We are part of an era where digital transformation is redefining skill requirements for businesses. This means that the business leaders are essentially facing two challenges- One, nurturing the workforce for future roles, and two, ensuring that the current workforce stays relevant amid change. The imperative for every future oriented business is to ponder over reskilling, upskilling and skills projections to tackle this disruption. The common consensus among these businesses is that learning, and development programs will be their wild card to success.
However, HR leaders often find themselves dealing with the challenge to pass on this message to the last person in the chain of hierarchy. As a result, learning is not the first thing on employees’ to-do list. In other words, the priority for them is to carry out their existing roles and responsibilities in a competitive manner. There is barely any window to focus on the bigger picture, i.e., how far the current skills will take them. Without a proactive intent and engagement from the employees, any corporate learning program merely fills the classroom seats and issues a bunch of completion certificates. There is no real, measurable business impact of such unmindful learning.
This is where gamification comes in to change how L&D strategy is delivered and executed.
Gamification connects the missing dots
A 2018 survey by PwC suggests that most business organizations do not have the right skill sets and talent pool to keep them relevant and competent in a digital world. As data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and virtual reality etc. become mainstream, HR leaders are hard-pressed to find the talent that fits into these pockets. While internal learning and development programs is a preferred traditional way to source talent for these new opportunity areas, the lack of engagement among employees is a challenge that many HR leaders are yet to surmount. The missing dot here is, lack of purpose. The employees find hard to interpret how these training programs are in line with their higher purpose.
By integrating the principles of gamification, organizations can overcome this barrier and make their learning and development programs more engaging. There's no one without purpose in a game. That's what Gamification is all about.
Every game has certain attributes like rules, goals, challenges, course correction, cautions, reward for achievement and so on. When these attributes are built into any corporate learning programs, it can simulate an environment where everybody has fun while being part of the learning process.
People tend to complete, collaborate, and take pride when they are part of a game.
We may say that gamification applies theories of repeated retrieval and spaced repetition to trigger a behavioral change in learners. Therefore, the HR leaders have their task cut out- shun the boring PowerPoint curriculum slated for a learning session. Instead, they need to create a fun and rewarding experience by curating gamified course material.
The rising importance of gamification
As Gen Z strengthens presence in the workforce in the coming years, businesses will face unique challenges posed by a multigenerational workforce. Hence, personalized learning experience will be the key to engage the entire workforce in a meaningful way. People will only pay heed to information that is relevant to them and is tailor made to suit their consumption. They will want to be in control of what they learn, when they learn, and the format of their learning. When people see a direct correlation between learning and their career growth, they are keener to tread the path. They are more likely to actively spare time for learning and development. This makes gamification important for corporate learning. Add the artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to gamified simulations, assessment of learning outcomes and further improvement of module becomes a near-real time process.
Millennials and Gen Z who grew up on a staple diet of video games and smartphones find an immediate connect with gamified corporate learning experience. They enroll into the process as a natural instinctive behavior. Moreover, as businesses aim for cross-generational collaboration, gamification encourages positive workplace interactions, which adds to work motivation among each one and all.
Gamification beyond learning
Going forward, gamification will not be limited to the realm of learning and development. It will rather be an essential element of sessions where business transformation strategy is discussed. Digital simulations based on the principles of gamification provide a measurable way to understand the level of consensus and collaboration among participants. Hence, leadership can better optimize the strategic discussions. All in all, it is time to take away the PowerPoint presentations from corporate learning rooms and roll out the red carpet for gamified experience.
(Know more about the latest trends in the learning & development landscape at the People Matters L&D Conference 2019 scheduled for 6th November in Mumbai. Click here to register.)