Gamification for Business

How to leverage this new trend to drive business results

Gamification is the hottest new business strategy, and for good reason. We were born to learn and develop through play. If you can make a task or lesson more fun, then people will spend more time on it, return to it again and again, strive to achieve more and develop deeper learning.

It’s been said that gamification is 25% technology and 75% psychology.1 It’s not about the game – it’s about the way people respond to it. And specifically, it’s about influencing people to act or behave in a way that produces desired business outcomes. In the world of employee engagement solutions, sales incentives and channel partner loyalty programs, the desired outcomes are divergent and convergent. They’re unique, but they also overlap a great deal.

What we’re seeing is that gamification helps organizations:

Incentive and Channel Partner Programs Employee Engagement Programs
  • Facilitate learning
  • Strengthen brand knowledge/retention
  • Increase engagement and loyalty
  • Track progress
  • Reward success
  • Collect data
  • Grow sales
  • Strengthen engagement and loyalty
  • Increase employee retention
  • Improve the customer experience
  • Track progress
  • Reward success
  • Collect data
  • Attract top talent

In all cases, there is one factor that drives performance: recognition. Whether that recognition is simply shared with an individual, is announced throughout an entire organization or comes in the form of a reward, recognition for a game well played/job well done is what gamification delivers – and gets it right.

Recognize achievement, build loyalty, increase engagement and drive performance

So, how do you leverage gamification in your programs? For employee engagement solutions, using technology-based tools, including gamified apps and social recognition platforms can help you to educate, influence, reward and recognize employees in a more entertaining way. For sales reps and channel partners, gamified programs can be leveraged to build loyalty and brand awareness, and because they incorporate real-time progress monitoring and feedback, they incent higher performance and help drive sales growth.

Gamification has two key components:

Techniques: Rewards/Recognitions:
  • Puzzles
  • Quizzes
  • Arcade style games
  • Challenges
  • Missions
  • Points
  • Milestones
  • Badges
  • Leader boards
  • Team rankings

If you leverage key gamification techniques like puzzles and challenges, and recognize and reward achievement using points, badges, leader boards and more, you encourage users to keep playing, reinforcing positive behaviour, spurring healthy competition and driving multiple interactions.

Leading firms use gamification to introduce fun to tasks that might otherwise be mundane or routine – like gaining deep knowledge of a new product to sell. It’s lightening the load of learning, and the learning has traction. Adults participating in gamified eLearning experiences scored 11% higher in factual knowledge and 9% higher in retention rate.2 Excelling in gamification means more learning and deeper engagement, which in turn makes a better champion for you.

And, what I think is most important, gamification can be leveraged to reach your B players. Those that are seen as your middle ground or B players are often ignored in favour of your top performers. The middle ground of competent, steady performers is the area, however, where gamification and recognition can have the most impact. In fact, a 5% performance gain from the middle 60% of your sales force yields over 70% more revenue than a 5% shift in the top 20%.3

gamification for business


Gamification may be a trendy new business strategy, but it’s doing good work and it’s here to stay. By leveraging it in business programs, organizations are building unprecedented engagement with employees, channel partners and ultimately, customers. Add gamification to your employee engagement and incentive programs for an effective, proven and creative way to deliver results.
To dig deeper into this topic, download our free eBook:

Gamification in Incentive Programs: The Game Where Everyone Wins

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¹. Gamification by Design: Implementing Game Mechanics in Web and Mobile Apps, Gabe Zichermann and Christopher Cunningham, 2011
² .eLearning Guild: Gamification, Games, and Learning: What Managers and Practitioners Need to Know,, August 2013
³ .Sales Executive Council, “Shifting the Performance Curve - Exporting High-Performance Sales Disciplines to the Core,” 2003