How to Build a Gamification Strategy – An Expert View
Author: Steven ChopadePosted On Jun 07, 2023 | 7 Mins Read
Implementing an effective gamification strategy in eLearning is a powerful way to improve knowledge retention. It involves the use of unique gaming techniques and elements to increase the learner’s participation and stimulate their interest.
Gamification is also proven to be useful in increasing collaboration between learners, when applicable, and enhance their cognitive abilities. In fact, the rising inclusion of gamification in eLearning is a top reason for the latter’s market growth.
Well-designed gamified content focuses on leveraging intrinsic motivating factors in the user to encourage them in the learning process. For example, the leaderboard is one type of game design that challenges users to compete against one another and finish the task.
Then there are reward programs like badges and points to push learners to keep learning. Gamification creates an emotional connection between the learners and the content. Surprise elements and hidden challenges keep up the engagement levels with the content and ensure course completion.
That said, there are different gamification elements that incentivize learners to perform better and induce a positive learning attitude. As gamification analyst Karl Kapp rightly puts it, “Gamification is the cover to add the interactivity, engagement, and immersion that leads to good learning.”
Let’s look at the key aspects of creating a gamification strategy.
What is Gamification?
Gamification is adding game mechanics to a UI using instructional content. It involves repurposing information that leverages game motivations.
According to Dr. Vikas Joshi, Founder & CEO, Harbinger Group, applying gaming aspects to an otherwise mundane process is called gamification. Experts say improving outcomes and increasing involvement are the core purpose of gamification. Gamification is observed to gain a lot of traction with the growing adoption of new learning technologies.
Everyone is probably more familiar with gamified learning than they realize. Gamification is already a common practice, even if it isn’t immediately acknowledged. Any company that wants to improve employee engagement and satisfaction should consider implementing gamification in L&D.
|Listen to our Power Hour, What Businesses Need to Know about Gamification in Learning, if you are not aware of the aspects to consider while creating gamified content or how gamifying content works.|
While some of the games may be animated, they need not be as complicated or fancy every time. One can apply simple strategies and frameworks as the starting point. A beautiful thing about gamification is that it provides the creators with varied approaches that can be easily adopted.
Scores, leaderboards, quizzes, badges, leveling, challenges, progress bars, rewards, and timers are some of the specialized and widely used gamification elements. Some well-known brands like Nike, Starbucks, Duolingo, and Fitbit have made gamification an intrinsic part of their offerings.
Gamification is not just a buzzword. Organizations shouldn’t overlook the benefits of gamification in corporate training and learning.
Top 8 Gamification Strategies Businesses Can Choose From
There is no doubt that a robust gamification strategy motivates user participation and boosts engagement. Also, gamified environments can elevate learner experience to the next level.
Here are the top 8 gamification strategies which can be deployed to achieve desired training goals.
Use of Virtual/ Simulated Environment
Integrating task-based simulations in the training program, can help learners to polish their skills and get solutions to problems they most often would encounter in the real world of business.
Employees that go through such trainings are well trained to avoid traps and have crucial tips that are less likely to fail in the real world.
It is easier for employees to add to their skills through animated or gamified training options.
Pro Tip: Simulations should be designed to mirror real challenges, they should be competitive, use of catchy and relevant images must be considered to enhance learner engagement and experience.
Address short attention span
Game mechanics can be leveraged to make learning more meaningful by breaking it down into smaller, easily accessible, and consumable chunks, to address the forgetting curve. Games can be strategically used to divide training into small sessions enabling learners to stay engaged and respond positively.
Deploy Gamification for Active Learning
Active learning is a great way to kill boredom and encourage learners. This can be done through various activities such as group discussions, case studies, events, but gamification is one of the best ways to bring the best out of active learning.
Using the points mentioned below, you can use the power of gamification to foster an environment of active learning in the organization:
- Know your learners
- Address their anxieties and fears
- Let learners take control
- Add elements to prevent monotony
- Use familiar characters, case studies and stories
Do Not Overate Rewards
We agree that rewards are a great way to attract learners to leverage the power of gamification to skill, upskill, cross-skill, or simply stay updated with knowledge needed to perform and stay ahead in a corporate set up.
However, if learners participate in such learning programs only for rewards is a fallacy. Remember the best corporate gamification program is primarily about the competition and thrill factor. So, make sure to strike a balance and not only focus on rewards.
Celebrate Everyone Who Participates
Celebrating the fact that we are all winners will take your gamification strategy a long way. It is wise to measure performance based on participation and praise the efforts of people who made those efforts.
