Gamification tools motivate workers — but not as much as money

A new report indicates that gamification tools effectively motivate and engage employees at work, but money and promotions are still the most effective rewards.

gamification road sign
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Employees enjoy corporate gamification tools and techniques designed to entice them to complete tasks for rewards, but they are still more motivated by money, according to a new survey of more than 500 workers from gamification software company Badgeville and facilitated by Instantly, a provider of consumer insights tools. Specifically, 78 percent of workers say their companies use gamification tools, and 91 percent say gamification improves their work experience. However, 70 percent cite money as the most powerful tool for engagement.

Gamification tools are intended to motivate employees to complete tasks through a sense of competition and the possibility of awards or recognition. Of the employees surveyed, entry-level through executives, 90 percent say they are more productive because of gamification tools, and 95 percent enjoy using them. 

The top benefits of corporate gamification include an increased desire to be at work and feel engaged (30 percent) and the inspiration to be more productive (27 percent). Team building (83 percent) and training (64 percent) are the areas in which gamification is used most often, according to the report.

Gamification meets IT

Steve Sims, chief design officer at Badgeville, says gamification is becoming more common in the corporate world, and IT departments play important roles. "IT can expect to be asked to partner on implementing these [gamification] initiatives in a wide variety of areas, including sales and service performance management, communities, learning and development and innovation," he says. "We are seeing that IT itself can benefit from gamification in a wide range of areas, including compliance, code cleanliness, timeliness of project delivery, and other optimizations."

[Related How-To: 3 enterprise gamification success stories]

While gamification is an effective motivational tool, other factors dominate employee determination at work, according to the survey. Respondent say monetary rewards engage them the most (70 percent), followed by recognition (62 percent) and promotions (58 percent). Lower on the list are collaborative team goals or challenges (45 percent) and internal software collaboration tools (27 percent). Money was also cited as the top motivator in the workplace (31 percent) followed by good performance (27 percent) and personal satisfaction (14 percent).

Modern workers want to use gamification systems, but they don't want to be forced to use specific tools. The majority of people polled expect modern companies to have gamification systems (63 percent), but more than half (58 percent) say they are required to use the tools provided to them. And nearly half (48 percent) of the people surveyed say they use between three and four different systems.

This story, "Gamification tools motivate workers — but not as much as money" was originally published by CIO.

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