Training employees is a highly demanding process. Businesses lose talent by failing to maintain training and career development opportunities. Some studies suggest that lapses or lack of training and advancement opportunities is among the most frequent reason for position turnover.
Employees don't want to sit through another boring seminar where they may, or may not learn anything new. As a result, training has shifted to mobile options in addition to more traditional, in-person and seminar-based trainings. The real question, is, however, can we make training more engaging? Of course we can!
Listed below are four ways training can be improved gamification, or building gaming aspects into professional development.
Rewards trigger dopamine and promote motivation
Brain chemicals are responsible for the way we act, the decisions we make (or don't), and even the wants and needs we have, individually. Dopamine is a chemical which is released during periods of pleasure (That chocolate cake waiting in the break room...) and pain (Oops! You should have waited until your shirt sleeve was clear of the stapler to push it down.)
Dopamine allows us to experience pleasure at the thought of completing an activity, because we expect rewards in kind. Adding these gamified aspects makes employees more susceptible to learning, even if they enter a situation without a strong drive to do so. When we are learning and growing, our work may seem easier, resulting in a better mood and more positive office atmosphere overall.
Gamification allows employees to remember things more readily
Think back to when you were last sitting or standing in a stadium, the people around you going wild as the T-shirt cannon comes out, everyone hoping to be the lucky recipient of some free merch. The excitement they all feel would be intensified if they had to put forth real effort to earn that merch.
Delayed gratification, combined with gamification aspects can substantially improve the amount of information that employees are able to retain from a given training session. Not only are they learning, they have personal investment and an active (Strong!) chemical attachment to the prospect of their rewards and enjoyment from the circumstances.
Engagement is the impact an action has on the participant
When an employee is engaged, really switched on, they are in a whole other world. Engagement at its core provides a unique experience for everyone who undergoes a task or training. The retain much more information and they may even report the experience as restorative or enlightening.
Impactful experiences will stay with an employee for the next decade, serving as a constant reminder of the value that a brand has shared with them, and how much they have invested in return. They may not stay with the company forever, but they will never forget them.
Gamification drives curiosity (how much further can I go?!)
When playing long and complex games, the audience normally strives to extend further and further into the challenge than they could before. The same is true of challenges in work and life. Employees who feel that their voice isn't heard, or who are not challenged can become withdrawn.
Gamified training provides a highly conducive environment for challenging employees and pushing them to fulfill their potential—not as another payroll code, but as a human being. Our Seven Pillars of Modern Learning provides clear and actionable steps on implementing gamified training in any organization.