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What is Gamification? Workplace, Education & More in 2024

Updated: February 01, 2024

If you're looking for a way to make your employees, students, or even friends and family more motivated to commit to goals, education, or professional development, gamification can be the way to make things happen.

At its core, Gamification offers mental and emotional rewards for meeting goals, no matter whether they are professional goals or improvements in your daily personal habits. Gamification rewards the brain with dopamine, which motivates success and continued effort, and can lead to new and better habits.

Gamification can be the difference between success and failure for some students or for people who are making commitments to change their habits on a daily basis. Being able to tap into the part of your brain that recognizes when things are fun can make it much more likely that you will meet your goals and succeed in a big way.

What is Gamification?

Gamification is the application of game mechanics, such as points, milestones, rewards, and leaderboards as a means to help encourage commitment and motivation to goals.

Gamification is what makes playing games fun and rewarding to the brain, and you can leverage the principles of gamification for almost any goal-oriented activity, including learning, self-improvement, and professional development.

Gamification is common in apps these days, especially when it comes to apps that are made to help create better habits or to encourage daily interaction with the software. You might have added an app to your phone that helps you to meditate on a daily basis, or maybe you are using a learning platform that encourages daily engagement. These kinds of apps use gamification to help make it fun and rewarding to use them.

The gamification process can also help with memorization, retention of information, and with comprehension. This kind of study is also really effective when it comes to preventing burnout. Higher education classes tend to use gamification tactics to help keep students engaged and involved in tough classes, but any level of educational process or self-improvement process can benefit from the use of gamification techniques.

What is Gamification in Education?

Gamification in education applies game mechanics, such as points, rewards, and competition, to learning usually to make learning more immersive, motivate students, and help students retain more information.

Gamification breaks the learning journey into smaller chunks and makes the brain view learning as a reward rather than an endless series of information. By breaking the process of learning down into easy-to-digest steps with rewards associated with them, gamification makes learning both fun and really easy.

There are many apps that leverage this system for the benefit of those looking to learn a foreign language, get better at a subject in school, or even to improve their daily habits. These gamified systems help train the brain to make an effort to engage with the subject in question due to the reward that will be earned for accomplishing a goal, learning a topic, or even taking a test.

Gamification in the classroom has traditionally been accessed by instilling friendly competition between students so that they push themselves and others to meet goals and learn the material. This can be most effective if you have team-based learning going on in the classroom or if you have your students work toward a common goal that everyone needs to help promote.

Advantages of gamification

What is Gamification in Business?

Gamification in business applies game mechanics, such as points, rewards, and competition, to the workplace in an effort to motivate employees' behavior, usually in areas like professional development, sales, marketing, and customer support.

Gamification in business can take many forms. The most familiar use of gamification in a business setting is usually the friendly competition model. When friendly competition is used to motivate success, teams might work to outdo each other when working towards sales goals, handling customer support requests, or when taking annual learning modules or training.

Gamification in business can also be quite common in sales. Sales teams often really enjoy competitive motivation, but businesses can also make sure to reward salespeople for meeting specific sales goals with monetary rewards, personal days, and more. Gamification can also be used at work to help promote taking added training classes or working in teams instead of working alone.

Gamification in business is becoming much more common in all industries since it can make such a big impact on employee emotions about the company, and it can help greatly when it comes to promoting business goals and business knowledge.

What is Sales Gamification?

Sales gamification applies game mechanics, such as points, rewards, and competition, to an organization's sales environment to motivate sales-oriented behavior and reduce burnout or fatigue.

Sales can be a difficult environment in many industries and gamification is one of the best ways to motivate sales teams.

To some extent, gamification is already baked into sales with the closing of a deal or commission being the reward tied to the actual sale. However, the road to the final sale is often filled with lots of mundane tasks that require daily discipline - e.g. prospect outreach, follow-ups, demos, meetings, etc. Adding gamification to these indirect steps in the process is where the real value usually lies.

While the commission and paycheck act as the overarching reward and motivator, gamification usually helps the process in between more rewarding and motivation. One good thing is that most people who enjoy working in sales also really love competition, and motivating sales teams with gamification can make a big difference in the output of the team.

Sales gamification can make it much easier to keep teams on track to meet goals. These days there are many apps and platforms that can help turn the various steps of the sales process into unique rewards and help teams, individuals, and team leaders track the performance of the entire team or their own performance within the group.

Using gamification can motivate teams to work harder on specific steps of the sales process, which can lead to greater individual and team output than the simple goal of commission on their paycheck.

What is Gamification in Marketing?

