Although started and managed with the best intentions, 50% of organisation Learning and Development programmes fail due to the lack of a long-term strategy. Lack of incentive and engagement in the training often leaves employees uninterested in further training initiatives. In reality, training programmes will not support themselves without a shift in company culture, or leadership behaviour.
One way to ensure that employees are interested in an organisations training programme, is the implementation of gamification. Gamification is often misunderstood but can help encourage participation, attendance, and improve the overall success of a training programme. In order to ensure that learners succeed, the content and delivery needs to be relatable and meaningful. This can become a challenge when training large numbers of learners in a corporate environment. Learners need to be engaged and remain engaged for the training to benefit them. Gamification uses “game logic and mechanics in non-game contexts to engage and motivate learners in solving problems.” By using game strategies, gamification has proven to be particularly effective in the world of eLearning and corporate training.
Employees can improve their knowledge when failing in a safe environment
When failing, learners gain as much, if not more knowledge than they would from passing their training on the first attempt. Gamification offers learners the opportunity to learn in multiple different ways even when they fail. Due to the ‘fun’ learning environment fostered by gamification a learner’s failure does not cause harm to their self-esteem or the company metrics. Gamification in training means that learners have the opportunity to benefit from a relaxed environment that does not judge failure harshly; learners can simply try again until they get it right.
Gamification allows learners to compete
By nature, humans are competitive. Gamification in training allows learners the opportunity to compete against their colleagues in a friendly and enjoyable way. By keeping the psychological aspect of a reward system in mind, gamification taps into the pleasurable feeling learning experience when they achieve something. This means that learners are more likely to complete their training modules and explore the LMS in order to find more opportunities to gain extra ‘points’.
Gamification improves memory
Multiple studies have been conducted to show the impact that the digital age is having on knowledge retention and attention spans. However, the overall approach of gamification ensures that a learner’s knowledge retention is boosted. Information retention happens when someone not only processes information, but actively does something with the information they have gained.
Implementing gamification in the workplace
Gamification can easily be implemented in the workplace, even for companies with limited budgets for supplementary expenses. An effective gamification model is structured around organisational goals but also considers the desires of the employees. In the case of organisation training, rewards can be distributed for every course or certification completed. To raise the stakes and increase urgency, rewards can be issued to the first handful of employees to complete a set of courses.
Examples of gamification rewards could include:
- Monetary incentives
These rewards can be small, such as a gift card.
- Public acknowledgment
Don’t underestimate the power of peer recognition. A company-wide email blast or printed certificate can be extremely rewarding.
- Additional benefits
Employees work hard to play hard. An extra day off, or the chance to leave early on a Friday is one of the best prizes anyone can receive.
Gamification depends entirely on an organisation’s goals and needs. Using gamification in training for the sake of engagement and fun is never cost-effective. However, if the objective is to increase current engagement and results from existing mandatory e-Learning programmes, then gamification is a great option. Choosing gamification begins with organisational objectives. Once the objectives have been clearly defined, gamification will greatly increase learner engagement and retention.