In recent years, the concept of "gamification" has become more popular as a vital component of content strategy. But what exactly is gamification and what value can it provide to online learning?
We'll cover everything, including the advantages of gamification, examples of gamified learning, and the best practices of its implementation into corporate learning.
What is Gamification in Corporate Training?
Utilizing gamification involves incorporating game-like components, akin to those found in video games such as achievements, virtual simulations, rewards, and even social competition, into the learning environment. This approach empowers companies to inspire employees in novel ways, tapping into motivation previously untapped. The gamification process is straightforward and adaptable to nearly any task, exemplified by creating a leaderboard highlighting top salespeople and granting extra vacation time or gift cards to those achieving the pinnacle.
By infusing gamification into corporate training programs, valuable skills acquired during these training sessions are not only reinforced but also actively promoted through enhanced team engagement. The interactive and engaging nature of gamification fosters increased information retention compared to conventional training methods.
This article will delve into the rationale for considering the integration of gamification into corporate training programs, explore the advantages it brings, and provide insights into its seamless implementation.
Gamification in online learning can be quite successful. According to research from the University of Colorado, learners who used gamification of learning performed better on tests of their skills and abilities. Utilizing gamification at work also increased retention.
In the future, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) may also become a regular part of gamification in business. These two types of gamification put the user in an entirely different place (VR) or augment their surroundings (AR) to offer just-in-time training simulations and problem-solving situations. These formats let you place users in high-stakes situations for training purposes, without worrying about their safety. Related article: Why Edutainment is an Absolute Game-changer in Learning?
How to Use Gamification in eLearning. Best Practices
Creating a full-fledged video game is not generally the goal when it comes to gamified eLearning. It involves blending features that make games entertaining, inspiring, or informative into the learning experiences you create. The best practice for using gamification in eLearning is to include elements like:
To engage your users and take them on a journey, develop an engaging plot. Make a narrative that incorporates users into the action as they go through each chapter of the topic. This is a fantastic method for developing immersive content that keeps viewers interested throughout.
2. Visual design
Aesthetically attractive designs and eye-catching graphics may increase the attraction of your eLearning and engage your audience. For a learning experience that is visually appealing, combine bright colors and visuals. Related article: The 10 Best Prototyping Tools for Designers.
3. Competition spirit
Who doesn't like some competitive spirit? To maintain high levels of motivation, allow learners to compete against other members of their team, anonymous players, or even against themselves. Think about incorporating leaderboards so students may compare their performance to others'. This works particularly well for sales representatives and high-achieving personnel who desire to keep improving.
Reward your students with shorter, more frequent assignments and gradually increase the level of difficulty as the session goes on. With the knowledge they have gained along the way, they will be primed and prepared for more difficult, rewarding tasks, in addition to assisting them in getting into the flow of things.
Giving learners direct feedback when they finish a task or quiz is a great method to keep them involved and motivated since it enables them to see their development as they progress through the game's stages.
Gamification eLearning Examples
These badges may seem like a small accomplishment, but they provide employees recognition and respect. In addition to allowing students to feel proud of their successes, having something concrete to display may encourage them to keep improving their abilities. It represents the accomplishment of a certain skill set.
Digital badges have been produced by companies including Acclaim, Microsoft, IBM, and AGSM for users to post to social media networks like LinkedIn. Having a badge indicates that a person is an authority in their area and is seen as a reliable expert.
The language learning mobile application Duolingo has also made the challenging task of learning a new language more entertaining by giving students "Wildfire" badges. By utilizing the app three days in a row, learners may receive their first Wildfire badge. After the completion of a seven-day streak and a 14-day streak, they will receive their second and third Wildfire badges.
Win virtual currency
Virtual currency may add some value to your training. A virtual currency offers the same exchange of time for value that motivates us to work hard in the real world in exchange for a salary. This motivates your teams to commit time to complete classes so they may collect enough points or stars to win over their coworkers, or to make good use of their virtual money to purchase a predetermined prize through your eLearning platform. Related article: AI in eLearning. The Importance of Chatbots.
At PioGroup Software, we also have our own virtual currency - Piomons. Employees can get them with the help of volunteering, some initiatives, or their own achievements. Then they can get different stuff like backpacks, cups, notebooks, etc for a certain amount of Piomons. It really motivates team members to have an active social position.
Use of an avatar
Employees can immerse themselves into a game using an avatar. When the entire company needs to go through new training at various levels, this kind of game might be quite beneficial. Employees in customer service and call centers may gain from this strategy a comprehensive understanding of the business, its products, and its philosophy. Avatars may also be used in recruitment videos.
Learning to code with puzzles
Users of Grasshopper are expected to do a small puzzle game at the end of a course that tests the knowledge they just got. For example, after learning how to code a few basic colors, students would be challenged to put their new skills to use by sketching the French flag's red, white, and blue stripes.
A story-led life-saving game
This multi-award-winning program is a great illustration of gamified eLearning. It stands out because it combines gaming elements with interesting stories and compelling characters.
