Gamification in corporate training, strange isn't it. Glancing at the title of this article, you could be a tad surprised to see the pairing of the two unorthodox terms ‘Corporate’ and ‘Gamification’ existing in the same breath of space. However, your eyes are not deceiving you, in any way. Corporate training using gamification is the need of the hour to keep the corporate learners invested in their work, by providing them with a breath of fresh air. But it always recommended that a thorough Training Needs Analysis is done before designing any intervention.

As we all know, the reality we live in today is one that is saturated with constant technological innovation. The rate at which our species finds solutions to the next problem has grown at a rate so exponentially impressive that it begs the question, “what can’t we innovate?”. That being said, we focus on the corporate world in the onus of today’s article. The application of gamification and training modules based on games may be a bit difficult to take in for the traditionally rigid corporate environment, but the far-reaching effects of this strategy could be a lot more profound than you think.

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- Badges and Timers – for friendly competition.

- Interactive challenges & scenarios – for real-world application.

- Points & rewards – to motivate and track progress.

Gamified Learning

The basics: Gamification

The term ‘Gamification’ refers to a set of activities and processes designed to solve problems by using or applying the characteristics of game elements. We can use any of our existing resources that already exist like the organization’s website, an enterprise application, intranet portal, or an online community, and integrating the fundamentals of game mechanics and game dynamics into it to elicit some aura of motivation, participation, engagement, and in some spheres of endeavor.

It might be difficult to visualize the context of games outside anything other than little kids playing video games on the couch or a couple of teen wasting tens of hour in front of a tv screen. However, the gamification process that we’re trying to visualize today is one of immense value creation for the corporate community.

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Gamification techniques are intended to leverage people’s natural desires for socialization, learning, competition, self-expression and achievement. Hence, to elicit these desires, it would make sense to frame a situation within the virtual confines of a game. Some very inconspicuous, but pragmatic, application of gamification involve the GPA system used in schools. Students are ranked in their class according to their earned grade-point average (GPA). This is comparable to getting a high score in a video game. For getting this ‘high score’, students may become entitled to certain rewards such as Scholarships, honorable mention on the dean’s list, the honor roll, and so on (rewards akin to a level up or virtual currencies on a video game).

In the world of work, gamification has been used in an attempt to improve the productivity of corporate learners to stir up inclusivity. Enterprise gamification is a term that refers to the integration of game thinking and game-based tools that co-exist with existing business practices and information systems that mutually apply to the worker or employee in a given space. These techniques are beyond profound (as we’ll soon see) in making sure that the corporate learners in a particular enterprise are not only productive but also motivated to work. eLearning corporate trainings come to the rescue by incorporating gamification based trainings for the corporate learners.

Gamification in Corporate Training

Research has shown that in the corporate world, about 70% of business transformations fail due to a lack of engagement. In a world where rigidity and routine are kings, it can be difficult to re-contextualize the dynamics of the workspace to be inclusive of flexible and engaging practices. Nonetheless, this is far from impossible, as long as a few fundamental steps are applied. What are they, you ask?

  • Characterize your goals and objectives: Understanding your goals and objectives will be key to ensuring that you get that level up or defeat that super-villain no matter the context (although, the only super-villains you could be facing in your office are the plights of immense boredom. Ha!). Creating a gamified course that engages workers, imbue them with the right skills, broaden their perspectives, as well as reinforce their productivity index is key to making sure that 70% failures down to about zero. Your corporate learners want to feel something new. A gamified practice may spur that.
  • Pick a suitable reward system: Gamification plays on the psychology that drives corporate learners to achieve. It subtly does this by instigating a reward system in the human brain, similar to the kind you get in a habit loop. There’s a cue, then there’s a process or activity, and then there’s a reward. Understanding this dynamic and putting the right rewards systems (be it certificates, badges, medals, monetary value or even a promotion) that tailor to the personalities, traits, and social orientations of the individuals could produce staggering effects in the corporate world. Corporate training using gamification become more welcoming when these reward systems are included in them.
Corporate training using gamification
  • Pick the ideal game mechanics: Selecting the right game elements and gamification strategies that appeal directly to your team will incentivize them when working. The mode of interaction with the game blueprint is key to model an engaging environment while designing the eLearning corporate training. Leader-boards and reward systems impart a sense of accomplishment and motivate corporate learners to consistently push the bar in training. Understanding what game elements are unique to a certain corporate-level demographic will ensure that corporate learners stay motivated to increase their value and sharpen the quality of their work.
  • Develop some form of randomness and routine: In developing a suitable gamification model, it’s important to understand how randomness and routine impact the process. A routine ensures that your corporate learners always look forward to the gaming experience, anticipating their rewards and revitalizing their work ethic. The randomness factor makes sure that gamification practices aren’t always predictable. This makes for a unique user experience that ensures that the intended goals are always reached.

Benefits of gamification in corporate training

At this point, I believe the doubt about unorthodox pairing of the corporate and gamification terms should have waned considerably. As we have seen, incorporating the gamified experience in the corporate scheme of things isn’t as childish as we may have thought. Some of the benefits that a gamified environment may provide in the corporate world include:

  • A unique learning experience: Engagement in the corporate world through gamification in learning creates value, and value sharpens productivity. The whole gamification process is geared to ensure that workers learn on a scale that is flexible, engaging and fun. This stimulates their innate desires to achieve and propel them on to develop their interests in their work. Enjoy this gamification training!
  • Real-time feedback: This is perhaps one of the most important benefits of a gamified experience. The performance of workers in a gamified environment can be accessed and disseminated almost immediately after a training set is done. This eliminates the hassle to work towards a pre-defined institutional goal and ensures that workers work towards real-time, measurable and meaningful targets. It also does wonders for self-esteem and worker morale. Trust me!
  • Spurring a millennial workforce: The baby-boomers in the industry are declining, and with this decline comes an inflow of the younger, more vibrant workforce, which, needless to say, are reluctant to traditional learning programs. Gamification in learning and development ensures that the younger generation of workers are involved in such a scale that their senses won’t be dulled and their experience can be greatly enhanced. This eliminates the monotony and stress that characterizes rigid, traditional workspaces and endure that these individuals are happy and fulfilled in their work.

PHEW! That was quite a race, wasn’t it? At this point, I guess it’s pretty obvious that gamification is a tool that corporate environments need to adapt to. The world is changing, and dare I say, at an alarming rate. The current and next generation of workers need to be engaged in the most flexible ways possible. Gamification processes offer a viable solution to this. Understanding the work dynamic and adjusting commensurately to accommodate these practices will go miles in ensuring that your corporate space is as healthy as it can be. So what will it be folks? Up for a game?

If you have any queries or need any specific support, do reach out to me at [email protected]

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