The pandemic has had a significant impact on the lives of people across different economic strata. A lot of people lost their jobs, and several people were forced to take a pay cut. People have been forced to change professions to ensure a regular income. Small scale industrial units, restaurants and hotels, tourism operators, small private schools, colleges; every institution has suffered in some form or the other. As individuals, this was also a period of self-learning and upskilling to find better opportunities. Online course aggregators like Coursera and Udemy saw significant growth in people signing up for courses in different areas. In this blog post, we will look at different strategies and models available to organizations to train and upskill their employees, why gamification as a training model or strategy can work effectively, and how organizations can create a vibrant learning environment with gamification of learning at its core.
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Shifting Learning Goals at the Workplace
The modern workplace constitutes an interesting demography of people. Large companies with a global or multi-country presence have people belonging to different age groups and cultures working together to meet organizational goals. Creating a “one-size-fits-all” training program that addresses the needs of different categories of learners will not work. Young employees made up of generation Y and generation Z present a whole new challenge for L&D to create engaging content that resonates with them. This younger generation of employees who grew up with the “Internet boom” are used to instant gratification and primarily lack the patience to consume and engage with long-form content. It could be a training program, a book, or even a show on Netflix; their attention span is something that poses a huge problem for L&D specialists and eLearning developers. However, a factor that unifies all generations of learners is the current need to get better through diverse learning programs. To improve their skill set that will create better opportunities in their workplace and beyond.
Different Training Strategies and Models Used for Designing Upskilling Programs
Some of the popular strategies that are used to design and deploy eLearning programs at the workplace to meet specific learning goals are:
- Virtual instructor-led training
- Self-paced learning
- Blended learning
- Cross-functional training
- Gamification or game-based learning
In the list mentioned above, we have hyperlinked specific blog posts that we have written and published recently that offer more insights. Deploying a Video-based Learning approach or mixed reality solutions, either independently or within one of the above strategies are also other viable options.
In the next section, we will learn more about “Gamification” or “Game-based learning” as a specific learning model or strategy and how you can use it to create learning goals-based eLearning programs in your organization.
Gamification of Learning – A Quick Introduction
“Gamification of Learning” can be defined as a technique that adds an “element of play” in learning content to make it engaging, effective, and enhance retention of learning. It is also used to build and run assessments that evaluate the learners’ knowledge on a specific topic before and after completing a learning program.
Given below are some interesting facts aggregated from articles and news reports on why gamification of learning matters in modern workplace learning.
- The gamification market size in 2020 had a global value of $9.1 billion and is predicted to register an impressive growth rate of 27.4%, reaching $30.7 billion by 2025 (Markets and Markets, 2020).
- 49% of employees tend to get bored with non-gamified training (TalentLMS, 2019).
- Knowledge retention increases by 30% if an oral and/or text-based presentation is accompanied by images, infographics, and other types of visuals (eLearning Learning, 2019).
- 80% of US workers find game-based learning a more engaging form of education.
- Companies using game-based learning reported a 60% increase in employee engagement.
- In a survey, 83% of employees reveal to be more motivated with their tasks after gamified training.
Gamification has a huge role to play in making eLearning relevant, interesting, impact-driven, and result-oriented. Whether it be an employee reskilling program or an eLearning solution for a client for a specific product-based or sales training program; the flexibility and advantages that game-based learning provides is quite remarkable.
Using Gamification to Develop Reskilling Programs and Meeting Learning Goals
Gamification has a huge role to play in the corporate training sector and eLearning vendors offering high-quality game-based learning for employee learning are highly sought after.
When one gamifies learning content it is important to keep certain aspects in mind:
- Gamification is not just the addition of a random drag-and-drop or shooting activity to add within an eLearning program.
- The entire process of gamifying eLearning should be in line with the original learning goals.
- The game-based elements of the learning program should not stand out like a sore thumb, it should be cohesive and be seamlessly integrated with the core learning content.
- Accessibility of game-based elements is an important aspect that many developers forget to consider. Ensure that all the features of a gamified module can be accessed by people with physical disabilities too.
- New and developing technologies like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, etc., are good to have features but not mandatory to make a good, gamified learning program.
- Focus on what your learners need and structure their learning path in a clear manner that gives them the freedom to access the modules or segments that they wish to learn.
- Incorporate digital badges and tokens that validate the successful completion of a program and link it to real rewards to enhance employee learning.
Future-ready Learning for the Modern Employee
These are trying and testing times and we can never predict if governments across the globe will be forced to reinforce lockdowns. Even as we publish this blog post, there are reports coming in of a major threat posed by Omicron in the USA. L&D specialists and managers in hiring and operations cannot discount the possibility of adopting a long-term “work-from-home” or “hybrid-working” model. This does not mean that learning and training initiatives should take a backseat.
Design and deploy game-based learning solutions that appeal to both younger and senior employees who are part of your workforce. With tangible benefits on completing courses assigned to them, find a way to help your employees stay motivated and give their best at work. Do recall the findings from successive LinkedIn Workplace Learning Reports – “new challenges, learning opportunities, and happy employees stay with the organization.”
A Peek into the Future with the Uses of Gamification
Gamification can also be used to perform employee annual reviews. That too with just a smartphone. Sounds intriguing?
Spotify used Rypple, an employee interaction platform to make communication simpler and transparent, give and receive real-time feedback, and award badges for a job well done.
Google uses Google Code Jam as a platform to run coding tests in which thousands of aspiring coders participate to win prizes. Google also uses the platform to see if they can find potential employees from the successful participants.
Gamification can be used for much more than just employee learning. With increasing investments being made in the Virtual Reality space by top companies like Meta by Facebook, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft; the possibility of mixed reality themed game-based learning solutions is also something that we can expect to be a big thing soon.
In January 2013, Kris Duggan the CEO of Badgeville, a gamification platform made an interesting comment in the Gamification Revolution webcast with Gabe Zichermann. The comment is presented below:
“Gamification is not a project…it’s a program that gets invested in for the long-term. Those that understand see the most impactful and meaningful results.”
The quote perfectly sums up how gamification and game-based learning can be used by L&D teams to design employee learning and skilling programs. A continuous investment in game-based learning will help organizations reap the benefits of a highly skilled workforce, which would help the organization meet its business goals. Modern and progressive solutions like these can go a long way to improve morale, retain talent and make your organization an exciting place to work.
Are you looking to deploy gamified learning at your organization? Please write to us at email@example.com to learn how we can help you with the perfect game-based learning solution for your workforce.