Make Training Fun: How Gamification Can Make All the Difference
There are some inarguable facts about workplace life. While spending hours deciding what to order for lunch and dealing with a busted printer (again) come with the territory, so does employee training. Training gives your team the skills they need to excel in the workplace — aaaand maybe stay ahead of the competition, too.
It’s an indispensable component of a well-rounded organization, ensuring employees perform at the highest possible level. Ensuring employees are set up for success leads to better performance and higher satisfaction, while reducing turnover and improving your company’s culture. Research finds that regular training instills loyalty, leading to greater job satisfaction.
For all the advantages, however, training isn’t always considered the most fun activity in the world. The real challenge is in creating sessions that are as engaging as they are informative. Ask anyone: that’s a tall order for what is often considered a tedious experience. Hope isn’t lost, though. The right tactics can transform workplace training into something that might even be — gasp! — fun and exciting. Implementing some new strategies can help your flock soar!
Why Is It Important to Engage Employees During Training?
Never underestimate the value of employee engagement. No matter what’s on the agenda, a connected employee is a motivated employee. In the training space, fostering that sense of interest is a serious pain point. The more intrigued people are by both the information and the way it’s presented, the more likely they are to absorb it. Then they can apply what’s learned to their work and use it as a stepping stone for growth.
It's important to think about general feelings towards training, too. Some folks may see training as an exciting activity or challenge to tackle. Then there are those who might feel anxious or stressed at the thought of a training session. As a result, they’re less likely to stay focused on training sessions. That psychological impact is huge!
Devise a refreshed framework that redefines what exactly training means to your company. Prioritize and present it as part of ongoing growth, and not as a penalty for missing a target or making a mistake. Connection, support, and enthusiasm are the keys to more engaging training sessions for your employees.
How to Make Mandatory Training More Fun
So how do you make a training program fun? It’s all about the activities. Passive learning methods, like lecturing and reading are just plain…not fun. We’re not here for that — and neither are your employees. These ideas are sure to spark a good time and transform your workplace training sessions for good.
- Break the Ice: Do all of your employees know each other personally? Maybe, maybe not. If you work in a remote-first or hybrid environment, that’s more likely to be the case. It’s always fun to break the ice in a formal setting by coming up with an easy pre-training activity. It will foster better engagement between employees and help them settle into workplace training more comfortably. Everyone knows their ABCs, so get started by having everyone say the alphabet letter by letter, beginning with A and ending with Z. The catch? Each letter has to be stated by people at random - and if anyone says one at the same time, everyone starts over at A. It’s harder—and a lot more fun—than you might think!
- Rewards-Based Learning: What do people love? Challenges! Recognition! Rewards! Employees can receive all of the above when they complete virtual training sessions. They can complete various challenges via the Goosechase app as they advance, which will earn them points (and kudos) along the way. Implementing a leaderboard is key since it also encourages social engagement and recognition between employees. A little bit of healthy competition never hurts—and they’ll love that feeling of satisfaction as they move up the leaderboard.
- Create Verifiable Missions: Take any training session to the next level using Goosechase. Create interactive experiences for any function or skill you want to teach your employees. Already this is a step above anything you could possibly read to them in a classroom because it encourages instant engagement. Your team members will tap into the Goosechase app to find their Experience, then provide verification via text, video or photo submissions showing they’ve understood and mastered the information. This makes mandatory anything so much more fun, trust us.
- Implement Role-Playing: Gamified role-playing can be useful for improving customer service skills. Each employee adopts a role (like customer and salesperson) and copes with various real-world circumstances they may encounter in the workplace. The "customer" might be irate about a return policy, for example, or concerned about a late delivery. This is an ideal way to test various solutions and teach employees in a direct way how to implement those tactics. These scenarios may be played out over the phone, online, or in person depending on what’s easiest for you to execute. Replicating these scenarios within the contained gaming world allows for some flexibility and helps employees build their confidence as they master the newly obtained material.
Your trainees will see their points accrue—and those tangible rewards can help them feel more confident implementing what they’ve learned when dealing with real customers.
- Use Multimedia Liberally: Using video-based training methods can boost retention in a significant way. Studies find that people retain up to 50% of what they see and hear, compared to just 30% of images and a minimal 10% of text. It’s well worth incorporating video to convey your training messages as boldly and memorably as possible. Aim for a balance of videos, graphics, and music to hold your employees’ attention without veering into distraction. Make it easy to digest—not too long, with interesting asides or vignettes in the form of memes or LOL-worthy pop culture refs that everyone understands.
Scroll through everyone's submissions at the end of the session to end off on a relatable, memorable - and memeable (sorry) - note.
- Scavenger Hunt Time: Put the “active” into “active learning” by getting your team to leave their desks for an interactive experience. Whether they’re flying solo or breaking off into flocks, they’ll have a blast checking items off the list as they execute them. For example, if the topic is safety, you could have them take a photograph of a potential hazard (hopefully this one's tough to find), or a photograph of something that’s done right. The idea is to get them to connect with the content on a deeper level, something that’s far easier to do when they have physical tasks to complete. Don’t forget: Part of making training fun is giving away prizes to the winners!
- Complete Pop Quizzes: You’ll know everyone is engaged when your employees successfully pass a pop quiz. You can give text-based pop quizzes to test the information they learn during training sessions. Create the quiz in Goosechase so you can carefully analyze the results with regard to overall scores, employee rankings, duration of sessions, number of right and wrong answers, and more. There’s nothing to search for here—only a chance for your team to show off their smarts and prove they’ve absorbed the information they picked up during training. Not only are app-based quizzes easier and more fun to make, but you can also modify your training content and strategies based on the information you gather at the end.
So how can you make your training more interactive and interesting? The end goal is to make the entire experience positive from start to finish, and foster a workplace where learning - even from mistakes! - is welcome and fun.
Ultimately, infusing gamification into workplace training is all about increasing employee engagement (here are some more employee engagement ideas). It encourages more active participation, offers the chance to reward your team for their hard work, fosters a sense of healthy competitive spirit, and promotes your company’s culture. Whether you’re working with a state-of-the-art VR setup or setting up custom games, you’ll notice the difference right away.
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What is Goosechase?
At Goosechase, experience is everything. Originally inspired by scavenger hunts, Goosechase is an online platform that enables organizations and schools to engage, activate, and educate their communities through delightful interactive experiences. Sign up and try creating a free recreational game, or contact us to learn more about our enterprise solutions!