How to Gamify Corporate Training
In the corporate world, the gamification of training materials can be a valuable strategy for enhancing and updating the skills held by employees. Today, much of workplace training occurs online since it is more convenient for busy employees. Disseminating training online is also a more efficient way for a corporation to get information out to a large number of employees at one time. Like K-12 or university students, though, online learning can and will only be effective if the learners are engaged with the content. This is where gaming can help.
When planning corporate training, the creation of objectives should be one of the first steps. Some factors to consider are: what skills or knowledge should employees expect to obtain by the end of the game? Is there an overarching theme that will underlie and drive all activity within the game? In short, every task that an employee takes on should help them achieve identifiable and relevant objectives. This is especially important when those required to partake in training are also still expected to complete their daily tasks in the workplace.
Disseminating training is, of course, most effective with user-friendly online learning tools and platforms. Corporations should first take a close look at the devices they currently own and then identify where there are gaps. Ultimately, employers need to determine which tools best help employees and companies meet their bottom lines, while at the same time enhancing skill sets. Having employees watch or read material via an irrelevant game setting, for example, when there are no clear objectives to be achieved, it is not practical. Further, employees should consider what motivates employees to learn and attempt to adapt tools that potentially fuel that motivation. Ultimately, using online tools for the sake of using online tools is inefficient and possibly a waste of everyone’s time.
Similar to setting objectives, employers who choose to use gamification should know in advance the type of results they are seeking and how they plan to collect the results. Further, employees should have a plan for how the results will be used, and where it will be stored, once the data is collected. Will the data be valuable in helping employees progress in their skills and in helping the company achieve its goals? Will it allow employees to adapt their training where they see it is most needed? Or is the data simply collected for the sake of collecting data? The latter is akin to having employees watch boring corporate made videos just to say the information has been disseminated.
The End Game
The gamification of content can, if implemented thoughtfully, effectively engage employees during corporate training. This strategy is particularly helpful when the traditional modes of training (i.e., pamphlets, manuals, videos, or in face training sessions) have fallen short and learners are not progressing, nor are they interested in advancing. Ideally, the gaming of content is fun for both employees and those leading the training, while at the same time providing opportunities for valuable data collection and adaptive learning.