The Gamification of Corporate Elearning

Designing Digitally


The Gamification Of Corporate eLearning

Corporate training is an essential part of professional development, but slogging through volumes of online material or sitting in a seminar for hours leaves employees disengaged and demotivated.

Gamification is changing the way businesses approach training. Through corporate learning games, sometimes called “serious games,” companies are offering employees a new environment in which to develop skills.

Is it time to incorporate gamified learning into your employee training program? Embracing this eLearning trend can transform not only the way your staff assimilates new information but also how they perform on the job.

What is Gamification?

According to Wikipedia, gamifying involves “the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts.” A task is gamified when you use some of the most common characteristics of games to make it more enjoyable. What once seemed like a chore, such as a training seminar, becomes competitive, fun and even desirable.

The idea of gamifying is based on the human desire to learn and master new skills, achieve a feeling of status and be part of a social community. Earning rewards and sharing the experience with others are two simple gamification benefits driving the trend toward corporate learning games.

Games created for the purpose of training or skill building are known as serious games and aren’t developed from the ground up. Instead, game mechanics are applied to an existing system or task. These elements include:

  • Onboarding and training
  • Goal setting and achievement
  • Earning badges, rewards or points
  • Leveling up
  • A combination of competition and collaboration
  • Quick feedback
  • Community participation

Looking at these elements, it’s easy to see how game based training appeals to the modern employee. Millennials and individuals from Generation Z are already immersed in gamified environments as they engage with brands, use mobile apps and interact on social media. Gamifying eLearning takes this familiar framework and makes it part of the business training environment.

Gamification of eLearning

You can see gamified strategies in action in marketing campaigns. From McDonald’s to Starbucks, big brands harness the power of the gaming experience to attract new customers and draw existing customers back to make more purchases.

The same concept is becoming mainstream in corporate onboarding and training programs. What once was presented as a lengthy series of training seminars or an online course requiring hours of commitment at a stretch is now an entertaining series of tasks employees can work through at their own pace while collaborating with coworkers and having fun.

To gamify your own corporate eLearning program, you need to include the mechanics people expect in gaming environments:

  • Allow employees to create personalized avatars
  • Provide a clear list of rules
  • Break information down into smaller parts delivered in a series of modules
  • Arrange modules in the form of a story or quest
  • Implement a system of “leveling up” upon completion of each module
  • Use a scoring method with occasional unexpected bonus rewards
  • Inspire exploration with hidden “Easter eggs”
  • Display current scores at the end of modules to allow employees to track progress
  • Have consequences for failing to complete a module
  • Encourage participants to retry failed tasks as soon as possible
  • Include a social element in which employees can share tasks, help each other andannounce incremental victories on an internal social platform
  • Set a date by which you expect all modules to be completed

All of these elements can easily be applied to your existing training program using a customized training platform and an accompanying mobile app. With virtual reality becoming more accessible in the mainstream, it will soon be possible to migrate gamified training into a VR world for greater immersion.

Benefits of Using Gamification in Corporate Training

If you’ve been in the corporate world for a long time, the idea of turning training into a game may seem strange or even silly. However, research and survey data shows corporate training gamification benefits are real and can have a profound effect on the success of employees and the companies for which they work.

Safety in Failure

Fear of being ridiculed for giving a wrong answer or making a mistake on a task can cause employees to hold back in traditional training settings. Serious games provide an environment in which consequences are minimal and tasks can be repeated until success is achieved.

Relevant Learning

Traditional eLearning often fails to link information with application. Gamified environments not only deliver training in an easy-to-understand format but also require participants to use what they learn as part of the game. Employees are subsequently better able to utilize new skills in real-life situations.

Improved Engagement

About 70 percent of employees report feeling disengaged from their work, and 75 percent believe gamifying training would correct this problem. Gamified eLearning has been shown to increase engagement by 60 percent as employees regain interest in their jobs while they participate in fun activities and earn rewards.

Boosted Productivity

Gamifying the training your employees receive empowers them to get involved in their own professional development. As a result, they become more motivated and productivity can increase as much as 43 percent. The positive ripple effects from this boost in output more than make up for the initial investment required to establish a gamified eLearning program.

Continual Involvement

The instant feedback received during game based training encourages employees tokeep coming back and learning more. This positive cycle starts with onboarding and continues throughout the time they spend at your company. Since they don’t have to wait for an official performance review to know how well they’re doing, employees are able to make adjustments to the way they approach daily work and see the resulting positive outcomes much sooner than in a standard corporate environment.

If you’re ready to implement gamified learning at your company, get in touch with Designing Digitally for a free quote on a personalized solution. You’ll get exactly what you need to bring successful game based training to your team and experience all the benefits a gamified training program has to offer.