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What gamification actually is and how it should be applied

Gamification is the use of game design principles and mechanics in non-game contexts to engage and motivate people to achieve certain goals or solve problems. The concept of gamification has been applied to various fields, such as education, marketing, healthcare, and workplace productivity.

To apply gamification effectively, it's important to understand the underlying psychology of games and how they motivate players. Games are designed to provide players with a sense of purpose, progress, feedback, and social connection, which are all important factors in motivating and engaging people.

When applying gamification, it's important to identify the specific goals you want to achieve and the target audience you want to engage. Then, you can design game mechanics that align with those goals and appeal to your audience. For example, if you want to motivate employees to increase productivity, you could create a leaderboard that tracks individual and team performance or offer rewards for completing certain tasks. It's also important to provide meaningful feedback to players, such as progress updates and recognition for achievements. This helps to reinforce desired behaviors and motivate players to continue participating. Overall, gamification can be a powerful tool for engaging and motivating people, but it should be applied thoughtfully and tailored to the specific context and audience.

Benefits of Gamified onboarding

Gamified onboarding is a process of using game design elements to create an engaging and interactive onboarding experience for new employees. The benefits of gamified onboarding include:

Increased engagement: Gamification makes the onboarding process more engaging and interactive, which can help new employees retain more information and stay more focused.

Improved learning outcomes: Gamification can enhance learning outcomes by making the onboarding process more interactive and immersive, which can lead to better knowledge retention.

Increased motivation: Gamification can make the onboarding process more enjoyable and fun, which can increase employee motivation and satisfaction.

Better team building: Gamification can be used to encourage teamwork and collaboration during the onboarding process, which can help new employees build stronger relationships with their colleagues.

Cost-effective: Gamification can be a cost-effective way to onboard new employees, as it can reduce the need for expensive training materials and resources.

Overall, gamified onboarding can help new employees feel more connected to the company and its culture and can set them up for long-term success in their role.

Potential risks of Gamified onboarding

While gamified onboarding can have many benefits, there are also some potential risks to be aware of:

Overreliance on technology: Gamification relies heavily on technology, which can be a risk if there are technical issues or glitches that disrupt the onboarding process.

Potential for distraction: While gamification can increase engagement, it can also be a distraction if the games or activities are not directly relevant to the onboarding process.

Lack of personalization: Gamification can be a one-size-fits-all approach to onboarding, which may not meet the individual needs of each new employee.

Unrealistic expectations: Gamification can create unrealistic expectations for the job or company culture, which may not be met in reality.

Potential for information overload: Gamification can be overwhelming if too much information is presented at once, leading to information overload and decreased retention. It's important to balance the benefits and risks of gamified onboarding and ensure that the approach is tailored to meet the specific needs of the company and its new employees. A thoughtful and strategic approach can help mitigate any potential risks while still reaping the benefits of gamification.

Examples of gamified elements in onboarding:

Progress tracking: Tracking progress through the onboarding process can help employees see their progress and motivate them to complete tasks. Progress tracking can be visualized through progress bars, levels, or badges.

Quizzes: Quizzes can be used to test employees' knowledge of important information, such as company policies or product information. Quizzes can be presented in a variety of formats, such as multiple choice or true/false questions.

Simulations: Simulations can be used to give employees hands-on experience with the tools and processes they will be using in their job. For example, a retail onboarding program might include a simulation of a customer interaction.

Rewards: Rewards can be used to motivate employees to complete tasks and engage with the onboarding process. Rewards could include virtual badges, points, or tangible rewards like gift cards or company swag.

Social elements: Social elements can be used to encourage interaction and collaboration between new employees. For example, a platform could include a chat feature or discussion forums where employees can ask questions and share information.

These are just a few examples of gamified elements that can be included in onboarding. The key is to use these elements in a way that is relevant, engaging, and effective for new employees.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.

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