The Business of Learning

How Gamification in Learning Revolutionises the Workplace

Gamification in learning

It’s often remarked that 50% of advertising spend is wasted – but because no one knows exactly which half, the money gets spent anyway.

When it comes to spend on learning though, there are statistics that are far more sobering. Despite budgets continuing to grow (by 2019 the global corporate learning market is predicted to be 9% larger than it was in 2014[1]), the fact is, up to 87% of traditional ‘classroom’ learning is forgotten in as little as 30 days[2].

Critics of classroom-based learning argue that not only is most learning far too abstract, and not relevant to what workers actually do at their desk, but most important of all, they claim it simply fails to engage and enthuse employees. Research shows that when employees hear information told to them only 10% of it will be recalled three days later[3]. This is because our brains are predominantly hard-wired to deal with visual information.

Industry trends

This data perhaps explains why ‘gamification’ has fast become one of the growth areas in learning. Gamification techniques (immersive game-based problem solving; rewards, points, scores, progress bars etc.) not only make learning fun, but they motivate, stretch, and force learners to make connections in a much more involving way. Indeed, the global gamification market is expected to reach $5.5 billion by 2018 – this represents an annualised growth rate of 67% between 2013-2018[4]. So rapid is its growth that experts predict the market will then surpass $10 billion just two years after that[5].

Growth is bourgeoning because big business no longer sees this as an L&D fad. Top DAX and FTSE companies are now enthusiastically supporting it. They’re doing it because they have a better understanding of the psychology of learning – like how learners remember 90% of an activity if they actually have to do it themselves[6]. They are also responding to how increasing numbers of staff (especially their younger – Generation X – employees) say they learn best. Research shows 80% of learners now believe they will be more productive at work if their workplace was more ‘game-like’.

Impact of gamification in the workplace training

Deloitte is just one example of a major corporation integrating gamification at the highest level – using it in its own leadership academy. Using gamified elements – including badges, leader boards and status symbols – it has seen average time for training completion drop by 50%, while numbers of managers returning to the training portal daily has increased by 46%[7]. Cisco has designed its global social media programme using gamification, and when it was used to sync its developer community to its 2016 CISCO Live conference, it saw a 482% weekly increase in new community members motivated to reach different goal levels and achievements[8]. Meanwhile, Isabel Sammet, Enterprise Gamification Education Lead at SAP and speaker at the 2016 Raytheon Symposium on Innovative Blended Learning, says that “the biggest benefit of gamification at SAP is on employee motivation – educated and motivated employees build better products.”

Future of gamification

Gamification is clearly here to stay, but growth isn’t yet 100% guaranteed. It still requires buy-in from senior leaders; it requires on-going investment and it requires integrating into corporate growth strategies and learning and development programs. That’s why Raytheon Professional Services, in partnership with Corporate Leaders, is hosting its 4th annual Learning Symposium to discuss innovative learning strategies for real business (and ROI) impact.

Steve Thompson, Director Business Development EMEA at Raytheon Professional Services and event host explains: “Gamification has the biggest potential to transform the way employees learn and contribute to corporate growth. But we must recognise gamification still requires high-level thought and planning. It’s essential that businesses understand what the next generation of blended learning looks like, and make sure virtual environments deliver corporate goals.”

Interested in finding out how you can innovatively blend learning for maximum impact? Join senior HR and L&D executives in London on 20th September and in Frankfurt on 27th September for the Raytheon Learning Symposium 2016.

To learn more about the event, visit: www.corporate-leaders.com/go/rps2016 

 [1] Global Corporate Training Market 2015-2019. PR Newswire. April 2015

[2] The Critical Importance of Learning Reinforcement. Anthony Sills. Hirevue.  August 2015

[3] Vision trumps all other senses. Brain Rules. John Medina. 2015

[4] PR Newswire. Gamification Market Worth $5.5 Billion by 2018. June 2013

[5] Gamification Companies, Solutions, Market Outlook and Forecasts 2015 – 2020. Research and Markets. February 2015

[6] 30 Facts About Gamification in eLearning. eLearning Industry. John Laskaris. July 2014

[7] 5 Companies using Gamification to boost Business Results. Rework. Charles Coy. April 2015.

[8] 5 Ways to Increase Community Engagement Through Gamification. DZone Software. February 2016.

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