None of us is always in the mood for training so motivation is important to encourage employees to make a start and complete courses. Gamification is a powerful feature of learning management systems, which, when used effectively, increases employee engagement and at the same time ensures they learn what is needed for their personal development and job roles.
Gamification rewards employees for taking specific actions, such as participating in an online discussion, completing a course module or watching a video. Employees can obtain points for an action and build these up as they progress through a training programme to obtain badges and even real rewards.
As well as helping to motivate learners, LMS gamification features enable line managers to track top performers on leaderboards and reward them for outstanding performance.
Gamification is very effective when well planned. Success depends on knowing what objectives you want to achieve and gamifying programmes that lead to achieving them. While you can give points for simply completing an action such as playing a video, this doesn’t guarantee that a learner will actually watch, listen or pay attention to that video. It’s important that content attracts the learner’s attention and persuades them to participate. It should be intrinsically rewarding so that learners get real satisfaction or benefit and don’t feel that they are only completing the training to win points.
You can measure this through assessments or quizzes, again with points or badges as rewards. You should also measure whether your business objectives have been achieved, as there’s no value in giving away lots of points, badges and rewards if there’s no improvement in job performance or productivity.
Take especial care when using gamification with training that is mandatory or necessary for compliance. It is essential to ensure that training is effective in areas such as safety and to assess learners to confirm that they understand the content.
Gamification can be used to build and reinforce team spirit, motivate employees completing necessary but dull tasks or under pressure, and create a work culture where employees feel they belong.