What is the value of gamification in the workplace

The Power of Gamification in Adult Education

Turn learning into a game

The use of games as a way to encourage toddlers, children and teenagers to study is not uncommon for most of us. But what sounds a bit strange at first is using the same technique to get professionals in the workplace to get better, higher quality results.

The younger generations in particular are used to receiving incentives in everything they do. For example, seeing positive feedback from your smartwatch when you have reached a certain number of steps, collecting reward points in your favorite café or collecting miles on every flight ticket. But when it comes to learning relevant skills and acquiring knowledge in a professional career, you often don't get any direct feedback on your own performance. As a rule, employees are expected to enjoy learning just for the sake of theoretical knowledge.

This outdated way of conveying information simply no longer corresponds to our social zeitgeist.

Gamification is the primary method of engaging employees and can be used in various aspects of work, such as: B. in conveying important information, passing on valuable skills and increasing team performance.

What is gamification?

Gamification describes strategies that bring elements that are often used in games and are associated with games into a non-game environment. It can be Badges, Leaderboards, Quizzes, Points & Ratings, Levels or Challenges act. (Source: Huotari & Hamari, 2012)

However, gamification isn't just about turning the workplace into a game. Rather, it is about indirectly motivating employees to increase productivity and improve business results. Gamification techniques use game mechanisms and motivational methods to add competition to the work environment and encourage more productive employee behavior, which is necessary to achieve critical business goals.

In this way, gamification can be used to train, motivate and engage employees, optimize work processes and attract (young) specialists. Gamification typically uses four different levers:

Motivation: Employees are motivated by the opportunity to receive rewards and recognition.

A sense of control: Playful tasks give employees the feeling of being in power, which affects their intrinsic motivation.

Instructions for action: Employees are asked to complete tasks. Gamification functions within an app or platform can help to know where you are in the process and where it is going. They thus offer orientation.

A sense of competition: Humans are naturally competitive. They like to set goals and compete with themselves or with others.

Benefits of gamification

If done correctly, gamification methods can significantly increase employee productivity and engagement.

Gamification can be a powerful tool to foster a more positive work environment. The effects it can have on participants and employees can vary depending on the methods implemented in the environment:

  • Increased motivation: The use of goal, achievement and reward systems promotes motivation, increases satisfaction and, consequently, increases performance.
  • Improved Productivity: This is the result of a more relaxed and cooperative environment and increased motivation.
  • Strengthen communication: Communication between different teams and departments is often improving and becoming more fluid.
  • Promotes employee engagement: Gamification methods increase the feeling of belonging to the team and also the identification with the company goals.
  • Introduces an innovative dynamic: Game-based skill development learning promotes growth for both the company and the employee, ultimately leading to potential organizational innovation.
  • Develops specific skills: Game-based training programs help employees learn effectively.
  • Transparency of individual performance: Leaderboards, ratings, levels and badges help showcase performance and improvement, especially in areas where performance is difficult to measure, e.g. B. Learning and skills development.
  • Vdetermines the corporate image: Nowadays most employers strive to position themselves as innovative, future-oriented and integrative. Gamification helps to convey this image authentically both internally and externally.

Source: Anadea

Gamification Risks

Gamification methods are very subtle yet powerful tools. Therefore, the risks involved in implementing some tactics are relatively small. The following points describe the most common assumptions or mistakes made when implementing gamification features in the workplace.

  • As with many other things in life, more is not always better.Overuse Playful motivation can lead to tiredness and stress among employees.
  • Bad execution from playing techniques creates another risk. Game elements should be used carefully in a work environment to achieve corporate goals.
  • As with many other methods, gamification is not the holy grail for an innovative organizational culture. When implementing gamification principles, one should use the Do not overestimate the impact on employee satisfaction. Changing corporate culture for the better is a complex endeavor in which gamification can be one of many steps to implement positive change.

Gamification in corporate education

Most employees are unlikely to have positive associations when they hear the word "study". After all, it often means reading boring textbooks, listening to seminars for hours or clicking through standardized online tests.

Gamification can make learning a fun game. It adds dynamism to the process by introducing points and badges as prizes for completed tutorials, ultimately making the process more enthusiastic and energetic.

A small, friendly competition does no harm to anyone - but it goes a long way towards building lasting bonds within teams. Games stimulate the urge not only to perform well as an individual, but also to break records as a team, encourage collaboration and thus help employees achieve better results.

Use cases for gamification in training

  1. Enter: For newcomers, onboarding day is usually associated with mixed feelings. On the one hand, the excitement of tackling a new challenge in a new job in a possibly even new company. On the other hand, disillusionment when the first hours or even days are spent watching boring videos, reading manuals and working through mountains of paper.
  2. Improvement of the training results: An organization creates a win-win situation in which the employees are engaged and much more inclined to remember the knowledge that is imparted to them. By using interactive and playful, competitive methods, organizations can ensure that learning is more fun, which ultimately leads to a better educated workforce.
  3. Make routine training more interesting: Most employees typically don't look forward to completing compliance or security training too much. Even if the knowledge imparted is highly relevant. Just making the process more fun will make people internalize the information and make it less likely to forget.

Success stories

Gamification is not a particularly new concept. We probably all experienced the effects ourselves as children in school. When it comes to keeping adults busy in their workplace, there are many ways to introduce gamification. Here are some of our favorite examples:

  • The language learning app Duolingo uses success streaks, daily goals, and a finite number of tries to motivate learners to log in each day to keep studying.
  • Yousician helps users learn an instrument with an incentive-driven learning pathway that increases difficulty over time and provides instant feedback.
  • Similarly, the fitness app prompts you Nike + Run its users to compete with leaderboards, badges, trophies and challenges against friends or other athletes from all over the world.

This wouldn't be an all-encompassing blog post about gamification features without mentioning our own tips and tricks.

Here are our top 3 most popular learner engaging gamification features that our learners absolutely love:

  1. Learning points: The learners can collect edyoucated points based on their activity. Points help our to get a feeling for performance and are the basis for comparing progress with that of colleagues.
  2. Leaderboards & team-versus-team competitions: We are always amazed at the feedback we get from our customers and how ambitious they are in challenging other teams. This friendly competition ultimately drives them to constantly learn new skills and acquire knowledge.
  3. Set learning goals: Our newest feature allows learners to set their own weekly learning goals, which will help them continuously improve.

In fact, most of these methods don't even require an app or platform solution. E.g .: Just count the number of courses completed or the hours manually spent on training courses and create a physical leaderboard in your office. You will be surprised: the psychological effect is the same.

Integrate gamification into existing learning materials and processes

Introducing gamification to encourage employee engagement doesn't have to be a complex and complicated change within your learning structures.

Only a few learning management systems (LMS) already offer individual and simple gamification functions (e.g. avatars and process bars).

Those who want a more complete and holistic integration of gamification principles to maximize learning efficiency and effectiveness should probably look at a Learning Experience Platform (LXP). A LXP has a “learner-first” approach to providing study materials and is probably the best way to involve staff in training.

Check out our blog post to learn more about the differences between an LMS and an LXP.

Final thoughts

Technological progress is happening faster and faster and is leading to a constantly changing workplace that is characterized by digitization, automation and artificial intelligence. With this constant change that surrounds us, the demands on the knowledge and skills of our employees are also constantly evolving. At a time when knowledge is our most valuable asset, employers need to involve their employees in the learning process.

Gamification offers the right tactics to make learning and performance in the workplace more fun and engaging, and ultimately more efficient and effective.