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In a world where the corporate ecosystem is continually evolving, the integration of innovative learning methodologies is becoming crucial, especially in the sphere of human resource management (HRM). 

This article explores the transformative potential of gamification in employee training, exploring its significance in enhancing learning experiences and outcomes in HRM. We take a close look at the role, benefits, and practical applications of gamification in employee training and understand how it makes professionals well-equipped to meet the dynamic challenges of the modern HR landscape.

What is gamification?

Gamification is the strategic integration of game mechanics and dynamics in non-game contexts. It serves to boost engagement, strengthen information retention, and elevate user experience, ultimately fostering a progressive learning environment.

In the context of corporate training, gamification is a multidimensional tool designed to revitalize and enrich the learning experience. It involves applying game-design elements such as progress bars, points, badges, and leaderboards, to learning scenarios, transforming them into interactive and engaging experiences. These elements make learning enjoyable and also serve to fuel motivation and enhance the effectiveness of the learning process. 

A study by Harvard Business School titled ‘Learning or Playing? The Effect of Gamified Training on Performance’ scrutinizes the influence of gamified training on performance outcomes, revealing a notably positive correlation between gamified training platforms and performance. The findings of this study suggest that the merits of gamified training are considerably amplified when there is heightened employee engagement and active participation from leaders within the organization.

Another research endeavor undertaken at the multinational professional services network KPMG echoed similar findings. This study showed that the implementation of a gamified training tool called KPMG Globerunner helped augment awareness and comprehension of the firm’s products and services among employees. It also enabled them to discern business opportunities more effectively. 

The app, integral to onboarding sessions and voluntarily accessible to both new and current employees, painted KPMG as an innovative workplace, with 89% of the participants crediting the app for imbuing a positive impression of the firm. Another 83% of users found using the KPMG Globerunner app enjoyable. 

These key findings from KPMG underscore how gamified learning tools can light up even the driest topics, enhancing employee confidence and awareness. They highlight the universal appeal and efficacy of well-aligned motivational tools across various staff gradings. 

These two examples highlight the transformative impact of gamification. They show how it can turn learning scenarios into dynamic experiences, reinforcing the importance of alignment between motivation, design, and leadership in realizing the full potential of corporate training.

How do you gamify your training?

Integrating gamification into your training can be a revolutionary approach to elevate the learning experience and outcomes. Here are some strategies and elements that can be incorporated to gamify training effectively:

  • Leaderboards: They promote friendly competition by showing employees how they compare to others, motivating them to put more effort into tasks. You can create a weekly leaderboard displaying the top performers in different training modules, with rewards for those who top the list.
  • Badges: Typically issued when an employee accomplishes a task, badges boost confidence and serve as extrinsic motivation. For example, you can award a ‘Problem Solver’ badge to employees who complete challenging tasks or scenarios in the training.
  • Points: Employees can be set up to earn points for completing activities or contributing, offering measurable displays of accomplishments. Allocate points for every training activity completed and let employees redeem points for rewards like premier parking or a bonus.
  • Progress Bars: Visually display the portion of the course completed, boosting training completion rates. To make it engaging, you can Include animated progress bars in each module to visually depict the learner’s journey and the remaining path.
  • Goal-oriented Challenges: Test the knowledge of employees and re-engage them by introducing challenges once they feel they’ve covered all there is to learn. Initiate timed quizzes at the end of each section to challenge employees to apply what they’ve learned.
  • Rapid Feedback: Instant feedback provides an immediate response to the trainee’s actions, enhancing learning through immediate reinforcement or correction. To inculcate this, implement instant response mechanisms after each answer in a quiz, informing them whether they are right or wrong and providing corrective feedback if needed.
  • Collaboration Tasks: This allows employees to work cooperatively, each bringing unique skills and ideas to solve problems or perform tasks. You can form groups for team-based projects or problem-solving activities, allowing them to learn from each other’s perspectives and experiences.

Considerations in Gamification

When implementing gamification, careful considerations are essential to ensure the effectiveness and integrity of the learning experience. 

Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • Strategic Planning: It is crucial to avoid incentivizing wrong behaviors or encouraging excessive competition. The emphasis should be on learning, not just on earning points or badges. This ensures that the competitiveness induced by gamification serves the learning process rather than detracting from the essence and purpose of the training program.
  • Focus on Learning Objectives: If gamification overshadows learning objectives, there’s a potential that employees could view the gamified elements as distractions or as attempts to control their learning experience. This can hinder the achievement of intended learning outcomes. A well-balanced integration of gamification with a clear emphasis on learning goals is essential to ensure that the training remains focused, meaningful, and effective.

Benefits of gamification in employee training

Gamification in Employee Training

Here are some of the key benefits of incorporating gamification into training programs:

  • Interactive Learning: Gamification instills an interactive learning environment where employees actively participate and engage with the content, making the learning process more enjoyable and effective.
  • Motivation Boost: Competitive elements in gamification such as leaderboards and points serve to boost employee motivation and encourage continuous participation and learning.
  • Target Achievement: Setting clear and attainable learning objectives within gamified elements helps employees focus on achieving their learning goals, leading to improved employee performance and productivity. 
  • Problem Solving: Gamification challenges employees by presenting scenarios that require creative problem-solving skills, fostering innovation and critical thinking.
  • Collaborative Learning: Team-based gamified tasks encourage collaboration and collective problem-solving, enhancing the sharing of knowledge and ideas and promoting a creative learning environment.
  • Performance Analytics: Gamified platforms provide detailed analytics on employee performance and engagement, offering insights that can be used to refine training programs and address areas of improvement.
  • Customization: The data generated from gamified learning allows for customization of training content to meet individual learning needs and preferences, enhancing the overall effectiveness of training programs.

Embracing Innovation

The seamless integration of gamification within employee training modules is vital to fostering a more dynamic, interactive, and efficient learning environment. It serves to enrich learning experiences, bolster employee engagement, and enhance information retention, thereby elevating organizational performance and productivity. 

As we journey through the transformative arenas of Human Resource Management, the adoption and implementation of such innovative learning methodologies are paramount for HR professionals aspiring to stay abreast of industry advancements. It emphasizes the ever-evolving nature of the landscape, necessitating continuous learning and adaptation to new and effective training strategies.

If you are planning to start your career in HR management, a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in business administration or a similar field is essential. If your degree is in a different field, enrolling in a Master’s program in HR can help you meet the eligibility requirements and acquire the necessary knowledge. 

If you are working full-time and aspire to venture into HR management, consider opting for a 1-year Executive MBA in HR management from Eaton Business School.

Reach out to us today for more information.

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