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Make Gamification Part of your Employee Retention Strategy

Make Gamification Part of your Employee Retention Strategy

Aaron Moncreiff


Retaining employees is good business. The total cost of a lost employee can be as high as 1.5 to 2 times their annual salary, including hiring, training, lost productivity, and other expenses. However, employee turnover is on the rise. Low unemployment, rising compensation levels, and a strong economy have made it a job-seekers market. In addition, employers face greater competition from around the world as the remote and mobile workforce grows.

Gallup estimates that 53% of workers are not engaged, and 16.5% more are actively disengaged. That means nearly 70% of employees are at least somewhat likely to leave their current company for new opportunities or better offers.

To increase employee engagement and retention, employers need to look beyond expensive quick fixes like gift cards and celebrations. Gamification provides a sustainable foundation for employee engagement by appealing to powerful intrinsic motivators that all humans share, including autonomy, mastery, purpose, and social interaction.

Here are some key benefits of making gamification an essential element of your employee retention strategies:

A Culture of Fun

When your employees are having fun, they become more engaged, productive, and committed to your organization. Adding game mechanics can make even the most routine responsibilities more fun by adding a sense of competition, visibility, and recognition to your employees’ daily work.

Effective, Continuous Feedback

The typical and time-consuming annual review process is often daunting for managers and employees alike. What’s more, the process misses the critical opportunity to provide feedback in the moment when it will be most effective. Gamification can give real-time encouragement or support at the task level, helping your employees know when they are on the right track.

Fair and Balanced Recognition

Gamification allows you to build an incentive structure that rewards significant milestones as well as critical daily contributions that are typically harder to measure and celebrate. The result is that all types of successes can be recognized and incentives are seen as fair and achievable to your entire workforce, regardless of role.

Clear Expectations and Strong Outcomes

Despite the best efforts, it’s easy for inconsistencies to creep in, especially among large teams that have managers with different work styles. Without clear and consistent expectations, employees become frustrated, and results suffer. Gamification allows you to set the bar where it belongs across the board, helping to break down silos and keep the entire organization on track.

Personal Growth and Progress

In addition to understanding results in the moment, gamification allows employees to see their progress over time. When employees can measure their growth, they gain a sense of mastery that leads to greater job satisfaction.

Reinforced Values

Values can serve as a helpful engagement tool, but they tend to be shared once during new employee orientation and then forgotten on a shelf somewhere. You can use gamification to make values real for your employees by rewarding teamwork, communication, customer service, and more. When values are rewarded and shared, employees feel a greater connection to their jobs.

Customized Strategy

Gamification platforms allow you to customize incentives that support your organization’s goals within the systems your employees already use. Whether you need to ensure the adoption of a new system, build consistency around procedures, support ongoing learning, or increase alignment with organizational values, gamification can keep your employees engaged, challenged, and focused on key goals.

Measurable Results

One of the difficulties in building a successful employee retention strategy is that it’s often hard to tell what’s working well and what’s not. The benefit of a gamification platform is that engagement, progress, and success are infinitely measurable. Gamification provides data and reporting to help you see what’s working for your employees and where you need to make adjustments. You’ll get precise results to share with leadership to support strategic decisions and prove return on investment.

Gamify Your Employee Retention Strategy

While one-off celebrations and monetary rewards can provide short-term gains, gamification offers a sustainable, measurable, and effective way to engage and retain your valuable employees. Adding a gamification platform can enhance your employee retention strategy while helping you measure and optimize its effectiveness.

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