As people return to work, behaviors will need to change to maintain social distance. Principles of gamification can help.

We know behavioral change is hard. Thousands of startups have failed because they underestimated peoples’ reluctance to change their behavior. Email is a good example. Think of all the solutions that promised to replace everyday email.

According to HR Trends Institute (1), “Gamification engages employees in different ways. It has mechanisms for recognition (stimulating progress), feedback, fun and collaboration. These four mechanisms are closely related to the human drivers we mentioned before (purpose, autonomy, mastery, relatedness).” Examples include,

– Marriott allows candidates to run their own virtual hotel in which they design their own restaurant, purchase inventory, train employees and serve guests.

– Cisco started using gamification principles in their social media training to build customer service skills

– A Belgian hospital uses “faulty rooms” in which errors are intentionally set up and healthcare trainees have ten minutes to find 20 planted errors.

AiRISTA’s Social Distance and Contact Tracing Solution uses gamification to help reinforce social distance in the workplace. The cloud-based software platform provides contact tracing by time and duration. Moreover, reports can be used to motivate behavior in ways that provide positive feedback and foster competition.

  • Daily, weekly, monthly contact reports and their trends guide employees and their improvement goals
  • Similar reports on a department level set up competitions between groups and can measure progress toward certain goals
  • “What if” scenarios are setup to measure the impact of new policies and the result in number of reduced contacts
  • A/B tests can be run to determine if changes to process or production workflows results in fewer contacts

The combination of BLE and W-Fi technologies in AiRISTA’s solution allow tablets on walls to display someone’s contact rates as they approach. Such continuous real time feedback is a cornerstone of gamification.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has spawned the largest global behavioral change experiment since World War II.” According to Brian Burke of Gartner (2). “A survey across the U.K., Italy, France and Germany by the University of Oxford found that there is broad support for app-based contact tracing.” Burke recommends “focus on the proactive measures of social distancing, good hygiene and screening that minimize the risk of individuals becoming infected.” It is worth noting that AiRISTA’s cloud platform offers a hand hygiene module that not only the counts instances of hand washing but combines location and time of day into the gamification principles.


  • HR Trends Institute, “9 Examples of Gamification in HR” Feb 25, 2019.
  • Brian Burke, “Use Gamification to Flatten the Curve of COVID-19 Infections”, Gartner, April 20 2020

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