Imagine that you are a human resources professional in a medium-sized company. You have produced a disability discrimination course that you have to deliver every time a new employee starts at the company. However, no matter what you do, the course has never been particularly popular. New recruits find the training boring (you have seen many people yawn during your training sessions and you even had to wake someone up at the end of one training session you gave a few weeks ago). And because people find your training boring, they seem to switch off a few minutes into the course. You know that this is the case because you always give your employees a multiple-choice question test at the end of the training, and it is very rare for someone to achieve high scores.
You have tried everything to “jazz up” the training, such as showing pictures and graphics, using real-life examples of discrimination and telling anecdotes that you thought were funny but clearly weren’t (otherwise at least one person would have laughed in the two years that you have been giving the training). The business manager keeps asking you to improve the training and to make it more engaging and interesting for new recruits. How on earth are you supposed to do that when everything you have tried so far has failed?
You have done your research and found that Gamification is a great way of making training interesting and engaging for employees. You have never tried anything like this before and you are reluctant to give it a go. You know for a fact that the stuffy business manager would have a fit if he knew you were thinking of spending some of the human resources budget on Gamifying your disability awareness training. His objections would probably be along the lines of: “why on earth are you wasting time and money on producing video games for staff?” or “computer games are for kids and nerds, not a serious work environment!” So how are you going to convince the business manager that Gamification is vital to delivering effective training?
First off, you could let your boss know that Gamification is not particularly costly compared to other methods of delivering training, because it does not involve the creation of something new. Gamification involves taking an existing software program and adding “game-like” characteristics to it (such as points, levels, badges and leaderboards). It is one of the most cost-effective ways of delivering training that is interesting, attractive and memorable.
Second, you could point to the mountain of scientific evidence that is out there on the benefits of Gamification for workplace training. A study by Dopamine, Inc found that making work fun increases an employee’s ability to remember the skills they have learnt by 40%. Similarly, a study conducted by Jeanne Meister, author of Corporate Universities, states that interactive learning games can increase long-term retention rates by up to 10 times. Tell your boss that Gamification is not for time-wasters. It is a serious and credible way of boosting your employee’s engagement and interest in your workplace training program. And it works because it taps into everyone’s fundamental need for feedback, competition, reward and achievement.
Third, you could point to the well-known companies that have used Gamification techniques to train their employees. Cisco, LiveOps and Hilton Worldwide have all used Gamification for workplace training and all of these companies have reported improved work performance after the training was delivered. If Gamification really was a way of avoiding work then it would not be used by such reputable companies to train their employees.
We have Gamified the following products for our clients: