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Gamification – To Gamify or Not to Gamify

8 min read
Author Jasveer Matharu
Date Apr 2, 2015
Category Workforce Management


Keeping staff engaged at all times, or even for good part of the working day can be challenging, especially in the contact centre environment, where tasks are repetitive and the day is strictly planned.
One of the main pain points for contact centre managers is keeping motivation high and maintaining engagement in order to attract and retain quality customer service representatives and consistently drive high levels of customer care. The contact centre has one of the highest rates of staff turnover due to its demanding nature with very little positive rewards.
So how can contact centre managers tackle this attrition, absenteeism and lack of motivation? Simple, through gamification!
In this article we cover Step 1 for implementing a successful gamification strategy. We look at the questions and understandings you need in order to create the perfect solution for your team.


Gamification is the application of game like processes that help drive, measure and reward high-value behaviours completed by employees. Almost everyone will have come across and even participated in some form of gamification in their day to day life. An obvious example, that most people will be familiar with, are reward points at supermarkets. The more someone buys, the more points they get. This concept of rewarding someone for completing a desired action is the essence of gamification.
Gamification can be carried out in a multitude of ways. If used correctly it can:
• Motivate employees
• Create healthy competition amongst teams
• Increase employee engagement
• Encourage loyalty
It’s important to note that gamification is based on finding out what motivates people to perform by transforming something boring and mundane in to something fun and engaging.

Gamification - To Gamify or Not to Gamify
Gamification – To Gamify or Not to Gamify

Figure 1. Example of gamification leader board looking at call resolutions in a contact centre environment


Gamification works particularly well for roles and business areas that suffer from daily grinds and repetitive challenges – Contact Centres are the perfect example. Game mechanisms are able to effectively influence human behaviour and trigger them to complete a particular action.

According to BJ Fogg’s behaviour model, three factors underline any human behaviour:
• Motivation: the person wants desperately to perform the behaviour (i.e. he is highly motivated)
• Ability: the person can easily carry out the behaviour (i.e. he considers the behaviour very simple)
• Trigger: the person is triggered to do the behaviour (i.e. he is cued, reminded, asked, called to action, etc.)

In order for gamification to be successful, all three factors (motivation, ability and trigger) must converge at the same time. The trigger for players to act must come at a time when they feel motivated and are able to complete the specific task in hand.


When considering gamification, keep in mind that it should appeal on 3 levels: personal, organizational and societal. If you can tick those boxes you’re on to a good start.

Dustin DiTommaso gave some really valuable pointers for those thinking about gamification. He suggests you ask yourself the following questions before spending loads of time and budget in implementing a strategy that might not work for your contact centre environment.

• What is the reason for gamifying your product or service?
• How does it benefit those involved (your agents)?
• Will they enjoy it?
In addition, it isn’t enough to understand your business goals when considering gamification. It is fundamental you gain a thorough understand of your users and what motivates them.
• Who are your users?
• What are their needs and goals? Why are they playing?
• What’s holding them back from achieving their potential? Is it lack of belief that completing the task at hand is valuable, or lack of ability to complete the task?
• What is their primary playing style (solo, competitive, cooperative)?
• Who are they playing with?
• What social actions do they find enjoyable, and why?
• What metrics do they care about?
The game designers must also understand what might motivate users to play the game in the first place. You need to recognise if your users are motivated by:
• Achievement of goals or enjoyment of experience
• Structure and guidance or freedom to explore
• Control of others or connecting with others
• Self-interest in actions or social interest in actions
Most importantly, do not implement gamification if you are not willing to provide valuable feedback and reward positive behaviours.

Acknowledging and rewarding good performance, whatever that might be, is the most important aspect of gamification and needs to be taken seriously and prioritised.