One of the buzzwords that hit EdTech today is Gamification. Not only it's applied in educational games like Duolingo and Kahoot, or even on social platforms like Reddit. Also, gamification in corporate training is rampant nowadays.
Why is it so? How does it work? Apparently, the gamification market is valued from $6.3B in the industry in 2019 to a projected $37B by 2027.
Let’s dig deeper into how it works, its techniques, and how you can apply it in your corporate training.
What is Gamification?
Gamification originated from the ancient military forces and the boy scouts' training where they give badges and titles as a reward system. It proves that gamification can boost motivation, learning retention, and collaboration.
It isn’t only applied in education. Similarly, gamification in corporate training works for many small to large companies that trained their employees at work.
The Importance of Gamification in Corporate Training
Study shows that traditional (or non-gamified) corporate training programs don’t usually motivate employees at work. It only caused them a huge amount of boredom and unproductiveness. In other words, why will you spend time in this traditional training design if you can level up through gamification?
Despite of this, trainers are still unsure about the real benefits and outcomes of gamification in corporate training. With its middle to a high-cost budget of development, plus the time to set it up--trainers want to make sure their learners will gain real value.
As seen in the graphics, people mostly remember what they do rather than what they read. It's a simple reason why simulation, games, and project-based learning approaches work so well in education. Similar to Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy's concept, learners learn best in creation and production rather than in reading facts, and memorization.
Gladly, this also works in corporate training. It has the same agenda as kid education—educating and transforming its learners from 0 to 1.
Why does it work in Corporate Training
Here are specific points why does it work:
It motivates employees
Your number 1 priority should be motivating your employees when designing a training course. Research says, 1 out of 3 employees say that training and development opportunities influence their decision to stay with a company. You may want to increase your employee retention through your training.
It engages learners
Your second goal should foster collaboration among employees. Training is best to build relationships, strengthen trust, and engage learners. Gamification is the perfect sauce for this. It’s the reason why team buildings and weekly employee activities work well too! But this time, the fun and collaboration will be integrated into your corporate training.
It retains information
As mentioned above, games help us remember information rather than just reading them. Because games are fun and can be full of stories, these events of information can remain in our memories.
It measures progress
It can measure progress through badges, leaderboards, and rewards, so it is easy to track the progress of each learner. It’s not that difficult to identify who is the highest performing employee through these gamification features.
Now that we tackled why you should gamify your corporate training, let’s now discuss how to do it.
Techniques of Gamification in Corporate Training
The art of gamifying education and training is proven effective. Due to this fact, its features evolve over time with the help of technology. From leaderboards, reward systems, levels, badges, and instant feedback—certain strategies are also adapted to make it more effective.
Here are some techniques to adapt in your next corporate training:
Personalize your approach. Gamification is not a one-size-fits-all strategy as it requires a high level of creativity to make it work. Guess what? Personalizing your approach makes it more attractive to your learners.
Due to what we call Cognitive Load Theory, it is advisable to be sensible about the level of your learners about the topic and you should design their experience without overwhelming them. You can integrate micro-learning in gamification by milestones, levels, and video snippets where you can cut them down into daily or weekly tasks.
Also known as collaborative learning, it is one of the most important ingredients in increasing learner engagement. In gamification, this works well. Just make sure your training is collaborative and requires teamwork.
Due to technology, several companies also apply mobile apps to make sure their employees can easily access the training on their phones. They can do it asynchronously anytime, anywhere.
Learning Portals or LMS
TalentLMS survey report says, there’s an increased return of 30% in productivity for every dollar spent on LMS training. These platforms can generate 26% more revenue per employee of the companies that use them compared to those that don’t (Andriotis, 2019).
This is the best example of a learning portal. You can apply gamification in corporate training with a cohort-based course format. It has several app integrations and instinctive designs.
Do’s and Don’ts of Gamification
Here are things you should DO:
Identify specific learning outcomes (or your goals)
This is an integral part of designing your training. Same with the instructional design principles, you should start with identifying your LO or learning outcomes/objectives. These are questions that can help you develop your LO:
- What’s the end-goal or purpose of the training?
- What do you want your learners to achieve after the training?
- How can you integrate gamification to enhance the learning experience?
- What metrics should you use to reach these outcomes or goals?
Choose either content vs performance gamification
Do this after specifying your learning outcomes. Do you already have existing content and do you want to improve it in a more engaging way? Choose content gamification. Are you designing the overhaul experience? Choose performance gamification where you can add different elements and features of gamification.
Make a real-life incentives or rewards
By giving out real-life incentives such as commissions, pay raises, or gifts, you can motivate your learners more. Although this is a case-to-case basis, you can make a simple poll on what your employees would want the most as a reward. Is it cash, recognition, raise, or bragging rights?
Make it social, interactive, and challenging
As they said, “Collaboration is one of the greatest benefits of gamification.” Make sure you apply all these 3. Keep in mind not to make it “too much” of a challenge because you don’t want your learners to get frustrated while playing instead of having fun.
Choose either hybrid vs online approach
How will you conduct the training? Will it be fully online where they can access all resources in a learning portal or a mobile app? Or will it be a hybrid where there’ll be physical games and physical interaction needed? Choosing your approach will help you a lot in designing your training.
Here are the things you should AVOID:
- Over-complicating - never complicate the game. It hinders employees to have fun and learn. It hinders you to reach your end-goal.
- Rewarding too often - giving rewards is one of the important features of gamification in corporate training. However, giving it "too often" is harmful to your training. Make sure it is balanced.
- No exciting rewards - design your rewards where everyone will get excited. As mentioned above, you can create a survey of what your employees want as a reward. What motivates them to finish the goal?
These are some of the dons and don’ts. If you have the experience to share, we’d love to hear you!
Create a Minimum Viable Training using Gamification
Do you still doubt if gamification in corporate training is right for you? My advice is to test out your idea if you’re doing this the first time. Create a minimum viable training using gamification.
These are 5 steps on how to do it:
- Pick a very simple learning outcome.
- Try it with 10-20 learners which will serve as your first cohort.
- Gamify the training with them by asking for feedback and a trial & and error approach.
- Test it with an all-in-one learning platform where you can build your training course in minutes or hours, and not in weeks or months!
- Share with us the outcome of your training course. We'd be happy to help if you have any questions about it.