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Using Gamification to Rethink Corporate Training

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In the past, “fun” was not a word employees often used to describe corporate training. But incorporating Gamification into your online or classroom environment could change that. Gamification uses the science—and fun—of game mechanics to deliver learning in a non-game setting (such as corporate training). It may look and sound like goofing off to the uninitiated, but corporations everywhere are adopting Gamification techniques—and seeing rewarding results.

Why is corporate training upping its game?

Convincing employees to take time from their busy day to attend workshops has never been easy. But keeping today’s workforce engaged is more challenging than ever. This generation of workers was raised on social media, video games and a host of instant-gratification devices, making attention spans even shorter and more fragmented.

Not only does Gamification add an aspect of fun to your training, it engages employees through key motivators of recognition and reward. Think of it as the “dopamine” effect: playing reward-based games releases chemicals that not only stimulate the pleasure center of the brain, but also enhance retention and recall. Immediate and ongoing feedback also keeps participants motivated to continue through the training modules to reach or repeat that “rush” of success. As a result, learners stay engaged, process information better and retain it longer back on the job—all of which improves performance outcomes and training ROI.

So how can you use Gamification to achieve real-world results? Here are just a few ideas:

Recognize your high achievers

Whether you’re motivating a sales team, onboarding new employees with essential skills or securing your workplace for compliance purposes, the goal of most training is to improve on-the-job performance. Game elements like leaderboards and badges keep participants involved by appealing to their competitive nature and rewarding achievement. Employees enjoy seeing that their efforts are recognized and are more likely to stay focused and engaged throughout the training in order to “win” that acknowledgement. Just be sure there is a pathway to success for everyone, so competition stays “friendly.”

Build better problem-solving skills

Brain games, board games and story games all can be used to help employees “play” their way through common on-the-job scenarios. For instance, you might design training modules that offer problems at the front end and move them through the content as they successfully solve each one, increasing the difficulty as you go to keep learners engaged. In this way, participants not only have fun demonstrating what they’ve learned, but also gain the confidence to solve similar issues back on the job.

Personalize the learning experience

For employees accustomed to Fitbits, Netflix, iPhones and Instagram, personalized experiences aren’t exceptional—they’re expected. In this new context, sticking to the old model of compulsory, lecture-based training is a sure way to lose your audience. Gamification, especially in an online setting, offers great opportunities for employees to learn at their own pace. In addition, interactive game mechanics offer participants more choices—not only in the answers they select, but also in where and when they complete their training. This gives your team members true ownership of their own success. Best of all, they’ll have fun doing it—and be excited to come back for additional training without being compelled.

Getting Gamification right

As you can see, bringing Gamification into your corporate training isn’t just fun—it can be highly productive too. Of course, none of it matters if you don’t use the proper game mechanics in your training design. At the Bob Pike Group Gamification in Training Workshop, you’ll learn all about game mechanics while examining both no-tech and low-tech options to bring game elements into alignment with your own content. Sign up today!