alone. However, the versatility of the program is such that its benefits can also be gained in the talent management of functions where there are routinized and mundane tasks. And here are some of the areas where you can apply gamification to your talent management initiatives.

Talent Acquisition

The use of gamification in the hiring process can help companies enhance prospective recruits’ experience by rewarding them for completing steps and providing them an insight to the company’s culture and values. Altogether you’re giving them a preview of what to expect as an employee of the company and significantly increasing your chances of hiring the ‘right’ talent. You could even say that while you’re sifting through the talent pool to attract the most skilled and competent talent you’re orienting them with your culture (an offshoot of on-boarding). This way you’re enhancing your chances of hiring candidates that are well aligned with your environment and reducing turnover of new recruits.

Culture & Retention

To achieve your business goals you need the support of a high performing team. A team that’s aligned to the corporate culture, its values and that’s highly engaged. For all this to work harmoniously it’s vital you have the ability to retain your valuable talent, the knowledge they possess and the consistency they bring to the company by staying loyal to it.

Using gamification can help you promote a positive corporate culture which rewards employees for cross-functional collaboration, being innovative with respect to product or process developments, and even showing initiative by going above and beyond their scope of work. Gamification platforms help you track employee activities and achievements while broadcasting opportunities to forward their growth prospects and be more visible for their contributions.

Learning & Development

Let’s face it, most mandatory training (harassment, diversity, compliance & ethics, workplace safety, etc.) can be cumbersome and often dodged by employees. Since their core duties aren’t directly linked to these training, employees push them down their priority lists. However, they are important, necessary and essential to the corporate values.

Through the gamification experience you can make online training programs exciting, fun and highly interactive. The most training your employees partake in the higher the scores they earn and more likelihood of them being on top of the leaderboard. This way you’ll be able to effectively convey crucial training without the challenge of employee evasion.

Career Development

The corporate world is competitive. Most employees look at their peers and seniors as powerful motivators to drive their own passion for success. They too desire to develop and grow their careers. And gamification can facilitate that as well.

Much like any game where you can grow and progress to higher levels and enhanced skills by completing ‘missions’, gamification at work applies the same logic to motivate and develop talent. By creating mission-based career paths you can clearly spell out to employees what steps they must take to climb up the corporate ladder. The more they accomplish and check off as completed, the closer they get to their goal of growth.

And of course, when one employee is able to see their peer ‘gamer’ excelling, they too feel the drive to progress their own careers. Thus creating an environment of healthy competition where everyone’s aiming to climb higher.

To some, gamification is simply a tool used as bait to get employees to do things they should already be doing. However, it’s much more than that. The application of gamification for talent management can enable companies to alter behavior of its employees through motivation and creating an experience that’s fun and interactive. Along with this, companies can create teams of highly engaged talent aiding them to finally address the global employee engagement crisis.