Gamification: Reasons HR Managers Cannot Ignore It

Why Gamification should be part of your strategy

Gamification is all about designing tailor-made experiences and systems to achieve specific learning outcomes. These can range from systems that provide points and badges to complex and detailed scenarios.

What is gamification?

Gamification can also be delivered on many devices, ranging from mobile solutions to Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). So rather than thinking of gamification as a plugin or a single solution, think of it as an attitude. Pin thinking can be applied to all types of training and we have seen an increase in the use of game mechanics in virtual classrooms, separate systems, on-board staff, health and safety training, and even makeup application training — the list goes on.

This is because businesses have begun to realize the potential of using a game-based approach because of its ability to increase levels of involvement in Learning and Development (L&D) strategies. Learning activities can be structured around game elements such as scenarios, character tempo and levels, as well as the use of appropriate reward structures to engage learners in the activities. By playing through the experiences, learners can develop and build the skills they need in their work environment.

Reasons Human Resource Managers Can’t Ignore Gamification

1. Ever-growing expectation

50% of the UK and 65% of the US population play games, and this is especially strong in the millennial generation. Millennials today make up 35% of the workforce in the US and the UK.

The workforce expects active involvement in learning, coupled with immersive experiences, as standard. This means we need to find ways to engage them and speak their language when it comes to learning and development. If organizations do not adapt to attract these audiences, attracting talent will become increasingly challenging.

2. Contextualize learning and promote behavior change

Of course, the reason we have Learning and Development functions is to boost performance. We want to see behavior change. However, to see a change in behavior, we need to understand what “good” looks like and we need to know why it is important, and we need to care. In other words, we need the motivation, we need the context, and we need to believe that a change will lead to a better outcome.

In gamification and game-based learning, the target behavior is presented in a work-based scenario, where we place the learner in control of the situation. Within the scenario, we will ask them to make certain choices and demonstrate their understanding. And then, based on these choices, we will give feedback, whether positive or constructive, that reinforces or polishes the behaviors we want to see.

3. Make training effective

In the UK, £ 42 billion a year is spent on training, and in the US it is $ 93 billion. It is therefore no wonder that organizations are looking for a good return on investment. And training is obviously more complex now that we have hybrid and remote models of work. Human interaction in learning remains an important part of the mix, but access to specialists can often become a bottleneck. This is where digital learning can shine.

  • A game-based approach can take your best trainers and can immortalize them as digital mentors
  • An analytical dashboard can highlight what each individual learner understands and where they need more support
  • A games approach can provide a motivating and engaging framework to create a ripple effect, where learners can build their knowledge and develop a love of learning


Gamification is all about choosing the best game mechanics for a learning challenge and creating a solution that will drive engagement and increase performance in learners. It is not a silver bullet to solve all learning and development challenges, but it must be part of the strategy, part of the mix of solutions you offer your learners. It is best used to motivate complex and nuanced scenarios and provide context. It can provide psychological security to enable learners to practice and refine their skills.

Gamification not only drives engagement, but it also distinguishes your organization from the competition. By designing your strategy around your learners’ needs and desires, by offering them different and engaging ways of learning, you indicate that you value and appreciate your workforce. By doing so, you will attract talent and ultimately drive improved business performance.

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