Gamification in corporate training is the concept of using game thinking to create an effective and engaging learning solution.
Think of a time when you could learn something complicated through a game and remember how it made you feel! That’s essentially gamification.
Gamification has been used extensively now in various industries to increase interactivity, gain new customers as well as retain existing customers.
Duolingo is a great example of an application built fully on gamification to help users learn a language while earning points, moving up on leader scoreboards, and winning rewards for completing various levels.
Customer loyalty is often a major reason behind gamification, however, it is also a powerful approach utilised in many corporate training programmes nowadays too, proven to help maintain interest and gain deeper levels of engagement in the learning content.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of using gamification in corporate training.
1. Stronger retention of learning through gamification
The intention behind a training programme should never be a tick box exercise. In contrast, the learning culture should always focus on helping your employee’s grow and progress their careers, whilst developing skills which ultimately drive organisational performance. Gamification, in this context, can play a big role by making the learning process fun, experiential and interactive.
Most L&D programmes are very linear - watch a video, complete a quiz, listen to a podcast etc. All very one way! Seminars and conferences, whilst offering great networking opportunities, often do not provide enough focus or develop practical new skills.
That’s where gamification comes in. Utilising, for instance, a business simulation, participants get the opportunity to learn new skills, and more importantly, apply these skills in a safe and simulated environment.
This helps them form strong memory anchors, retain the learning and also more easily be transfer the learning back to the workplace.
2. Promotes excitement and engagement around the learning
A subject such as finance, though important to many roles, can often be quite a dry subject to learn and develop new skills in.
It may not always be seen as the most exciting element of your L&D offering, yet it is essential that everyone understands how your business makes money. This is another example of where gamification can make a big difference.
By introducing financial concepts through a business game, simulation or activity, employees can engage in the content and ‘learn by doing’. They very quickly pick up skills and insights and make the connection between how behaviours impact the numbers.
Some organisations even go a stage further by linking the gamified experience to include work-related features such as earning additional days off, bonuses, recognition and so on.
This further incentivises the process for the learner, once again capturing their attention, interest and engagement in the learning.
3. Gamification offers a safe environment to learn, proven to also alleviate stress
The experiential nature of gamified learning, where the learning is designed to simulate elements from the real-world, offers a safe environment for employees to learn and have a go with experimenting with new ideas without risk.
Based on this experience, employees are better prepared and more confident to apply these new skills in the workplace, having experienced it in a simulated environment.
Gamified learning also offers employees the opportunity to step into a fun and stimulating learning experience and provides a break from the stresses and pressures of day-to-day work.
During this time, employees are still able to grasp new concepts and progress their learning, but in a less formal and traditional setting, often associated with training.
Stress is also eliminated through the release of dopamine by the brain when we win a game or achieve an important milestone.
The same applies to gamified learning. Further, the reduction of stress also helps employees clear the mind and better focus on their work, thus boosting productivity.
Incorporating gamification into your corporate training programmes
If you are seeking to incorporate gamification into your learning programmes, MDA Training offer a wide range of Experiential Business Simulations for Corporate Training.
With over 30 years’ experience of designing and delivering business simulations, games and activities ranging from 1-hour to 3-days, from early careers to senior management, and across both virtual and in-person delivery.
MDA Training also offers seamless pre- and post-simulation features, which helps increase the effectiveness of these programmes.
For example, pre-simulation interventions may include: attitudinal surveys, 360 diagnostics or online pre-cue activities to get the participants to start exploring a particular theme that the simulation will explore at a deeper level.
Similarly, post-simulation, they offer a number of solutions to help evaluate and sustain the learning including online digital material, attitudinal surveys, and interactive business dashboards and leaderboards.
The learning modules can also serve a variety of needs whether it is building key interpersonal skills, commercial skills or leadership skills.
Gamification, while may seem like a cool buzzword, delivers a number of advantages when it comes to corporate learning and development.
Gamification offers a fresh and innovative way to help your employees to engage in the learning at both an intellectual and emotional level, whilst providing an effective way to apply, embed and sustain learning.