Did you know that currently there are over half a billion people globally playing video games or computer games for at least an hour a day and the average young person will amass up to 10, 000 hours of gaming by the time they reach the age of 21? Or that the gamification market will be worth over US$5.5 billion dollars in 2018?
At Workstar, we see this momentum increasing, and we’re excited so many innovative Australian organisations are incorporating gamification into their learning strategy. It’s no surprise employees (in a variety of businesses ranging from retailers to banks or insurance businesses) continue to respond positively to gamification and that millennials are driving this trend.
As management analyst Sherman Morrison says, “There are plenty of managers and leaders out there who think these young people already play enough games without purposely bringing gaming into the workplace. To them it sounds more like a recipe that would guarantee non-productivity. But this way of thinking is just a denial of reality: Millennials are steeped in gaming, they think it’s valuable, and gamification works.”
Firstly, what is involved with implementing gamification? Well, it usually involves creating and developing interactive game-based digital activities that allow employees to perform tasks in a safe space and see how their decisions affect certain outcomes.
Depending on the program, gamification involves:
- Achievement levels
- Progress bars
- Points and badges
- Activity feeds
- Real-time feedback
Replicating an environment that employees are already familiar and engaged with is a smart strategy to improve learner retention. We’ve worked on several exciting gamification projects for a range of clients over the last few years and they’re thrilled with the results.
So, what are some of the most salient advantages of integrating gamification into your workplace?
1. Neuroscience says so!
Make no mistake we all like to be recognised for our achievements. The neuroscience behind why gamification works is transparent. Each time a learner reaches a new achievement level, they feel a little rush of excitement and pleasure. Their brain gets the message that what they just did to accomplish something is worth pursuing. Gamification in the workforce creates positive associations with learning, especially when learners are rewarded with each achievement.
2. It inspires friendly competition
Because leaderboards, progress bars and activity feeds on public dashboards are all part of gamification, learners will experience friendly competition amongst their colleagues. Adventure and competition often inspire people to increase their achievement levels, and it’s no different in the workforce. Gamification is a fantastic tool to increase participation and motivation, which when aligned with a learning outcome, produces stellar results. In fact, a recent study revealed 67% of participants believe gaming teaches them how to establish winning strategies, while 63% say it improves their ability to work effectively as part of a team.
3. Short-term goals gain more traction
Complex, lengthy and unfocused learning strategies will ensure your learners are bored and disengaged. However, when you split your learning into short – and therefore highly achievable – goals, your learners will likely be more motivated and will retain more information. Shorter and more engaging learning strategies will enable your learners to continue their learning pathway with greater purpose and excitement. With that in mind, is it time to align your strategy with real-world gaming behaviours and outcomes?
At Workstar, our Learning Games add another layer of engagement to your training, integrating team competition, rewards, stories and social learning which engage people more deeply and regularly with the learning.
For further insights take a look at our eBook “The Power of Experiential eLearning” and find out how experiential learning gives learners the skills and experience they need for real world success.