As a Senior Executive or HR leader, you know innovation and engagement are key to your company’s success. But what if the secret sauce to unlocking employee potential and boosting productivity wasn’t a fancy new software or another mandatory training session? What if it was… play?

That’s right, gamification – the strategic application of game elements in non-game contexts – is no longer just a trendy fad. It is a powerful tool being embraced by leading companies across industries, from tech giants like Google to consumer brands like Nike. And the results? Increased engagement, improved performance, and happier employees.

Let’s dive into the real-world success stories of 10 companies that have gamified their way to the top:

1. Samsung’s Samsung Nation

Traditionally, the methods of employee motivation are incentives, bonuses and awards. These methods more often than not lead to competition, biases and dissatisfaction within teams.

Samsung came up with an innovative solution to boost employee motivation through collaboration. Through a Game called Samsung Nation! The company rewards its users with badges as they progress through different levels of achievement. The badges and levels are given after users create content, watch product videos, review products, engage with their community and other activities.

Gamification in Samsung Nation
Gamification in Samsung Nation. Image Source: Gamification in Social Learning Environments.

The Result — Samsung has an unbiased method to encourage participation, gauge and reward motivated employees and dealers.

2. Unilever’s Game-based Assessments for Entry-Level Hiring

In 2016, Unilever overhauled its hiring methodology to include Game-based assessments. Games based on psychometric assessments assess the ‘true self’ of an applicant versus the ‘best foot forward self’ presented by applicants in resumes and interviews.

The Result — Unilever has the most socioeconomically diverse group of employees to date. The number of entry-level applications and the colleges represented has doubled within just one year!

3. Blueworld Uses Gamification to Boost Communication

For any organisation, its employees are its brand ambassadors. Employees endorsing the company on social media can be the best possible boost for a company’s brand.

‘Going Social’ was a game created by Bluewolf to encourage employees to share information internally and on social media.

By gamifying the process, Bluewolf tapped into the natural human desire for challenge, recognition, and reward. Employees weren’t just sharing information; they were playing a game, enjoying the thrill of competition and the satisfaction of seeing their social media impact grow.

The Result — Employee productivity increased by 25%! Internal communication flourished as employees shared information and insights across departments, fostering collaboration and breaking down silos.

4. M&M for Marketing

In 2013, a simple and inexpensive game based on the eye-spy logic launched by M&M became a hit on social media.

The game was part of a social media marketing campaign for M&M’s pretzels. Users were asked to find a pretzel amongst M&M’s candies.

The team’s shift? Mini-gamification! They used bite-sized mechanics in pilot programs to gather user data and insights. Why? To understand their target market better, not just play with flashy features. This way, they built a feedback loop directly with users, discovering their wants, needs, and what they’re actually doing. It’s gamification, but smarter.

The Result — M&M’s Facebook page had over 25,000 new likes, 6,000 shares and 10,000 comments.

5. Autodesk’s Genius for New Customer Acquisition

Autodesk, famous for its powerful design software, wanted more people to try it out. So, they did something clever: they turned their trial version into a game!

Think “missions” instead of tutorials, and “leaderboards” where users could see how they stacked up. This playful twist wasn’t just fun, it worked wonders! 40% more people used the trial, and 10% of them ended up buying the full software, hooked on the power and the friendly competition.

Gamification by Autodesk.
Gamification for the 3DS Max Trial Program. Image Source: Yu-Kai Chou

That’s the magic of gamification – it turns work into play, and play into profits!

Here’s how it broke down:

  • Missions, not manuals: Forget boring tutorials. Autodesk challenged users with fun tasks and projects, making learning feel like a game.
  • Leaderboard wars: Users could see their progress compared to others, adding a dash of friendly competition and motivation.
  • From play to purchase: 40% more people gave the software a try thanks to the gameified fun. And out of those, 10% loved it so much they couldn’t resist buying it!

6. French Postal Services Uses Games for Orientation and Retention

French postal service was losing 1 out of 4 new recruits within the first few weeks of joining. So, they gamified the job orientation for all selected candidates.

Their gamification platform Jeu Facteur Academy helps selected candidates get a real feel of the job by walking them through a routine day as a postal carrier before they formally join.

The Result – Dropout rates dropped from 25% to 8%!

7. Deloitte’s Gamification for Leadership Training

Deloitte had built a leadership training module for senior executives. The senior executives started the modules but very few completed them.

Deloitte gamified the training modules to include badges, leaderboards and status.

The Result — Completion rates skyrocketed, engagement soared, and the modules became a coveted learning experience. Deloitte unlocked the power of play and transformed leadership development into a game everyone wanted to win. The average uptake of the training curriculum increased by 46.6% and time to complete the training decreased by 50%.

8. Engine Yard’s Games to Improve Knowledge Base

Engine Yard, a Cloud app management platform created a Knowledge Base to encourage community troubleshooting, but employees and customers were not contributing substantially.

A gamified version of Knowledge Base was implemented which rewarded contributors for completing customer surveys or reporting bugs.

The Result – Engine Yard saw a 20% drop in customer complaint tickets and a 40% improvement in customer support response time.

9. Virtusa Used Game-Based Assessments for Hiring and Appraisal

Virtusa had a problem: they wanted to unlock their employees’ hidden potential but didn’t know where to start. So, they did something smart: they used PerspectAI’s game-based assessments to measure key skills like thinking, reasoning, and attention. This way, they could see the difference between top and average performers.

The Result – Over 700 employees later, the results are clear: Virtusa now uses data-driven insights to find the best new hires, improve performance, and design better training programs. It’s all thanks to turning tests into games!

10. Maruti Suzuki Uses Gamification for Training & Development

Maruti Suzuki wanted to know their employees’ true strengths and weaknesses. To do so, they turned to fun games to measure traits like attention, processing speed, and coordination.

Based on the results generated by PerspectAI’s cognitive games, recommendations were given on the employees’ training needs when compared within their verticals and with other verticals in all manufacturing facilities. 

Over 700 employees in 17 departments played and learned. The result – Maruti Suzuki now had a clearer picture of their workforce’s potential and designed targeted training programs to help everyone shine.

As Albert Einstein very rightly said,

Play is the highest form of research.

Intrigued by the possibilities of gamification at work?  Head over to PerspectAI to explore how game-based assessments can unlock your team’s hidden potential.

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