Gamification - Creating Super-Engagement in any Lean Six Sigma Deployment

Presenter: Thomas Van Eimeren, Lean Sigma CPI Manager Global Business Operations, Arrow Electronics, Inc., Mesa, AZ, USA

Keywords: Gamification, Lean Sigma, Super Engagement

Industry: Electronics, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Applicable for all Industries

Level: Advanced


Gamification is “the use of game design elements, in non-game contexts.” Gamification is not about people playing games at their workplace, but about using game mechanics, to achieve organizational effectiveness. Research shows that the use of gamification instills a sense of meaning, provides a feeling of mastery, promotes autonomy, and creates super-engagement. According to Brian Burke at Gartner, “When designed correctly, gamification has proven to be very successful in engaging people and motivating them to change behaviors, develop skills or solve problems” In addition, gamification can also be used to influence an organization's culture, communication, and performance management. 

One of the primary reasons that the human race has always loved playing games is the possibility to improve. The feeling of developing a certain skill is one of the most important aspects of fulfillment and well-being at the workplace. Gamification allows us to learn new things and see how they are becoming easier and easier as time goes by. Before we know it, what used to be extremely challenging is now done easily, with almost no effort at all. When applied to Lean Sigma, the use of gamification for learning and talent development affords an organization, the ability to harness what employees see, creating a bottom-up approach to Continuous Improvement. These newly developed change agents now utilize their skills to carry the momentum forward and achieve even greater benefits for the organization, accelerating the organization’s lean sigma deployment initiatives. 

In 2015, Arrow Electronics Inc. conducted extensive research on how to better engage global counterparts. The research pointed them to innovate and create a gamification approach that would resonate with all employees around the globe; Arrow developed the Lean Sigma Global Olympics to harness this gamification concept. The program is now concluding its 3rd year. I am excited to be sharing the journey, key learnings and results of our award-winning program.