The Role of Gamification in Corporate Training
Introduction to Gamification in Corporate Training
Gamification in corporate training implies the introduction of games into corporate training. These games, of course, are meant to fulfill different purposes including:
- Improve learning
- Encourage teamwork
- Break the ice
- Develop interest
- Make learning fun and easy
- Make lessons/concepts easy to remember
Gamification in corporate training has also proven to yield better task completion rates and increased chances of practical usage and application of learning at work if executed correctly. As with all other techniques, the effect can be the exact opposite if the execution of this idea is not well planned.
For example, incorporating games that are solely meant for entertainment purposes and don’t have specific benefits will do nothing but divert the attention of trainees for a while.
A successful plan for gamification in corporate training must be able to:
- Grab the attention of learners
- Retain attention
- Connect the learners with the trainers and the topic of training in a meaningful manner
- Compel learners to take challenges
- Offer feedback and highlight the areas for improvement
- Inculcate a sense of accomplishment and appreciation while discouraging conflict
Benefits of Gamification in Corporate Training
A well-known benefit of gamified corporate training is that it makes training sessions interesting and fun for the participants. However, gamification offers several others benefits:
- Better learning
- Increased employee motivation due to the fun element in training as well the rewards and recognition
- Improved teamwork and collaboration
- Superior chances of long-term retention
- The ability to measure the progress of learners through defined learning objectives
Traditional Learning Setups vs. Gamified Corporate Training
Regardless of their age, most learners are motivated by rewards and recognition. However, these rewards may vary, depending on the age of the learners. For adult learners from the corporate world, monetary gains and public appreciation are suitable motivators.
Depending on which rewards you include, remember that both these factors are an integral part of the idea of gamification in corporate training. This is where traditional classroom training and gamified corporate training differ. Without rewards and learning, gamified corporate training will be of no good.
Apart from this major difference between the two types of training, gamified training outshines conventional approaches because of it:
- Improves learning and engagement
- Develops a sense of accomplishment
- Stimulates necessary behavioral changes
- Summons healthy competition
While gamification in corporate training can be more expensive than conventional training and need a relatively long lead time, their learning gains also surpass those that are made with conventional training. So, if you are thinking about whether or not gamified corporate training has learning gains, the answer is an absolute YES! Moreover, the return that you get upon investing in gamification is also much higher. This is chiefly because gamified training influences a better ability for learners to recall, retain, and make practical use of what is learned.
Addressing a Multitude of Training Needs Through Gamified Corporate Training
Another thing that concerns employers and trainers is whether or not gamification in corporate training works for different corporate training needs. The answer is a resounding YES. Today, gamified corporate training is being used in almost all departments and in numerous areas of varying industries. Common areas that employees today are being trained in through this technique today include:
- Workplace etiquettes
- Product knowledge
- Professional skills
- Soft skills
- Job simulation
- Quality assurance
- Customer handling
- Machine operation
Gamification in corporate training can be further used to:
- Enhance overall learning experience in eLearning settings by incorporating beneficial games or gamified tests
- Reinforce practices and behaviors through online gamified assessments
Things You Should Know to Succeed at Introducing Gamification in Corporate Training
eLearning Gamification is a big hit in the corporate world and training industries. With that said, it is also the next big thing that other industries in the world are going to take on. In fact, a lot of them already have.
Nonetheless, gamified corporate training should not be implemented just due to the fact that it has a tendency to improve learners’ engagement. You should also be focused on other benefits and how you can make the most of your investment and efforts.
But how may you get these benefits? Simply by taking the following points into account before you let the idea take over in full swing in order to implement it correctly.
1. The Purpose
Gamification in corporate training should not be done with the sole purpose of making learning fun. You need to have a definite purpose, a goal that you want learners to accomplish. Without a clear purpose, the training will fail to make an impression. This implies zero retention and wastage of time, money, and effort.
Having a purpose for training and gamifying will enable learners to remember what is being communicated; people are more likely to remember actions than words. In case the purpose is not known, the learners will likely get confused and lose track.
Remember that a player who remains confused can never win the game. Likewise, learners who muddle between learning objectives will fail to get a hold of key takeaways.
As a decision-maker, you need to consider a few things while developing the most appropriate training objectives. Ask yourself the following questions and make changes if needed:
- Will the gamification plan that I have made help me achieve training goals/purpose?
- Are the goals following the expectations and needs of trainees?
If the answer to the above-given questions is affirmative, you can move ahead. If it’s not, stop and start making necessary changes until you can finally say ‘yes’ in response to these questions.
2. Gamification Is Not About Competition
Before you finally begin gamifying your corporate training, know and remember that the goal of doing this is not merely to create a competitive environment for the participants. Healthy competition is a component of gamification but it’s not its goal. The competition should never turn into an unhealthy one.
The way you gamify your training should only create a healthy competition between the learners who participate. Such training is meant to motivate learners to actively participate, ultimately encouraging retention.
If this requirement is met, there is nothing that can keep you from meeting your training objectives.
3. Planning the Gamification
Introducing gamified corporate training is not an easy job. The reason behind is that you have to introduce games into formal training without comprising the learning part. To do this correctly, you need to remember the following points:
- Give your game a purpose except simply winning it
- Associate rewards with gamification
- Build an instant feedback system to encourage learning
- Recognize more than one learner for the same thing so that the training doesn’t turn into a competition where everyone strives to take a spot
- Acknowledge and appreciate every time a learner does something right to reinforce positive behavior
- Allow everyone to learn at their own pace of learning
- If someone is not interested in a game, allow them to opt-out from playing it so that they don’t get stressed out or feel demotivated
- Make it less about timed activities and quantity, and more about the quality.
- For example, if the learners are asked to create multiple scenarios in a game, don’t set a time limit or specify a certain quantity at which one of them wins. Instead, conduct a qualitative check and then announce the winners without emphasizing on the competition.
4. Design a Realistic Reward System
You can never motivate young children with boring rewards; it will cause them to run away from learning. Similarly, you can’t use toys or free tickets for rides as rewards to motivate adults. The reward has to be attractive to the intended audience.
In order to design an appropriate reward system, you need to identify learners’ needs and have the rewards fulfill a portion of them.
Most employees only work to make ends meet. So, if you are training adult employees in a company, associate monetary rewards or commission with the gamified learning objectives. This is will motivate them to perform better than others while increasing the overall productivity and employee satisfaction.
5. Include ‘Socialization’
One of the greatest benefits of effective gamification in corporate training is that it allows learners to interact, communicate, and collaborate. This is one thing you can’t miss cashing on. Carry out ice-breaking activities early on in your gamification plan. You can also consider including other activities that require interaction with other learners. Make the training as social as possible by forming pairs, groups, teams, or by simply compelling individuals to talk with other participants. Also, see if you can integrate existing social mediums like Facebook and Instagram into your training. Whichever way you do this, try your best to use gamification in training to increase employee collaboration and build relationships.
6. Make It Challenging
While juggling to develop a gamification plan that helps meet training objectives and ensuring that the games don’t create a competitive environment in the training, a lot of people end up with gamification plans that are too easy. Remember, training that is not challenging can never be effective and interesting. This is the real challenge for trainers i.e. to gamify their training in a manner that it doesn’t encourage unhealthy competition and helps meet training goals without being unchallenging and dull.
Getting Started with Gamification
Effective gamification in corporate training occurs when the trainers understand that the idea is not about making training fun but to transform otherwise dull training topics into interesting game-like activities.
Begin with writing down training goals and objectives so that the activities you plan are following them. Next, prepare your gamification plan keeping all of the above information in mind. Once this is done, review the training agenda and gamification plan as many times as required so that you can be sure of their effectiveness.
Your time starts now!