Gamification in marketing applies game mechanics, such as points, rewards, and competition, to incentivize loyalty from customers or engagement from prospective customers.

There is no shortage of gamification use cases in marketing. Nearly every company uses some level of reward structure to help entice behavior from customers. If you think about the products or services that you use frequently, you will probably notice rewards offered to incentivize their use. Reward dollars, coupons, points, preferred customer programs, your 10th coffee free - the examples are endless and expansive.

These programs are made this way because motivating people to frequently use a product usually requires consistent engagement. Even if the badge that you earn is something virtual that you cannot trade for real-world value, the dopamine center of your brain was still engaged when you earned it.

Whether it's new customer engagement or retaining existing customers, gamification can help create better customer experiences as well as outcomes for marketing teams.

1. Gamification in Learning, Education, and the Classroom

There are many creative, as well as fundamental, ways to reward learning in the classroom. Gamification will almost certainly make learning more fun and help your students succeed.

You can also make applying gamification very easy by investing in one of the many online app and platforms that takes care of the heavy lifting for you. These apps typically work for almost any subject matter, and you can customize the structure the rewards to fit your needs.

To help give you some ideas of where to start with gamification in your classroom, we have organized some strategies and elements to consider below.

Badges to Reward Milestones

Badges represent the completion of certain milestones and in the classroom that is usually the completion of certain learning modules. They are a familiar gamification element and are frequently used in gamification platforms to reward continuous engagement and completion of chunks of learning.

If you are using a technology platform, you can choose to award badges that are displayed on student profiles, or you might want to have these badges be linked to specific overall goals that are connected with rewards.

Badges can work in many different ways, but they offer public acknowledgment of goals that have been met or exceeded by students. 

Friendly Competition to Motivate Students

If you want to leverage the benefit of friendly competition for your classroom, you can offer a team-based or individual leaderboard that leads to awards or rewards for those who stay in the top ten, who win the week, and so on. These kinds of friendly competition models do not work for all subjects or all settings, but there are some learning environments where they are the perfect thing to add to the mix of gamification items that help to motivate students.

Reward Daily Habits

Daily engagement with study materials and learning can have so many benefits, and you might want to reward this specific behavior all by itself. You can make a unique reward structure in your class that is based entirely on this part of learning. Students who are engaged with learning content on a daily basis will be so much more likely to succeed, and this kind of reward structure can be highly effective.

Education through gamification in the workplace

Story-based Learning

When you connect subject matter with an engaging story, you can link all the learning highlights in each curriculum with parts of a story. Being able to connect tough subject matter or tasks with something else that is interesting and easy to digest can help to reward engagement and hard work. If you think about how video games work, you will see that this method of gamifying things is very common today. Most young people will view this kind of process as very engaging because they are so used to being immersed in games in this way.

Points-based Gamification

The great thing about gamification is that you get to control when and where rewards are given and a simple point structure works with a lot of learning scenarios. For example, if your students are able to get points and use them in an online store or to win other kinds of rewards once they have enough points, this can be very motivating. You can choose any rewards that you think are appropriate under this system and then let your students pick and choose among them when they earn enough points.

2. Gamification in Business

Gamifying business processes can make it much more fun to work every day. There are many ways that you can leverage this powerful framework that helps to keep people focused on their work while also getting rewarded for their efforts.

Points-based Rewards

If you want to make it easy for your employees to reward themselves, they can earn points based on actions that are areas of focus. These points can be turned in for things like half days off, monetary rewards, or even items if you wish. This works well in a sales-based work environment, but it can be really effective in other kinds of work situations like customer support as well.

Team vs. Team Competitions

If you have teams that work together at your company, you can have the teams compete against one another toward common goals for some added fun. This works a lot like fundraising competitions, but your teams will be earning points totals for the benefit of their team. This can be done inside departments or across different departments at the organization. Make sure that no team goes home empty-handed at the end of the competition to keep morale up.

Rewarding Personal and Professional Development

You can reward people who take continuing education, undertake added tasks that no one usually signs up for, and more by offering personal goal rewards. These can be made public to the team via email, or if you are using a gamification platform, they can be displayed as badges on employee profiles.

3. Gamification in Marketing

As we already mentioned, there are many ways that gamification is used in the marketing space. As more and more of life is spent engaging with apps online, this model of engagement is becoming quite familiar to consumers.

Customer Reward Programs

If you want to reward people for coming to your business and shopping or engaging with your products online or in person, you can offer a reward program. This might be points-based and allow consumers to choose prizes when they have all the points that are needed for specific items, or it could be a badge-based system. You can also offer discounts for returning customers under this kind of gamification model.

