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If Everything is Important, Then Nothing is Important

adult learning e-learning game-based learning gamification instructional design Dec 03, 2022

Are you a business owner, training manager, Chief Learning Officer, instructional designer, curriculum developer, or learning architect? What are your thoughts on learning how to create fun and rewarding gamified experiences to engage employees to achieve the business objectives that are crucial for the success and profitability of your organization? Would you be willing to think differently?

Capturing the time and attention of today’s modern learners as well as ensuring the information is stimulating, relevant, appropriate, and consistent, is a daunting task. But the good news is that you can be part of this new regime of gamification designers and facilitators.

In a hurry to design fast and cheap, a failure to identify your business objectives, learner persona(s) and specific actions you want your learners to take – your program may prove to be fun, but will it create tangible and beneficial outcomes for both you and your learners?

BEFORE you begin the gamification process, as well as throughout your design and deployment stages, prioritize the actions you want your learners to take.

Because actions and rewards are fundamental to a successful gamification feedback loop, after you have defined your business objectives, map the actions you want learners to take and how you will trigger those actions, or give them feedback, recognition, or reward for actions taken.

A value weighted scale will help to ensure that the most important behaviors are rewarded accordingly in comparison to other user behaviors. Then, establish what rules your game may need to ensure that you are getting the behaviors you want. (We can help you to set time limits, stop caps, and other rules to limit users from repetitively doing something over and over when you only want to reward it once, or at specific intervals.)

You can start with simplest form of rewards – points. Using a weighted ranking system, once you have identified the actions that you want your users to take, rank those behaviors in order of value. Start with the least valuable action and give it a factor of “1.” Working from there, assigned relative values to everything else.

For example, gamifying the HR on-boarding process can help companies improve the rate at which new employees complete these tasks. To improve on-boarding, consider gamifying the following behaviors:

  • Read and clarify interpretation of company policies
  • Complete compliance training
  • Fill out HR and Payroll forms
  • Set up health insurance, 401(k), and retirement benefits

Reading company policies might have a relative value of 1 while completing compliance training is 10x more valuable. Be careful to not fall into the common trap of thinking, “Everything is important!” The danger with that kind of mindset is -- if everything is important, then nothing is important.

If all priorities are given equal importance, then creating any meaningful goals becomes impractical. If you prioritize accordingly, you will gain clarity on what exactly your new hires should be working on. By prioritizing and using a weighted ranking scale you can reward the behaviors that are most valuable to you to help you achieve your business objectives.

Although the easiest form of reward are points, if your program consists of only points, badges, and a leaderboard – your program will fail. Even my six-year-old grandson quickly gets bored with his building and puzzle games he plays on his tablet that offer him no new challenges, opportunities for level up, or meaningful feedback.

Here is a FREE download of just some of the game mechanics that we use in corporate training, HR compliance, onboarding, and adult education programs: 99 Mechanics and a Badge Ain’t One.

Because, using the right combination of game mechanics correctly can build a highly motivational user experience around your process or content.

The reality is, to create great gamification programs is NOT easy. A new class of gamification designers and facilitators is essential, and the skill development required is NOT for everyone. Do you realize that among the people reading this article, you may be the one who grabs this opportunity to take the first step? As you start to think about the benefits of learning this new skill, I bet your mind can uncover further advantages of becoming a certified gamification designer.

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