I’d like to offer two suggestions involving technologies that are somewhat mature. The first is gamification. Gamification applies typical elements of game playing (for example, point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to a work-related task, while simulations allow us to plan for disruptive real-world scenarios without putting ourselves or our organizations in harm’s way. Both are fun in a way that encourages learners to progress through the content, motivates action, influences behavior and drives innovation. In an article for Forbes, Jeanne Meister shared what Walmart is doing with application development and gamification.
A few years ago, Walmart set out to deliver safety training for 5,000 associates in eight Walmart distribution centers. Gamifying safety training addressed a significant business issue: ensuring a widely dispersed workforce was adhering to safety procedures on the job. Walmart’s gaming platform was delivered in just three-minute applications embedded into an associate’s workflow.
Not only was the system competitive (and yes, addictive) but it also prompted associates to talk about their rankings in the game AND the importance of adhering to safety protocols. It’s this emotional aspect of gamification that has the deepest benefits to alter employee behavior, and sure enough, Walmart experienced a 54 per cent decrease in safety incidents among the eight distribution centers using gamification.
Next, there’s simulation. eLearningIndustry.com’s Li Whybrow explained how Lloyds Banking Group in the United Kingdom incorporated the strategy into its customer service onboarding program. “New staff must understand the complexity of the regulations and good practice regarding handling sensitive customer data and verification of customers,” Whybrow wrote. “This can’t be done using live customer data, so Lloyds worked with several technology vendors to build a fully simulated clone of the system using synthetic data provided by the bank.”
The simulation-driven program uses a walled garden, or an environment that directs the user’s navigation by facilitating a clear progression. Its strong scripting and storyboarding and rich video content help new associates build empathy with customers and learn to seek appropriate help from internal resources.
As we move closer to 2030, more sophisticated applications of gamification and simulation will further replace the stagnant e-learning techniques of the 2000s. Add a little virtual reality – which we’ll talk more about later – to the mix and your teammates will have a variety of immersive and entertaining options to enhance their most marketable human traits.
Want to learn more about how to future proof your business and career? Join Alexandra Levit on November 28th for a free lunchtime webinar sponsored by Igloo Software. The first 50 people to register here will receive free copies of Humanity Works!