If you want your employees to thoroughly grasp new techniques, consider finding a way to make the learning into a game. It may sound quite unorthodox to use principles of game interaction to teach adults new business concepts, but the benefits of gamification in the workplace are proven.
The effective relationship between games and learning has been studied in educational circles for years. Even though most of these studies pertain primarily to school-age children, human nature makes these same principles very applicable to adults.
The teenage gaming mind soaks up the “virtual worlds” and “immersive multi-user environments” that are offered online. Most adults, on the other hand, relish the computer for its access to information and professional community. That is not to say that adults do not also partake in the teen gamer’s online culture. In fact, 50% of adults play games themselves, but most adults are not aware of the power that their gaming can offer their professional lives.
Children and adults benefit from playing to learn because gamification:
- Offers the players an immersive practice. When people experience the virtual “first-hand” scenarios offered through gaming, they are better able to relate to that subject matter. If you place your employees in a similar virtual circumstance, they will be able to better relate to the actual experience.
- Requires players to make frequent, important decisions. Humans learn best from trial and error. Even mistakes made are beneficial when the players learn from them and correct their form. In the business world, it is best to have your employees make their mistakes in this manner so they will not make them in reality.
- Possesses clear goals that help people focus their learning. Whether the goal is to slay the dragon or to learn the company’s new marketing platform, the “players” will buy-in if they know what is to be attained. Sharing your corporate objectives with your team is essential so they do not feel as though they are wasting their time or drifting without p oint. This is especially important if gamification is a new concept for your company.
- Adapts to each player’s individual skill level. Most gaming cultures offer different levels of play to match their players’ skill levels, and business gamification can follow suit. If one of your employees is particularly ill-trained on a chosen topic, they may start at the lowest level and work their way up. If they are well-versed on the subject, how ever, they may begin at a more intermediate level. Such strategy provides the learner with a sense of accomplishment in an unthreatening, diversified environment.
- Involves a social network to build collegiality and effective decision-making strategies. More frequently than not, efficient business management employs some element of collaboration. Gamification’s very nature supports this concept as learners work together to achieve the predetermined goals.
Gamification has more possibilities than most can imagine. If it is not your area of expertise though, you may need to rely on the assistance of those who know it intimately. Make sure to keep up with us on Twitter or Facebook for upcoming meetups and GSummit events to get this expertise.
Image via EOI