3 basic principles to gamify training sessions


It is no secret that training gives diminishing returns. It is also a known fact that training employees is a lot of hard work. Not only is it time-consuming in nature, but it is also an expensive proposition.

Every year, you have to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars to enhance the existing skill set of your employees.

And, hence, it is important to ensure that training sessions yield the maximum returns and employees learn everything with interest (so, they can retain it for a longer period of time and implement it whenever required).

While all of our employees sit through the training sessions, only a few are able to retain the knowledge by the end of the sessions.

That is really sad, isn’t it? But, the good news is, you can do something about it.

This is where gamifying training sessions help create an engaging experience for the employees. Before we jump into the principles, let us briefly look at what is gamification.

According to Teachers College, gamification is the use of game mechanics and dynamics like badges, leaderboards, and actions to improve motivation and learning in informal and formal settings. In short, gamification is not about developing games to train, but using elements that make a game and insert it into training. 

This is not uncommon today. More and more companies are exploring ways to gamify employee training. You can read about how companies have successfully included gamification into pieces of training here.

What this means is if you can implement gamification strategies in your training, you can see an improved retention percentage, higher employee satisfaction, engagement and a much larger return on investment.

DID YOU KNOW – According to Forbes, a research shows 70% of business transformation efforts fail due to lack of engagement.

In this post, we will discuss 8 basic principles of gamifying a training session effectively. So, let’s start?

Add incentives at every level

Incentives are the surefire way to boost employee engagement and develop the desired interest.

Many companies offer badges or credit points in exchange for the employee to learn a new skill or for implementing it. These credit points or badges could be then used by the employee to get a reward or it can be added to the employee file to be used in a future performance review.

Another way to include incentives is to use a progress bar.

Think about it. Most of the games have a progress bar or a gauge. It is used to showcase progress in a game. For example, the players have to fill up the bar if they want to finish a level and move to the next. When players look at the bar, they are motivated and excited to put more efforts to finish the level. If they fail to clear it, they are ready to do it again.

If you can put a progress bar into training sessions, it can definitely help employees develop interest and motivate them to finish it sooner.

Make It Competitive

It is important that you develop a healthy competitive spirit in the working environment.

A simple use of leaderboard, scoreboards or a similar game-element can be used to compare employee performance and foster a healthy competitive atmosphere in the workspace.

DID YOU KNOW THAT – 62% PARTICIPANTS stated that they would be motivated to learn if leaderboards were involved and they had the opportunity to compete with other colleagues.

Look, when you ask an employee to take up a training session, they are generally not very excited.

But, if you gamify the session to make it competitive, employees will start competing with each other to see who can score better and learn in the process of having fun. In such a case, both of you are winners – employees will be ready to learn and you will have employees with updated job skills.

Besides that, leaderboards and scoreboards also help employees understand where they stand and where they need to improve and advance. It also boosts interaction between employees who may not know or talk otherwise.

Make Sure It’s Applicable to their career or jobs

Every employee wants to stay updated in the market, look for better opportunities and grow in career.

Going by this logic, it is important that you understand this – to get most out of gamification you need to train employees on skills they will actually use (and, help them get better at work) and then reward them for using it.

Let’s take an example. If you are into an e-commerce business, it will help to train employees on Microsoft excel features. However, if your training is all about photoshop or Lightroom, it isn’t going to help everyone.

In short, if you want a gamified training to work, you will need to ensure that training is relevant to their job descriptions.

There you go.

If you follow these 3 simple (yet effective) principles, you can make the next training session way more effective than what it is now.

According to a University of Colorado study on the impact of simulations and games in adult learners, participants in gamified eLearning experiences scored

  • 14% higher in skill-based-knowledge assessments,
  • 11% higher in terms of factual-knowledge
  • 9% increase in retention rate

Gamified training sessions can be the fun way for the employees to improve their overall learning. In other words, learners (employees) can have fun as they progress through the training game and yet learn the skills effectively.

Making training sessions fun cannot be disregarded as childish or stupid today. Instead, it is the only key to motivating the digital natives’ generation into learning skills with interest.

Remember what Marry Poppins had to say

In every job that must be done

There is an element of fun

You find the fun and — snap!

The job’s a game.

There is no doubt that gamification is the easiest way to enhance training sessions, improve your business and motivate your employees to participate. That said, implementing a gamified training is only one part of the puzzle and is merely the first step in improving the workforce.

Ready to gather data, receive feedback, study results and make changes wherever necessary to your organization’s initiative to the next level.

If you are interested in partnering with Playablo, email us at curious@playablo.com or call us at +91-97408 78833


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