PMI Bangalore Chapter


PM Essence
PICDiS – A model for implementing Gamification methodologies for ‘Employee Engagement’
– Srividhya Subramanian, Hewlett Packard

Employee engagement is the key to business transformation. Employee engagement is all about continuously engaging the workforce, constantly motivate them and developing loyalty to the organization. This article elaborates using an upcoming trend-Gamification for increased Employee engagement. 


Gamification is application of gaming strategies in non-game environment. Since the goals of a game are to engage the players, make them play again and again, being loyal, this can be applied as well to employee engagement. Gamification addresses engagement, transparency of work, and connecting employee’s actions to business outcomes. Gamification being a relatively new area, this article describes a model PICDiS (Prepare, Identify, Communicate, Deploy, improve and Sustain) for implementing gamification methodologies as a framework, tool for Employee engagement.


2.1 Challenges/Opportunities

Current R&R methodologies/programs have serious short comings. They address the hygiene factor and don’t improve engagement.


In addition other short comings are 

They don’t cover wider population of the organization (especially in large corporate only small % of top performers are covered)

provide newer ways of social recognition

don’t improve intrinsic motivation

are event driven


Due to this there is a constant challenge for the organizations to sustain any R&R program to improve employee engagement. Lack of engagement leads to lower productivity, low morale, missing business commitments.


According to a survey many companies say employee engagement is their top challenge for 2013.


2.2 Solution: How Gamification can address this?

It can be an integrated platform for the organization to improve the other aspects of employee engagement like career development and talent acquisition. Some of the unique advantages of gamifed recognition programs over other mechanisms are listed below.


Promotes social recognition

Regular ongoing appreciation

Wider coverage across the organization by not restricting to time bound performance based rewards

Promotes peer recognition

Promotes culture of recognition across the organization


2.3 Characteristics of Work and Play

Work and play have many commonalities,

which models employee engagement process

due to which it is feasible to gamify work.

Some of the common characteristics are described below..

2.4 Gamification Process

Gamification involves proper application of “Game Design”, “Game Mechanics” and “Game features” to non-game areas, in this context R&R.


Game Design: Process of creating the rules and content of a game.


Game Mechanics: Building blocks that can be applied to gamify any non-game context. E.g If you have are a frequent user popular games like of “Angry birds”, “Subwary Surt” you would see that as you progress, you reach various levels, and you finish each levels, you get bonus points, additional chance etc.


Game Features: These are the basic elements which help to create a game play: E.g, Avatars (you can choose different characters), activity feeds, Leader board etc.


2.5 Key Challenges in implementing Gamification


Gamification involves significant initial planning effort, continuous ongoing support and development 

Large scale rollout across geographies and business units

Constant communication across the various layers of the organization to ensure buy-in, successful implementation and rollout

Employee pulse and feedback


The below model provides a systemic approach covering the various project management aspects involved, from requirements to rollout.


2.6 Prepare (Planning Phase of Project Management)

Why are you doing this/reason for gamification?

What are your goals?

What are the expected benefits/outcomes as a result of gamification?

Identify the sponsor

Review the goals, expected benefit with senior management and sponsor


2.7 Identify (Requirements Phase of Project Management)

Identify the IT requirements

Consider ability to customize the tool

Ability to integrate with corporate intranet/in house tools/data base,

Flexibility in user access control

Ability to come out with new enhancements in 2-6 months’ time frame.

Ability to run on internet( for employees on the move) without compromising corporate firewall/security requirements


Choose the appropriate vendor based on the above ( e.g Badge Ville).


2.8 Communicate (Execution and Tracking Phase of Project Management)

Develop a communication plan covering the various aspects/phases before launch, during implementation, rollout and post rollout. In addition periodic reviews with the sponsor and stakeholders.


Before launch(indicating the program details)

Posters across the company( paper and electronic)

Teasers- emails

Posts in Company Intranet-Social media platforms

Word of mouth


2.9 Deploy (Rollout phase of Project Management)

For successful rollout, identify rollout champions across the organization who will act as cheer leader.

Check if there are any restrictions in rolling out the program in certain regions/countries

Training sessions to line managers since they are the direct contact to employees and key for employee engagement


Have the communication plan in place covering

Launch Message from HR Leaders since many of the employee engagement initiatives are driven by HR

Messages in Company Intranet-Social media platforms

Senior Management videos

Resources and Training for People managers

Employee resources: Tool usage/handbook/FAQs etc.


2.10 Improve and Sustain (Maintenance phase of Project Management)

Develop the feedback and response mechanism.

Feedback through Surveys, Reporting tool issues to a mailbox

e-mail feedback and Word of mouth

Tool enhancements


Communicate periodically through Periodic Newsletters, capture employee experience videos/messages.


Many companies like HP, EMC, SAP, Microsoft, Deloitte (Gamification of DLADeloitte Leadership Academy), Google, have started implementing gamification methodologies and seeing positive results.


EMC has integrated Gamification engine and launched as part of their R.A.M.P (Reputation, Awards, and Motivation Program).


Gamification in the enterprises is evolving as emerging trend.This framework along with the game design/features for rewards and recognition facilitates improving the employee engagement thereby enabling business performance.