Methods for gamification in the workplace

Loyalty Programs

A loyalty program can be really effective when marketing a business because it creates retention. This is the kind of reward structure that is usually linked with saving money or earning rewards that are personally beneficial to the consumer. Even places like Starbucks have a loyalty program that rewards repeat customers for their investment in the company by giving them free coffee and other perks.

Badge-based Rewards

Marketing an app that requires that people engage with the product frequently means that those consumers need to be rewarded for their efforts to connect with the product. Badges that are displayed on a public profile offer the chance to brag publicly about successes that have been enjoyed by the person using the app, and they can eventually lead to actual physical or monetary rewards if you wish.

4. Gamification in Sales

Sales teams often use gamification to make it easier to meet sales goals. Many of the gamification strategies that are now used in other environments have been in use in sales work for years.

Friendly Sales Team Competitions

Having salespeople compete against one another can be really motivating to get added sales processed and finalized. This is part of the motivation to become a salesperson since the commission is its own gamified reward. Salespeople respond well to competitive pressures, and this kind of gamification can make it easier to get a sales team on track to meet goals.

Reward More than Just Closing Deals

When there are issues with steps being missed in the sales process or problems with collecting leads and doing other kinds of processes that are not all about closing a sale, it can be beneficial to promote personal rewards to help motivate salespeople to undertake all of the steps that must be completed to leverage leads and close sales. Personal rewards help to make salespeople want to take the time to do more than just close sales, and they can also help to defeat issues related to sloppy work or missed opportunities.

5. Gamification in the Workplace

Workplace gamification can be done in many ways. There are so many means to make it more fun and engaging to do daily work, and gamification can help defeat burnout. There are many professions that lead to a high degree of burnout and frustration, which can, in turn, cause lots of turnover on workplace teams. Being able to prevent this kind of turnover and upheaval on teams can be essential, and gamification can make this a reality.

All of the previously mentioned processes work really well in the workplace as there as instances where you might need to foster education and moments where things like friendly competition can get great results for goals of various kinds. Working in teams can be easier for your employees, and you might want to encourage these kinds of choices as well with gamification.

Simply rewarding employees with added pay is not enough these days because people are not as motivated by earnings as they are by smaller, more regular affirmations of their efforts. This is where small rewards, badges, and other kinds of perks can gamify things like continuing education, working in groups, meeting goals, and improving processes.

Gamification can also be built into group experiences like scavenger hunts, trivia days, and more. You can use gamification in all kinds of ways in the workplace, and your staff will benefit greatly from you investing this effort in their well-being.

6. Gamification in Training and Development

Training and development can be hard to get people to feel engaged.

Usually, staff just view these kinds of efforts as the time that they could have been spending on work that needs to get done, and they feel a certain amount of resentment about being asked to do this kind of work. Training and development is key to the function of any business, however, and you will need your staff to get the most out of these experiences for them to be truly effective.

When using gamification for training and development, badges can be the most effective way to help reward staff for completing modules and meeting training goals, but you can also use any kind of rewards structure that you want to motivate the completion of these essential tasks. These might be annual training that everyone who works for you has to finish, or they might be projects that need to be undertaken to increase knowledge and improve the function of certain parts of your business.

No matter what kind of training and development work you need to have done by your teams, you will want to make sure that gamification makes the process fun and exciting so that everyone feels eager and engaged about participating in the work that is being done.

7. Gamification Badges

There are lots of ways that you can use badges to reward hard work that has been done by your staff or by students. You will want to create your badges to reflect the personality of your team if you can, but there are many basic badge offerings within gamification apps that are fun and interactive and make people happy that they won them.

Badges might show up on user profiles if you are using an app or an online platform to create your gamification structure, or they can be awarded in person as items that can be hung in a cubicle or even as real pins that people can wear. There are so many ways to use the gamification tags that you are creating as rewards, and you should not limit your creativity when you are creating these awards. The more clever and memorable your awards are, the better since people will be more excited to win these awards if they are enjoyable to receive.

Some examples of gamification badges that you might want to use are:

  1. Busiest Week
  2. Most Units Completed
  3. Night Owl
  4. Daily Stretch Goal Winner
  5. Weekend Warrior
  6. Team Player

You can see that you can create these badges based on the time of day that the award was won, the reason for the badge being given, and more. You might even want to make tiers within each kind of badge so that people can earn different smaller goals on the way to a big, overarching goal they might have in mind.

