10 May 2018

How to Leverage Gamification in the Workplace Training

How To Leverage Gamification in the Workplace Training

There is a lot of conversation about how gamification is one of the biggest learning trends right now. But what exactly is it? How can businesses use gamification to leverage performance in the training environment?

Games have become increasingly popular as young people who have been brought up with them, filter into the marketplace. Gamification in business is no fad, it is a serious learning tool that companies are utilising, which has resulted in them discovering a significant and unprecedented impact financially, on training outcomes and importantly in employee engagement.

We all know that this tool has increased exponentially in the past few years, but have a look at 10 key benefits below to see how it will impact your organisation:

1. Objectivity

Part of implementing gamification is a transition to constant and automatic data collection. This can be data about anything in your organization – sales reps productivity rates, call center employees handling times, internal knowledge usage rates, and more. Although this is many times overlooked, this is in itself extremely valuable. For many organizations, this is the first time they can paint an objective picture of how they are actually doing. This means that employee ratings are no longer based on a manager's mood or the chemistry in a team, but on real, hard data. We've learnt to expect surprises as part of this process. Almost every organization that undergoes this transition is surprised to find that what they thought was happening is not quite accurate and sometimes even fairly far from reality.

2. Gamification makes a Manager's Life Easier

Objective data is a blessing for managers as well. They can also finally see in an unbiased and objective way, how their different employees are performing, eliminating the need for guesswork and assumptions. It's amazing to discover that much of the data in performance reviews is not objective.

3. Feedback

Gamification is a great way for employees to receive constant, up to date, and automatic feedback. By using leaderboards of different kinds, it is possible for employees to see how they are doing compared to benchmarks they had set for themselves in the past, or compared to other individuals and teams in the organization. Of course, it's always also possible to revert to the "classic" leaderboard that so many are familiar with. However, we have actually found that using these more advanced leaderboards brings on greater results and productivity. Feedback is one of the most important elements of gamification, as it allows users to constantly understand how they are doing and what they can do improve.

4. Recognition

Research has found that status at the workplace is just as important to employees as financial rewards. In other words, it is important to all of us to feel that we are doing a good job, and that this is being recognized by our managers. Gamification is a great way to see who is performing especially well, who has made huge progress in comparison to themselves, and who may have drifted off and might need a bit of a wake-up call. The real beauty is that it's all done automatically, and therefore it is super easy for managers to use.

5. Mastery

One of the reasons that the human race has always loved playing games is the possibility to improve. The feeling of developing a certain skill is one of the most important aspects of fulfillment and well-being at the workplace. Gamification allows us to learn new things, and see how they are becoming easier and easier as time goes by. Before we know it, what used to be extremely challenging is now done easily, with almost no effort at all. This is what researchers at the university of Chicago have called "flow", and it turns out to be an important factor in employee well-being.

6. Motivation

When gamification is executed correctly, there really is something for everyone. Working against personal benchmarks, being recognized for a job well-done, offering training narratives – gamification really can cater to everyone's needs in the organization. Together with the ability to view feedback at any given time, gamification allows everyone, and not only those at the top of leaderboard, to enjoy the possibility of improving their performance.

7. What's Next?

One of the most surprising benefits of gamification is that it is a great way to communicate to employees what is expected of them next. Whether utilized as part of the onboarding process, the internal learning system, or the project management system, gamification offers a simple way to communicate what the next stage is. For some examples of how to show what's next through a "Next Best Action" functionality, read here.

8. Autonomy

Gamification should not feel like it is mandatory. A good platform is one that emphasizes that taking part in the game is voluntary. We’ve found that giving employees the power to choose for themselves how they would like to utilize gamification instills a sense of autonomy and choice. We believe that creating a host of options and allowing users to engage as they please creates deeper and more meaningful engagement and motivation.

9. Training

A recent survey has shown that Millennials rank training and learning as the most important benefit a workplace can offer. Organizations understand this, and more and more are offering their employees different personal and professional development routes. Organizations are now also able to do this like never before, using eLearning platforms that are cost effective, and that can be integrated in to other aspects of work. Through different mechanics such as quizzes and simulations, this type of learning is also more engaging and more enjoyable. Finally, eLearning also allows employers to easily measure how their employees are doing and progressing in the learning process.

10. Balancing It Out

Many employees are required to perform different tasks which many times can involve conflicting expectations. For example, a customer service representative needs to resolve issues fast, but also receive a high customer satisfaction rate. Using gamification, it is possible to track many different elements and balance them. An employee can see that they are relatively fast, but have a problem with how satisfied customers are once they get off the phone with them. Seeing many KPIs at the same time can help employees get a snapshot of how they are doing overall, and alter what needs to be changed.

Where to start?

Just give our team a call for your complimentary consultation and trial.