Gamification experts believe that gamification will continue to mature and further penetrate across industries in 2019 especially in industries which are important but follow mundane processes like healthcare, education or are highly competitive and do not employ knowledge workforce like retail, e-commerce, logistics and supply chain etc.
Further in 2019 gamification design is likely to shift from extrinsically driven motivational factors to intrinsically driven factors leading. For further such trends of e-learning gamification in 2019, please read my blog here
One such area where companies have started to explore the benefits and advantages of gamification is in corporate training or workplace learning. So ever wondered why gamification of corporate training should be explored and what are the benefits it offers. I would like to share 9 reasons to use gamification in corporate training.
What is gamification of corporate training?
Before diving deep into the gamification of corporate learning, let us just quickly look at the two keywords used here i.e gamification and corporate training
Gamification in simple words is including the game elements and game mechanics to nongame contexts. Whereas corporate training is a means of improving the employees’ performance, morale and skills, by concentrating on their professional development. For example, the various corporate training requirements can be the following-
•Training the employees on soft skills and hard skills
•Conducting employee onboarding or induction of the employees
•The regular training of the sales team etc
Be it any organisation these corporate training requirements are fulfilled by using various learning strategies like classroom training, e-learning or even a blended learning approach etc. But when you include the game elements and game mechanics to the non game context i.e corporate learning and training to make the learning process highly engaging and interactive, it becomes fit to be termed as gamification of corporate training.
Now, let’s explore 9 handpicked reasons to gamify your corporate learning requirements.
1.Increases learner engagement
There is no doubt that gamification in corporate training can increase employee engagement and enhance the learning experience. But what is learner engagement?
While there is no scientific definition, learner engagement reflects the quantity and quality of a learner’s participation in the courses. A learner engagement answers several questions like –
1. Are the learners glued to the course?
2. Is the course engaging and interactive?
3. What are the completion rates and are the learning objectives achieved?
How e-learning gamification can enhance learner engagement?
1.1.Using the right game mechanics and game elements
Right game elements and game mechanics are the heart and soul of gamified e-learning which can transform a dull learning experience into an engaging and interactive one.
A word of caution here i.e to engage your audience, it’s very important that an organization chooses the right game elements and mechanics. I don’t recommend random dumping/including game mechanics to your gamified corporate training. Here is the list of some very popular game mechanics that are widely used
Before implementing the game mechanics, ensure that you understand the relevance of the chosen game mechanics. Ensure that the chosen game mechanics can perform the desired objective of motivating the learners to perform the desired action. Therefore it’s important to understand the learning objectives as well as the target learners to synchronize the motivational factors in achieving the learning objectives.
1.2.Reward your learners
Remember those moments……. when you received an award and you were jumping with joy. Ever wondered what triggers this feeling of ecstasy?
It’s the dopamine release in your brain making you do it. Scientific studies reveal that when human brains are exposed to a rewarding stimulus, the brain responds by increasing release of the neurotransmitter dopamine resulting in the triggering of real powerful human emotions like joy, satisfaction, achievement etc. Rewards are so powerful that it pulls back the human brain to perform the same or similar action to earn the rewards.
Gamification of corporate training can use rewards like points, badges etc to motivate the learner and enhance the learner engagement. To know more about rewards in e-learning gamification, you can read my blog here.
An organisation can enhance the learner’s engagement with corporate training by inducing gamification elements that fuel competition. Elements like leaderboard that ranks the learners according to the points earned or badges received etc.foster healthy competitive spirit amongst the learners. The leaderboards that are visible to all the learners, motivates them to climb the leaderboard positions and reach the top.
2.Brings behavioral change
What is behavior change?
Behavior change is the process in which an undesired behavior is abandoned in favor of a better one.
How can gamification of training drive the behavior change amongst the learners?
Wondering how gamification of corporate training can induce a behavior change among the learners
Well, it’s about understanding the motivators, choosing the right game mechanics and game elements that stimulate the learner’ motivation and designing the gameplay accordingly. Hence I recommend a detailed study of your target audience to find what motivates them and what can bring the behavior change in them is essential. The motivation can be categorised into both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
Extrinsic motivation involves doing something for its external rewards, like money, fame etc whereas intrinsic motivation is the natural drive of internal factors like enjoyment, satisfaction, player autonomy, social relatedness, mastery, achievement etc.
Simply adding the elements such as reward points, achievements and badges which are external motivators, don’t guarantee the desired behavior change. Hence to bring the desired behavior change amongst the learners, the instructional designers should ensure that there is a right balance between the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation that can motivate the learners to revisit the learning content and make them perform the following-
1. Learner performs an action.
2. Learner receives a reward for performing that action. This reward triggers the employee’s brain and motivates the learner to repeat it.
3. Learner eagerly performs the action in the hope that they get the same rewards and results.
These strengthen the behavior of the brain that can help the learners to slowly change the behavior and form a habit in some days.
3.Increases learner retention
Unlike other learning strategies like classroom training or self-paced learning, gamifying corporate training can increase the retention and recall of learning topics.
What is the retention of learning?
Retention of learned information can be defined as having the information stored in long-term memory in such a way that it can be readily retrieved, for example, in response to standard prompts.
How gamification of training aids in learner retention?
Here are some scientific reports that explain the relation-
Studies have found that when learning is gamified it’s more enjoyable for learners leading to increased engagement with content which means higher levels of knowledge retention.
•Scientific study tells us that games can activate the hippocampal area of the brain(the part of the brain that is responsible for recall for the learning topic)
•Gamification of corporate training focuses on giving learners instant feedback and reward the correct actions of the learners. By giving the rewards for achieving the goals, milestones and challenges. The learners then begin to associate the learning with positive emotions, prompting them to try to repeat the process. Thus the learner is motivated to continue the learning process and revisit the gamified learning, leading to enhanced retention and recall of the learning topics.
