Benefits of Implementing E-Learning and Gamification in the Workplace to Motivate Employees
Companies mostly use e-learning as a replacement for in-class learning and as a way to provide on-the-job training, keeping employees up to speed on valuable workplace skills.
While many tout the value of using e-learning and gamification together in order to achieve better learning outcomes, the realities of doing that are not necessarily clear, since some people imagine a learning “game” that may seem expensive and unwieldy, while others imagine a competition among learners. In reality, both conceptions are wrong and both miss out on the benefits of using e-learning gamification in the workplace. Let’s look more closely at what gamification is and what benefits it offers to better understand the combination of gamification and e-learning.
Gamification is not a “video game at work”—a game veneer that attempts to create motivation through points and badges, fun and games. It isn’t about masking work by putting a game on top of it. Gamification is about using game design methods and game mechanics in non-game contexts, such as learning at work (also as a gamification platform to drive performance). The foremost driver in gamification is not offering cash rewards or competition (which employees may experience as threatening, unfair, or alienating)—all extrinsic motivators that don’t work for the long term. The key to driving learning motivation through gamification is using intrinsic motivators—the feeling of mastery and control that comes when we know we are doing our job well.
Implemented correctly, e-learning processes combined with gamification can drive employment engagement, performance, and motivation for the overall benefit of the company.
Motivating Through Gamified E-Learning
When we discuss training these days, we rarely talk about the dull, old-fashioned ways of reading endless guide manuals, listening to long lectures, and taking stressful exams. Those times are over.
Companies are moving toward a modern, online e-learning approach.
But all e-learning isn’t created equal. E-learning shouldn’t be about the content learning authors want to deliver or about the ease of testing and assessing employees. The reason is that employees want the training to be about their success at the company—that’s why the training should be meaningful to learners and engaging. It also has to be authentic and tied to their actual work.
The real promise of gamified microlearning is in delivering on the promise of e-learning, as stated in the eLearning Manifesto. It can let e-learning live up to its promise by creating truly valuable learning experiences that:
- Help learners transform learning into performance excellence
- Create a readiness to performs that is based on improved abilities and confidence
- Enable a continuous assessment of learner performance
- Better use the learnings time
- Serve personalized and adaptive learning
- Create spaced repetition
- Deliver behavioral change
Implementing e-learning and gamification in the workplace offers the following benefits:
- The ability to use microlearning: On-demand access to bite-sized learning material—wherever and whenever employees need it gives them a sense of autonomy and control. Microlearning is small, manageable learning items such as tutorials, tasks, short simulations, or quizzes that take five minutes to complete and can be accessed on demand.
The most important point is that microlearning prompts the daily or weekly engagement managers need. From a lofty goal that can’t be achieved, daily learning interaction happens.
- The ability to get social: The fun, social elements of gamification push collaboration and motivation (e.g., a zombie hunt narrative in which employees can give each other hints). Social learning also ensures a social discussion of materials learned, increasing the probability learners will learn and apply learning to change their behavior.
- The ability to communicate with employees: Gamified e-learning allows organizations to alert employees about new products, services, changes, or other updates. When microlearning is easy to create and even simpler to deliver (through gamification), companies suddenly find themselves using it to communicate with employees rather than just train them.
- The ability to drive compliance training: Companies no longer have to force employees to learn, as modern online gamified e-learning practices motivate them in a fun, interactive, and personalized way that makes them to want to learn and improve skills.
- The ability to repeat training in order to promote knowledge retention: Tedious, outmoded training methods share knowledge that is quickly forgotten. Microlearning and gamification are ideally used for spaced repetition (a.k.a., subscription learning)—ensuring retained knowledge is higher.
- The ability to tie into performance metrics and allow employees to course correct: The real-time performance feedback offered by gamification (for instance, showing that an employee has difficulties selling a certain product) can trigger the applicable e-learning, offering feedback and giving employees a chance to fix their performance, improve skills, boost motivation, and tap into intrinsic feeling of a job well done.
Gal Rimon founded GamEffective in 2012, with the vision of bringing next-generation gamification to enterprise applications. He holds an MBA in Marketing and Information Technologies from Tel Aviv University. GamEffective supercharges employee performance and learning using digital motivation, gamification, and real-time feedback. GamEffective changes the way companies motivate their employees and the way managers align their teams with company goals. For more information, visit: http://www.gameffective.com/about/team/