Can you tell me any ten English words, without vowels, in ten seconds? Quick! Some more… 9, 8, 7,6,5,4,3,2,1. Your time is up! According to Karl M. Kapp (author of Gamification of Learning and Instruction) you have just undergone gamification experience. It is the mantra many companies are following to train their employees. Here let us see whether the concept of gamification a fad, or a fashion, or a powerful strategy to train the employees?
What is gamification?
Gamification can be defined as the application of gaming elements, in the non-gaming context. Here non-gaming context refers to education, work, training etc. For example, see the gamification approach of Delloitte, in its online leadership training program. The Learner upon completion of the online learning program, receives a badge to celebrate the achievement. Here the badge is the gaming element and the leadership development program is a non-gaming context. Similarly scores, ratings, certain type of incentives form the gaming elements.
What are its benefits?
The basic target of the gamification approach for training employees is to engage, motivate and get the learners involved in the training programs. Many companies were able to do this and through this approach improved their employee participation in online training programs.
What Gartner report says?
A Gartner report predicts that by 2014, 70% of the organizations in global 2000 businesses, will have at least one gamified application. Some companies benefitting from this approach are:
- Delloitte using gamification principles in their Delloitte leadership program, have seen increased user participation and completion of programs.
- Siemens is using “Plantville”, a very popular computer game, to train their plant operators.
- SAP is using “Road Warrior”, an excellent game to train their sales representatives who are often flooded with inquiries from customers.
The Gartner report also predicts that “80% of the present gamified applications will fail to meet the business objectives, due to the poor design.” Here we see that gamification practices will see negative results, not by its concept, but by its design practices.
Many industry experts say that gamification certainly helps, but cannot be applied ubiquitously. Let us wait and see how the concept of gamification holds up in future.