Gamification in business is a guaranteed way to boost engagement

Despite the technology involved and the advances made over the past few years, learning management systems have been rather slow to adopt new techniques and embrace new technologies.

There are several reasons for this, but possibly the most important is that education and training are one area which is very resistant to change. The old and tired view of teacher-classroom-students is, thankfully, beginning to see a shift away from this model and towards something a lot more exciting and progressive.

Gamification is the new kid on the block in training terms of advances in elearning. It is the use of game dynamics and systems in learning, and in many instances completely removes the teacher from the equation.

While terrifying for some instructors as they might be out of a job soon, this is welcome news for organizations with an LMS as it brings down teaching costs. Away from the purely financial there are a number of benefits to gamification in business which are worth exploring.

Gamification in business is trending

The interest in gamification in business – and education – has risen sharply over the past few years. It’s estimated by the end of this year over 50% of organizations that manage innovation processes will have some form of gamification in their businesses.  This is incredible since a few years ago the thought of encouraging your workforce to play games would have had management in stitches.

Outside gamifying businesses it is gaining serious traction in academia, with the number of published articles being released that address the effectiveness of gamification in business and other scenarios on the rise. Despite the spike in adoption and scholarly research, there is still little coherence across academia with regard to what actually constitutes gamification and what research has been carried out.

Semantics aside the majority of scholarly literature that has been produced agrees that there are many positive effects to gamification in business and education, and that motivation brought about through gamification plays a key part in progress and development.

Why does it work?

We have all played a videogame at some stage in our lives, and I’d be willing to bet most people become at least a tiny bit addicted to games like Candy Crush. Many of you would decry Candy Crush, calling it nothing more than addictive – but this is why it is so successful. It’s not the colors (although they do help) and it’s not the music; it’s how the game rewards you for what you accomplish. Check out this article on Elearning Industry for more information on the psychology behind gamification.

The rewards aren’t random – quite the contrary. They are strategically placed throughout the game to give players just enough so they feel like they are achieving something, and just too little for them to be satisfied.

Motivation through Gamification in business

Ask any L&D manager what is their biggest challenge in what they do and they will probably say learner motivation. Keeping learners motivated enough so they want to come back from their training – especially in the corporate context where training can take up the learer’s free time – can be extremely tough.

This is one of the reasons for so many companies adopting gamification in business strategies – they have been shown to influence certain positive behaviors such as motivation and knowledge retention.

Learners get bored easily, especially if the subject material is dull. Combining traditional teacher-classroom methods with elements of self-study and digital media – otherwise known as blended learning –  has been a feature of LMS platforms for some time, and works for the same reasons as gamification.

Healthy competition plays a crucial role in stimulating learners to engage more and have fun, and gamification in business delivers this. Leaderboards, a points system and badges are used strategically to foster competition, while social features encourage learners to collaborate, share and interact. This too has been proven to promote a more satisfying and ultimately successful learning process, and forms the basis of social learning.

Expand the reach of your learning

Making the learning process more dynamic and engaging is top priority for L&D managers. Likewise ensuring access to training outside of these classroom-teacher interactions is a huge part of increasing overall access to training material.

Gamification in business, as well as blended learning and other methods that don’t require instruction, are part of a larger movement to place more control in the hands of the learner regarding when, where and on what they carry out their learning.

Asynchronous learning is self-paced and gives the learner the freedom to choose how they complete their learning path. To take advantage of gamification in business you don’t need a live referee, just a compatible device. With the Paradiso Offline player these capabilities are extended further as gamification content can be downloaded to then be completed later on a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Adopting Gamification in business in your organization

In spite of the benefits brought about through gamification in business, as I have already said some learning providers and organizations are slow on the uptake. It is a relatively new feature on learning management systems, but as more evidence and results begin to flow in it will quickly become the staple. The ball is already rolling for companies gamifying their business.

Paradiso LMS is a cutting-edge learning management system that supports gamification. Not only that but with Paradiso Composer instructors can build their own courses that incorporate elements of gamification, such as hangman, crosswords and drag and drop.

 If gamifying your business is something that could be of interest, then please get in touch and one of our advisors will be happy to show you more. Just follow this link.

Sam Lewis

Sam's background is in translation and content creation and he brings years of experience from living and working in the UK and Latin America. He has a Masters in Translation from the University of Manchester and a Bachelors in Modern Languages from the same university. In his free time - when not doing translation - he writes for a local lifestyle magazine and enjoys watching movies and eating out (and reviewing both of them).

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