More Than Just Fun & Games- How Gamification Works

Gamification has been a buzzword for some time now and it’s not going away anytime soon. In fact, we’re seeing gamification pop up in even more, incredibly relevant, training areas.

At the beginning of 2017, Unilever unveiled a new digital recruitment program that uses gamification to eliminate unconscious bias from its hiring process. Global brands such as Google, Uber, Marriott and more are already using gamification in their recruiting as the drive to attract top talent is more competitive than ever. Unilever’s new recruitment program stands out with its goal of removing unconscious bias as much as possible. The platform invites candidates to play a series of games that allow Unilever to gain insight into their skills and potential, which may not show up on a résumé. Unilever told Fox Business that hiring has become faster and more accurate—80% of applicants who make it to the final round now get job offers, and a similar number accept—and recruiting costs decreased.

In addition to attracting new talent, developing strong leaders among your existing workforce is another critical need in today’s turbulent business landscape: leadership research and consulting firm Bersin by Deloitte shared data that nearly 90 percent of executives rated “strengthening the leadership pipeline” as an urgent issue.

Companies like Dell Inc. and Deloitte LLP are using gamification to increase engagement and knowledge among their highest levels of leadership. Frank Farrall, lead partner of Deloitte Digital in Australia, told Chief Learning Officer magazine that gamifying the Deloitte Leadership Academy resulted in increased engagement due to people’s desire to compete with one another and also their desire to try and compete against their own achievements.

According to a 2016 study by the Association for Talent Development and Institute for Corporate Productivity, “Experiential Learning for Leaders: Action Learning, On-the-Job Learning, Serious Games, and Simulations,” high-performing organizations use experiential learning nearly three times more than low performing organizations.

Another unexpected area where gamification excels? Cybersecurity training! Lately, it seems like all we hear about in the news is data breach after data breach. Our friend Stephen Baer, Head of Creative Strategy and Innovation at The Game Agency and The Training Arcade, shared with Forbes that recent data suggests that human error caused 28% of data breaches last year. If you could prevent that by trying out gamified security training, would you? Companies are saying yes.

“An effective game-based learning environment enables employees to work toward a goal, choose actions and experience consequences, all in a risk-free setting, resulting in changed behavior and reduced risk,” says Baer.

Here are Baer’s three top tips to improve and strengthen your cybersecurity training program:

  1. Make training content more digestible. (Hint, short-form challenges—aka games—and microcontent are a great way to do this.)
  2. Add interactive components. (Badges, goals, and leaderboards drive motivation.)
  3. Recognize top performers with rewards. (These don’t have to expensive either. It could be an “employee of the month” announcement at a team meeting, lunch with the CEO, and so on.)

Now that I’ve hopefully convinced you that gamification deserves to be at least part of any training program, let me tell you how you can start to easily incorporate games into YOUR training program.

If you’ve been a follower of eLearning Brothers for a long time, you probably already know that we have tons of pre-built games and interactions in our Template Library. Those are a great way to add in gamification elements. What you might not know is that we also just launched The Training Arcade™ in partnership with The Game Agency. Yes, the same Game Agency that I just quoted from Forbes. It’s kind of a big deal.

The Training Arcade is a library of fun, casual games that can be rapidly customized with your content to reinforce educational material, assess knowledge retention, measure overall teaching effectiveness, and improve learning outcomes. Check it out now, I think you’ll like it!

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