10 Reasons Why You Should Gamify Your Safety Training
Gamification, which is defined as “the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals” (Gartner), injects fun into training and provides the workforce with rewards. Every employee will not only more likely to take part in learning, but also complete the tasks assigned to them. Gamification gives employees a challenge to complete, provides framework on how to overcome it and offers instant gratification at the end.
Gamification also provides motivation to the employees to learn in several ways.
Firstly, learners oversee their own learning path and outcomes, as they have complete control over their interactive learning experience. Secondly, assigning value to the game itself and having interest in the subject also increases motivational levels. Lastly, once the employees develop competency in something such as a game, they are more likely to do it again. The indirect consequence is cultivation of self-directed employees who intrinsically look forward to improving themselves.
While the questions of motivation and how to encourage and incentivise the employees have been answered, gamification still needs to address the challenges associated with traditional training such as time constraints and memory retention.
Here are 10 reasons and ways how gamification manages to overcome these issues too.
1. Increasing the accessibility of training
Although gamification is not a new concept, it has grown in prominence over the past few years due to the technology available. Employees can participate in training on a work computer or via their smartphone while at home. This allows the workforce to learn at a time and place that suits their preferences, but also means they don’t have to be sent away on length training courses.
2. Lowering the cost of training
Rather than sending employees on a training course whenever new industry regulations or health and safety legislation is introduced, gamification can be adapted and modified according to the content you want to teach. The game elements and mechanics will stay the same, but the materials your employees access can be different every time.
3. Grabbing the attention of employees
It can be an uphill struggle to grab the attention of employees when talking about the serious nature of health and safety, but gamification can make this subject a lot more interesting. In fact, gamification has a track record of working particularly well with compliance training, as the implementation of game elements and mechanics gives employees something to identify with, but also makes the experience much more enjoyable.
4. Putting employees in competition with each other
An important part of gaming is competition, as players have an inherent desire and motivation to beat one another. This can transfer over to the workplace, too, with online leaderboards and ranking charts for completing training modules. Employees will want to beat their colleagues with gamification tasks and thus increase individual learning capacities.
5. Making subjects relatable to real-world scenarios
Games can formulate real-world scenarios or situations where the learner’s choice will lead to a certain consequence or outcome. This makes training much more relatable and true to life, giving staff a unique and memorable insight into what could happen if the wrong decision is made.
6. Improving proficiency and memory retention
Having looked at the effectiveness of gamification over the duration of a year, professor Traci Sitzmann from the University of Colorado in Denver found that skill-based knowledge levels increased by 14 per cent, factual knowledge levels increased by 11 per cent, and retention of material learnt increased by nine per cent.
7. Bringing about a behavioural change
When combined with the scientific principles of repeated retrieval and spaced repetition, gamification can be used to change employee behaviour, meaning you could end up with a workforce that not only adheres to health and safety policy, but also recognises and reports on potential risks in the future.
8. Providing instant feedback
Traditional training generally requires a test or examination after the teaching finishes to determine whether employees have learnt anything. With gamification, on the other hand, feedback can be provided instantly to increase learner engagement, recall and retention. Management can also gain access to performance tools such as activity metrics and knowledge retention rates.
9. Introducing fun into the workplace
Health and safety might not be a laughing matter, but by incorporating fun into training employees will work more productively, exercise their creativity, and provide greater innovation within their job role. Companies with a fun-oriented culture also have lower levels of absenteeism, greater job satisfaction, less down time and increased employee loyalty.
10. Flexibility for further training
Along with training that concerns health and safety policy, gamification also provides you with a platform for other workplace subjects. Although some gamification solutions are tailor-made with a specific topic or theme in mind, other off-the-shelf products can be easily adapted and adjusted according to your requirements.
FutureSafe Tech is a learning technology company that provides you with customized technological solutions and consultancy to companies conducting safety training and orientation. FutureSafe Tech can help you augment your safety training with the latest learning technologies, and to help you implement blended safety training.
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