Let’s address a hard truth that many training managers would rather ignore: workplace training can be slow and uninteresting. Managers want their new employees to have a strong, impactful start in the organization, so they often throw a lot of information at them all at once, whether it’s in the form of a training manual or a series of onboarding classes.
Unfortunately, if employees aren’t engaged and inspired during training, they’ll have a hard time retaining the information they need to do their jobs well. But how do you keep new hires on the edge of their seats when–let’s face it– your training content tends to be dry?
Make it interactive and build in rewards and recognition: gamify your training.
Gamification at work can turn the at times tedious task of training into something fun and motivating. By giving your employees goals to reach and levels to achieve, you can increase their drive to complete their training assignments. In a recent survey, 62 percent of participants said they’d be motivated by leaderboards, and 89 percent said a points system would increase their engagement with eLearning materials.
What Is Gamification at Work?
If you’re thinking about gamifying your training, you’ll need to do more than set out a Monopoly board in the break room. Gamification is about more than playing games: it involves incorporating game mechanics in your training to motivate participation and help participatns retain knowledge. Participants may be presented with challenges and rewarded through a badge- or point-based system when they complete the challenge or master a new skill.
Gamification at work can be as simple as allowing employees to vote on content and comments, or can involve more active assignments. “You could send people on scavenger hunts. You could tell people they have to go out into the organization to discover things and then report back on what they’ve learned,” explains Bill Cushard, head of training at ServiceRocket.
This strategy gives them a goal to reach, an excuse to meet more of their colleagues, and a chance to learn about different areas of the organization.
Gamification doesn’t have to be limited to new hire training. One Bloomfire customer introduced gamification in the launch of their customer insights platform by inviting team members to play bingo. Participants were asked to complete a certain number of bingo squares in a row (with each square requiring them to find something in the newly-launched platform) to receive a prize. This strategy helped get team members exploring the new platform and learning how it worked in a fun way.
Even if you stick to more simple versions of gamification at work, like a points system or levels new hires can reach as they complete their assignments, you can really increase learning engagement in those first few weeks and beyond.
To learn more, check out our eBook, “Knowledge Management and Training: Why Social Learning Works.” It delves into six methods for more effective training and why better knowledge management is so important in enabling employees.