In the conventional corporate training scenario, your mind might conjure images of countless employees tediously scrolling through PowerPoint presentations, their minds far from the task at hand, yearning to return to their actual duties. In this traditional learning paradigm, it's a challenge to encourage real, meaningful learning. But what if there's a way to turn this seemingly arduous process into a fun, engaging activity that enhances job performance significantly? Enter the realm of gamified training.
Gamified training takes cues from game mechanics – such as challenges, progression, points, and competition – and incorporates them into training modules, making the learning experience engaging and enjoyable. By merging work with play, gamified training endeavors to create a more enriching learning environment. But it's not all fun and games; there's substantial evidence supporting the effectiveness of this unconventional training method.
One of the most compelling cases comes from the professional services firm, KPMG. They developed an innovative gamified training tool, KPMG Globerunner, and embarked on a comprehensive research study to evaluate its impact on employee performance.
With Globerunner, KPMG aimed to enhance their employees' comprehension of the firm's products and services. In this interactive game, participants created characters and traversed a virtual world, earning 'travel points' for correctly answering questions about the firm's offerings. Moreover, they could complete additional mini-games to earn extra points and unlock new levels.
To measure Globerunner's effectiveness, several parameters such as the number of clients served, fees collected, and business opportunities generated, were analyzed over a 29-month period. The results obtained were not just impressive but game-changing. Offices that implemented the gamified training witnessed over a 25% increase in fees collected, a 16% surge in the number of clients, and a 22% growth in opportunities from new clients. Furthermore, the more an employee engaged with Globerunner, the higher was their job performance.
However, a pivotal aspect of the program's success was leadership engagement. The participation of office leaders in the training game had a significant effect on employee sign-ups, which in turn improved the overall results.
Given KPMG's triumph with gamified training, several recommendations can be distilled for organizations wishing to augment their training methods:
Foster Enthusiasm Across Levels:
The adoption of gamified training needs to be a concerted effort throughout an organization. From senior leaders to junior employees, everyone plays a crucial role in making this transition successful. Leaders, in particular, carry a significant responsibility as their actions often set the tone for the rest of the organization.
When leaders display enthusiasm for the new training method and actively participate in the gaming platform, they effectively endorse it, sending a clear message about its relevance and value. Their participation can demystify the platform and inspire others to engage. More so, it demonstrates that it's not merely a playful diversion but a critical tool for professional growth and development.
Furthermore, leaders' engagement can help alleviate any concerns or misconceptions employees might have about the acceptability of 'gaming' at work. It emphasizes that gamified training is not just tolerated but is encouraged, fostering a conducive environment for learning and development.
Establish Office-wide Goals:
While implementing gamified training, it's important to focus on comprehensive improvement rather than merely targeting segments of employees. This approach acknowledges that, regardless of current engagement levels, every individual stands to gain from the training.
Although highly engaged employees may exhibit more noticeable improvements, even those with previously low engagement have shown positive progress with gamified training. This broader, office-wide strategy can thus foster a sense of inclusivity and collective growth, underlining that the training is beneficial for all, not just a select few.
By setting office-wide performance goals, organizations can create a unified vision and a shared sense of purpose. Such an approach can inspire all employees to engage more actively with the gamified training, contributing to the overall success of the initiative.
Effective learning is a gradual process, and the fruits of gamified training are no exception. Organizations should not expect immediate, skyrocketing results, but rather be patient and anticipate steady progress over time.
In the case of KPMG, significant performance improvements surfaced in the second or third quarter after the training was rolled out. This timeline reinforces that learning, especially when it involves a novel approach like gamification, requires time for employees to adjust, master the lessons, and effectively apply their newfound knowledge.
As employees progressively immerse themselves in the training, their comprehension of the company's products and services enhances, leading to sustained performance improvements over the long term. Hence, when implementing gamified training, organizations need to exhibit patience, allow ample time for employees to acclimatize, and remain open to the possibility of gradual, yet enduring, growth.
KPMG's venture into gamified training is an eye-opening demonstration of how gamification can revolutionize corporate training. Even long after the completion of the study, the benefits of Globerunner persist, underscoring the platform's sustainable potential.
To summarize, gamified training serves as a testament that 'work' and 'play' need not be mutually exclusive. By integrating engaging game mechanics into corporate training, organizations can enhance employee performance, engagement, and even enjoyment. This concept is no longer an intriguing idea but a promising reality with significant potential to redefine the corporate training landscape. It's high time for organizations to level up their training game with gamification.
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