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Gamification in Corporate Training: Key Benefits

 

Posted on Mon, 13/07/2015 - 11:24

In the on-going quest for better and more effective training techniques, capturing the attention and imagination of the learner is still the key. The more we can engage our training audience, the more likely they are to learn and retain the information we present to them. Few other techniques accomplish this goal more effectively than the use of gamification in a corporate training setting. 

As most of us know by now, gamification is the technique of using game elements and mechanics in a non-game setting, such as in corporate training. It has been shown that when we embed these game activities into our training programs, employees are more actively engaged with the lessons .  As we know, the more engaged a learner is with the material, the better they learn. So how does this work exactly? And how do we make the most effective use of gamification techniques in a corporate training setting?

Why gamification works

To understand how gamification can improve the effectiveness of a training program, we need to take a look at how people are motivated to learn. First off, our brains are wired to respond positively to rewards. When we successfully complete an activity and are rewarded for it, our brain releases endorphins. These chemical responses make us feel good, and are what motivates us to continue with the activity – in this case, learning.

So if we can build a training program that rewards participants for learning, then they’ll feel good about what we’re teaching them. This is the basic science behind how and why gamification within training is so effective – it optimizes for human interaction with the training lesson rather than simply presenting the information. 

How to use gamification in your training

Not all training easily lends itself to creating game elements around it. That said, there are many tools we can implement that take advantage of the same reward/response effects that keep learners motivated. These diverse tools and elements can be used in such a way as to introduce competition, set goals, offer proof of accomplishment, and many other techniques. 

Gamification can incorporate some or all of the following game mechanics and elements in engaging the learner to proceed through the training lesson:

  • Provide immediate feedback.  One of the best ways to keep a learner interested and engaged is to offer timely indications of how they’re progressing through the lesson. This accomplishes the goal of encouraging them to keep moving forward, and also gauging their understanding of the material.
     
  • Offer rewards.  The accumulation of badges and other signs of accomplishment will provide the learner with the motivation they need to continue. Remember, the brain responds to these rewards by releasing endorphins that make us feel good about our progress.
     
  • Include competition.  Showing training participants where they stand in relation to their peers is one way to encourage peak performance. This acknowledgement of ‘status’ within the hierarchy of the organization is yet another motivator.  However, care must be taken to not alienate learners who don’t reside in the highest percentile. One way to do this is to only show the scores of the nearest peer/competitors in any measurements.
     
  • Build collaboration and community.  Building cooperation and collaboration into your game-based training provides context for the rewards, goals and competition and other elements. It is a way of encouraging group performance and team-building while still keeping learning fun and engaging.

Effectiveness of gamification in corporate training

The benefits of gamification within a corporate training environment cannot be overstated. Introducing any of the techniques and elements of gamification can measurably improve the effectiveness of most training programs. And when used as part of a blended learning environment, gamification is effective in encouraging employees to participate, engage and learn. Using these techniques can lead to greater overall participation, more interaction within the work environment, and improved knowledge transfer and sharing among employees.

Here at Designing Digitally, Inc., we’re experts at designing corporate training programs that use the tools and elements of gamification to promote improved learning performance. Let us know how we can help your organization take your training to the next level. Our customized eLearning solutions are built using the latest techniques and top-tier designs to ensure the most effective training delivery possible. It’s just what we do.