Boost Your Learning and Development Program through Gamification

If your team’s engagement in learning and development feels lacking, and everything you’ve tried to boost enthusiasm has failed to stick, consider gamification—the process by which you “gamify” learning programs to make them fun, engaging, and rewarding. In an age where digital media has taken over almost every aspect of our lives, it makes sense to adjust and accept this reality, rather than fight it, as many businesses (and probably yours) have done in the past. Think about it: how do mindless games that have no real value or in any way enhance our lives and are just pointless time-suckers, rack up millions of dollars in profits? Psychologists have engineered games such as The Sims, Candy Crush, and whatever the latest and greatest top-grossing app in the App Store is at this moment, to ensure that the monotonous tasks and objectives of these games are rewarding enough to keep you coming back. Business, including yours, have the opportunity to hardwire your employees to do just that—craft a rewards-based system that keeps your team members motivated, engaged, and committed to the task at hand. As a result, your team will feel energized and driven to learn the tasks that are being implemented through gamification.

Not to imply that you should try to turn your workplace into a game in and of itself; rather, create a learning system that can drive your team’s engagement by capitalizing on the natural human drive to compete, improve, and out-do in an effort to be rewarded. Several businesses have developed animated corporate trainings that are specifically designed to kinesthetically implement various skills and objectives that are needed for employees to be successful. From these games, employees are able to successfully learn various objectives, such as negotiating, customer service, onboarding, and various managerial skills. And these employees want to learn because these games are fundamental in fulfilling those basic needs of competing and winning, which makes this learning process naturally fun and engaging.

You can boost your team’s desire to learn by tapping into the same mechanics that these games are capitalizing on of rewarding employees for completing their tasks, thus driving a competitive initiative. Facilitating a rewards system, whether through points, badges, levels, rewards, etc. will change your team’s behavior, which will ultimately increase engagement, interest, and retention. In fact, studies suggest that gamification can increase retention by 9%. By re-designing your team’s learning tasks into game-based initiatives, you create a working environment and culture dedicated to employee learning.

Think of where game-based learning can be applied to your training program. What will make your employees want to learn and be able to implement what is learned into actionable behaviors? Could you develop a rewards system for employees who achieve learning initiatives? Or what about through your company’s values/initiatives/standards, could there be an opportunity for you to facilitate a rewards-based program that rewards behaviors that are aligned to the initiatives you set out for your business? By creating this system, you set out to reward the behaviors that you are ultimately wanting to be reinforced by your team and throughout your company. By implementing game-based trainings and learning opportunities, your employees are engaged, willing to learn, and motivated to do exactly what you want them to do.

Throughout this change in your learning program (if you choose to implement it), be sure that the goals and the rewards associated with them are achievable, realistic, and manageable. If it seems too daunting or unachievable for your team, then it will result in the exact opposite you intended for—reduced engagement in learning. These goals are meant to be challenging and rewarding, but causing undue stress will have a negative impact on employee morale and only cause burn-out. During this change, make sure that you maintain an intention of a fun, informative, and engaging experience that cultivates a successful learning environment for your team. By doing so, you can successfully reinforce various policies and standards that you want your team to readily and excitedly demonstrate.

To learn how SGEi can implement comprehensive training and e-learning programs that include gamification, along with other engaging, effective, and memorable learning and development initiatives, please contact us at connect@sgeinternational.com

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