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How Gamification Offers a Combo of Fun and Learning for Effective Corporate Training

Who says learning can’t be fun? Contrary to the traditional approach of picking a list of words and memorizing them, I’ve learned plenty of new words by playing vocab-building games. Well, not just words; I’ve also developed various skills like problem-solving, strategizing, managing time, and more while playing different games. All thanks to gamification.

Games have marked their presence since time immemorial. Even with changing times and mediums, the thrill and vigor associated with playing games remain the same. They attend to the basic attributes of human nature, thereby prompting a response. And corporate employees are no exception. We all prefer to choose interactive, interesting things over burdensome, mundane tasks. So training your employees doesn’t always have to be an imposed job. It can be a choice too. You just need the right method to grab their attention and keep them engaged from start to finish. What better than gamification to do so?

What is Gamification?

Gamification is a trend that has been growing in popularity for good reasons. In the words of Karl Kapp, “Gamification is using game-based mechanics, aesthetics and game thinking to engage people, motivate action, promote learning, and solve problems.”

In simple words, it’s a concept that emphasizes using game elements, such as points, badges, and levels, in non-game situations. In various non-game situations, such as corporate training, educational learning, customer engagement, etc., gamification has held true to its usefulness and purpose. Gamification improves the learner’s participation and engagement by motivating them through immersive experiences. These experiences are facilitated by integrating game components into the instructional design.

For businesses, gamification creates the digital learning and training process more fun which fosters internal motivation among the employees to complete the courses in a timely manner. To ensure successful training, developing an effective gamification program is crucial. Therefore, one must have a sound understanding of each gaming element and its role in the bigger picture of the gamified experience.

Leverage creative instructional design strategies to create a corporate learning experience like never before!

Elements of Gamification

Gamification is the blend of game mechanics and game dynamics where different gaming elements are incorporated based on the learning objective. Along with these elements, choosing the right type of gamification — content and structure is equally important. It provides an outline for the course design and helps in selecting gaming features that align the best with the chosen approach.

Missing out on either of these factors can have a major impact on the overall effectiveness of the gamification program. With that being said, often, the element of fun is overemphasized when talking about gamified experiences. The central idea is to engage people and motivate them to participate. Therefore, gamification reaches out to the element of human emotion and behavior via game dynamics. Game dynamics play an active role in stimulating a response from the learner and include attributes like 

  • Competition
  • Challenges
  • Cooperation
  • Collaboration
  • Clear goals (Objective)
  • Rules

Game dynamics form the basis for game mechanics, which entails the design elements of gamification. These elements facilitate learner interaction, provide directions, and guide the learner toward the next step. Game mechanics refers to the gaming features which play a key role in deciding the aesthetic of the gamification program, thereby maintaining the engagement and interest of the learner. It includes components such as

  • Points
  • Badges
  • Leaderboards
  • Levels
  • Scenario-based learning

The right gamification approach is focused on integrating the inspiring game elements into instruction for gaining maximum training ROI in terms of both skillsets and revenue.

Benefits of Gamification

Gamification can help businesses in multiple ways. From engaging customers to employees, it drives people to action. It also helps streamline the workflow. One such example is Deloitte which employed a Behavior Platform on its DLA website to facilitate desired behavior outcomes and increased engagement. They benefited from the gamification experience in terms of increased retention, as more than 46.6% of the users returned daily. It also saw a significant improvement in active user engagement, as an average of three achievements were unlocked per active user. Another milestone was in terms of a user unlocking the Leadership Academy Graduate achievement in just 6 months instead of its predicted 12-month duration.

Now let’s take a look at how implementing gamification benefits corporate training.

  • It helps make tasks more fun and rewarding by including interactivities, such as “click to continue,” drag-and-drop, etc., that demand some kind of response from the learner in order to move to the next step.
  • It helps in overcoming disengagement and also drives competitive spirit among learners by using various game mechanics, such as rewards, missions, ranks, leaderboards, etc.
  • It facilitates opportunities to think and reflect. The immersive game components and techniques, such as scenario-based learning, enable the employees to experience various relevant situations and act upon them. Results provide them with a chance to understand their approach in a better way.
  • It aids positive changes in the behavior of the learner. Playing pro-social games can result in taking up better roles, enhancing accountability, etc., as they focus on positive reinforcement among the employees.
  • It improves retention rates by engaging the employees and motivating them to finish their targets in a quicker and more efficient manner. For this purpose, the gamification program uses components like rewards, leaderboards, high scores, and more, which instill a sense of achievement and the will for improvement among the learners.

Parting thoughts

Gamification has a positive impact on learning outcomes. It enables the employees to gain mastery over the content and aids in longer retention by blending game mechanics and game dynamics. Of course, game elements such as missions, ranks, points, etc., are integral in developing a viable gamification program. Game mechanics maintain the interest and engagement of the learners, while gaming dynamics prompt response. So, balancing them is crucial. With digital natives forming a large part of the workforce, gamification is the best in-town corporate training method to augment interaction, engagement, motivation, and results.

Though gamification is rocking the show in modern-day corporate training, there are other instructional design strategies that can be a game-changer for your corporate training. To give it your best shot, explore these instructional design strategies to ensure a memorable learning experience. Check this webinar recording now!

Instructional Design Strategies to Design Engaging eLearning Courses