Starting from square one: The ‘gamification’ piece in the ‘on-boarding’ puzzle

Posted by Paradigm Learning on July 30, 2015

“I don’t make the rules around here, I just follow them.”

Despite the fact those words might be correctly interpreted as unenthusiastic, most employers would traditionally be supportive of the basic idea if the majority of their workers did what they said they were going to do … to the letter. But experience tells us that is not the case. If there is room for passive disengagement as expressed in that lead statement, simply looking for others to blindly follow any rule or guideline – no matter how high up the decision-chain it has been approved – is actively discouraging.

“Half my training budget is wasted. I just don’t know which half.”

Perhaps this common refrain sounds familiar. Savvy senior leaders understand that many rank-and-file staff members generally do ‘just enough’ to retain their jobs, but rarely much beyond it. More disconcerting is that ‘acceptance’ of a new way of doing business can simply be forced upon employees without negative consequences. The people at WebPro News understand that organizations can’t hide their heads in the sand and pretend they don’t see the problem:

“Companies will end up dealing with the people issues anyway. They’ll either do it before the [technology] implementation, when everyone will get on-board happily, or after the implementation, when the costs of human and monetary capital rise.”

Unfortunately, in many cases, most stakeholders have been conditioned to remain silent until concerns become large enough to gain the attention of their c-suite superiors. By the time complaints begin to materialize, it’s too late to do anything about the problems that created them.

“Just deal with it.”

Nope, that’s not a good enough answer, unless you’re talking about ‘dealing with it’ in a very different way using the tools of ‘gamification.’ A recent Training magazine article supports the view that game elements are good for learning:

“One way to strengthen knowledge retention and encourage a higher level of learner engagement is to ‘gamify’ the experience. A little friendly competition goes a long way toward ratcheting up the attention and knowledge-retention span.”

In substantially greater numbers, organizations are discovering the value of incorporating game mechanics into non-game contexts to drive the on-boarding process. It’s not, as the name might suggest, about turning everything into a game; it’s about leveraging the ‘fun’ aspects of gaming as tools to stimulate learning and development on the job.

The only wasted expense in ‘gamification’ is the money you don’t spend upfront.

Your return-on-investment comes from getting everybody ‘on-board’ from square one. 

Topics: Experiential Learning, Human Resources, Employee Engagement