The gamification in the company increasingly has more followers, being the focus towards the formation of the most widespread and therefore optimized in terms of variety of options sold.
The serious games get an informal learning that constitutes a motivating experience for the employees, and reinforce the reminder of the main concepts to learn. If instead of evaluating the knowledge with an exam after each module of the corporate e-learning platform, we turn the questions into a challenge of personal improvement, we manage to generate a motivating, safe and interactive environment, where the fear of being wrong will be lost and the answers can be practiced with emotion, getting more and more mental agility of reasoning, and improving with it the professional performance.
Considerations when choosing the optimal serious training game:
Any strategy of gamification must pursue a main purpose, and the dynamics of the chosen game must be well aligned with it. Each game achieves different levels of effectiveness in a specific KPI, so the main decision to opt for one or the other will derive from the degree to which its designers have proposed to add value with its dynamics to that objective:
- to animate a formative meeting with a playful activity so that the attention does not decline
- consolidate the knowledge imparted in a course so that they do not forget and apply with agility
- share know-how among the members of a team or department
- give training an innovative format that gives notoriety to the corporate trainer within the company
- increase the ratio of people who are encouraged to complete or finish training in the company
- train people to whom it costs to find time to take a more formal course … etc.
Type of game
The formative games mainly tend to be of 2 types: simulation or quiz type. In simulation games, the person who learns is immersed in an environment similar to what you will find when you apply that learning (ex .: flight simulator). Except when it comes to training in transversal competences, simulators usually need a customized development for each company, with a development time of more than 18 months, with a lot of involvement of the trainers leading the team of programmers, and a later time of Thorough testing to identify multiple incidents that could occur.
The quiz games, on the other hand, are easy and quick to start, since they only require each company to personalize the texts and images of the questions with which each player evaluates himself, and often their graphic environment allows them to be customized. the sectorial theme of the company or corporate branding.
If the goal is to really learn when playing, it is very important that the dynamics of the game are not stressful. With this, a good part of the effectiveness of the reminder of the concepts would be lost. What generates the memory trace is the mental processing and the reasoned reflection of the concepts that are achieved with a quiz, but many commercialized games generate a stressful situation where the speed of response is excessively pondered. The person is more focused on accumulating as many responses as possible, rather than taking efficient learning. To avoid this, the game must allow enough time for:
- reflect the determined answers and
- allow to review carefully the answers issued to learn from the error with the received feed-back.
Another important aspect is that the game does not tire, and that transmit desire to continue playing for a long time. Otherwise, it will be a tool that will have to be renewed and replaced periodically to “not burn it”. This will force the trainer to spend their time looking for and selecting new game providers, as well as teaching employees how each new tool works, rather than engaging in content.
Smartphones or tablets are a great support to learn, by allowing access to the game at any time and place, and therefore generating many more opportunities to adapt to the rhythm of life of each professional. If the game is motivating, our experience with the users of the Trainapp videogame is that more than 80% of the users answer company questions even on weekends, as they no longer perceive it as “work” and their addictive challenge approach prevails with the one that self-sufficient.
When employees do not have a corporate smartphone, make sure they can play from the work computer. Optionally, the person can decide to play from his private mobile phone when he is out of the company, installing an app. Considering neurodidactic criteria that we are so passionate about in Siltom, if people answer questions in their real work environments, it will positively influence their subsequent reminder to apply the learning to real situations, more than if the course is taught, for example, in a hotel room.
It is convenient to limit the playing time to less than 15 minutes per day. The employee should not be distracted for too long from the rest of his professional duties while he is working. Those few minutes will achieve more formative effectiveness than marathon days of exposure to new concepts.
The screens of the game destined to contents must allow to describe practical cases instead of accepting only very brief texts. Considering the principle of contiguity, which increases the effectiveness of learning by 70%, we will try to ensure that the texts are accompanied by images. In this way, visual messages are constructed that improve the reminder of the transmitted concept. If we have training videos, it is important that the digital platform of the game allows them to be incorporated. Video is a format that adds value to understanding and retaining learning.
Games are social environments, in which employees interact with each other, and when choosing a game we can take into account the degree of “aggressiveness” that the company prefers to offer to a team of determined employees, depending on their profile or of the corporate culture style in which they work immersed. The games that some people face are more aggressive than those focused on fostering teamwork. A serious game can be an interesting component of the team-building actions to unite high-performance teams, if the individual rankings are complemented with others by teams to which they contribute individual value.
The gamified digital training platforms give traceability of the answers and determine how much people know. At the same time, they allow to quantify the effectiveness of the learning results of the methodology used. The most complete platforms not only give the final knowledge values, but monitor their evolution in real time.
If the learning evolution results are shared with the employees, they will encourage their motivation and support for the training project. It will be evident that the game offered by your company is helping to learn and not only constitutes entertainment. From the answers, other metrics can be analyzed like the main training gaps, the people that started from lower levels of knowledge, the employees who have connected more times to do training sessions and at what times, … etc.
In the professional environment, we all have valuable knowledge to share with the rest. A game can represent a motivating opportunity for employees to share their practical experiences. Taking advantage of their knowledge of the reality of the work, they will be successful in selecting the topics they find most practical. By sharing the voluntary role of content creation with the 15-20% of employees who are most involved:
- the trainer reduces his workload of asking questions, needing only to spend time supervising proposals.
- the players feel the project much more theirs, getting a more engagement factor for the project to be successful.
We hope these tips based on our experience in the design of games for companies are of practical use. We would appreciate feedback from trainers on the aspects that have influenced your decisions to choose to offer one game or another.