Close this search box.

The Appeal of Gamification in Workplace Training

Gamification of workplace training

Corporate work environments tend to fixate on conventional methods for their workplace training. Unfortunately, this fixation can affect employee learning efforts. 

Interestingly, most employees prefer less restrictive learning systems. 89% of respondents in a recent TalentLMS survey say gamification makes them more engaged and eager in the workplace. 

That’s not surprising, considering how gamification transposes workplace training from snooze-worthy seminars to enjoyable exercises. It makes otherwise boring meetings interesting. 

Understanding Gamification

Gamification involves incorporating game elements into activities that typically don’t include such. Gamification is noticeable mainly in the teaching approach most elementary schools employ for students.

To help students focus and learn, teachers include fun and practical activities in curriculums. These additions help the students to focus more, put extra effort into learning, and assimilate lessons faster.

This concept also works excellently in workplace training modules. Contrary to popular opinion, grown-ups are also susceptible to distractions while learning. Gamification makes it easier to focus on the learning activity

Also, employees may sometimes only take training because you mandate it for them. In such situations, they’re less likely to be interested in learning. Gamification by way of incentives provides motivation for them to take the skills training seriously. 

How Gamification Improves Workplace Training

We’ve hinted at some of the positives gamification brings to corporate workspaces. But beyond those, it includes several benefits for employee capacity-building processes. Here’s how.

Incentivize and Accelerate Learning

The general notion of gaming revolves around recreation and a way for players to pass the time. But it offers more. Many people play games to get the incentives and rewards they offer.

For example, in role-playing games (RPG), players grind for higher scores to move up the leaderboard and gain community respect. Or they work hard to complete a stage to level up and unlock rewards. But in the process, they also learn and improve at the activity.

In the same way, gamification incentivizes employees to actively participate in workplace training to win rewards or hit some set targets. It incites the “grind for glory” mindset common in your employees.

You can even make it better by providing real-life awards for participants who excel during workplace training. For example, a free virtual number or premium subscription to their favorite newsletter will do. 

This way, it encourages the participants to focus and invest more energy in the learning process. The increased concentration and intentionality will help your employees learn faster and improve quickly.

It Makes the Training More Hands-On

Traditional workplace training tends to be passive. For the most part, the highest form of engagement they offer employees is when facilitators invite participants to ask questions or give feedback.

But gamification breaks such systems. It adds a more practical approach to the learning process and forces participants to do more than sit around desks during the process — participants play active roles during training.

It helps your team learn by doing and gives them a first-hand experience of how the knowledge from the training applies to real-world problems. More importantly, it enables employees to answer common questions like “ what’s the point of this training?”

Constant Feedback Helps to Monitor Progress

Most gaming activities elicit cues, responses, and other forms of feedback from the players. Creating a gaming environment for workplace training also prompts similar reactions from employees. 

While undergoing a gamified training regime, participants find out if they’re winning or losing in real-time. In other words, they know if they’re improving through the training or if they aren’t.

Gamification helps employees quickly identify if they’re benefiting from the training. And it gives them an avenue to express their concerns or problems with the process.

You instantaneously get an overview of each team member’s progress through the training. And as a result, you can gauge the training’s effectiveness for the participants. 

Improves Engagement and Information Retention

Traditional training modules rarely include measures or considerations for employee engagement. Gamified training models incorporate elements that draw in the participants and keep them on their toes through the process.

For example, incentives encourage competition and incite participants to give their best for a prize. Similarly, the consistent feedback mechanism lets employees view their performance in real time and motivates typically uninterested employees to put in more effort.

Gamification makes learning more practical and hands-on, which helps participants retain information better.

Encourages Bonding and Collaboration

Again, people like to talk about their gaming experiences. You can count on employees to discuss the gamified learning experience you expose them to. 

For example, employees can engage in informal discussions regarding some aspects of the training that piqued their interest. Or they may deliberate on strategies to solve a challenge they encountered during the training.

In addition, gamified training modules often incorporate team activities. Participants will divide into groups and take on tasks together. In the process, they’ll learn about and get to know each other better. 

These informal discussions and team activities foster bonding and nurture collaborations among the participants. It’ll also encourage the more reserved members to leave their shells and integrate more with the group. Overall, it promotes a friendlier workplace environment.

Helps Employees to Build Auxiliary Skills

Gamification helps participants gain auxiliary skills like multitasking, prioritization, and delegation.

Gamified training modules encourage participants to play and learn simultaneously. Primarily, it creates a situation where participants undertake a potentially distracting activity and take knowledge points from it.

Your gamification concept may recreate practical workplace scenarios where employees undertake multiple tasks simultaneously. Thus, it prompts them to multitask, delegate or schedule tasks as necessary.

Similarly, it prepares participants for dilemma-like situations. That way, employees learn to deal with scenarios involving multiple activities competing and demanding immediate attention.

Solidifies Company Culture

Gamification in work environments increases employee engagement, and makes them identify more with the organization. 

Incorporating gamification in your workplace training requires intentionality and thoughtfulness. You must consider your employees, their current capabilities, and what they’re more likely to enjoy doing. 

It gives your employees the impression that the organization cares for them, making them more likely to respond in kind.

Employees appreciate a workplace culture that cares for them. Of course, using systems like scaled Agile frameworks is a proven way to create a value-centered workplace culture. But gamification is an efficient approach to solidifying that identity.

The more employees identify and support the culture in a work environment, the more solid it becomes. Gamification is a fun way to promote workplace culture as it causes employees to engage and integrate more with the organization’s identity.

Increase Employee Satisfaction

We typically get more satisfaction from doing what we enjoy. A system that makes learning and working fun for your employee is an excellent strategy for improving their job satisfaction.

Gamification is the perfect example of this system, as its core element involves making work and learning more enjoyable. By incorporating game components in workplace training and other activities, you make them more satisfactory for participants.

Make Workplace Learning More Interesting with Gamification

Gamification upgrades workplace training from snooze-worthy seminars to interesting activities. It motivates participants to concentrate and put effort into learning and improving.

It also fosters bonding and collaboration through team-building activities. Its practical approach makes it easier for team members to retain what they learn and apply these skills where necessary.

Overall, gamification makes learning more interesting and engaging. Incorporate it for the next employee training program you roll out, and see the positive results! 

Jason Skidmore
HR certification - woman smiling holding a certificate
man playing chess representing strategic resource management

Explore our topics