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The Race to Success: Examining Success in the Workplace

December 18, 2018 • Boaz Gordon

What do we mean when we refer to the term “Success” in the workplace? There are many definitions to this term, most of them refer to the achievement of a career goal, target or to the positive outcome of a specific action. Success can be assessed through either an objective or a subjective lens. In this post, we will learn why a sense of success is crucially important for delivering a great employee experience. We will understand the characteristics of an effective achievement. Lastly, we will examine how Gameffective’s latest enhancements on its race narrative allow every employee feel success at work better than ever before.

When we explore success from a motivational perspective, one might ask if a subjective feeling of success is affected by how our performance level is in relation to the success level attained by others. When driven by extrinsic motivation, I need to beat someone else in order to win and feel successful. Success in the new world is more directed toward intrinsic motivation where the accomplishments of one person must not necessarily be at the expense of the achievements of others.

The Role of Achievements and Success

But why is it so important to experience success at the workplace? An MIT study suggests that we learn more from our success than our failures. The article sheds light on the brain’s ability to change in response to learning. Thus, providing employees the opportunity to achieve success in the workplace is an essential element of the employee’s learning and development process. A sense of achievement and success prompts a positive Affect, a concept used in psychology to describe the experience of core emotions and reactions such as anxiety, joy, hope, pride, relief, anger etc.. This is vital to effective learning and performance.


How to Design an Effective Achievement?

Like in the workplace, achievement and success have a significant role in games as well. In his book “The Gamification of Learning and Instruction”, Dr. Karl Kapp provides a wide range of in-game achievement design features. Kapp talks about measurement achievements, which are given to players for completing a task to a certain degree. The player’s performance can be measured against other players’ performance, against their own past performance or against some standard set by the game designers. Kapp ties it to feedback which is beneficial to players because it allows them to reflect on their performance in relation to their goals. The reflection, in turn, increases the players’ perception of competence which increases their intrinsic motivation. Kapp also indicates that the difficulty of the target needs to be set on a level that is attainable but challenging to the players. Game designers should create achievements that acknowledge the effort players are putting forth. Lastly, Kapp differentiates between expected achievements (players know what they can achieve) and unexpected achievements (players are surprised by the achievement notification). He recommends to primarily use expected achievements. Expected achievements allow players to set goals for themselves and allocate their resources to complete them. Having a goal often increases the amount of effort someone is willing to put into something.


Make Everyone a Hero

Gameffective’s new enhanced Race narrative applies these design features and provides the opportunity for all players to experience a sense of achievement and success. A narrative is one of the advanced gamification features that are used in the Gameffective platform. It is a visual metaphor that serves as the game board or the context that helps drive the employee’s performance and learning.

One of the most popular narratives offered by Gamefffective is the Race. There are many ways the race can be designed. The race can be built where players compete against others (a leaderboard competition), where in order to win the race, players need to earn more points than their peers, based on their performance and learning results. This kind of implementation focuses on rewarding mainly the top performers. On the other end of the spectrum, the race can be designed as a personal competition, where different levels of achievement are defined, focusing on improvement, effort and mastery. This setting relies more on intrinsic motivation and allows everyone to experience success. Focusing on core-performers and improving their results has a greater impact on overall organization. Core-performers typically make up the majority of the workforce.

Which race implementation is the correct one? There is no right or wrong answer. To design an effective race that drives the performance of your employees, you need to define what behaviors you want encourage and recognize, and understand what motivates your employees. Our Gameffective experts can help you design the perfect race to reach your goals and targets.

Ready, set, go!

About Gameffective

Gameffective is an Employee-Centric Performance Management Platform – the “fitness tracker” for the Connected Workforce of the Future.  Gameffective empowers employees to boost their work performance through hyper-personalised goals, real time tracking and data-driven feedback and coaching. Deployed with the world’s leading organizations Gameffective helps managers drive up employee value day by day. To find out how Gameffective can help transform your organization go to or book a live demo.

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