In 2016, companies across the U.S. spent a whopping $70 billion on training. Today, it’s even more. The most shocking part, though, is that with all this investment in employee training, close to 90% of new skills are forgotten within the first 12 months. Now that’s a jaw-dropper!
The stats are true, and they’re scary. Essentially, they mean that training often has poor results because learning just isn’t ‘sticky’ enough. Why not? Because employees aren’t really (we mean really) engaging with content and activities. And why would they when that very content is dull, text-heavy, or detached from real life?
The good news? There’s something called gamification in learning. And it’s exactly what you need to boost training engagement and ROI. The following sections will help you learn everything that matters about employee training gamification. And with real corporate examples, too.
- Defining gamification in training
- How to gamify training, fast!
- Examples of gamification in corporate training (and how to do it yourself)
Defining gamification in training
Gamification techniques are just beginning to take their rightful place in corporate training. But they’ve been applied more broadly to education for some time already. These techniques draw on gaming design elements to make learning active, engaging, and practical. Of course, the bonus is that learners have more fun while doing it.
Let’s take Duolingo as one of the shining examples of gamification in eLearning. This application helps more than 200 million people around the world learn a language of their choice. Yup, they have over 200 million subscribers. And this success is undoubtedly because learning with DuoLingo is a whole lotta fun!
Daily goals, leaderboards and badges make people eager to learn a new word and apply it to a sentence. So, learning a language becomes a game – fun, competitive, and rewarding.
Similarly, gamification in corporate training is about constructing real-life scenarios and challenges in a risk-free learning environment. Instead of being lectured to, employees learn through self-driven interactive training activities. This creates a more rewarding and meaningful learning experience.
So, how do you go about it? Let’s discuss the secret to efficient corporate training gamification. Ready, set, go!
How to gamify training, fast!
Gamification is a big word. But in practice, it can be pretty quick and simple. You don’t need to write in 1s and 0s to use gamification in business training. All you need is your existing training content and the right training software for employees.
Start by assessing the materials you already use for workplace training. Update the content where necessary, and then look for opportunities to apply gamification elements. This can involve setting challenges, adding levels to your learning path, awarding points or badges when challenges are met, and leaderboards to encourage some healthy competition.
There’s one small catch. You’ll need a credible gamification LMS to quickly turn your gamification ideas into attention-grabbing training programs. Equipped with the right LMS tools to gamify training courses, you’ll be able to make learning more interactive, convenient, and accessible to everyone.
Plus, push notifications and automated emails from your LMS will remind employees to engage in their next training challenge to unlock a level or reward. This way, learning is always top-of-mind.
Still not sure how to gamify learning? Let’s take a look at some of the best examples of gamification in corporate training, and how to apply their lessons to your own courses.
Examples of gamification in corporate training (and how to do it yourself)
Now that you know how easy it is to infuse your courses with gamification, let’s take a look at how other companies do it. Here are some real-life examples of gamification in the workplace.
Partner training at Formlabs
Most companies can only be successful if their channel partners (distributors, consultants, service providers, etc.) are also successful. This is why many companies invest in channel partner training. One such company is Formlabs, and they do it gamification-style!
Formlabs is a leading manufacturer of 3D printers and software. One thing they’re really serious about? Delivering exceptional customer service. The challenge is that they have over 180 partners and 2000 technicians worldwide – that’s a lot of training! So, they needed to make it convenient, relevant, and engaging.
Luckily, Formlabs found the perfect solution in TalentLMS, which offers all of their favorite gamification features – like points, leaderboards and certificates. Using customer service games for employees, thousands of partners have started learning anytime, anywhere, and in a way that’s fun and meaningful.
Plus, while partners are motivated to earn points and ‘beat’ the competition by participating in online training, Formlabs achieves great customer service at every touch point. It’s a win-win. And you can have it, too.
By finding the right LMS for your company, you can simply switch on features like points, badges, and leaderboards, to create hype and excitement about your channel partner training.
SAP’s approach to salesforce training
When it comes to sales training, nothing says “motivation” like an attractive incentive. The more employees can earn rewards and status, the more likely they are to participate in training. Plus, the more they learn new skills, the more sales the company makes. That’s a lot of ‘mores’!
SAP’s sales program is one of the great examples of gamification in corporate training. Their sales force is big (really big) and dispersed. And that makes new product training a logistical nightmare. Each salesperson needs to master the features of every product, or sales are bound to suffer.
So, SAP decided to leverage sales games for employees by creating their own app called Roadwarrior. By completing a series of simulated customer meetings, sales staff earn points and badges, and compete to become the leading product expert. The result is a little competition and a whole lot of learning.
This example is a simple case of linking gamification to performance rewards. When your sales staff reach the top of the training leaderboard, and their sales figures show it, reward them with an incentive that your budget can afford.
Onboarding lessons from Ford Motor Company
They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. So, it’s super important that the first few days on the job are good days. Still, you know they’re packed with training. So many contracts, policies, and information sessions can make even the best employees feel overwhelmed.
Your onboarding doesn’t need to be anything but entertaining, though! Let’s take Ford as one of the popular gamification training examples here. Ford created a virtual dream garage to educate employees on car models, financing plans, technologies, and more. Using individual and team leaderboards, the training game promoted team spirit among employees.
Ford may not have created the dream garage specifically for onboarding, but they did achieve a 417% increase in learning platform engagement. This is because they made learning fun and engaging, which is a great way to make onboarding less nerve-wrecking.
A good way to implement Ford’s approach to your onboarding training is to create a series of challenges and games that help new hires to level up. Beginning with entry-level tasks that allow for early wins, employees can gain confidence and have fun as they move closer to the final level of their training.
Go to Jupiter to learn skills and knowledge
Every company needs their employees to learn new skills and knowledge – and often! Customers, technology and best practices are changing at the speed of light, and the sustainability of business depends on a workforce that’s hungry to learn. The problem is that a lot of training isn’t all that, shall we say, appetizing.
AstraZeneca’s training doesn’t fall into this category, though. Their online program, Go to Jupiter, is one of the top examples of gamification in corporate training, and the results tell why. By using a series of quizzes and mini games focused on new product features, Go to Jupiter achieved a 97% usage rate on their learning platform. Even more impressive is that 95% of agents completed their training.
Go to Jupiter used a fully simulated learning environment, but you don’t need to. Adding simple game-like elements, such as quizzes, points and levels, can boost engagement in your knowledge and skills training. For example, you might use LMS features to create four levels of learning, where badges and points are earned every time an employee completes an activity.
My1login adds badges to customer training
Even the highest-quality, fully-featured product won’t satisfy customers if they don’t know how to use it. To delight customers, they need to understand how to get the most out of your product. And that takes training.
But training isn’t something that customers have to do. Their jobs and livelihoods don’t depend on it. So, the only way to entice customers to participate in training is by making it loads of fun. If anyone knows how to do that, it’s My1login.
My1login is one of the simplest but most relevant examples of gamification in corporate training. The company is an online password management tool that stores passwords securely, and makes them accessible across all of your devices. The problem is that when customers create weak passwords, there’s more risk of a security breach. Which is bad for customers and bad for My1login’s reputation.
Their solution is the simple addition of badges to their customer portal. When customers set strong passwords, they earn a badge. Every time they earn a badge, they win more storage from My1login. This type of gamification can easily be applied to your own customer training by linking points or badges to a discount, value-add, or other customer benefits.
The gamification examples above have shown how game-like thinking can make all types of training more fun and engaging. The only limit is your creativity – and your LMS! So, once you’ve found the perfect LMS, your next challenge is to apply gamification best practices to your online courses.