Training Gamification: What You Need to Know

Designing Digitally


training games

The goal of training gamification programs for corporations always have two things in common: one, teaching a new skill or behavior and two, increasing overall engagement and effectiveness of their current training program.  Oftentimes, the existing training program is a traditional, classroom program and is generating very little benefit or impact on the productivity and profitability of the business.

Chances are you may already be familiar with several gamification programs. Think of the ever-popular NikeFuel, a program that launched alongside the Fuelband. NikeFuel is a mobile app and gamification program that encourages users to become more fit and healthy. Users unlock trophies and rewards based on the distance they run or participate in sports. They are also pushed to work harder - for example, if a user runs faster than a previous run, they will unlock additional trophies.

The NikeFuel experience provides a great deal of learning opportunities to corporate training gamification. It is perhaps the most simple and straightforward B2C program in the last decade; it provides rewards for good habits, and encourages competition within a circle of friends. It’s simple, straightforward and a great example to bookmark.

Organizations seeking to launch a training gamification program for their business this year need to keep the following guidelines in mind.

1. Keep your eye on the prize.

The ultimate prize is trainees acquiring the skills or experiences for learned behavior. Yes, creating a game that is fun to play is integral to the success of your overall program because it maximizes engagement levels, but more importantly for overall business success, changing behavior to increase profitability and productivity is the end prize for the organization.

Ensure that your users are fluent with the content, and understand the knowledge that they need to gather and obtain. This knowledge should be translated to on-the-job experience and overall performance.

While strategizing on the “fun” aspects of the game, ensure that the designer remains focused on the importance of creating a game that teaches skill and experience, too.

2. Make the training program realistic - and provide incentives.

A realistic training program is a program that translates into the real world - or, in your case, the workplace.

As the reward systems and overall experience are designed, ensure that the training program can be directly applied to the workplace. For example, the point system should be a motivator. If an employee obtains the top score in any given month, perhaps you can provide lunch for their team or perhaps schedule a breakfast coffee chat with their VP or CEO. Make your training program includes incentives and realistic learning experiences.

3. Prepare for optimizations and updates.

Picture this. Months have been spent putting together a highly-developed training gamification program you are thrilled about. Hours were spent with your team strategizing the program’s overview, incentives and launch strategy.

The program has launched and you couldn’t be more excited. Yet, you forgot one key element - you didn’t consider what happens after the fact! Once your program has been live for a few weeks, there will be a wealth of data and trends to review. It’s the time that you can plan for optimizations and updates. Can your incentives be tweaked? Can you make updates to various modules? Are you receiving feedback from your employees that you can act on now?

It’s important to not only strategize for the program itself, but also after the program has been launched. Prepare for optimizations and updates so that the training gamification program can evolve and strengthened over time.

While strategizing and planning for a training gamification program for your business, it is important to think ahead and be prepared for trends in the industry or vertical. For example, a training gamification program for the medical industry will be different from that of a major construction company. While the structure could be quite similar, the mechanics of the program could share many similarities.

Do you have questions about using training gamification for your company? Or perhaps you are curious how such programs could work for your industry? At Designing Digitally, we create unique eLearning programs customized to meet your training objectives. Our award winning training programs span across many industries and verticals. Contact us today; let’s discover what we can do for your business!