Ensuring your learners engage with your L&D plan can often seem like an uphill battle. It’s a bit like spinning plates – as soon as you turn your attention to a new plate, the one you had spinning starts to wobble and you’re in serious trouble if you don’t give it another quick spin.
You’ve got to keep your attention on all of your plates to make sure none take a quick nosedive.
This is why your training programme has to be a hugely engaging experience for everyone. One way to guarantee this level of focus is to make learning entertaining. We know. This is a big ambition. But there’s a flashy answer that will have your learners competing to learn…
Gaming is the spoonful of sugar needed to assure the learning sticks. Almost 70% of Americans play video games regularly, so it’s a massively popular medium that a lot of your learners will be exercising daily anyway.
Before we get to the exciting, heart-thumping, mind-blowing gaming part, let’s find out more about learner engagement…
It’s the age-old problem that haunts school teachers as much as it does HR departments: how do you make training something that people actually want to do? How do you make it, well, less boring?
Strap yourselves in. Here is a breakdown of shocking statistics around employee engagement:
The percentage of employees worldwide who are actually engaged at work. It’s a depressingly low number. Are you one of them?
The percentage of people at work who are not engaged with their roles. This means they lack motivation and don’t contribute much in helping the organisation succeed in their collective goals.
The percentage of people at work who are actively disengaged. These people are unhappy, unproductive and demotivated at work. They’ll write hate mail, bring down the morale of everyone around them, gossip, spread bad thoughts and coast through their workdays doing the bare minimum just to keep their managers happy. They’re not great to have around, really.
Highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability than lower engaged teams. This is just another perk to ensuring employee engagement is central to your business strategy. Not only does it mean that your learners are more focused and give more effort, but it is also more profitable to your company.
The amount of billions of dollars that disengaged employees cost US businesses per annum. This is because disengagement leads to unproductive employees. Want to decrease the cost of your disengaged employees? Revamp your team’s communication and create an engaging training programme.
So What do Games have to do with this?
Well, one of the reasons that ‘gamification’ helps to engage these workers and rouse them from their slumber is that we’re all used to playing games. Games are a natural part of our entire lives, from playing peekaboo as babies to 5-hour sessions of Call of Duty as adults!
Indeed, research from Gamification Nation found that 70% of senior executives play games during work hours. Whether it’s a reflection of society’s never-ending obsession with Candy Crush, or used as a means of chilling out and making the most of a quick tea break, we think it’s a reason to make sure games and game mechanics are brought into the workplace.
Games Appeal to All Ages
And contrary to popular belief that gamers are generally teenagers holed up in their bedrooms tapping away on their computers or pressing buttons on their controllers until the wee small hours, only 21% of gamers are aged 18 or under. In fact, the majority (40%) of gamers are between 18 and 35 years old, with a fair proportion (21%) aged 50 and over.
According to the Guiness Book of Records, the oldest video-gaming YouTuber is Hamako Mori, aka Gamer Grandma.
Born on 18th of February, 1930, 90 years old Hamako has been playing video games for over 38 years. So there’s no excuses when introducing gaming elements to your programme!
Clearly, since we enjoy playing games throughout our lives and understand the mechanics and metaphors behind games, it makes sense to strategically bring them into our work lives and take advantage of our natural desires for competition and completion.
Learners Prefer Gamification
It stands to reason, then, that research from Talent LMS shows that 72% of learners ‘strongly prefer gamification’ on their Learning Management Systems (online learning platforms) and learners are going gaga over getting points for activities like reading, writing, sharing course reviews and voting for content.
To back this up even further, 95% of employees enjoy using game-inspired elements in their work. There may be some Mr Burn’s type managers out there asking themselves; ‘Why is employee gratification so important?’
If staff being less stressed in general isn’t enough motivation, then maybe the fact that employees are 12% more productive when they’re happy at work is!
Game-based learning is the cure for learner engagement that you’ve all been waiting for. It drives productivity with its (friendly) competitiveness, it taps into a pastime that a lot of us already enjoy, it’s mobile friendly and it appeals to a high-percentage of your learners.
Do you think it’s time to bring gamification into your Learning and Development plan? Download our free guide: ‘Gamification: Why Does it Work?’