MicroBenefits Blog

Gamified Training that Will Win Over Your Employees

Posted by: Jeff Martin on 7/17/17 7:36 AM

There is a good reason why leading training programs utilize gamification to engage employees.

Have you ever played a video game longer than you had expected because you wanted to get a higher score? If so, you're not alone. There is something about games that taps into our intrinsic motivation to achieve. This same motivation can be leveraged to motivate employees to continue with personal and professional learning through CompanyIQ, a MicroBenefits technology.

Over the past decade, gamification has increasingly become an effective methodology in motivating employees to engage in continued personal and professional learning.

As gamification and behavioral design expert Yu-kai Chow puts it, gamification is the "craft of deriving all the fun and addicting elements found in games and applying them to real-world or productive activities." In other words, gamification can make the learning process more engaging and by awarding achievements and credentials to employees as they complete online learning, and share their learning with others.

More than a million users have logged more than 315,000 hours, the equivalent of almost 36 years, in CompanyIQ, giving the MicroBenefits team unique insight into how gamification motivates employees to learn and retain knowledge.

Here are a few ways that we employ gamification to encourage and motivate digital learning in CompanyIQ:

1. Reward engagement and digital learning

In CompanyIQ, users can earn a variety of achievements for completing various tasks. These tasks can include frequent logins, completing digital learning or challenging friends to one-on-one trivia duels. Learners can earn a digital badge by completing several related courses and passing a short test.

The purpose of these achievements is to encourage employees to engage with CompanyIQ in the most meaningful way possible. We set clear and simple benchmarks that show employees what their next step is, and help them understand their own progress. 

2. Track and display progress

One of the most effective ways to motivate learners is to provide them with a clear system for tracking and displaying their achievements to friends, and most importantly, to their employer. In CompanyIQ, users compete against each other to earn the most points on a weekly leaderboard. Additionally, every user has their own personal wall of achievements, where they can display the digital badges and other achievements they have earned. 

By integrating a tangible record of achievement into the gamification platform, we validate the time and effort that employees put into digital learning, which can motivate employees to go further than they would otherwise go. When employees know that their employer can see their achievements, they see the potential for independent digital learning to further their career opportunities. 

3. Integrate social media features

One of our goals is to provide as much a sense of community as possible for the employees that learn and engage with the app. Users can add friends, and share their thoughts, files, and chat with one or more friends at a time. 

We have also integrated social media into our gamification strategy. Employees can compete to become the weekly leader based on their learning activity in the app. When an employee completes multiple courses and earns a digital badge, they can share this achievement with their friends within the app.

In the end, there is no one way to effectively employ gamification in an employee training strategy. The key principles presented in this article, however, are a good start to understanding the benefits that gamification in CompanyIQ could bring to your company's training and retention efforts.

Posted by Jeff Martin

Jeff Martin is a prolific curriculum and instructional designer with passion and ingenuity for developing disruptive learning solutions.

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