Top Reasons to Use Gamification in Training (With Famous Examples)

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Chanchal

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: May 21, 2021

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Who doesn’t love playing games?

Online games are fun and exciting, with our social lives wholly intertwined with the internet nowadays. This is due to numerous game elements, which compel us to go extra miles to succeed no matter how daunting a given task is because it provides a virtual sense of accomplishment.

For this very reason, these feelings of gaming achievements are used in business aspects to engage customers with a product or service. Such a technique is known as gamification.

Here is a clear picture of the gamification word:

To understand simply, gamification is the process of adding game mechanics and game dynamics into non-gaming contexts. To clear any misunderstanding, games and gamification are not the same thing. Gamification takes the best game mechanics and utilizes them in non-game settings to engage and retain users better.

The Gamification in training has become popular across different industries such as healthcare, retail, e-commerce, and education, etc. Games’ mechanics such as variable and non-variable rewards, leaderboards, avatars, challenges, and many others can be used in non-gaming scenarios as well to increase user engagement and motivate them.

In contrast, game dynamics relate to a set of emotions and behaviors found in-game mechanics such as a sense of achievement, collaboration on team challenges or community building, etc.

Learning and development are the core of maintaining and updating the knowledge base of employees in any successful organization. Often organizations take measures to incorporate regular training to remain competitive, as human resources is an asset in any organization. 

Hence, gamification is used to deliver better results in terms of the professional development of the employees. Be it in any organization whether, through online learning or blended learning, game mechanics and dynamics can be utilized everywhere. Gamification in training has permanently left a mark on the learning industry as it imparts feedback and directives through game mechanics and dynamics to meet the goals and objectives of learning and development. 

A compelling gamification experience in training is the one that motivates the user to participate and achieve desired results with a guided directive actively. The best return on investment for business organizations is that they can now measure the impact of the training by real-time feedback on performances, which was a daunting task before the implementation of the gamification process. 

Why should you use gamification in training?

  • Increasing Learner’s Engagement 

Learner engagement is one of the critical factors, which determines the success ratio of the training imparted. Simply put, it reflects the quality of learning. It can be seen in the participation level of a learner and interactivity during the training period. 

How to use game mechanics & elements to drive better engagement?

    1. Random placement of likable game mechanics and game elements can hurt the training objective altogether as it complicates the process. Therefore, game mechanics and elements to use at a time must be appropriately chosen. Some of the modern game elements to opt for are Challenges, Leader boards, Points, Countdowns, levels, etc. These should be a combined basis to give relevance to the training and target audiences.
    2. A reward can play a vital role in driving engagement. The human race is motivated by rewards and punishments. We generally behave our best in return for rewards and deflect punishments. Positive reinforcements such as rewards, medals, trophies, certificates, etc. have provided better results. 
    3. Indulge in competition. Everyone wants to win, and thus, competition is the key to make learners engage in exercises and put their best foot forward to come out as winners
  • Necessary Behavioral Change

Sometimes training is not necessarily technological skill-based; organizations seek to have enhanced organizational behavior with training as well. Gamification can help induce a change in behavioral patterns of the learners with the help of right intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. However, it does not work as one size for all.

This requires a detailed study of the target learner to understand what motivates them and striking the right balance of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Thus, results and rewards should be well balanced to change the behavior slowly. 

  • Increasing Learner’s Retention 

Every trainer desires to teach his students so that they can understand and retain knowledge for a more extended period. Gamification can help in increasing a learner’s retaining power with the help of appealing content. The learners must enjoy the training process so that they revisit the content regularly and keep it again in their long-term memory. Hence, a motivated learner would recall and visit the material and will have better retention and defeat the forgetting curve. This helps to get the most out of the LMS investments.

  • Real-time Feedback 

Immediate feedback is the key to the success of gamified training. The gamified interface provides instant feedback and an opportunity to evaluate learner’s performance. The trainer can determine what went wrong and suggest corrective measures to enhance the learner’s performance. Moreover, rather than waiting for the end of a training session, instant feedback sets the correct path right from the start.

  • Boosts Employee Productivity

Game elements increase the productivity of learners by upgrading skills and fine-tuning their skills based on their responsibilities. It helps their efficiency and effectiveness by driving better engagement and retention as seen above. Over a period of time with the help of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, this can lead to permanent behavioral change as well, thereby, positively impacting employee productivity.

  • Positive Learning Environment

Introducing friendly competitions/challenges and providing rewards leads to a positive learning environment as being rewarded and recognized provides a sense of achievement. The engagement is also high due to intrinsic motivation. This also keeps the morale of the learners high throughout the training period and after completion of the training period as well. 

Also, Read: 7 Signs that You Need LMS for Your Organization

  • Helps in Millennial Talent Retention

As the global millennial workforce composition increases in every organization, gamification can play a vital role in their retention in any organization. It is reported that millennials have a lower attention span, engage less at work, and have higher turnovers in careers as compared to boomers, hence, the traditional classroom training does not seem a good fit for them. Accordingly, gamified training can provide at par results and meet the demands of interactivity and engagement. 

  • Learn to Fail & Succeed

Not everyone is as smart as another is, thus, gamified training helps everyone to learn from their mistakes. Everyone is allowed to fail and learn from their mistakes in a gamified learning environment. Committing errors are taken as better interactivity and engagement. With immediate feedback, one can learn what went wrong and be accountable at every level. Gamified training provides a self-correcting environment. 

  • Alignment with Different Educational Theories

There are various theories of learning and development, which states that a learner can learn better by applying. Hence, gamification can be a successful tool in providing better learning quality. For instance, constructivism theory states that one can learn by what they see, listen and do, etc. Gamification facilitates all these activities in an engaging manner. Another approach called Situated Learning theory says that one learns better when they are placed in real-world tasks. Thus, with gamified training, learners are in real-life situations applying similar principles.

  • A Diverse Range of Applications

Gamification provides a diverse range of applications in terms of training – these could be behavioral change training, sales training, compliance training, etc. It can be utilized across different functions and departments in an organization with varying objectives of learning. 

Here are some gamification examples in training from some famous organizations:

  1. McDonald’s Till-Training Game to make staffers deliver with accuracy
  2. Pizza Hero by Domino’s Pizza to teach the whole kitchen process
  3. Cisco gamified its learning network for social media trainees
  4. Go To Jupiter by AstraZeneca to teach medical reps about new medicines
  5. Deloitte turned to BadgeVille to help with leadership executive training
  6. Microsoft has a Language Quality game for its staffers to check language accuracy

As you have seen above, gamification of training can lead to several benefits, which lead to better ROI on investment made by any organization. A survey led by TalentLMS showed that about 87% of employees felt that gamification helped them be more productive, and almost 84% mentioned that it kept them engaged throughout the learning techniques through games. The report inferred that learners take in tactics better through points, leaderboards, and badges, making them competitive for day-to-day tasks.

From this, we can conclude that organizations should implement game mechanics in corporate training and also utilize game mechanics to encourage trainees, employees, and managers to extend their learning graphs.

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Chanchal Soni is a Growth Hacker and CRO Specialist at Appitsimple. She has experience in digital marketing, social media, content strategy, and marketing communications. Lover of huskies, the ocean & Boston sports.

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