Gamification: how to learn through games in companies

Posted by media on June 29, 2017 at 9:00 AM

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Currently we are living in an environment known as VUCA, which stands for of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. This means that the knowledge we acquire will never be enough. Therefore, we need to constantly be learning and updating our knowledge related to any subject, especially of those subjects related to our work.

This situation is clear in the workplace: current knowledge of our employees will become obsolete in a very short period of time, and we must encourage them to always be in learning mode, to constantly acquire new skills and abilities.

In this post we explain how to contribute to team training thanks to the technique of gamification, which introduces games into labor organizations.

This post is also available in Spanish.


What is gamification?

Gamification includes leisure activities in contexts that are not usually playful. Thanks to playful mechanisms, a complex material is transformed into specific actions, to which we add a goal or reward that encourages personal and group improvement.

It is a way to encourage ongoing training for our employees from the HR department. 

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How to incorporate gamification in our training plan?

All training plans must follow a structure to achieve the stated objectives within the organization. In case you want to include a gamification strategy, you must bear in mind the following six steps that will help you address your "gamified" training plan:

 

1. Needs Assessment  

Knowing what elements we should empower in each person is key, since it's important to carry out an individualized training that is relevant to each employee and adds value to the whole organization at the same time.

2. Determining learning objectives

We must raise specific learning objectives, based on the shortcomings that we have identified in the evaluation of needs.  It is important to set goals and timings to meet them.  Each goal will be associated with a number of actions that we will define.

3. Defining tools

When implementing our project, we will use online tools: platforms that allow us to include games and playful elements that will provide our employees with feedback and rewards. We must also decide which reward elements we'll associate with every action that we defined in the previous phase .


4. Creation of a communication plan

Communicating to our employees the importance of participating in training will motivate them and encourage them to join the project.  Also, since it is not a common training, we have to emphasize how to use the tools and explain the benefits associated with the fact of including gamification in our training plan.

5. Data Analysis

During the development of the training and once it finishes, we need to collect performance information of every employee, in order to recognize both positive traits and areas to improve. From there we can move forward by adjusting the actions of each training plan, adapting them more and more to the needs of each employee.

 
6. Getting feedback

In order to constantly improve training activities we want to develop in the future, we need to collect feedback from our employees: what worked and what didn't, what they think serves them, what has helped them more or less, etc. This feedback will help us to adjust our "gamified" training plan or to identify what could have failed, if the general opinion after the first program hasn't been positive.  

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What are the benefits of gamification in businesses?

Among the most important benefits derived from gamification are:

  • Increases motivation for participating in training plans.

    One of the biggest challenges in addressing a training plan is to motivate participants from start to finish. By including gamification elements, motivation is boosted, since entertaining content makes training tasks much more attractive to complete.
  • Improves internal communication.

    Thanks to the motivation generated with gamification, our employees are more open to give us feedback after each action. Thus, communication channels are activated and reinforced.
  • Drives the desire to improve.  
     The successful achievement of missions and challenges encourages our employees to              constantly improve. In addition, you can promote high performers through elements like              leaderboards, that invite participants to "fight" for progress every day and to become the            best.
  • Allows to collect interesting data.

    From the proposed activities we can identify strengths and improvement areas for each participant. In hindsight, this information will allow us to propose other actions that will help them improve or enhance these characteristics.
  • Promotes teamwork

    Actions do not need to be done by each individual, they may be approached in teams. Thus, we're promoting unity and cohesion to achieve the objectives together. If "gamified" training is designed to perform team activities, cohesion and camaraderie is promoted among employees.

 

Success stories of “gamified” training plans: Deloitte and Accenture

 

Deloitte: Leadership Academy

One of the success stories of a company that has incorporated gamification into their employee training program is Deloitte. In Deloitte, they created the Leadership Academy program, through which they made interactive content training available, including instructional videos, to make the training activities more attractive and motivating.

Also, they offered the possibility for each employee to customize their own training plans to suit their needs. Once they were overcoming their "missions", they could share their achievements on their personal social networks. 

This program also had a competitive element: a general league table, in which the best "gamers" were displayed within the entire organization

Accenture: Accenture Land

Accenture has another success story, with its training plan called Accenture Land:  employees must build their own cities and get prizes if they answer questions raised about consulting .

In addition, while playing, they have access to certain benefits that they can enjoy for being part of Accenture. Other gamification mechanisms included in the program were "Your Wellbeing" (health program) or the "Eco Challenge" (promotion of environmental commitment).

 

Conclusion 

Definitely, incorporate gamification into a training plan brings benefits to our employees and therefore to our company. For this reason, gamification is definitely a key trend within HR departments, because this strategy adapts talent management to the digital and interactive environment where the most innovative organizations are today.

This post is also available in Spanish.

 
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