Designing Gamification in the Workplace for Increased Employee Motivation

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School of Business | Bachelor's thesis
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Degree programme
Tieto- ja palvelujohtaminen
The interest in gamification, i.e. the application of game design elements in non-gaming contexts, has been increasing during the past ten years. Especially there is a big interest in workplace gamification as well as gamification design. Gamification is being applied in the work environment more frequently as a tool to motivate employees and increase performance in given tasks. Nonetheless, many gamification attempts can fail if the end users are not analyzed properly as well as if the motivational mechanisms behind different game elements are not understood well. This paper analyses previous research on the subject and combines the theory of four different player types with game design elements, such as points, leaderboards and feedback. The research compares intrinsic and extrinsic motivation as well as discusses how the different mechanisms behind them affect employees. Generally, intrinsic motivation is seen as a more effective and long-term solution for engaging employees, whereas extrinsic motivation is considered to be more short-term. However, most game elements used at work are extrinsic and despite this have still been considered effective. This thesis also examines gamification design, but the research on the design aspect specifically is lacking and should be considered in the future research. In conclusion, the right mix of game elements, motivational mechanisms, understanding of different players as well as proper design of a gamified system are what contribute to the success of gamification attempts at work.
Thesis advisor
Bragge, Johanna
gamification, employees, motivation, game design elements
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