Every company faces challenges in training and developing competencies in their workforce.
The traditional instructor-led classroom has its place but if you want to avoid death by PowerPoint, adding gamification to the company’s training toolbox has several benefits, not least of which is it’s simply much more fun and engaging. Other benefits include avoiding the logistical nightmare of organising training sessions for large numbers of employees. It can also help to reduce ongoing costs associated with booking trainers and travel costs of off-site employees.
Yet while gamification sounds appealing on many levels, it needs careful consideration to maximise its training potential. So what are the key considerations companies should take into account when introducing a gamification programme?
#1 The why of gamification
Consider your starting point for introducing a gamification programme. Is it to standardise training for thousands of employees or to improve training engagement? Perhaps it’s to be used as a tool to enhance understanding of company culture across a global workforce or health and safety. For large corporations, gamification offers the advantage of training large numbers of employees in a standardised way so that an employee in New York acts in the same way as an employee in Berlin. We also know that, compared with traditional training where learning retention is often as low as 10%, the repetitive nature of gamification can improve engagement which presents a quick training win for companies of all sizes. Understanding your starting point for gamification will help lay the groundwork for games that best reflect the reasons for their introduction.
#2 Alternative or complementary?
The introduction of a gamification programme does not necessarily mean you should close the classroom door forever. A blended training strategy will provide a more comprehensive way of covering a broader range of training needs. Depending on whether training is required for customer service or health and safety, specific training modules and audiences will require more traditional face-to-face training that involves discussion, group work or shared experiences. In these cases, companies should consider gamification as complementary rather than an alternative training tool. In turn, this will dictate the blend of gamification versus traditional training and its specific use that
needs to be considered at the outset.