Combining gamification in the workplace with your eLearning strategy
By introducing games, the learning experience can be facilitated and amplified to your users’ desires. However, you will not only be enhancing their enjoyment of training: when we are having fun through play, we are far more likely to learn and retain that information.
Gaming as a time killer
It can be tempting to implement gamification for the sake of its’ existence, but this will not improve information retention rates. Content is key to information retention and this must be designed with the user experience at the heart of its objective.
Gamification is sometimes implemented to sugar-coat poor online training. However, if the content is not suitable, no amount of virtual rewards, badges, quizzes or leader boards can encourage users to engage with the online learning. It can have the opposite effect, with users seeing the platform as patronising and condescending – consider your user group before deciding on ‘fun’ cartoon characters and quiz games. The requirements of a young call-centre team will differ widely to that of legal professionals.
Design your user experience in mind from the outset and be clear on what it is that you’re hoping to achieve. If you are simply hoping for users to log into the learning platform, you will have very different content to that of organisations that are hoping to increase compliance rates and improve information retention.
Organisations can be quick to implement gamification in the workplace simply for the sake of an interesting blend of learning; differing methods should be implemented on a per-case basis, with a ‘right tool for the job’ rule of thumb applied . It can be tempting to gamify every course, but this can dilute its novelty – a blended approach has proved to be more effective for understanding the topic matter and information retention.
It is unhelpful to use gamification for the sake of it – just because it is possible to gamify most compliance training, it doesn’t mean that you should. Whilst humour can be injected into content, it is important that the seriousness of the subject matter is not detracted from.
Gaming on for success!
However, if implementing correctly, gamification in the workplace can transform your eLearning strategy and the learning culture within the workplace.
Gaming can provide a fun, competitive environment for all involved, and can be the stem of lively conversations – your employees could be enthusing about their online learning journey rather than begrudgingly ticking the boxes through to completion.
The key to the success of any learning programme is the use of a ‘through the eyes of the learner’ narrative. To make the training truly authentic, real audio and visuals can be used alongside real-world workplace scenarios, allowing the learner to see how situations can play out.
Scenario-based learning helps to connect learners with the situation displayed in front of them, ensuring that they can relate to each element of the training. Your content should be able to be uploaded to your Learning Management System to provide a holistic learning solution.
Your content should be developed in partnership with your users’ needs to ensure that their specific needs are fully understood. By using the latest learning design and immersive technology techniques, including gamification, storytelling and multi-media resources – in the form of cartoons or otherwise – your organisation’s learning objectives should be able to be met.
Tailored content for learning purposes can be used in a multitude of ways, including:
- Customer service training, to give your employees the skills they need to be the best
- Compliance training to ensure legal compliance rates are being met and are measurable
- Situational training, outlaying possible situations and how best to react
- Health and safety training; from manual tasks through to stress management and mental health at work, eLearning content can be tailored to ensure your organisation is providing the services your workforce requires
All of your eLearning content should be tailored to reflect your brand identity and values. This will reinforce brand loyalty which will become a recognisable tool for users to associate with learning in a fun environment.
 CIPD Learning Methods Factsheet, 1 July 2016