While the business world is as competitive as ever, many companies—even among the Fortune 500—are finding that their employees have become less engaged in training, and in turn, less competitive in the market place. According to Gallup, overall employee engagement has fallen below 30%, and almost 18% of employees qualify as “actively disengaged.” Needless to say, the impact on the bottom line is negative. Gallup estimates as much as $550 billion dollars lost by U.S. companies each year as a result of this decline in training retention and engagement.Play Now!
To counter this shifting mentality, many companies finding ways to further tap into the process of “gamification.” Done correctly, gamified learning increases employee engagement and knowledge retention by introducing elements of gaming into real-life and training scenarios, for optimal retrieval of information. Common features include spaced repetition, different levels of achievement, level ups, randomized quiz questions, badges or markers of success, and visual leaderboards. Here are three ways Fortune 500 companies are applying some of these techniques with success.
Fortunately, there are great options already available! The growing trend of gamification has led to many off-the-shelf gamification programs being developed, tested, and proven effective. These programs can be quickly tailored to your company’s needs and get you started. Trivie, at one time the #1 trivia & quiz app on the Apple App Store (with tens of millions of games played), is at the forefront among those providing training retention programs, with personalized and gamified features that can be made available on mobile devices and desktops alike. Some companies opt to develop their own gamified experiences, which is acceptable, but not as easy as one would think. It takes time and expertise to develop a game design that is balanced to be engaging, challenging based upon the progression of mastery, competitive, and rewarding. Once it has been designed, it then has to be tested to establish whether or not it works. All of that is time and energy spent that can’t be regained if it turns out to be ineffective. Simply put, ready-made solutions are the most cost-effective ways to introduce gamification.
There has to be a significant human aspect of gamified training techniques. Social interaction among peers—both online and offline—is essential for the desired learning retention. While any good gamified program will encourage it, leaders within your company should promote socialization, while simultaneously ensuring that it is used for its intended purpose. People learn different ways, and just training and walking away will never achieve measurable learning gains. Simply put, if you gamify your learning, you need to make it part of the entire learning process.
Another important consideration is that a gamified approach may not be suitable for every employee, because competition isn’t a strong motivator for some individuals, they don’t like games, or because they respond more to traditional training. That’s absolutely fine, and of course, the larger your company, the more difficult it will be to have fully personalized training. As long as you are making your training adaptable wherever possible, you will reach and engage more employees. One of the best things you can do is choose a gamified strategy that fits as many interests as possible, trivia being a great example of a strategy that is easily adaptable, highly effective, and relevant to any demographic. Off-the-shelf solutions like Trivie are designed to accommodate this sort of flexibility.
Once a gamified strategy has been put in place, a feedback loop from trainees makes a big difference in how much it will impact performance. The process happens fairly naturally, but it can be helped along. After training, ensure that employees are given tasks that let them directly apply the training. Not only will this further improve retention by anchoring the concepts in a real-world setting, but it will build confidence and enhance engagement as they see their progress unfolding. This is another area in which Trivie shines, as the trivia approach is very easy for employees to engage with and subsequently seeing the newly applied knowledge influencing their work.
Naturally, there are other nuances to applying gamification, but the principles outlined above will help you adapt to and manage peculiarities as they emerge. If training retention or employee engagement are a concern in your company, a gamified approach may be just what you need to keep your employees more engaged and excited about learning -- thereby increasing the retention of information so it can be applied in context to an employee's job responsibilities. Sign up with Trivie today and see how easy it is to guarantee training retention.