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The importance of gamification in human resources

By Gregorio Recio, Gorka Riocerezo — September 18, 2018

By 2022, the global gamification market is expected to reach $22 billion dollars and surpass €200 million in Spain

Gamification is the preferred training methodology because it increases the appeal of learning processes, innovation, fun, productivity, the ability to retain knowledge and acquire new skills.

This technique consists of using thought and game techniques in non-entertainment settings, such as education or work. By having users work together to reach a goal or recognition, they feel more integrated and involved in a common project.

When applied to a company’s human resources, it becomes a new and powerful strategy through which game techniques are introduced into business processes in order to improve decision making, concentration, motivation, effort, loyalty and other shared values throughout the game.

Why is this such an interesting strategy for a company?

According to a study by the American Psychology Association, 50% of those surveyed said that they did not feel their efforts were valued or rewarded and would therefore look for a new job this year.

Gamification applied to human resources is an excellent solution for these situations because it offers employees new motivational alternatives to grow and become involved in their company and career, thereby making them feel more valued.

It is a great way to optimize workforce potential because its versatility makes it possible to be applied in staff recruitment, loyalty activities, safety training and continuing professional development. This technique improves worker skills on a professional, social and transversal level.

It is particularly useful for training initiatives such as acquiring new knowledge or strengthening specific skills. According to the graphic below, implicit participation in gamification tools makes up 80% of the learning process. It has been proven that participation-based learning increases the amount of knowledge retained by 50% compared with traditional strategies such as reading or listening.


Are all games applied to a company classified as gamification?

A gamification process must have four essential elements:

  • Social purpose

  • New identities, roles and personalized avatars within the game

  • Recognition and distribution of achievements

  • Competition and rewards between users

A gamification process can be a source of emotions for players: a sense of belonging, satisfaction, optimism, desire to improve and/or confidence. It should also focus on cognitive skills such as perception, memory, problem solving, comprehension and/or establishing analogies.

Where can I apply it?

There are three main areas that benefit from this technique: awareness and change management, training and improved operations.

The awareness and change management category includes risk prevention and corporate policies, safety, IT and data security, integration and change processes, among others.

The training can focus on new products and services, new technologies or tools, developing sales skills, business processes and/or operations, regulations, safety, audits and digitization.

The use of gamification techniques also makes operations more efficient, such as by improving indicators (KPIs) in sales and/or customer service settings.

It is important for the team to include professionals with extensive knowledge and experience on participative tools and gamification strategies linked to training processes for the ensured success of this strategy. The way that gamification logic is designed plays a key role in the initiative’s success and should be based on years of experience.

So are you up for playing at work?

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