Gamification techniques for the workplace

8. Gamification Examples

There are many examples of gamification that you can lean on to help you to get inspiration for your own gamification efforts. Since many apps and other kinds of software use this model, you can find lots of examples of gamification to help you to understand its use better.


This is a really great example of gamification that is being used in a teaching setting, as this app helps to teach a wide array of different languages to people. The entire model of the app is gamification in return for meeting learning goals, and this fun and interactive platform offers great success when it comes to teaching people to form good learning habits around language retention practice.


Even sites like eBay make a game out of “winning” your items, and the app encourages participation in this marketplace by awarding badges and other forms of social recognition for engaging with the use of eBay often. This platform is used entirely for sales, but the gamification aspect of the site works wonders to keep people coming back.

Video Games

There is no better example of gamification than modern video games. From single-player challenges that are used to help players to win points, gear, and perks, to overall achievement awards that can be converted into new items, powers, and bonuses, modern video gaming is entirely about leveraging gamification to keep people interested in interacting with the game, the site, or the community.

9. Gamification Apps and Platforms

If you need some ideas about the kinds of gamification apps or platforms that you might use for your classroom or your workplace’s benefit, you can use these great options as a starting point.

1. Scavify

Scavify's app and platform takes the premise of a scavenger hunt and builds gamification programs around various learning initiatives. Scavify is designed to offer both shorter initiatives like corporate team building and engagement, as well as longer, ongoing programs for new hire onboarding and various training programs.

The Scavify platform provides the ability to create journeys for employees to complete consisting of take-action styles “challenges” (snapping photos, recording videos, quizzes, checking-in via GPS, scanning QR codes, answering survey questions, etc.).

Employees complete challenges to get points and earn rewards. Leaderboards and other gamification mechanics are also built into the foundation of this platform.

2. Course Hero

For continuing education, there is no better option to choose than Course Hero. This is a simple and accessible platform that allows you to use a leaderboard to help with social engagement, but there are also all kinds of study resources and other perks that can help to make the modules fun to engage with. From winning badges to sharing perks with other students, this is a really social and interactive continuing education platform that uses gamification to get things done.

3. Gimkit

This is like a trivia game that you can customize to work however you need it to work for your students or employees. You can create all kinds of different learning opportunities within this software that reward users with badges, accolades, and prizes as they navigate the course toward completion. This program uses in-site cash that you can choose to convert to real-world winnings and prizes if you wish.

4. Quizizz

This is a really simple tool that is hosted on a website. Made for use by teachers for students in grade school or middle school, this site will allow you to set up any kind of learning opportunity that your students need to work on. Students can then access the site through their own login and play through the games that you have set up for their benefit. This can be gamified further with real-world prizes and perks, but the site itself offers rewards for the completion of goals and steps.

5. Quizlet

This is a great choice for your needs if you have international students who need to work with you all the way across the world, but it can also be used for a classroom that is not virtual. Set up quizzes, games, and more on Quizlet, and your students or staff will win badges and accolades. You can also look at data from everyone’s performance when they engage with the site to see where your curriculum or training documentation needs more work to be put into it.

6. Treehouse

Treehouse is a training platform designed specifically for businesses. The platform helps employees learn new skills, improve existing ones, and pick up new information to help them in their roles, now and in the future. Points and badges are available on different levels and each course includes a certificate of completion that can be printed and shared virtually.

7. LevelEleven

LevelEleven is a sales training app that helps salespeople identify their strongest behaviors and skills, maximizing and capitalizing on the ones that lead to maximum revenue. Highlighting the strong suits, the platform can help salespeople refine their best abilities and also look for skills to foster along the way.

For more resources, check out our resource on the best gamification apps and platforms.

Gamification strategies for the office

Gamification Has the Potential to Be Highly Effective

There are a few things that can really motivate employee or student success, like gamification of processes. You can foster good study habits, engagement with tough subjects, and competition between teams with a gamified site or app. These games can help to make tough topics digestible and can improve recall, engagement, and more.

When your staff or students are struggling with morale or are not keeping up their knowledge in key aspects of their work or studying needs, you can use gamification to get everyone back on track. This is one of the most effective ways to create a stress-free learning experience. Gamification can greatly improve morale both at work and at school as well, leading to improved outcomes in a whole host of areas.

One of the best ways that you can leverage gamification in the workplace, at home, or for employees is to work with Scavify. Scavify's gamification platform helps you create gamification opportunities for both students on campus and employees in the workplace.

Get Started with Gamification

Scavify is the world's most interactive and trusted gamification app and platform. Contact us today for a demo, free trial, and pricing.


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