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How to Turbo Charge Employee Financial Wellness Engagement with Gamification

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How to Incorporate Gamification Into Your Employee Financial Wellness Program (The Right Way)

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Last Update: August 14, 2023

Are your employees struggling with their finances? Feeling stressed and overwhelmed by money matters can have a significant impact on employee wellness, productivity, and morale.1

As an employer, you have the power to make a difference by implementing a financial wellness program that not only educates your employees about managing their money but also makes it fun and engaging.

The concept of gamification has gained significant popularity across various industries in recent years. From fitness apps to language learning platforms, gamification has proven to be a powerful tool in engaging users and motivating them to achieve their goals.

In this article, we will explore how gamification can be used to help your employees achieve holistic/comprehensive financial wellness and how to incorporate these techniques the right way.

The Power of Gamification

Gamification involves incorporating game elements into non-game contexts to engage and motivate users. By using game mechanics such as points, levels, rewards, and competition, gamification taps into our natural desire for achievement and accomplishment.

When applied to an employee financial wellness program, gamification can create a fun and interactive experience that encourages employees to actively participate in boosting their financial well-being.

Research has shown that gamification can have a profoundly positive effect on workplace learning – if done correctly.2 There are several common pitfalls that financial coaches and benefits managers fall into while trying to utilize gamification.

To make sure your gamified financial wellness program sticks, here are some important steps you should take while upgrading your workplace’s financial education program.

Incorporating Gamification (The Right Way)

Set Clear, Definitive Goals

Incentives can be a great way to keep employees participating in your financial wellness program. However, it is important to set goals that are achievable and relevant to their situations.

What specific learning outcomes or behavioral changes do you want to achieve through the program? Understanding what areas your employees need the most financial coaching in will help you craft a wellness program that benefits them in the long run.

For example, rather than having one large goal like “pay off debt” for all employees, set up smaller, incremental goals such as “save $50 each month for three months” or “open a 401(k) account by the end of the quarter.”

By breaking down large tasks into more manageable chunks, you will encourage your employees to stick with them until completion.

Tie In Gamification to the Learning Material

One of the fastest ways for your employees to lose interest in your financial wellness program is if the game elements are not linked to learning material.

For example, it does not benefit employees to be competing for who can get the lowest interest rate when they do not understand how those rates will affect them in the long run.

That is why any gamification you include should be tied directly to the content of your financial education materials. Use levels and rewards systems to reinforce ideas such as budgeting or debt repayment rather than separate activities that may have no real connection to what they should be learning.

Make Gamification Optional

Are some employees not responding well to your new, gamified program? The problem may be the system itself. One of the largest indicators that a gamified program will fail is if employee participation is mandatory.

While gamification can be an invaluable learning tool, research has shown that gamification can negatively affect employee motivation and performance when they are forced to participate in "mandatory fun."3 This eliminates the entire purpose of gamification – to motivate learners and workers.

Make sure any gamification you implement into your financial wellness program is optional for those who do not wish to take part. This will ensure that everyone can access the same resources while allowing those who are interested the chance to experience a unique way of learning about their finances. 

Provide Internal and External Motivation

In any successful workplace program, it is important to provide both internal and external motivation systems to keep your employees interested and participating.

Internal motivators (like a sense of accomplishment, progress tracking, and overall engagement) can make completion more likely. On the other hand, external motivators (like physical rewards and tangible prizes for completing tasks) will entice others to participate.

Consider adding a mixture of incentives when incorporating gamification into your financial wellness program. Some examples include:

Internal Motivators

  • Progress bars  
  • Cumulative points system 
  • Levels and badges 

External Motivators 

  • Outings for completing tasks (lunch break, bowling night, etc.)  
  • Gift cards or vouchers  
  • Discounts on products or services

Upgrading Your Company's Financial Wellness Program

Gamification has the potential to improve employee financial wellness and boost workplace satisfaction significantly. But creating an effective financial wellness and literacy program for your workplace can be difficult. That's why Enrich is here to help.

The Enrich financial wellness platform is a customizable, powerful solution that taps into the power of games and rewards to help employees improve their financial literacy. With a variety of tools and resources designed to make managing their finances easy and fun, employees can learn the basics and master complex financial topics with ease.

Empower your workforce to take control of their financial well-being. Contact Enrich for a demo, and join the thousands of employers who are creating a thriving culture of financial literacy in their workplace.



1 - https://www.business.com/articles/stress-and-productivity-what-the-numbers-say/

2 - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/9781119227793.ch29

3 - https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2277103

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