The concept you're looking for is "gamification".
Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems and increase users' contributions. Gamification has been studied and applied in several domains, with some of the main purposes being to engage (improve user engagement, physical exercise, return on investment, flow, data quality, timeliness), teach (in classrooms, the public or at work), entertain (enjoyment, fan loyalty), measure (for recruiting and employee evaluation), and to improve the perceived ease of use of information systems. A review of research on gamification shows that a majority of studies on gamification find positive effects from gamification. However, individual and contextual differences exist.
While it won't fit into the sentence as written, it's possible to rewrite the sentence slightly to use it:
Employers tried to incentivize the employees by gamifying the working environment.
This is a concept that's currently even being taught in universities.
Coursera course offered by The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, a business school.
Gamification is the application of game elements and digital game design techniques to non-game problems, such as business and social impact challenges. This course will teach you the mechanisms of gamification, why it has such tremendous potential, and how to use it effectively.