What is “Bet on yourself?”

“Bet on yourself” is one of the deep behavioral mechanics we use at Gameffective. When applying it, we ask users to place a bet on whether they will be able to achieve certain results. If they win the bet, they can earn more points. It’s a mixture of “double or nothing” in TV game shows and a performance challenge.

You’re probably asking yourself whether asking employees to “bet” on themselves really work. We know that cues, making predictions, and self-reflection drive performance, yet the question remains: by how much?


What We Did

One of our clients is a call center where employees perform debt collection, calling debtors and asking that they repay their debt, partially or in full. Debt collection is a seasonal business, and as a result, our client wanted to create a special campaign that will drive agent performance during the season where more debt collection can happen.

Over a period of four weeks, users in the call center were offered a bet, each week. The bet focused on three KPIs tied to collection, KPIs that are tied to the core business of the client. Users could select whether they want to place a bet on their performance, or to choose not to place it. In case they place a bet and make it, they get extra points. In case they fail to meet the bet, they lose points.


What happened?

When analyzing the results at the end of the campaign, we’ve divided the users into two groups:

  • The “Risk taking” group: users who bet at least twice during the 4 week campaign
  • The “Playing it safe” group: users who bet less than twice or did not bet at all


We then compared the campaign’s KPI results with the performance data of the 4 weeks prior to the campaign.


Results for KPI A (Number of Payments): people in the “risk taking” group improved this KPI by 8% over the period in which the “bet on yourself” campaign (called “play and win”) ran.


Results for KPI B (Average Payment): Risk taking users improved this KPI by 4% more compared to users that played it safe.


Results for KPI C: Dollars per Contact did not show improvement and both groups’ results dropped.


In this case, the drop in the KPI was similar across the two groups. . A possible cause for this can be the fact that this KPI was driven by external factors, such as the amount of debtors each agent was working on. In general, we do not recommend setting KPIs over which the agent has little control.



In general, the “Risk Taking” group (at least 2 bets) achieved a higher KPI improvement than the improvement of the “Playing it Safe” group in 2 KPIs out of 3.  This means that users that chose to engage with the “bet on yourself” mechanic performed considerably better. This translated into significant business results during the campaign period.









Request a demo View free resources View case studies