Using Gamification as a Strategy to Design Training Programs for Employee Upskilling

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In the first part of this series of blog posts on gamification in workplace learning, we examined how organizations can use gamification to help their employees meet their learning goals. This blog post here takes the narration a bit further. We try to break the myths that seem to cloud and hinder the adoption of gamification in workplace training programs. We offer further evidence through examples of effective gamified training practices from different industries and conclude with samples from Origin’s portfolio of work.

Using Gamification as a Strategy to Design Training Programs for Employee Upskilling

Myths Surrounding Gamification in Workplace Training Programs

Let us begin by demystifying common myths associated with gamified training or gamification:

1.      Gamification is only for millennials

No, well-designed and properly structured game-based learning is appreciated by all kinds of learners and improves the retention of learning. This blog here makes for an additional good read on how gamification as a learning strategy is foolproof to create effective elearning across all age groups. 

2.      Games are distractions

No, games are not distractions. Thoughtfully designed games and interactive assessments in a training program can help foster learning and boost the course completion rates. This blog here explores how gamification is poised to capitalize on the many merits of informal learning.

3.      Gamification adds no value

As a continuation to the previous point, it is incorrect to think that games do not add value to a training program. The addition of games to workplace learning or upskilling programs ensure that the learners are engaged, and the core learning objectives are met. This blog post here explores how gamification can be deployed as a problem-solving tool.

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4.      Adding an arcade-based game equates to gamification of learning

No, adding a drag-and-drop activity, a matching activity, or a shooting game to an eLearning program does not qualify as true gamified experience. True gamification of learning adds value to the learning content and helps reinforce the concepts explained in the program. This blog here specifically addresses the key pitfalls to avoid in order to derive the most from gamified corporate training.

5.      Gamification of learning is only good for employee induction training programs

Not necessarily! Gamification of learning has been successfully practiced in training programs as diverse as language learning, software product training, healthcare training, and soft-skills training programs. This blog post here leads the way for the deployment of gamification for product training, and another blog post here best exemplifies the use of gamification for human resources.

6.      Adding digital badges gamifies training programs

Digital badges are a small subset of the larger goal of gamifying training programs. Leaderboards and digital badges add to the overall efforts in gamifying learning; but on their own they do not qualify as gamified learning. This blog post here delves deep into the elements of gamification for corporate learning.

Further Validation to Gamification as an Ideal Strategy for Training Programs

Scott Hebert is a Canadian teacher and known for bringing innovative methods in classroom training. In this TEDx video he speaks about “The Power of Gamification in Education”. Many of the points that he makes about using gamification in school education holds good for workplace learning and training programs as well.

Here are some noteworthy statistics about gamification in corporate learning:

  • 85% of employees are shown to be more engaged when gamification solutions are applied to their workplace training programs.
  • Large organizations like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Hewlett Packard, Google, Coca Cola, and Pepsi are investing aggressively in gamified training programs.
  • Learners recall 10% of what they read and 20% of what they hear but remember up to 90% of an interactive gamified task that they perform.
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Thus, it is evident that if an organization is willing to invest in developing gamified learning for its employees; it will help its employees learn and work better.

In the next section, let us explore key gamified experiences from organizations: 

  1. IBM Innov8

Business Process Management or BPM is an integral part of modern businesses, especially in the IT sector. With IBM’s Innov8 – students and business practitioners were able to understand the different aspects of BPM through a simulation game.

  1. Bluewolf

Bluewolf is using game principles as part of a campaign to get more of its consultants to share information and best practices. This is being done by prompting consultants to write blogs and share their valuable insights that could benefit clients and build their “personal brands” through social networks.

  1. Bayer’s Didget

One of the best examples of integrating gamification with functional healthcare systems is Bayer’s Didget blood glucose meter. This was developed by Paul Wessel whose child suffered from Type-1 Diabetes. Developed in partnership with Nintendo; this is a device that can be connected to Nintendo gaming systems and rewards users adhering to good testing habits.

  1. PepsiCo Talent Recruitment Platform

Global beverage and packaged foods leader PepsiCo partnered with creative technology studio Appetite Creative to launch a gamified platform that would help PepsiCo recruit fresh graduates into its organization. There are games and quiz contests within the web-app that assess the knowledge of the applicants and offer a fun way for job applicants to assess their knowledge about the brand.

Origin Learning – Leading the Way with Gamified Learning Solutions

Archery-Based Game for a Networking Technology Firm

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Origin Learning was deployed by a leading American multinational company that develops and markets networking hardware and software-defined network technology, to produce a training solution for their employees and vendors. Using archery as a theme to design a quiz within the training program, it offered an interesting, gamified learning experience. 

Using Gamification as a Strategy to Design Training Programs for Employee Upskilling

Interactive Quiz for a Cloud Computing Company

An American cloud computing and technology company commissioned Origin Learning to create an interactive quiz that could be used in its training program. By replicating the environment of a gym or physical fitness training center, learners were given the option to choose from four personas or avatars and complete the learning assessment based on the training content of the program. Here are a few screenshots from the interactive quiz.

Using Gamification as a Strategy to Design Training Programs for Employee Upskilling
Using Gamification as a Strategy to Design Training Programs for Employee Upskilling


 Learn more about how gamification can work as an excellent training strategy to upskill and reskill employees in your organization.

Gamification and the Future of Learning

L&D teams and organizations have to use all their valuable learnings from 2021 to create and deploy effective training programs for employee reskilling and upskilling in 2022. Gamification is not inexpensive, but it has immense value when done properly and when the training program is aligned to the learning objectives appropriately. It has the potential to revolutionize corporate training in your organization and make learning a cultural focus. The opportunities and possibilities with gamification are exhaustive. Through this blog, we have brought your attention to all the key aspects that govern gamification and hope that gamified learning fetches unparalleled success in your training endeavors for 2022.  For more information or to create customized game-based training programs for your workforce, write  to us at info@originlearning.com .


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