How to Implement Gamification in Your Training Strategy?
A training strategy is an organized approach to creating a training program for employees targeted for skill development or career advancement.
A training strategy is built on the performance goal of the organization while mapping it against the skill required to meet the expected performance standards.
Training need assessment, identifying skill gap to narrow down the focus groups, building learning objectives that result in improved performance, designing the training course content and implementing the training are some of the critical steps involved.
In this article, we shall discuss the stage of course design particularly with reference to gamification and how it can influence training effectiveness.
Training is no more limited to classrooms. With the changing strategy the implementation of the training programs has changed too.
So let us take a look at how you can use gamification in different mode of training
Classroom based Instructor Led Training
We shall start with the all-time favourite classroom training, which has bounced back to action post the pandemic. While the basic principles may not have changed for classroom training the expectation of the learners have.
The standards are higher and therefore when it comes to experiential learning and adult learning principles, facilitators do not want to be limited to group discussions, presentations, group activities and audio-visual aids only. Learners want to explore more and have a more hands on idea about the skill they are trying to learn or a behaviour they are trying to imbibe.
Gamification makes this entire experience very interesting. While it may seem a very complex term for some, gamification can be made simple as well. Depending on the duration of the program and the audience and also the complexity of the topic, gamification can be introduced in various forms.
Very recently we developed a gamified exercise on the Seven Levels of Delegation – a tried and tested concept and known to many.
The entire exercise would take you about 15 minutes. It can be played as an individual or as a team. The characters are real, the scenario are real and all the learners have to do is to make decisions.
The exercise ends with a score and the most recommended options.
There are two things that tend to happen through this exercise
The participants find this exercise relevant and would want to know more. This, in lot of ways become the moment of truth for them. A lot of times are decisions are based on gut but here they start realizing that there is a process to it. This generates curiosity. Questions, discussions, opinions follow and at then end the group comes up with useful strategies to similar situations.
Participants are not pushed to learn a concept but a rather driven to learn about a skill in a systematic way. They can see application, advantage and disadvantage on the go. These kinds of gamified exercises can also help in learning reinforcement as a part of knowledge assessment etc.
Virtual Instructor Led Training
Well, the mode of training changes but objective may not.
The duration of a virtual session can range anywhere from 2 hours to 6 hours to even 8 hours. We all have experienced that virtual sessions can be more tiring than the classroom sessions. The chances of disengagement and low motivation for learning is inevitable and this tends to create a lot of pressure on the facilitator.
We have also experienced that not all of us prefer virtual mode of learning but sometimes it is unavoidable especially if the training is happening for employees across different locations and culture. Just breaking the ice isn’t enough. Being able to maintain the tempo of the session and also sending the same message across becomes very crucial.
Gamification allows people to connect faster, brainstorm solutions, share ideas and even challenges.
An interesting feature of gamification has been that it can be designed for multiplayer with leader board. This brings a whole new dimension to the training. People not only connect beyond their location and familiar faces but when you put them in random teams and put them in break out rooms for the exercise, they connect at a different level altogether. They learn to solve problem together.
Isn’t that a quality most organizations want to see in their employees?
How wonderful it is to be able to drive that expectation through a training program using gamified learning solutions?
Very recently at Contoole we developed a gamified module for one of our clients. It was based on process calibration. A process that was to be followed globally but employees and partners needed to be onboarded. The session was done virtually and a multiplayer game was developed to facilitate this entire exercise.
As we expected people came back asking for more. Now that is got to be worth something right?
Competency or Value based training
A training that we all go through either when we join the organization or if there has been some major change in the organization. It aligns the employees and keeps them connected to the organization and what they stand.
However, we have often realized that once the training is over, these words and their definition are mostly forgotten and just become symbolic to everyone.
It is either reiterated by a senior leader or by the HR during town halls or team meets or leadership meets. The question often is how do we help internalize it? How do we encourage employees do understand an organization’s deep rooted belief system? How do we demonstrate it every day. Because more often the employees find these training boring and uninteresting.
Try simulation and gamified learning. Integrating a decision-making tree exercise and helping people understand that values and competencies are not mere jazzy words and sentences created to over glorify or over hype things. They are real. We embody it every day. Question is ‘Are we embodying it the way we are supposed to?” Leaving the learners with this thought is a great way to make training sessions on competency and value-based training more meaningful. In fact short gamified exercise can be used for learning recap too. You tell people what is Honesty vs. Helping people understand how they can demonstrate honesty – What would be your preferred way of upskilling people?
We all know the answer, isn’t it?
So, well simulation and gamified learning doesn’t have one but many ways through which it can make your training strategy more effective. Are you ready to explore it?
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