After all, gamification in business is all about teamwork.
Foster a continuous Learning Environment
Gamification can be used to foster a continuous learning environment by incorporating game elements, such as badges, leaderboards, and rewards, into training activities. This approach motivates learners, enhances engagement, and encourages them to pursue knowledge willingly, thereby promoting ongoing learning and skill development.
Storytelling and Narratives
Integrate storytelling elements into the learning content to create immersive experiences. Develop narratives and scenarios that require learners to make decisions and solve problems, making the learning process more interactive and enjoyable.
Avatars and Personalization
Want to level up the personalization game in your gamification strategy? Then allow learners to create their avatars and personalize their learning journeys. Avatars add a fun and interactive element to the learning experience, making it more relatable and enjoyable.
Want to know how Harbinger can help you gamify your content? Check out our Gamification Framework.
Understanding Gamification at Work: 10 Key Aspects
Gamification at work refers to the application of game elements and mechanics in a non-game context, such as the workplace, to engage and motivate employees, enhance productivity, and drive desired behaviors. It leverages the psychological aspects of games to make work tasks more enjoyable and rewarding, ultimately fostering a more engaging and productive work environment.
Here are 10 key aspects of gamification at work:
1. Game Elements
Gamification incorporates various game elements, such as points, badges, leaderboards, levels, challenges, and rewards. These elements provide a sense of achievement, competition, and progress, tapping into intrinsic motivators like autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
2. Goal Alignment
Gamification is most effective when game elements and mechanics align with the organization’s goals and objectives. By mapping work-related tasks and objectives to the game elements, employees can see a clear connection between their efforts and the desired outcomes.
3. Motivation and Engagement
Gamification increases employee motivation and engagement by making work more enjoyable, interactive, and rewarding. It creates a sense of challenge, accomplishment, and friendly competition, which can enhance employee satisfaction and performance.
4. Skill Development
Gamification can be used to develop and enhance specific skills or knowledge areas. By incorporating learning elements into game mechanics, employees can acquire new skills, improve existing ones, and engage in continuous learning within a fun and engaging context.
5. Collaboration and Social Interaction
Gamification can promote collaboration and social interaction among employees. Leaderboards, team challenges, and collaborative quests can foster a sense of camaraderie, teamwork, and healthy competition, encouraging employees to share knowledge and work together.
6. Feedback and Recognition
Gamification provides immediate feedback and recognition for employees’ efforts and achievements. Real-time feedback, virtual rewards, and badges can reinforce positive behaviors, acknowledge accomplishments, and encourage desired performance.
7. Performance Measurement
Gamification can help track and measure employee performance and progress toward goals. By collecting data on game-related activities, organizations can gain insights into individual and team performance, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions.
8. Customization and Personalization
Effective gamification allows customization and personalization based on individual preferences and needs. Allowing employees to choose challenges, set goals, and customize their experience can increase their sense of autonomy, engagement, and ownership.
9. Ethical Considerations
While gamification can be a powerful tool, it is essential to consider ethical aspects. Game mechanics should not create unnecessary stress, foster unhealthy competition, or lead to burnout. It is crucial to ensure fairness, transparency, and inclusivity in the design and implementation of gamification initiatives.
10. Continuous Iteration and Improvement
Gamification programs should be continuously evaluated, refined, and improved based on feedback, data analysis, and evolving organizational needs. Regular assessment and iteration help maintain relevance, effectiveness, and sustained engagement over time.
What is an example of a gamification strategy?
Gamification is popular. Several businesses across the world have a gamification strategy in place, given its USP to make learning fun, rewarding, and engaging. Harbinger helped a famous retail food chain in the US to build a gamification strategy, by developing a drive-thru service game that delivered actual experience at a Drive-thru counter. The thoughtful created gamification strategy helped the fast-food chain in different ways.
|Download the Scenario-Based Drive-Thru Gamified Training with Real-Life Experiences case study to take a closer look at the solution.|
By understanding and effectively implementing a gamification strategy at work, organizations can harness the power of game elements to achieve the desired business outcomes. Gamification in learning has the potential to transform the learning experience by making it more effective, engaging, and interactive.
A gamification strategy should always serve as a means to enhance learning and engagement, so it’s critical to strike a balance between fun and learning. It’s also important to design and implement gamification thoughtfully, ensuring that the game elements align with the learning objectives and promote meaningful learning experiences rather than mere entertainment.
To learn more about gamification or build a winning gamification strategy in eLearning, contact our experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.