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Employee training programs are a necessity for specialized industries. Finance companies, manufacturing plants, and education are just a few of the areas where formal, on-the-job training and continued education are required.
However, employees are often less than enthusiastic about these sessions. Continued education or leadership training suffers from even lower engagement rates than onboarding. Because engaged employees retain more information and progress through training faster, it’s important for companies to find a solution to this problem.
Gamified employee training software is becoming a popular way to speed up training, engage employees, and increase interest in continued skill development. Solutions range from lightweight programs that add a gamified-layer of points or levels onto existing training systems, to fully-developed 3D training simulations for in-depth education.
Choosing the right solution for your company can help you cut costs, better train your employees, and streamline your onboarding process.
Employee training programs are generally static affairs, where participants read training material, watch instructional videos, or listen to speakers. They often then take a pass-fail test at the conclusion. This structure encourages employees to only pay attention to elements of training which they believe they’ll later be tested on.
Gamified solutions improve on this model by offering continuous feedback, which promotes active learning and participation. Such solutions can be used to quiz employees at the end of each session, for instance, or complete fun trivia contests about the information they just read. Participants can then be ranked using a public leaderboard, based on the amount of information they could recall. This adds a competitive element to the learning process and increases employee engagement.
By incorporating a digital progress bar into training programs (through an app or web interface, typically) you can help employees visualize their progress and take ownership over their training. This is especially effective for employees who are participating in a program in which they need to pass a series of tests in order to advance. A progress bar shows them exactly how far they’ve come and gives them an idea of the importance and weight of future training modules.
Progress bars also allow employees to gauge how much additional training they have left, or how many modules they’ll need to complete to advance to the next level. Continued development programs can break training into smaller portions – each representing a level – in order to make each segment more manageable.
The benefits of a gamified employee training programs include faster onboarding times, greater retention of information by employees, and overall lower training costs.
By aligning incentives around information retention, and offering rewards for attaining higher scores, employees will be motivated to do more than simply pass their final tests. As employees become more engage in the program (possibly by competing against each other on public leaderboards) companies can shorten their programs to include less redundant information. This decreases onboarding time and saves money.
Similarly, employees often need extra incentive to pursue continued development courses (or update their skillset) once they’re inside the company. These type of courses often feel like additional, unpaid work, so it’s important to make them as engaging as possible. Setting up a month-long competition among executives, for instance, with weekly updates on each person’s progress, can spur rivalry and help the company.