Gamification in Organizational Learning

Gamification is the process of taking the familiar elements of gaming (such as scoring, competition, and teams), introducing it to something outside the norm (such as sales and marketing, leadership, and customer service), and creating a training module out of the resulting mash-up. This blend of what an employee needs to do (train) and what an employee most likely wants to do (play games) acts as a catalyst by motivating and engaging the employee and by reinforcing their skillset (Lindt, 2017). Games encourage flexibility, multitasking, moderate risk-taking, and experimentation, plus they reward tenacity and collaboration with peers, all of which are also characteristics of a top employee (Hill, 2008). Games have been infused into everyday life. People check in to places through apps and earn badges; people use discount cards at stores to earn points and discounts; people track their activity and diet through apps and trackers, so it is only logical that games will enter the training realm of the corporate world (Lindt, 2017). Below are three examples of gamification tools that organizations can use to engage, motivate, and ultimately train employees.

Growth Engineering

 Growth Engineering is a social platform that allows for interaction with team members, fostering communication, collaboration, and teamwork through gamification. It is customizable to a variety of business sizes, and budgets and has a 97% user satisfaction rating. The platform is a software as a service (SaaS) which is compatible across all operating systems (OS), has multiple language choices, and is accessible via the internet without requiring any download and installation of software. Participants can earn badges, level up and compete against others to reach the top of the leaderboard.

The social aspect of the game, including message boards and chat rooms, along with the friendly competition feature, allows for better engagement between individuals and teams. This interactivity allows individuals working in the same organization to interact with each other, find common ground, have friendly competition, collaborate to overcome obstacles, and ultimately builds a bond that forms a team who succeeds in the job (Tansley, Hafermalz, & Dery, 2016).

The platform offers a pre-existing Learning Management System (LMS) for companies who may not already have one, and also gives the option to create customized content through a tool called Genie which offers a selection of templates. Videos, quizzes and achievement recognition with badges are all integrated into the platform, giving users positive feedback and rewards throughout the learning process.

The company behind Growth Engineering is based out of the UK, and while there is a purchase requirement to take advantage of the platform, there is a free trial to get an idea of how well it will fit into an organization’s existing Learning and Development (L&D) process. They also offer a mailing list to keep abreast of updates and changes to their products and services. There are a variety of YouTube videos available to learn more about the product and how to get the most out of it, and a comprehensive guidebook available for download. Additionally, the company page hosts its own blog where individual contributors cover a vast variety of topics related to L&D and how their product can enhance what the organization is already doing.

Gameffective

Gameffective is a platform that offers its participants learning through narration, instructor-led training, and real-time feedback. Narratives offer a unique experience in learning, because the learner is offered the content in a meaningful, descriptive sequence of events that lead to a logical conclusion. This gives the audience the ability to not only understand the material, but also see how it relates to their job performance (Tansley, et al., 2016). Gameffective allows for push notifications which prompt learners to log in and complete tasks, earn points, and rank up. Feedback in real time lets users know whether or not they are on target, thus allowing for corrections before becoming completely derailed. The platform offers modules geared to improve key performance indicators (KPIs) such as customer service, communication, and teamwork through real-time feedback, prompting individuals to take control of their performance.

Gameffective has multiple choices when it comes to implementing the software. It can integrate with existing LMS platforms, or can function standalone without the need for any LMS at all. It offers existing templates for creating modules designed to encourage, motivate and engage employees. It is offered as a SaaS or cloud based, is customizable to businesses of all sizes, and is accessible across all OS and devices.

Gameffective requires purchase, but a free demo is also available upon request. During the one-on-one demo potential customers can learn how the SaaS can be integrated into the existing learning process within an organization, how the analytics work, and how it can be used to enhance existing eLearning. Resources on the web for Gameffective are plentiful, and include webinars, whitepapers, case studies, videos, as well as training, live support and downloadable eBooks.

Bunchball Nitro

Bunchball Nitro is offered as a way to engage employees through increasingly difficult challenges, tapping into the unique motivators for each individual learner. It can be geared toward sales teams, customer support and even customer bases outside of the company. Unlike the two previous platforms, it is available solely in the cloud, and has no software installation option. Similar to its competition, however, it is compatible across all OS and devices and is available both in the US and internationally.

This particular platform allows companies to integrate their own branding into the learning, reinforcing the individual’s brand loyalty. It also encourages and incorporates repetitive behaviors into training modules, thereby guiding the learner to a pre-determined outcome, reinforcing retention of the subject matter (Lindt, 2017). Bunchball Nitro also offers organizations a way to push notifications and challenges out to the individuals, then measure the results on the back end. It has customization features and integrates with some of the top existing LMS training platforms.

Bunchball requires a payment for access to the cloud-based platform, but interested parties can request a demo from the company which can show how their platform offers solutions to L&D shortcomings within the existing company platform. This YouTube video gives an overview of how the software can change the face of L&D, and vimeo has a video geared toward how admins can make the most of the platform from their end. Success stories are shared by companies such as Adobe and USA Network, and a data sheet outlines exactly how Bunchball can benefit an organizations through engagement by employees and customers alike.

Games have long been a way to engage learners. Children have always used games, play and stories to engage, find common ground, and ultimately learn. Likewise, humans have always been motivated by a system of rewards, so it seems only natural that learning and development would integrate these elements into the process of teaching individuals, encouraging teamwork and positive reinforcement. Challenges, stimulation, and trial and error are all ways that people learn, and allowing them to do these things in a way that has no negative consequences allows them to use trial and error to make mistakes, grow and take risks (Hill, 2008).

 

References

Hill, J. (2008). Game on. Intheblack, 78(9), 26-29. Retrieved from https://csuglobal.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.csuglobal.idm.oclc.org/docview/211343686?accountid=38569

Lindt, S. (2017). Camp hill company cultivates games as training tool. Central Penn Business Journal, Retrieved from https://csuglobal.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.csuglobal.idm.oclc.org/docview/1954352840?accountid=38569

Tansley, C., Hafermalz, E., & Dery, K. (2016). Talent development gamification in talent selection assessment centres. European Journal of Training and Development, 40(7), 490-512. Retrieved from https://csuglobal.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.csuglobal.idm.oclc.org/docview/1823116489?accountid=38569

 

 

 

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