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Gamification of HR Processes: How Game Design Principles Enhance Employee Training and Development

Picture of Satya D Sinha

Satya D Sinha

As CEO of Mancer Consulting, he engages with his clients on consultative approach to provide talent acquisition solutions for large Multi-nationals, mid-size corporate and SME market in almost all domains.


With an ability to comprehensively transform training and development programs, gamification of HR processes can deliver all-encompassing benefits to all participating stakeholders.


Gamification of HR practices is catching up fast with business leaders across the industry verticals. A study conducted by Harvard Business School on the gamification of KPMG’s training program found significant improvement in the job performance of participating employees. By using gaming elements such as reward badges, incentive points, and leaderboards, HR leaders can transform traditional training processes into captivating engagements. Further, gaming elements can also help achieve superior learning, engagement, and retention results among trainees. Here’s a complete lowdown on how the gamification process can lead to superior results on the training and development front:


a) Reward Orientation:

By introducing rewards and incentives, gamification directly appeals to the psychology of employees. Rewards create a sense of accomplishment and by introducing star badges, bonus points, and accomplishment levels, trainers can encourage aspirants to imbibe desired skills and behaviours more effectively. Many firms also offer tangible rewards such as cash prizes and increments to trainees which inspire employees to cultivate desired skills and abilities to elevate their productivity.


b) Performance Tracking:

By setting important milestones and performance levels, Gamification allows accurate tracking of results that training programs set out to benchmark their performance. Gaming elements also present the data in a visually appealing, engaging manner to help trainees understand gaps in their current performance and accordingly, chalk out the action plan to fill in these voids. Further, gamified goals bring enhanced levels of clarity, trust, and transparency to the entire training proceedings, thereby encouraging employees to take responsibility and ownership of their work.

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c) Collaborative Competition:

Gamified elements foster a sense of collaborative competition among trainees. The use of activities such as team contests, monthly quests, and inter-functional tasks are highly recommended to get the best out of the training programs. These activities are also found to be highly effective in spurring innovation and productivity among trainees besides encouraging a spirit of collaborations among them. The competition among different domains also allows trainees to get acquainted with each other and create a dynamic working environment in the organization.


d) Impactful Feedback:

Gamified feedback is known for helping HR managers make real-time tweaks in ongoing training programs. It’s equally important for trainees to identify their strengths and work on improvement areas to further excel in their roles and responsibilities. Two-way communication also lets the workforce realize how small changes in their behaviours can bring a transformational change in the profitability of the company. Further, the feedback also plays a constructive role by aiding top echelons to develop more effective training and development programs.


e) Fun and Excitement:

Arguably the most crucial role of gamification is to introduce fun and excitement in the training and development programs. By integrating challenges, activities, and exercises, gaming takes away the dullness and monotony that trainees often complain about in the classroom and lecture-based development programs. Gaming taps into the playful traits of employees, encourage them to be curious, and perform to the best of their abilities. This, in turn, leads to higher levels of satisfaction among employees, thereby elevating the overall performance of firms to the next level.

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Gamification is fast becoming the mainstay of the training and development domain. Thanks to its distinctive abilities such as enhanced engagement and participation, gamification leads to a significant increase in the effectiveness of training programs. Gaming elements also foster the spirit of creativity and collaboration and by encouraging trainees to compete constructively, it also spurs innovation and productivity across organizations. In sum, gamification comes equipped with multiple benefits and by helping employees, employers, and training managers create a win-win situation, these techniques are finding favour with HR managers around the world.


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