How can gamification help in employee training?
Do you notice an appearance of boredom when the topic of training comes up? Has participation in training plummeted? Is there little or no improvement after a course? So all the signs are there: your training strategy is not working. Something missing.
If employees have not reported problems with the training content, perhaps the problem is the training itself. It is true that modern employees advocate lifelong learning. But this does not mean that they do not tire of training occasionally or that they all share the same passion for learning. When motivation to learn is low, you should offer employees something more exciting than a certificate.
This is where gamification comes into play. There is much discussion about how gamification at work increases employee motivation and even retention. In this post, you will discover that the benefits of gamification in training are just as impressive. Let's look at 8 of those:
1. Rewards increase motivation
What is more motivating than getting recognition and rewards for your achievements? With points and levels, employees are instantly rewarded for their achievements, such as completing a learning unit or participating in the course discussion. At the same time, they visualize your progress, which is even more motivating.
They also get their share of recognition by showing their rewards on their profile and reaching the top of the leaderboard. And if you really want to intrigue employees, give them a preview of the badges they can earn throughout the course!
Competition is another important ingredient in the motivational mix, and gamification undoubtedly inspires all kinds. During a gamified course, employees compete with themselves, their coworkers, or unite against different groups.
2. Boring training becomes an adventure
Gamification in eLearning can help boring types of training be bearable or, let's show something in good faith, even fun. For example, in a 2019 gamification survey, 30% of employees chose compliance as the type of training they would like to gamify.
In a gamified course, employees have not only a certificate to earn, but also badges and points. You know, how fun! To tie it all together and add purpose, create a compelling story. For example, create a rescue mission or challenge them to combat a threat. Each lesson that employees complete is a mission accomplished, bringing them closer to their goal.
3. Employees finish their training faster
Gamification attracts employees by connecting training with games when their motivation is not strong. The rewards motivate employees to return regularly or continue training when they are about to reach a new level or earn a badge. As a result, they complete their training faster than they normally would.
That said, gamification is a means of making learning more enjoyable. If you hint that you're implementing it in hopes of speeding up training, then all the fun is gone. In either case, make sure your employees are moving at a normal pace and are really learning. To do this, use a gamification LMS that, in addition to gamification features, supports various types of assessments and offers detailed reporting.
4. Gamification facilitates behavior change
Gamification in training serves as positive reinforcement. Rewarding positive behavior is very effective when employees are trained in compliance or social skills.
These types of training do not require employees to memorize information, but rather seek to inspire behavior change. A training program that instantly rewards appropriate behavior is most effective in recording this behavior in the student's mind. Therefore, employees are more likely to repeat it in real life without having to think about it.
5. Employees develop team spirit
Most L&D professionals apply gamification in corporate training in a way that creates competition between themselves or with oneself. But the real fun begins when they find ways to combine competition and collaboration.
In more inspired gamification examples, employees work in teams and collectively earn rewards. They have challenges like "which department will accumulate the most points at the end of the week." Something that seemingly increases competition (and is so simple to set up) can help your employees develop a stronger team spirit and improve their work relationships.
6. Gamification brings out specific knowledge gaps
You can't advance in a game unless you've defeated the enemy or completed a challenge, right? In gamification training, the enemy is the knowledge gap. When students are stuck at one level, it is because they are struggling with a specific knowledge gap. But they can't go to the next level unless they fill it up.
Gamification in business training helps you build a learning path that unravels as each knowledge gap is filled. And why is this important? Knowledge gaps can prevent the student from understanding the content that follows, which could negatively affect the amount they retain from the course entirely.
7. Better knowledge retention
One of the main challenges of corporate training is the retention of knowledge. Two factors that often get in the way of learning are boredom and lack of motivation. By frequently rewarding employees throughout their learning journey, you replenish their motivation when they begin to burn out.
Another way that gamification improves knowledge retention is through repetition. Structure your course so that employees can't unlock the next level or earn a badge if they don't have enough points and have passed a small test. In this way, they will have to review the content until they have really understood it.
8. Employees develop a new mindset
A gamified course is a challenge, a continuous evaluation from start to finish. Before employees reach the final challenge, they will be held and defeated multiple times. But they will also receive recognition and rewards when they do well.
In short, gamification teaches employees to be more resilient and goal-oriented. They learn that failure and setbacks are only part of the game, not the end. And that if they stay focused on their goal and insist enough, they can overcome obstacles and be rewarded for it.
Gamification is not a magic potion that will make unmotivated employees applaud in advance. You also cannot arrange a training course that doesn't resonate with employees or that doesn't have quality content. What gamification can do is improve what already exists, but it needs a boost. If your training is on the right track and your employees are ready and go, start the games!