Gamification at the Workplace

Tools for New Age Thinking
Our client's junior staff complained of a hierarchical and old-school leadership. They wanted to change the attitude of their Senior Managers through a single training workshop. Here is how we helped them.
The challenge

The challenge

Attacking attitudinal change—Senior Management uses a stick and carrot approach to leading people. Can we change that?

The target audience

The target audience

Senior Managers, Associate Vice Presidents, Vice Presidents

Our solution

Our solution

We clearly understood that attitudinal change of this magnitude was not feasible in one training workshop. We also appreciated the fact that the learners had been working for a long time. So instructing, telling, and bringing about realization for the need to change would not change their behavior. That is why, instead of trying to 'change attitudes,' we decided to equip the learners with a set of new age tools, such as 'fun at the workplace' and 'gamification.'

The intention was that the moment learners used these tools they would automatically have to step out of their skin, and use a more fun approach to managing people.

The result was an action packed two day workshop, where on day one we covered how 'fun' and 'gamification' can improve performance, and on the second day we equipped them with tools for positive thinking, stress relief, and positive framing.

Here are some of the identified problems, associated learning objectives, and tools used to bring about change.

Identified Problems Associated Objectives Associated Tools
People tend to lead through control and use a firm stick.

Hierarchical way of thinking that makes people:
  • Communicate in negative ways
  • Talk down to team members
  • Use business jargon
  • Appreciate the importance of making work fun.
  • Use 'fun' to bring about a change in team's behavior.
  • Practice optimism and positive thinking in personal life.
  • Keep communication with teams positive and polite.
  • Talk 'to' team members and not 'down at' them.
  • Avoid using jargon and humanize the language of business.
  • Gamification
  • Mastery, Autonomy, Purpose—Appreciate the importance of these three tools to performance improvement, as proposed by Daniel Pink in his book, "Drive."
  • Meditation
  • Flash cards for maintaining a positive attitude
  • Activities for positive framing
  • Activities for using jargon free language
  • Drum circles

Highlights of the workshop:

  • Learners were oriented towards more modern approaches of handling people. They were also given a primary introduction to how gamification in their workplace and in others had changed people's behavior.
  • Once learners were convinced that gamification was a tool they could use to affect people's behavior, they were taught how to use the tool.
  • Learners extended what they learned by identifying the most compelling business problems facing the organization. Then in groups they found a fun or gamified solution for a business problem. Each group blogged about their solutions and commented on the solutions of other groups.
  • Learners' solutions were reviewed by the CEO, and the best solutions were implemented in the organization with the help of game designers.
  • Some of the solutions suggested in the workshops had a very high rate of success in the organization. Employees were happy and motivated, and achieved their targets within the gamified environment.
  • Learners studied a case to discover the pitfalls of gamification to see both sides of the coin. They also explored mastery, autonomy, and purpose as tools through this case, and several other practical techniques.
  • Positivity flash cards were a great success. All senior managers came up with flash cards for:
    • Physical wellness, for example—Have a glass of water.
    • Emotional wellness, for example—Close your eyes and feel grateful for one thing in your life.
    • Social wellness, for example—Appreciate a colleague for something.
    • Mental wellness, for example—Multiply two numbers that flash across your eyes as you look around.
  • Meditation was very well appreciated and a group of meditation enthusiasts was formed who now do it regularly in office before the start of their day.

 The workshop was so well designed that it had a regular rate of success irrespective of the location where it was conducted."


 All learners appreciated the new tools in their management kit. They are using gamification as a tool quite extensively and have opened up to the idea of fun at work."

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Address: Kothrud
Pune, Maharashtra, India 411 038.