•Gameplay reduces the stress-studies at Texas A&M International University study showed that gameplay reduces the stress of the employees. A stress-free environment can help the learner to enjoy the learning process aiding better retention and recall of the learning topics.
•E-learning gamification can be even combined with other learning strategies like microlearning that aids in improving knowledge retention and defeating the forgetting curve.
4.Provides instant feedback
Rather than reserving the feedback until the end of e-learning, gamification of corporate training shares immediate feedback with the learners.
What is feedback in learning?
Feedback is a process in which learners make sense of information about their performance and use it to enhance the quality of their work or learning strategies.
How gamification of learning ensures instant feedback?
E-learning gamification is designed to give instant feedback to the learners. For the learners, it’s an instant opportunity to relearn. It helps them to know what went wrong and what are the consequence of their actions and choices. It helps to take corrective actions immediately than waiting until the end which helps in creating instant rewiring of information in the brain
5.Allows to fail and learn
Gamification in e-learning provides a safe learning environment that allows the learner to learn from failures and mistakes. Hence it’s capable to transform the fear of failure into a fun and engaging learning experience.
Take the situation of how gamifying of employee training for operation of hazardous machines can benefit the learners. When a batch of fresh hires need to be trained in the operation of heavy machinery in a hazardous zone, the organisation can wisely blend e-learning simulations or scenarios with gamification that simulates the real-life situations to train the learners effectively in a safe and gamified environment which allows the learner to fail and learn from the mistakes.
6.Boosts employee productivity
According to the research,80% of learners said their productivity would increase if gamification or game-like elements were included in the learning process at the workplace.
What is employee productivity?
Employee productivity (sometimes referred to as workforce productivity) is an assessment of the efficiency of a worker or group of workers
How gamification can boost employee productivity?
Corporate training, as you are all aware is aimed to enhance the employee productivity by enabling them to upskill, reskill and polish their existing knowledge and skills to perform better in their roles or job streams. By gamifying the corporate e-learning, organizations are able to engage the learners, who are extrinsically motivated to complete the training which is otherwise not seen in existing training mechanism like classroom training etc. Over a period of time, constant extrinsic motivation leads to intrinsic motivation and a marked behavioral change in the work.
This benefits the organisation in training the workforce more effectively and boosting employee productivity.
7. Has diverse areas of application
The corporate learning is not just about training and educating the workforce of a single department or function alone. Instead, an organization is required to train learners or employees from various functions or departments with different learning objectives. By choosing gamification for workplace training, an organisation can include it for various corporate training requirements like –
Gamifying the employee onboarding
Gamifying the sales training
Gamification of compliance learning
Let’s quickly explore how gamification can be used in some popular corporate learning topics like
7.1 Gamifying the employee onboarding
The organisation can choose to gamify the employee onboarding process to make it more engaging and interactive. Employee onboarding is generally spread into three types like:
2.E-induction/on the floor e-induction
The organisation can carefully gamify the various stages of employee onboarding. Here is an example of gamified pre onboarding at Deloitte –Will You Fit into Deloitte . Before you jump into designing and developing a gamified onboarding process, I recommend reading my blog here.
7.2 Gamifying the sales training
In a very short span of time, gamification of sales training has become in thing.
The traditional boring and lengthy hours of classroom sales training are made engaging and interactive by the right use of game elements and game mechanics.
The organisation can use themes, engaging storylines, powerful game mechanics like rewards, challenges, and recognition to bring engaging learning experience.
Thanks to the penetration of mobile learning, the sales executives can now access the gamified e-learning sessions live on their mobile devices. For further reading on why to gamify the sales training, you can read my blog here
7.3 Gamification of compliance training
Another popular area of workplace training where gamification is in popular demand is gamification of compliance training. Here are 4 exclusive tips to gamify compliance training, covered in my blog here
8.Blends with other learning strategies
E-learning gamification can combine or blend with other learning strategies like traditional classroom training, microlearning etc to make it more engaging and effective.
How e-learning gamification can blend with other learning strategies?
8.1 Gamified assessments or game-based assessments
After classroom training, an organisation can share gamified assessments or game-based assessments with the learners to measure the effectiveness of training. To see examples about game-based assessments please visit our portfolio page.
8.2 Blends with microlearning
With a shortening attention span, microlearning is the ideal way to deliver learning contents in the form of micro-nuggets that are ideally not more than 5-7 minutes. E-learning gamification can combine with microlearning strategies to make it further more engaging and interactive. These are ideally the best for delivering sales training, compliance e-learning in short gamified micro-nuggets etc. This gives the flexibility of using e-learning gamification as a stand alone as well blended e-learning strategy.
9.Aids in retention of the millennial talent
By 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce. There are also other interesting statistics and studies which speaks about millennials like
1. Millennials are not engaged at work.
2. 44% of Millennials say if, given the choice, they expect to leave their current employers in the next two years.
These shocking statistics can give sleepless nights to the organisation to formulate strategies to retain their millennial workforce.
How gamification of workplace training help in retaining millennial talent?
9.1 Millennials love playing games
Millennials were born into a digital world and they loving playing games. With the reduced attention span of millennials under ten seconds, the traditional training techniques like classroom training program may no longer work. They need an approach that is different from the traditional e-learning approach which can keep them engaged and demands their participation. Hence gamification can be a right strategy to adapt.
As you have seen gamification of learning offers several benefits, which lead to better training outcomes and increased ROI on training investment. If this blog has re-charged you to explore examples of gamification in the workplace especially relevant to corporate training, please read my blog on five examples of gamification here. You may also want to explore our portfolio page to view samples of gamification of training in the workplace.