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Gamification and 3 Other Employee Engagement Trends You Should Know About

Lana Cindric ·

Gamification and 3 Other Employee Engagement Trends You Should Know About
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It's a new dawn and it's a new day for employee engagement.

And while this is something businesses losing $15,000 for an employee with a $45k annual salary will rejoice about as highly-engaged companies have 59% less turnover, it takes skill to keep up with the emerging trends in company culture.

In this blog, you'll learn the main four trends that have started rising to prominence in the last few years, and are sure to give any business a competitive advantage.

Gamification as a Way of Engaging Employees

As of 2015, millennials have become the largest generation in the US workforce. And as a group raised on video games, interactivity at work and in the culture is a prized feature of any company that wants to hire and retain millennials.

While gamification can be used for marketing to customers, it can also be used in the workplace to stimulate the feeling of development and competition.

Gamification features commonly include:

  • Points, badges and achievements
  • Leaderboards and score-keeping
  • Competitions and contests
  • Progress-tracking
  • Rewards

Since employees are highly motivated by professionally developing, as well as knowing that they're outdoing their peers, gamification is a perfect way to introduce some healthy competition into the workplace.

In addition to competition, gamification can also be used for training new employees and providing them with a better experience.

While gamification is not the ideal solution for businesses that don't track the quantity of their outputs, it can still be used to reinforce positive behavior.

Is gamification in the workplace beneficial? Yes. According to Talent LMS' Gamification at Work Survey, 87% of employees believe gamification improves their productivity.

People Analytics Help Companies Understand Their Employees

The root cause of inefficiency is commonly a misunderstanding. Whether it's a culture fit misunderstanding, or simply a poor selection of employee engagement methods, companies and HR departments could benefit from a bit more insight into how their employees think and behave.

Now, the era of mind-reading tech isn't here yet, but people analytics are.

While this type of HR technology is already used in recruitment, it has yet to be successfully put into place when it comes to the entire employee lifecycle. Each employee aggregates vast amounts of data which are often stuck in silos.

However, people analytics should help with this challenge. These tools can analyze employee engagement and related behaviors with the intention of predicting future behavior and determining shared factors that can be applied to other employees in the future.

When this data is applied and put into practice, it could give companies valuable insight into which behaviors drive (un)desirable results, and what methods could be used to reinforce or combat them.

Google has already successfully done it in Project Oxygen. They used data from well-performing managers to train low-performers.

The new advancements in this field have also allowed researchers and companies to identify relational data points that may be of value in the future; factors such as influence, ideation and vulnerability.

Are people analytics beneficial for employee engagement? Yes, and they can also help businesses stay competitive since 51% of organizations are already evaluating the effectiveness of their HR programs showing that an increase in HR investment will follow.


Employee experience is becoming a priority for companies which want to retain talent, and agility is no longer just a software engineering buzzword.

Companies and the cultures they offer their employees can benefit from a more flexible approach that adapts to the unique needs of their staff. And once agility is implemented on the employee engagement level, it's much easier to break the barriers stopping companies from implementing it on a sales and strategy level.

We are seeing the trend of agility (in more fields than just business strategy) rise in companies which are increasingly offering benefits such as:

  • Flexible work
  • Tailored training
  • An improved work-life balance

In fact, 52% of employees state that they feel more productive when working from home, and seeing that flexible work is cost-effective for companies, more and more stakeholders are experimenting with the option.

Flexible work also reduces distraction that's commonly present at work, and employees can really apply themselves to the task at hand. Once this is paired with professional development tailored to individual needs, we're satisfying the 90% of employees who want the training to be customized to what they need, fun, and engaging.

All of this contributes to a better work-life balance. It's a significant factor for employee engagement as employees who don't feel as though the company culture is offering them enough opportunities to be both professional and private people switch companies more often.

While agility is often used in business strategy as a way of responding to a fast-changing market, it should also be used by companies that want to encourage people-focused cultures.

Can agility help with employee engagement? Since 54 percent of professionals' career choices are motivated by seeking a healthy work-life balance, yes.


Our first association to hearing the word "mindfulness" may be burning candles and taking long baths, but when it's applied to employee engagement it means a better sense of purpose, healthier work-life balance and an all-around higher engagement rate.

In return, we can expect better job performance, client satisfaction, and improved business results.

And it all starts with allowing the employees to feel good during their time at work. For some companies, this really means inhaling essential oils and starting the day with yoga.

For other business, it means more communication, paid time off, or yoga retreats used to connect with themselves and their peers.

While this may seem trite, mindfulness is a great way of understanding how your employees get motivated and handle pressure.

This term is also a good way to introduce healthy stress coping techniques into the workplace as stress is becoming an immense problem. According to TSheets' 2018 PTO survey, 43% of workers say they are often or always stressed.

Is mindfulness beneficial to employee engagement? Yes, as a balanced employee is a more productive employee.


While some of the popular HR trends in 2019 sound like something a startup would implement, there's still a lot we can learn from them.

Chiefly: listen to your employees. And help them listen to themselves.

After that, it's easy to understand what they need to engage.


  1. 2017 Retention Report. From Work Institute
  2. State of the American Workplace Report. From Gallup
  3. Millennials Are the Largest Generation in the U.S. Labor Force. From Pew Research Center
  4. How to Drive Employee Engagement with Gamification. D. Newman. From Forbes
  5. The 2018 Gamification At Work Survey. From Talent LMS
  6. How Google Sold Its Engineers on Management. From Harvard Business Review
  7. Better People Analytics. From Harvard Business Review
  8. People Analytics: 6 Stats HR Leadership Should Care About. From Jibe
  9. 2018 Workplace Distraction Report. From Udemy
  10. State of Workplace Training Study. From Axonify
  11. Mindfulness Takes over the Corporate World. From The Sydney Morning Herald
  12. 2018 Paid Time Off Survey. From T Sheets

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