Using Gamification to Introduce a Problem-Solving Culture

Attract, retain and motivate talent – these are the core goals of most HR departments. They all trickle down to one word, engagement. Since most HR leaders realize that 70% of their business transformations will fail if they ignore the engagement of their employees, according to Forbes, most will work overtime to create a culture that supports employee engagement.


Sadly, engagement takes a heavy blow when trying to introduce lean programs to employees, even though such initiatives are aimed at improving company efficiency. As such, the standard engagement practices might fall short in these situations. Luckily, gamification can introduce a whole new dynamic to the problem-solving mindset of your employees as well as keep them locked into their jobs.

Here is why and how gamification can play this pivotal role in your workforce’s problem-solving culture:

Gamification Is a Matter of Psychology

It is human nature to crave motivation and instant gratification from common achievements. Your employees will mainly embrace walking the lean management and problem-solving path you craft as long as they offer intrinsic or extrinsic motivation. It is always a good idea to invest in problem-solving tools like the kanban system, since they play a critical role.

With lean problem-solving techniques constantly requiring employees to change their mindset and behavior, three aspects must converge; motivation, ability, and trigger. Gamification offers all three items which can help to instill this culture in your employees. Furthermore, it introduces the aspect of fun and subtle competitiveness into your workplace which can introduce a whole new dynamic into your engagement goals.

Benefits of Gamification

Employees are in constant need of feedback for the tasks that they do every day, but the manager cannot always be present to offer feedback for every task. Gamification fits right into these shoes as it offers metrics to assess the success of an employee. It also showcases that the company cares about what the employees are engaged in.

On the other hand, it can also promote workplace efficiency as employees work to provide better services to the next customer that walks in through the door. The fact that it might promote friendly competition between two teams in separate locations makes it even more efficient as a tool for improving employee engagement.

Gamification and Promoting Lean Thinking

Lean thinking is aimed at refining the intricate detail of a product or service to reduce waste and increase productivity as well as profitability. To do so, you will require employees to be on their toes in decision making, especially when comparing two somewhat similar lean decisions. Gamification offers a fun approach to this situation.

It ensures that the employee has the company culture and goals at the back of their mind when approaching any problem in the workplace. It also provides a natural reward for employees who shift their behavior flawlessly due to the sudden change in how the organization is being run. All this can turn into center stage role players when looking to introduce a lean problem-solving culture in your organization.

It Boils Down To the Infrastructure

Gamification will only work for your organization as long as you have the right infrastructure in place. It is common for companies to approach it only because it is a current trend, but most incorporate unnecessary aspects into their gamification efforts that often take the effectiveness out of it. Essentially, gamification should touch on:

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  • Game mechanics
  • Digital engagement
  • Player motivation
  • Experience design

When designing your gamification requirements, these aspects should all be at the back of your mind. You should constantly look to refine the design to incorporate better items and eliminate anything that might not necessarily champion the bigger picture of your company’s goals.


Fun and work have always been treated as rivals, but gamification offers a ground on which they can co-exist. The trick is to ensure that neither sides are over-favored to make the most out of what gamification has to offer. Invest in the right infrastructure to improve your employee engagement levels through gamification.

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Editorial Team
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