This first-person game places the player in a dangerous situation where their choices might truly mean life or death. Each choice must be made within a certain amount of time, which is a standard game element but also increases the reality of the situation.
It supports multiple devices and takes advantage of its unique features. There are several gamification approaches employed; as the user advances through the scenario, levels are unlocked and each decision point turns into points to win.
Points and rewards
By assigning any quantity of points that may be provided to the user along with the badge, you can go one step further and give badges more value. These points can be used to start a rewards system or leaderboards that highlight accomplishments and foster friendly competition.
Create rewards that may be earned whenever students achieve a specific level to motivate them to earn badges and points ( gift cards, clothes, one day off, etc.). These types of rewards will increase user engagement by providing learners the chance to win real things.
When upper-level management was hesitant to begin leadership training, Deloitte gamified their program and provided badges and certificates to encourage them. Training completion and engagement went up by more than 50%. Related article: What is the Price of not Providing Employee Training?
Test your learner’s sequencing knowledge
Reordering or sequencing games that evaluate learners' conceptual comprehension of a process flow are another forms of eLearning gamification. This is crucial for manufacturing, cashier training, basic safety training, and other industries. To guarantee that your learners are prepared to respond quickly and effectively to what they encounter throughout their work hours, reinforce each stage of the learning process using a timed game.
Gamification makes learning and knowledge retention faster and more enjoyable for people of all ages. Check out how your mobile applications employ gamification elements the next time you're on it for a more engaging and valuable experience.
The users with the most points on the platform are shown in leaderboards. You may assign badges to various leaderboard places and promote internal competitions by designing badges with various scores or points connected with them.
With the use of leaderboards, students may fight for the top place in each training module. This is ideal for positions or teams that are naturally competitive, such as those in sales, recruiting, or even in the medical sector where teams strive to be the best of the best for either bragging rights or a prize.
Leaderboards were successfully incorporated by luxury retail company Dunhill as part of their eLearning gamification strategy. With a clear examination of participation, completion rates, and everything in between, it makes it simple to categorize employees into structured groups.
Benefits of Gamification in Employees Training
It should be obvious at this point that gamification of learning programs at work has a number of advantages. But to review them, here are the top benefits of eLearning gamification:
Gamification makes learning more fun
You may eliminate any anxiety that is associated with learning a new skill by presenting your eLearning course as an entertaining activity rather than as an additional task on someone's to-do list. Gamification can assist in reducing any pressure to deliver error-free results and instead encourage learners to give it their best effort, even when the stakes for passing or failing the course could be considerable.
Gamified learning increases motivation to learn
A course may be presented as an opportunity to have fun at work through gamification in addition to making learning more approachable. As we've already discussed, leaderboards or scoreboards may increase a feeling of friendly competition among coworkers, enticing staff members to do well on the course only for amusement's sake. Learning may change from something individuals must do to something they want to do when it feels less like work and more like entertainment.
Gamification improves your eLearning content’s user experience
Finally, when implemented properly, gamification may improve the user experience of your eLearning materials. Instead of having students simply absorb the information, provide them with opportunities to engage with the course content, which will increase their likelihood of doing so and help them create meaningful learnings.
Encourages active and continuous learning
By giving students a variety of opportunities to engage with the material, gamification encourages them to participate actively in their education. Learners may evaluate their understanding as they go and receive immediate feedback, as compared to passively taking in the material.
Gamification's competitive component can motivate users to improve on their performance or advance to new levels, which encourages continual learning. Users are also more inclined to return to a module if they believe they can score higher, which increases the likelihood that they will remember the material after constant exposure. Related article: The 13 most important advantages of corporate eLearning.
Employee engagement may be increased by adding gamified components to your eLearning, which will allow them to complete more information faster. For example, students can complete three 10-minute tests instead of watching a 30-minute training video. According to research, 89% of participants would be happier at work and more productive if their work provided more fun.
Allows companies to collect performance data
Gamified assessments may be used by L&D teams to learn more about how well people are doing and to identify ideas or subjects they may require more training on. This can assist in identifying areas where current modules could require modification and provide information for future eLearning materials.
5 Example Areas of Gamification in Corporate Training
Incorporating eLearning gamification into the onboarding process can turn the initial days of a new employee into an interactive and engaging journey. From interactive modules to onboarding quests, gamification training ensures a seamless and memorable integration for new team members.
2. Employee Engagement
Gamification works as a dynamic tool to boost employee engagement. By introducing game-like challenges, rewards, and competitions, companies can foster a sense of enthusiasm and motivation among team members, ultimately enhancing overall engagement levels.
In the realm of sales, gamification proves to be a powerful motivator. Creating leaderboards, setting sales targets, and rewarding top performers with incentives such as bonuses or recognition can transform the sales environment into an exciting and competitive arena.
Addressing compliance training can be made more effective and engaging through gamification. By turning regulatory requirements into interactive challenges and quizzes, employees can grasp and retain essential compliance information in a more enjoyable and memorable manner.
