Written by: Julia Borgini
The idea of gamification is not new and has been used for a while now in business. The end goal is to ensure the retention of information, so it makes sense that gamification would help. But does it really? Are participants really retaining more information when we make learning more fun? Keep reading to learn more.
Let's face it, some training programs can be a little 'dry,' so add entertainment and fun to increase engagement with participants. One year the bank surprised us by making the drier portions of the mandatory training a little more fun and intriguing by introducing the idea of a board game. They created their own version of Monopoly, which was fun as we were a bank. We went around the board completing tasks and answering questions just like the real game. After the third year of this, I actually looked forward to certain sections to see what they added that year!
End result: I retained more information because of the fun I had while taking the mandatory training, and even referenced that information more in my job. Training on your product might not be mandatory for your customers, but you could still take steps to make your product training more entertaining.
My former employer also added short videos and elements I had to click on in order to progress through the training, which kept my attention. It ensured I engaged with each part of the training before moving forward, which was a good way to check for comprehension and retention of the information.
End result: It kept my mind more engaged with the information, making me an active participant in the learning. Considering it took almost three full days to get through the training, it was critical to maintain focus and engagement.
Online badging solutions like Credly help companies maintain participation and completion of their training courses. Deloitte used gamification to increase the average time to complete their executive training curriculum by 50% and saw a similar rise in the number of users that returned to the site daily. Deloitte executives wanted to see how they were stacking up against their colleagues.
End result: My former bank director used to do this to motivate the management team. Each week he'd give us an update on how all the teams were doing. None of the managers wanted to be at the back of the leaderboard for long, so we encouraged our team to keep moving forward in their training each week to ensure that.
Psychology tells us that while curiosity can be a great priming motivation for learning, rewards are often what keeps us learning. Especially for adult learners. Tying training programs to tangible rewards at work can help keep participants moving forward in the programs. It can also help them retain more of the information they are learning.
End result: Sure, there was no real penalty for me and my bank management colleagues if our teams were in last place when it came to our mandatory training, but we all knew we had to keep moving forward. One year our director implemented a "lunch with the boss" reward for the team that finished the fastest, while the team that finished last by the cut-off date had to buy him coffee for a week.
Using gamification in training programs is a great way to help encourage learning retention. It can have an even more pronounced effect when applied to training that has a specific goal such as learning a new software tool or increasing business goals like sales or lead generation.
Learn more here.
Originally published on October 27, 2016