Gamification strategy: are you doing it right?
Although not a panacea, gamification in business can be used in different settings to improve employee satisfaction and productivity. A recent TalentLMS survey, for example, shows that gamification in the workplace makes employees feel more productive (89%) and happier (88%). Gamification in corporate training has a similar positive effect, with 83% of those receiving gamified training feeling motivated. If, despite using gamification tools, your training isn't where you expected it to be, it's time to do some research. The following 5 signs may indicate that your gamification strategy needs adjustment.
1. Employees are disconnected
Do employees sign their courses erratically? Do you take your sweet time with training? If so, your gamification strategy has failed to deliver on its greatest promise, which is to improve student engagement. When commitment is lacking, training becomes a chore and the quality of learning declines. What can you do to make your gamified course more attractive for employees to return easily and frequently?
One solution is to add social and collaboration elements, like a share button. When employees share their progress with their coworkers, their accomplishments feel more rewarding. And as others cheer them on, they have more reasons to keep up. At the same time, employees who are lagging behind are motivated to step up. Sending a reminder when employees are close to earning a badge or reaching a new level is another effective push.
You can also create team challenges, during which all team members will share a reward, such as a badge. Team challenges are not only fun, but they also increase responsibility and motivation. Have a minimum point requirement per team member for everyone to contribute.
2. Uneven distribution of points
Naturally, some employees will advance faster than others. They may have more training experience or more time to devote to the course. But if a "select few" conquer the top of the leaderboard while the rest of the lot is crowded at the bottom, those who fall behind will lose their motivation.
To make sure everyone progresses at a similar rate, try to distribute the points differently. This can be done using smaller leaderboards (for example, by department). Also, add gamification elements in various activities to encourage active participation beyond the part of the course at your own pace. For example, award rewards for contributing to course discussions and collaborative assignments. In this way, employees who prefer to learn in more informal settings are also recognized and rewarded.
3. Employees rush through the course
Some employees may enjoy the game mechanics more than they were looking for. They mistake the training course for a game and focus on accumulating gamification points and badges. Therefore, they simply analyze it without withholding much of the information.
Little do they know, you have tricks up your sleeve to slow them down! For starters, don't give badges and other rewards like candy. Deduct points for incorrect answers and have employees retake a lesson if they repeatedly fail the assessment. To make sure they're really learning and not just "leveling up," create complex assessments. Preferably test the practical application through simulations. Don't guess with multiple-choice questionnaires. Teamwork will also slow down your most impatient students and moderate their competitiveness, as they will have to collaborate with their peers before they can continue.
However, creating a well-rounded gamified course is not just about points and levels. It should include assessments and activities that meet individual learning needs and preferences. You'll also need to send reminders and monitor progress and effectiveness using reporting tools. The right gamification software like TalentLMS will make your job easier and your courses will be more exciting than ever.
4. Employees do not enroll in their courses
Low enrollment rates can mean that any number of things are wrong with your training. Your courses may be full of unimaginative content or may not match the skill level of your employees. But when it comes to your gamification strategy, low enrollment rates indicate that gamification is not enough to increase participation. Therefore, consider adding a stronger incentive, such as a certificate at the end of a course. You can also offer a more practical reward, such as a day off or a monetary gift for top scorers. Also, gamification is about provoking employee motivation. If the intrinsic motivation is not there, it does not hurt to take advantage of the extrinsic.
It is also possible that gamification itself is the problem, especially if you had no engagement issues in the past. Even if your employees were positive about the idea when you first introduced it, perhaps gamification didn't work for them after all. Or perhaps they had imagined it differently.
For this reason, when you implement corporate gamification for the first time, ask for employee feedback. Was competition motivated or increased daily pressure? What rewards did you enjoy the most and which ones could you do without? Don't rule out gamification before you see how you can better integrate it in a way that suits your employees.
5. Knowledge retention is low
Another important selling point for employee gamification is better knowledge retention. Because employees are eager to progress and achieve high scores, they study with more enthusiasm and concentration. Therefore, they retain more information, faster.
But also, the very structure of a gamified course increases knowledge retention. To unlock the next lesson, employees must rack up enough points, usually taking some form of quiz. If they fail, they need to go back and reiterate the lesson. In this case, learning is improved through repetition. Employees should exit the course with better skills and abilities. If there is no noticeable improvement in performance, your gamification strategy is falling short.
To improve knowledge retention, review how students move throughout the course. Divide the course into more learning units and always include assessments between lessons to activate memory recall. In this way, employees will solidify prior knowledge before moving on to new information.
Gamification in training promises to add a special touch to tedious subjects and elevate your regular training to an engaging learning experience. But don't be too quick to condemn your gamification strategy if you can't make a difference as soon as you implement it. Seek employee feedback to find out what you can improve, take stock of your current tools and methods, and try again.