by Lily Zimmerman, Instructional Designer
Sure, in theory gamification sounds like a great solution, but how do you know if it’s the right solution for your organization? Gamification is a new and innovative tool that can be a powerful part of a learning experience, but it’s not a solution that you can just casually slap on and expect to see improvement.
In fact, misaligned gamification can actually decrease engagement if doesn’t jive with your culture or resonate with your employees.
The most engaging and effective learning experiences are designed as an integral part of an overall business strategy. How do you know if gamification is right for your organization? Consider these four questions before you take the leap.
But before we begin, if you need a recap on what exactly gamification is, take a look at part one in this three-part series.
1. How will gamification help achieve your business goals?
The key to creating a successful learning experience is to closely align it with specific business objectives. This is even more critical if you’re considering investing in gamification. To do that, avoid making gamification a solution looking for a problem. Instead, make sure that you are using it to move the needle on specific, measurable business goals.
2. What motivates your employees?
If you’ve rejoiced in racking up frequent flyer miles, scoured your town looking for Pokémon and PokéStops, or even just felt a sense of accomplishment when your LinkedIn profile announces that it’s 100% complete, you’ve been gamified.
Gamification is everywhere. It works by appealing to basic human nature, encouraging people to engage in desired behaviors, and providing a path to mastery.
For it to be successful, you need to know what motivates your employees. What will they find fun, exciting, and challenging? What will drive them to create success for themselves and your organization?
3. What does success look like for you?
Once you determine how gamification will fit within your business strategy and what motivates your employees, ask yourself how you will measure success. Will you use specific performance indicators? A score on a test? A certain level of participation?
If you fail to define success factors at the beginning, it will be difficult to know whether the learning initiative is working or not. Make sure that everyone in your organization agrees what success looks like and then ask yourselves if gamification is the right solution to achieve it.
“Most attempts at gamification currently miss the mark, but successful and sustainable gamification can convert customers into fans, turn work into fun, or make learning a joy. The potential is enormous.”
– Brian Burke, research vice president at Gartner
4. Do you have the budget and the time to create an effective gamification program?
Gamification in learning is not necessarily a technology-driven solution. However, if you’re planning to use gamification elements, you’ll want to consider how well your infrastructure will support the plan. The costs of gamified learning can vary based on the complexity of the program and may include equipment, software, and training. For some organizations, investment will pay dividends, and for others the costs might be prohibitive. The key is defining how it fits within your business objectives.
Gamification By The Numbers
In the United States alone, there are 183 million active gamers. Those gamers play 13 hours a week on average. (Ryan Jenkins)
Almost 80% of the learners say that they would be more productive if their university/institution or work was more game-like. (Talent LMS)
Over 60% of learners would be motivated by leaderboards and increased competition between students. And 89% say that a point system would increase their engagement with an eLearning application. (Talent LMS)
Clearly, these are some compelling reasons to consider gamified learning for your employees. If you would like to further explore how gamification works and whether it makes sense for your business, please contact us today. And stay tuned for the third and final part of our gamification series, in which we’ll discuss how you can take steps to get started!