Change is the only constant, especially when it comes to corporate training methods. From scribbling notes on paper to drudging through computerized modules, the landscape of workplace learning has undergone multiple shifts. The next big wave? Gamified training. Whether you’re a Baby Boomer who thrives on rewards or a Millennial seeking flexibility and social engagement, gamified training seems to have something for everyone. Let’s delve into why it’s effective, who it benefits, and what the future holds.
The Evolution of Training Methods
Changing old ways of doing things can be both painful and enlightening. But change is part of life and how we progress forward. There was a time when we used paper and pen to make records and invoices in organizations. Now we use computers and spreadsheets. In the training industry, in-person training was all we had up until the 1990s. Then, the value of learning through computers helped bring in computerized training. At first, it was clunky, but people saw it could save money and time. But what it also brought was apathy. People realized that if their boss was not sitting in the room taking the training with them, they could skate by, and who would really know? It became a game of how fast you could get through this computerized training and tune it out sufficiently so that you could get other work or personal things done at the same time. The whole goal of the training creating learning was missed and eclipsed by checking a box that was complete but not internalized.
The Power of Gamification
What’s interesting about the Harvard Business Review article “Does Gamified Training Get Results?” is trying to give proof of something we all inherently know. (1) No matter what our generation, we inherently want parts of gamification, but for different reasons. The gamification elements help us feel more engaged and a part of the training. More engagement means we store the information in a place for more permanent memory or learning. Long-term memory – a place where we actually learn and use the materials. This is the goal of training, not just completing a task.
Understanding Generational Preferences
Training that is engaging works better. So, what makes an employee engaged with training? According to Stacey Cessna, Director of Marketing at WebCE, for a person in the BabyBoomer generation, “Due to their desire for recognition, career training for this group should include rewards, like giveaways, certificates, and even small bonuses.” This is different from Generation X, which wants to have flexibility and choice in how and when they do their training. Or the Millennial Generation that is looking for variety, social collaboration, and training that integrates into their lives rather than being scheduled. (2) Your generation makes a difference in why you want gamification, but all generations want different parts of gamification included. It’s a universal desire for more engaging training – no one wants boring.
Gamification: The Future of Corporate Training
The marketplace also has seen this shift for companies to bring gamification into their corporate training. According to Spinify, gamification is here to stay. Gamification creates better engagement because it helps solve the problem of boredom. “People are less likely to engage with any form of content online if they find it boring. Modern lifestyle is hectic, so people don’t like wasting their time on boring or tedious content even if they like [the] company…” (3)
Measuring the Impact of Gamified Training
The Harvard Business article raises a few common questions from organizations wanting to explore gamification. One, What is the measured effect? And two, will it have a positive effect? Measurement of training can take time to decide, determine, and execute. In this case, KPMG Globerunner measured five areas on a monthly basis for 29 months or about two and a half years. They measured “fees collected, the number of clients served, total business opportunities generated, opportunities generated from existing clients, and opportunities from new clients.” (4) This is a long data collection time, and yet true measurement of change cannot be rushed. They gave the effects of the training time to be seen in the workflows. In the case of KPMG Globerunner, the areas measured saw positive effects.
The Future Outlook on Gamified Learning
Gamification is a common buzzword in leadership meetings. Taking the steps to implement gamified learning and then watching the results of this new type of training is opening the eyes of many. Over the next five years, we will see more results of companies who have implemented gamified training and how it is improving both their employees’ productivity and engagement but also their bottom lines.
Contact us to start your journey toward better employee training today!