Using Gamification to Engage Next Generation Workers

What is gamification?

Gamification is a method of using game principles and systems to enhance learning. People learn and retain information better when the method of information transmission is engaging and interactive. Gamification uses instructional design principles based on research about how people learn and how games work to increase the effectiveness of training.

Why should I use gamification?

People begin playing games naturally as young children and most never stop. Gamification uses gaming principles to engage learners, motivate them to specific action, and encourage them to solve problems. Training is not always fun, and some content does not have an obvious benefit to specific learners. Using gamification, you can better engage adult learners and provide extrinsic motivation to actively learn the content required for success in your business.

Most people have participated in some form of gamified training or marketing. For example, airline loyalty point systems and most fitness applications are based on the elements of gamification. The points and tracking systems provide motivation to spend money with a particular brand or to be more physically active. When training employees, gamification elements can provide learners with a more engaging training experience, and thus improve information recall.

How do I use gamification in training?

Gamification is not limited to virtual training or video game implementation. You can use gamification strategies with instructor-led training, computer-based training, or a combination. The best gamification is applied within the context of what you want learners to remember. Without a clear objective for training and applicable content, gamification will not improve your training delivery system.

Another key tip is to avoid overusing gamification. Not all aspects of training can or should be gamified. Understanding which content is best learned through gaming elements and which elements are best suited to the content will make the training more effective.

How do I use gamification in my learning and development?

Developing the skills and abilities an employee needs to demonstrate competency in their current job role is a major way to progress within their career. If a company applied gamification techniques to help their employees develop their “skillset” while showing them a clear line of sight on different career paths they could potentially take within a company, this would go a long way toward helping to retain the next generation workforce.

To illustrate the process, within a “game” there are normally different levels that must be achieved in a variety of ways, mainly with trial and error and then learning. If an employee is able to demonstrate their skill and ability to a standard versus someone’s personal opinion, then if they desired to move to the next level, they could work with others in the same job roles they desired to move into and through cross learning and sharing see if they have the ability to move up. There are more details to how to assure effectiveness with a program like this, but gamification can help companies attract and retain employees better if managed effectively.

What are the key elements of gaming?

Key elements of gaming that can be used to gamify training include:

  • Goals and objectives
  • Rules
  • Competition and cooperation
  • Challenge
  • Feedback
  • Recognition of achievements through
    points, badges, and leaderboard scoring
  • Levels
  • Storytelling
  • Opportunity for failure/replay
  • Competency development
  • Progression (which can be applied to career progression)

What are my next steps?

Read our white paper on The use of Gamification for Next Generation Workforce Career Progression.

Contact us today to talk about how gamification can be used to create better training for your team and how to support your next generation workers as they develop their career competencies.

Let's Talk

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.