Gamification and Employee Performance Improvement

Gamification and Employee Performance Improvement

How would you like your online training program to grab staff attention and keep them interested and involved through the entire course?

Your employees need to be engaged in order to learn properly.  Traditional “text-and-next” online learning and classroom-style teaching are slowly being recognized as less effective methods to engage and impart compelling, meaningful learning.  They are gradually being replaced or more accurately, augmented by the concept of Gamification.  In eLearning, the idea of gamification is to integrate game-based elements commonly encountered in video and mobile games (such as points, challenges and rewards) into a digital learning environment.  By creating an elearning course that “comes alive” to the participant, they – without even knowing it – become interested and engaged in the material thereby boosting performance improvment before moving on to examine the positive results many businesses like yours have experienced by employing gamification, let’s briefly take a moment to look closer at gamification to determine what it is and what it is not.

Digital Gaming Species

It is not game-based learning, which is the use of a digital game to pass on information.  Anyone who has children, will have seen this many times over with the LeapFrog learning platform and all its attendant software.  In game-based learning, the learner participates in a self-contained experience – beginning, middle (gameplay) and finish (win/lose).  Gamification merely incorporates parts of the whole into a greater schematic.

What it is, is slightly more complicated but boils down to two different types of gamification: content and structural.  Structural uses game elements to move a learner through course material without making changes to the content.  Using scoring points applied to an instructional program would be a good example of this type of gamification.

Its counterpart, content gamification uses game elements that alter the content and make the course itself, more game-like.  Adding structures such as story, challenge and characters would qualify as content gamification.

The rapidly growing acceptance of game mechanics as it is applied to online learning is encouraging a re-examination of how games impact learning and employee performance.  It has been shown in recent studies that the addition of gaming elements to eLearning boosts associated benefits such as knowledge retention and performance improvement significantly.

According to Karl M. Kapp, EdD a professor of instructional technology at Bloomsburg University;

“A large part of the appeal of gamification is the results that have been achieved by organizations implementing a gamification solution.  Organizations have achieved results such as increased engagement of employees, reductions in safety incidents, decrease of inventory theft, better health of employees and subsequent increased sales.”

Sited in the same study was the Pep Boys company who are involved in auto retail.  They stated that upon introducing gamification into their training programs, they watched safety incidents drop by over forty-five percent.  Numbers rarely lie.  If gamification can achieve such results for Pep Boys, think of the possibilities it could present for your organization.

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