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Adding Gamification to Millennial Training

Adding Gamification to Millennial Training

Retail_iPadIf you have seen our whitepaper on strategies for engaging Millennials, you have learned that at Allen, we try to incorporate these three methods when developing training for this unique audience:

  1. Bite-sized Learning
  2. Immediate Feedback
  3. Big-picture Relevancy

Gamification, or adding game-like features into training simulations that mirror realistic situations, works well for Millennials in that it can be both bite-sized and provide immediate feedback.

Too often, we, as instructional designers and learning professionals, overlook the element of motivation in training. Adding game-like features organically introduces motivation into more traditional types of learning scenarios. This motivation can come in many forms, including:

"Gamification should be introduced as a part of a larger learning exercise, not as a distraction or add-on in an attempt to motivate learners"

  • Scoring (individual or group scores)
  • Competition between individuals, teams, or even departments
  • Social Sharing
  • Group Collaboration
  • Badges and Ranking

The trick to successfully implementing gamification is to ensure relevancy. In the past, courses built to mimic popular games, such as Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy were not relevant to the task or content being discussed, and were therefore not valuable learning elements. Gamification should be introduced as a part of a larger learning exercise, not as a distraction or add-on in an attempt to motivate learners.

pizza_iPadRecently, we had the opportunity to create a very effective gamification strategy for a large, international restaurant chain. Allen worked with this client to create an iPad app-based ‘game’ that simulated regional managers’ responsibilities over the course of a month. Learners were teamed up and sent through a series of scenarios where they had to respond in the most appropriate manner. Scores and results automatically synced across all learner iPads, providing real-time status updates and fostering friendly competition.

Gamification is a strategy that works well for Millennials. Many of our clients in service industries have found success with gamification when used to enhance relevant scenarios.