HRMS Training: Gamification Pros and Cons

One of the advantages of being an HRMS Professional is that you can often get inside knowledge and experience in other HR functions such as Talent Management, Benefits and Training. As HRMS software often requires the input of Training professionals, gaining an understanding of upcoming trends can often take you ahead of the training curve. One such HRMS training trend that is receiving much attention is the use of ‘gamification’, but is it something we can use in an HRMS?

A simplified definition of Gamification is ‘the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context to engage users and solve problems ’according to Wikipedia. So a training environment on new system functionality could invoke gamification concepts and set up tasks that a trainee needs to accomplish in order to progress, perhaps in competition with others. Such a training session would be a break from the normal routine movement through a manual, where we all move together, following an instructor. Could we apply this concept to an HRMS training environment?

A Cause For Concern

On the surface, HR thrives on relationships, and understanding the ‘people part’ of the equation. I’ve found that successful HRMS training sessions are not heads-down data crunching, but rather more of a group interaction, where we discuss HR scenarios outside of the actual data entry piece. While gamification provides a fresh way to learn a product like Excel, to apply such an approach to employee data would potentially be a cause for concern. Figure out how to eliminate a job in the system and you’ll be able to get a gold star, now proceed to the “Layoffs and Reductions in Force” level next!

The True Value of HRMS Gamification

Are there any aspects we could utilize however, to make training sessions more fun and interactive? Policy understanding is certainly an area where interactive training features such as competitive progression make sense. Showing HR scenarios being played out and then asking questions based on them would enable a trainer to assess if an understanding of more complex situations is there. In a perfect world, these would be interactive, so if an HR Professional answers a question in a certain manner, the scenario then subsequently shifts based on the answer. Such creativity certainly makes training more interesting and realistic, as well as it pushes the boundaries of learning and brings in the human interaction piece that is so relevant in an HR world.

Policy training is just one example of HRMS gamification. I believe that the true value lies in performance and learning management within your HRMS software. How employees progress through task-based work and learning targets is always going to be improved when rewards and recognition are there. At the end of the day, that is what gamification is all about.

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Heather Batyski

About the author…

Heather is an experienced HRMS analyst, consultant and manager. Having worked for companies such as Deloitte, Franklin Templeton and Oracle, Heather has first-hand experience of many HRMS solutions including Peoplesoft and Workday.

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Heather Batyski