Employee training is key in the improvement, innovation, and evolution of any company. Training shows employees you are investing in them and you see them as the most valuable assets of the company. Employees that are trained, educated and invested in are more productive, happier, and create more profit and revenue for their company and their team.
In addition to increasing morale and production, investing in employees also increases retention. This reduces all costs associated with acquiring a new talent such as recruiting, training, onboarding, as well as a lack of production.
With so many changes in employee training and development, it’s sometimes hard to keep up to date. One of the newest changes in employee training is showing massive improvements in areas such as participation, training completion, and the application and retention of the material. This development is gamification.
What is gamification? Gamification is defined as a way of applying game theory such as point scoring, competition with others, leaderboards, badges, rules of play, etc. to other activities. Gamification has been used in training different levels of employees, in onboarding, and in other areas. Gamification encourages engagement with training or a product or service by challenging individuals with real-life situations in a controlled environment.
Most examples of gamification use one or several gamification elements. What gamification elements are typically used in corporate training? Different companies and different training programs include various gamification elements. Below are a few key elements:
- Challenges (relate it back to key objectives)
- Levels (gives employees a route to take).
- Feedback (allows employees to continually improve and check their progress).
- Points (makes it challenging and fun).
- Badges (gives the points more credence and celebrates higher achievements).
- Leaderboards (great for tracking and motivating).
- Competition (great for encouraging friendly competition and making sure employees are keeping up with peers).
- Collaboration (great way to encourage teamwork).
Gaming for learning includes fun tasks with instructional design that is meant to hold the employee’s attention, encourage them to not only participate but to complete the applicable courses. Gaming doesn’t have to end at course completion. Gamification rules can be used to encourage the continued use and application of the knowledge gained in courses.
The key to gamification in training is that it allows employees to try different strategies and make mistakes without impacting business.
Gamification has many benefits. A few key benefits of gamification include:
- Friendly competition. It’s a great way to get people motivated by a friendly spirit.
- Sense of achievement in learners. People love to compete and love to win. Gamification allows them to add this fun to their work and training.
- Engage learners to achieve the desired change. Gamification encourages learners to achieve a specific skill or change a behavior.
- Motivates learners to progress through all parts of the course and take action as needed. Gamification keeps people on the right path moving towards the goals of the team or company.
- Increase the retention of knowledge. Because games increase engagement and increase learning, gamification has shown to dramatically increase the retention of knowledge.
What types of gamification strategies have you used or seen that has worked well?