Using gamification to increase engagement and build healthy habits

Gamification is a key driver of YuLife's consumer-grade levels of engagement. Here we explain how the YuLife app goes the extra mile to make health and wellbeing tasks more enjoyable for users.

Yugi the Giraffe - 7 April 2022

You might dismiss 'gamification' as a buzzword. But actually, the idea of making software as easy and enjoyable to use as a video game has a lot of merit – and it's one that's becoming increasingly relevant in 2022.

In a post-lockdown world, and following the 'Great Resignation', the best employees are now highly sought-after. As a result, messaging around inclusion, authenticity and 'bringing your whole self to work' is on the rise. In an era where we no longer split ourselves neatly into 'work-self' and 'home-self', it's not surprising that employees expect consumer-grade experiences from their in-house digital tools.

One area this need is particularly pressing is employee health and wellbeing. Following the pandemic, work-life balance is uppermost in people's minds. Yet according to HR Magazine’s Employee Benefits Watch Report, only 20% of employees engage with the health and wellbeing benefits provided by their employer.

That's pretty dismal, considering these are typically free services that most people view as a perk. Clearly, something is going wrong. As a group insurance disrupter delivering health and wellbeing through an innovative app, YuLife has the data to prove it’s got a solution.

A huge 72% of employees download the YuLife app, 43% have used it at least once in the last month, and 17.4% log on up to five times a day. That's the kind of engagement most apps dream of… so what's the secret? Well, there are many reasons for YuLife's success, but one of the key ingredients is, you guessed it, gamification.

First, some background. Rather than focusing on end-of-life payouts – never the most exciting of topics – the app's main focus is to encourage good health in the here-and-now. It does so by allowing you to set achievable tasks, such as regular walking and meditation exercises.

Developed in line with behavioural science techniques, the app plays on our natural inclinations to seek fun, challenge, and reward. So beyond your daily tasks, there are also opportunities for friendly competition with fellow employees, via a shared leaderboard. You can challenge each other to fun duels, too.

You can compete with yourself, as well, by embarking on 'streaks', where you complete at least one challenge every day for five days, and by following quests and progressing over time. All these activities earn you real-world rewards, including retail vouchers, and donations to charities and environmental projects.

In short, YuLife's app goes the extra mile to make health and wellbeing tasks more enjoyable. And the result is consumer-grade levels of adoption and engagement.

That's great news for HR. It means employees are engaged with the tangible benefits it provides them (in the present day, not just on death). It provides HR departments with a new channel for interacting with employees, and access to useful data – and it means a greater sense of community within the organisation as a whole.

So next time you hear the word 'gamification', resist the urge to scoff. Just because it's a buzzword doesn't mean it can't bring real benefits.

Yugi the Giraffe

Yugi is our YuLife mascot. Like all giraffes they've got a big heart – in fact the biggest heart of all land animals.