Leadership training can benefit significantly from gamification. Simulations, decision-making scenarios, and leadership challenges provide aspiring leaders with practical experiences, making the learning process immersive and effective. Gamification adds an element of excitement to leadership development initiatives.
How to Introduce Gamification into Corporate Training
Implementing gamification in business and corporate training programs offers a myriad of possibilities. The key lies in identifying the approach that aligns best with your specific business dynamics, as motivational factors for employees can vary from one company to another.
It is crucial to keep in mind the overarching purpose of gamification. While injecting an element of fun into corporate learning is undeniably beneficial, it's essential to view gamification in corporate training as a tool rather than the ultimate objective. The primary goal is to craft learning objectives that not only make corporate learners enthusiastic about participation but also facilitate retention and practical application of the acquired knowledge in real-world job scenarios.
As you establish your criteria and contemplate the potential forms of gamification for your context, bear in mind the following points.
1. Use an LMS
When incorporating gamification into corporate training, the initial step involves determining the delivery method.
The optimal approach often involves leveraging a Learning Management System (LMS). Utilizing an LMS provides the capability to employ employee learning software, facilitating online training and elevating overall employee productivity. Specifically, there are gamification software options designed to enhance the gamified learning experience within the LMS framework.
With an LMS, a range of delivery options is at your disposal. This includes establishing a virtual classroom for instructor-led training, allowing learners to engage in self-paced, informal learning, or adopting a blended learning model that combines the best of both approaches.
2. Be Realistic in Your Reward System
Ensure practicality, thoughtfulness, and authenticity in establishing your reward system. Take into account the elements that truly resonate with your team culture, opting for rewards that align with professionalism rather than appearing juvenile. Consider options such as monetary incentives, gift cards, or a curated snack box paired with a bottle of wine.
Maintain a balance to avoid making rewards too easily attainable. Frequent distribution diminishes their value. It's crucial to set a level of challenge that demands a substantive effort to earn the reward, as the sense of accomplishment is integral to the overall satisfaction derived from the recognition.
3. Don't Pit Employees Against Each Other
Competition can manifest in negative, even abusive ways, or it can be constructive and healthy. Gamification aims to cultivate a positive, supportive, and encouraging environment for healthy competition, steering clear of the cutthroat mentality of seizing all the gold stars at the summit. To ensure its effectiveness, consider the following guidelines:
- Embrace immediate, honest feedback on the gamification program, encompassing both positive and negative perspectives.
- Design reward features as a means of positive reinforcement, going beyond a mere carrot-on-a-stick approach. Authentic, meaningful, and practical rewards contribute to a more robust motivational system.
- Exercise caution in setting the pace, avoiding unrealistic expectations that pressure learners to complete levels hastily. Rushing through may result in overlooking essential fundamentals.
- Avoid excessive control or regulation of every aspect of the game. Over-regulation can extinguish the fun, leading to an unintended consequence of diminished motivation and enthusiasm.
4. Existing Training Programs
To effectively implement the principles of gamified training, a recommended approach is to seamlessly integrate them into your existing training content while refining methods of motivation, training, reward systems, engagement, and progression.
For skills such as problem-solving, consider crafting scenarios that challenge learners to find solutions or encourage them to seek real-world examples for comparison with competitors' approaches. Introducing a point system tied to meaningful rewards, such as bonuses, additional commission percentages, days off, or gift cards, can serve as a powerful motivator when employees accomplish tasks or attain learning objectives.
Embracing roleplay is another potent method for enabling employees to navigate scenarios, allowing them to play and work through situations. This immersive approach not only provides valuable insights into their potential but also sheds light on their strengths and weaknesses, benefitting both you and the employees.
5. Increase Product Knowledge with Competition
Leverage a spirit of friendly competition to boost learner engagement in understanding product or service knowledge. Establish a dynamic game involving questions, tasks, or a quiz that compels participants to thoroughly prepare and inform themselves about the designated topic. Through this amicable competition, valuable knowledge sharing emerges, benefiting everyone involved.
6. Develop a Learning Path
When introducing novel products, software, tools, or operational methods, pair individuals or organize them into small teams and present a challenge for them to compete in. This approach serves as a motivator for everyone to actively engage with and swiftly master the new information, ensuring that no one is excluded or lags behind in the learning process.
The majority of our activities are now gamified thanks to technology. We continuously receive recognition and benefits for everything we do, from dining out and shopping to exercising and ride-sharing. Because we already know what works, there is no need to create the wheel, which is advantageous for those working in the learning and development industry. Related article: How to Find App Developer for Your Business Requirements.
By gamifying the learning process with badges, points, prizes, competitions, and leaderboards, you can keep your students interested and satisfied while also keeping them in friendly competition.
The most effective learning occurs when you are not even aware that you are doing it. You'll see an increase in retention when your learners are happy with their use of your platform and return frequently.