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The Gamification of Employee Success

How the commercial cleaning industry could benefit


Management may frequently ask themselves questions regarding how to keep employees motivated to achieve company goals and stay engaged in their work. For some employees, rewards, recognition, and a sense of accomplishment are key. These three areas are where gamification can step in.


Gamification is a not-so-new trend that is spreading into various industries. It uses digital motivation to tap into the natural human drive to compete and improve in order to obtain rewards. The process of gamification is not meant to turn work into a game but instead uses traditional game mechanics and technology to drive human engagement.


The process of gamification is not meant to turn work into a game but instead uses traditional game mechanics and technology to drive human engagement.


The commercial cleaning industry could greatly benefit from utilizing such methods to keep employees engaged. Gamification provides employees with motivation to perform tasks, breaks down their work into digestible pieces, gives management the ability to measure performance, and sparks creativity in new ways within an organization.


There are some more common examples of gamification present in workplaces today, such as in the form of rewarding a sales team member with “most sales of the month,” or a standout employee with “employee of the month.” Today, advances in technology makes it even easier to expand tracking capabilities and create goals tied to rewards that can be set for an entire workforce.


Since commercial cleaning has one of the highest levels of turnover, even amongst other service industries, it is an understandable challenge to keep good employees around and motivated. Yet, there are tools available to make this process easier.


Inspections and Quality Control

A great place for implementing gamification is around inspections and quality control. Inspections are critical for keeping clients happy, but also for tracking employees’ performance and growth. By tracking inspection scores using a software product, it is possible to apply a gamification structure by setting hard goals and rewarding employees who achieve those goals.



The Karate System

Defining clear rewards keeps a workforce engaged and offers them incentives to keep up with their hard work. For this, some companies use a “karate” system where employees can move up to advanced “belts” based on their performances. At each one of these belts, they receive a reward, whether it is an increase in their hourly wage or a promotion to a manager position.


The Badge System

Another example is the idea of a “badge” system where employees can earn badges for hitting certain milestones. These badges are then a part of their employee profile and allows their successes to shine. Almost like a baseball card, employees can have a photo of themselves and display their badges on them.


One possible badge could be a “ninja” badge for employees who fill in for other employees last minute, or an “innovator” badge for an employee who has a great idea for the company. The badges can also mark how many shifts or years an employee has worked for a company.


Reasons for Implementation

These kinds of rewards based on statistics give employees something to shoot for and be proud of in their work. These statistics also help management determine which employees deserves a raise or should be considered for managerial, training, or supervisor roles.


According to Forbes, in 2015 40% of Global 1000 companies were already implementing gamification psychology. There are a few main reasons for this decision:


  • Gamification offers real time feedback. It becomes no longer necessary for management to wait for annual reviews to let employees know how they are performing and what their goals should be. Employees receive feedback immediately based on their achievement of goals, and management does as well.
  • Gamification is objective and fair. Employees will no longer feel like management is only picking their “favorites” because the numbers do not lie. Performance measurement would be transparent, which allows people to see how they are performing in comparison to the rest of the workforce.
  • Gamification sets a focus around clear goals. Gamification methods can allow relevant employees to see how they are doing compared to their coworkers and obtain clarity around what they are supposed to be doing to improve.
  • Gamification can completely change company culture. Gamification does not gamify employees’ work, but instead creates an environment for them to effectively track their progress, receive regular recognition for achievements and motivate themselves to improve further based on meeting designated landmarks.


Gamification makes day to day work more enjoyable and helps a company keep their strongest employees by regularly rewarding them for their hard work and achievement. The commercial cleaning industry would benefit immensely from retaining its best employees and lowering employee turnover. Through gamification, a company’s culture can shift to support a system that effectively raises up and acknowledges the hardest working people in the industry.


By Ricardo Regalado, Owner & Founder, Route