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7 signs you should invest in learning games


Are you thinking about introducing learning games? You may be holding back because you’re not sure if they’re right for your organisation’s particular training challenges. Use our seven-point checklist to help bring some clarity:

Why do businesses use games?

Learning games enable players to learn specific skills or knowledge aligned to real life business challenges.  They can be a powerful tool for improving business performance, across all kinds of sectors and industries.

Games are experiential, allowing players to practice and repeat – all recognised as aids to learning and retention. Therefore, it’s no surprise that research and real-life cases are showing that well-designed games are making an impact in workplace learning.

According to one global study, game-based learning is growing more rapidly than the other seven learning technologies tracked in the research. The study attributes this, in part, to the growing body of empirical evidence about the effectiveness of learning games.

Games are particularly effective for knowledge acquisition, decision-making, collaborative working and compliance training where rules and procedures must be remembered.

They are also accessible. Everyone can play, on a device and at a time that fits them and the business. Games provide learning that fits the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

So, are learning games right for your organisation? Here are the seven signs to check:

1. Your people quickly forget what they learn

A common theme, but it needn’t be the case. Games assist retention because they are engaging, making the knowledge more memorable. And, because games are experiential, learners are doing the learning which again boosts knowledge acquisition and retention.

2. Your audience is broad with differing needs

Games enable consistent learning to be rolled out across an entire organisation. They have ‘reach’. A topical example is compliance training for GDPR. In a two-tier solution, a tailored learning blend can be used for high risk staff, while the general workforce can learn all the basics they need to know in a game, like Sponge’s GDPR – Sorted!

3. Your people need to practice in safety

Learning on the job isn’t always possible because of risk. Games allow employees to practice and make decisions in a safe environment. They also learn the consequences of their decisions. Repeated practice and improvement increases skills and confidence, enabling the learning to be successfully applied on the job.

4. Your workforce is bored with learning

Learning games are a winner because they overcome the age-old problem of boring training. Learning games mirror popular mobile games and are engaging and fun. Rewards and feedback are also mixed in, the perfect recipe for no more bored learners! And that means they’ll actually be taking in the training.

5. Your organisation has low participation rates

Crucially, games motivate learners so they want to play. Research by Karl Kapp shows that where a game is used in the learning, participation rates increase. And case studies repeatedly illustrate high voluntary participation rates – at Walmart, it was 91%, leading to transformed safety results.

6. You need to simplify a complex topic

Again, GDPR is a great example of an extremely dense, complicated topic which everyone needs to know about – but to varying degrees. A game can be designed to focus on only those elements the general workforce needs to be aware of, ensuring they take on board what they need to know in a simplified way.

7. Your staff don’t have knowledge to hand

Staff are unable to complete a task successfully or assist a customer because they lack a vital piece of knowledge. Games work well for ‘in the moment’ learning, where employees need to know something now. This on-demand requirement is one of the biggest changes in today’s workplace environment, which helps to explain the increased use of games, often in microlearning.

If any of these seven training or business issues apply to your organisation, then it’s probably worth considering investing in a learning game.