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Making Employee Recognition More Effective with Gamification

Making Employee Recognition More Effective with Gamification

Aaron Moncreiff


Every manager knows that employee recognition in the workplace can be a challenge, and tying a meaningful incentive to an employee recognition program can be even more challenging. Workers enjoy bonuses, but your budget may not allow it. Tokens of appreciation end up gathering dust. And “fun day” outings are rarely anyone’s idea of a good time. Gamification can help.

A gamification platform lets you develop comprehensive performance metrics that see deep into the work process, identifying the best team players in cross-disciplinary workplaces. It can also engage your workforce in continuous peer review, giving you a new, ground-up perspective on who’s really making the most valuable contributions. Plus, it allows you to craft incentives that tap into multiple sources of motivation, from the desire for material rewards to the need for social status.   

Knowing is Half the Battle

Without insights into the actual workflow process and a better understanding of group dynamics, it can be impossible to know who’s really behind the team’s success. All too often, management ends up simply rewarding those who are best at taking credit for others’ hard work.

A gamification platform can illuminate hidden connections within the workplace—it will show you who the team can depend on in a crunch, and who is reaching out across departments to keep their projects on track. Recognizing the behind-the-scenes heroes who really make things happen will let you reward more than just churning through production goals.

Gamification quantifies—and rewards—a limitless range of work processes, giving you insight into how the workplace really functions. Instead of just rewarding output, a gamification platform lets you recognize the workers who cultivate excellent habits: for example, you can give points and special trophies to the workers who never miss a deadline, or award badges to the teammates who respond to queries promptly.

The 360 Review, 24/7

A gamification platform can provide a channel for peer recognition, which will give you a new perspective on workplace dynamics. In addition to taking a more granular approach to collecting objective, top-down performance indicators, gamification allows workers to constantly engage in a “360” review. Team members can give feedback on the contributions of their supervisors, as well as taking initiative to praise the achievements of their coworkers and subordinates.  

This ongoing 360 review process lets you give special recognition to the managers who foster a productive, engaged workforce. Gathering insights from every level of the organization chart will give you the tools to reward the supervisors with the skills to do more than grind out quotas.

Recognition that Matters

Gamification not only gives you the tools to identify your most valuable employees, but it also lets you create incentives that tap into deep-seated desires. Workers like to have their efforts publicly recognized, but the boost in status from earning MVP status only counts if everyone sees it.
For example, it has almost become a cliché for businesses to reserve a preferential parking space for the “employee of the month.” But that sort of incentive works, despite the negligible real-world value of having a parking spot a few steps closer to the front door. The incentive’s power comes from the spot’s visibility: every morning, the worker’s colleagues see their car parked in the spot. The reward gives them a little status boost to start their day.

These rewards don’t have to be physical objects. An online gamification platform lets you tap into the desire for status within the virtual realm. Bunchball Nitro lets workers earn and display an unlimited range of badges and trophies, which can be made visible to their colleagues using the platform. It becomes a self-reinforcing identity: when you give an employee special recognition for providing prompt responses to colleagues seeking input, their trophy for helpfulness becomes a highly visible piece of their online persona. It’s a reputation they’re proud of, and one they will work to uphold.

Gamify Employee Recognition

Gamification not only helps you identify the most valuable players on your team, it also helps you reward them in a way that will help inspire the rest of your workforce to do their best work. Make your employee recognition for effective with the power of gamification.

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