HRMS Learning & Development: A Guide to Gamification Greatness

Gartner have predicted that by 2014, more than 70% of global organizations will have at least one –gamified- application. Add to this, the long tradition of using games in training courses and corporate learning programs and it seems likely that learning & development is one part of HRMS that will show less resistance to this new possibility. Indeed, a recent report titled The Future Of Gamification, included the results of interviewing over a thousand internet experts and indicated that the principles of gamification could actually improve creativity, learning, participation and motivation; all gold dust for your HRMS learning and development strategy.

The whole point of gamification, and especially the gamification of HRMS learning and development, is to give the user a sense of achievement and progress while accomplishing the goals required by the business. Along the way, the public acknowledgement element (leader boards, high scores, badges, achievements/accomplishments) introduces the element of personal branding and reputation within the context of the required learning.

Questions of Design

The biggest plus in terms of learning is perhaps the opportunity to use simulation-type games to allow learning in real-world scenarios without real-world consequences. As an example, the U.S. Government Department of Defense widely utilizes simulations in its Defense Acquisition University. One game in particular focuses on how to spot fraud, a skill that increases with (and in fact, depends upon) practice and experience. The DoD’s virtual environment allows skill development including errors (often the best way to learn) without those errors impacting on real cases.

A successful use of gamification in HRMS learning and development goes beyond a colorful interface, it takes the learners themselves into account.

Other examples of learning-related gamification programs out there include: Microsoft training its users in new interfaces, Quest to Learn, a New York public middle and high school uses the principles of game design throughout its curriculum; and the longstanding successful Arcaris platform from Chile that gamifies the whole call center management process and has been turning a traditionally dull and unrewarding job into something more interesting for a couple of years now.

Of course, corporate learners aren’t unsophisticated; they can see past the surface fripperies of badges or points. A successful use of gamification in HRMS learning and development goes beyond a colorful interface, it takes the learners themselves into account. What behavior do they need to demonstrate? How can that behavior be encouraged and rewarded in a way that is meaningful? How can goals be made engaging and how quickly can progress be acknowledged and feedback given? All questions of design that any gamified business learning application must be able to answer.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall