Almost half (48%) of UK employers offer some form of gamified rewards to staff, according to research by workplace incentives provider One4All Rewards.
Its Workers on top of their game report, which surveyed 1,096 UK employees, also found that 20% of employers provide gamification in the form of a set bonus for completing a specific goal, while a further 17% use surprise, unplanned rewards to recognise jobs well done.
These unexpected rewards are cited by 35% of respondents as the type that would motivate them most, but having a system of set targets is popular with 28% of those asked. Rewards given by peers are deemed most motivational by 17%, and offered by 14% of employers.
Almost two-fifths (38%) of respondents felt that working towards rewards and bonuses would make work more fun, while 32% stated that it would encourage them to work harder, and 37% said it would increase their happiness while at work.
When broken down by size of organisation, the research found that only 13% of employees at micro-businesses, namely those with between one and four employees, would be more motivated by a gamified system. This increases to 25% among those with between 51 and 500 employees, and 28% among those with more than 500.
Within a wider gamification strategy, using a points-based system was deemed by respondents to motivate people to work harder (24%), find work more enjoyable (23%), increase their performance (20%), and feel increased loyalty to their employer (18%).
A quarter (25%) of employees stated that clear communication from the start would be necessary to properly introduce a gamified system, while 23% stated that they would like to receive regular updates on rewards they have earned. An online portal was cited as important by 21% of those asked.
When considering the most popular types of gamified rewards, monetary bonuses placed highest (49%), followed by gift vouchers (33%) and extra days off for birthdays (25%). At the lower end of the scale is exclusive retail or experience discounts (13%) and duvet days (13%).
Alan Smith, UK managing director at One4all Rewards, said: “In [small to medium enterprises], finding the budget for a rewards scheme can be tough, but gamified rewards can be more flexible in some ways and they don’t have to involve large budgets. While some might think that these kinds of rewards are more complex to implement, this isn’t necessarily the case.
“As we can see from the survey data, and the sheer number of workers who said that the implementation of a gamified reward system would make them work harder, the cost of implementing this kind of rewards could soon be recouped by the increased productivity employers would benefit from.”