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The millennial generation is said to be one of the most challenging and challenged in human history. People born in the early 80s have witnessed unbelievable changes in a short span of time. An increasing number of electric cars roam our streets, the eLearning industry is flourishing, and mobile devices have changed the way people interact with information and each other. These changes have transposed growth mentalities onto millennial employees and have pushed back the limits of impossibility.
With a world of knowledge at our fingertips, we are beginning to imagine a new workforce - one that combines fun and function in a new, exciting, and engaging way. This is what gamification seeks to do: redefine employee training for millennials in a way that satisfies this generation's hunger for self-development.
Two terms are being tossed around in the employee training sphere: gamification and game-based learning. These two are often confused as meaning one and the same thing. While both stem from the same root, in reality, they couldn't be more different. Gamification refers to bringing game elements into an existing training module. Game-based-learning refers to games that are being developed with both fun and learning in mind.
Gamification brings game design elements into the training course. Badges, points systems, leaderboards, and avatars are a few of the ingredients needed for transforming employee learning into a gaming experience. Over the last few years, organizations have used gamification for various purposes:
Simplifying and fast-tracking the hiring process
Onboarding new employees
Increasing staff retention rates
Increasing employee knowledge-retention rates
Heightening job satisfaction
To understand why gamification and game-based learning are so important for the millennial workforce, we first need to understand the defining millennial characteristics. This generation was born with a joystick in their hands and was the first to explore online methods of socialization. According to one study, millennials, also known as Generation Y, have very different life-work values when compared to their predecessors.
89% of millennials want a fun and social workplace
85% of millennials believe they are faster than older co-workers, due to their high proficiency with technology
89% of millennials believe their work should provide constant learning opportunities
Three-fourths of millennials believe that they would 'level-up' faster than other co-workers if the work environment was game-based
One-quarter of millennials report complete job satisfaction
By analyzing the keywords 'game', 'fun', 'social workplace', 'faster', and 'constant learning', it is clear that millennials place value on things like work-life balance, job satisfaction, and fitting returns. Using gamification in learning will help captivate millennial employees’ attention and satisfy their need for learning through play.
Training for millennial employees yields better results when combined with gamification and game-based learning. But, incorporating game design elements for gamification can be a challenging endeavor. Professional instructional designers and training content creators usually work together to determine what specific elements to include, based on business and employee needs. The following are five easy steps toward successful eLearning gamification implementation.
1. Learning Path Personalization
Learning path personalization implies that the learner must have choices. And, since millennial workers are big on choice variety, it is a great idea to include personalization when designing your course. This will allow users to choose their own storylines, customize their avatars, and play the same level as many times as needed until they succeed.
2. Anytime/Anywhere Access
Mobile devices help us access virtually any type of information, in any amount, and on any subject. So, why not use them to educate our staff? Most millennials today pride themselves as tech-savvy workers. Empowering them by allowing anytime/anywhere access, from any device, will make employees feel appreciated and trusted.
3. Life-Based Scenarios
The beauty of a gamification-based learning experience is that you can include real-life scenarios. Learners can retake any course level as many times as needed until they learn what they need from it. They can practice job-related scenarios and find the best possible solution, then immediately apply it in their work.
4. Collaborative Play
eLearning gamification can also allow multiplayer modes. This means that learners can choose to play in a collaborative environment. Learning through collaboration helps deepen the content presented, find quicker and better solutions, and increases learner engagement with the training program.
5. Give Feedback
Millennial team members are known for thriving on employer feedback. An interactive gamification-based eLearning course allows an on-point exchange of feedback between you and your employees. Gamification and game-based learning models facilitate the creation of efficient feedback loops.
Integrating gamification in millennial employee training is definitely a step that requires serious consideration. Thinking about your budget, business, and employee needs, you might find that hiring a professional gamification developer is your best option. To explore the solutions available that would be right for your unique workforce, contact our team today!