I’m currently pursuing my MBA through Georgia Tech’s Evening MBA Program. My first day in Operations Management this semester, our professor told us to bring our laptops, because we’d be doing a simulation. For the last half of class, everyone participated in an online supply chain simulation. Each student was assigned a role in the root beer supply chain – factory, distributor, wholesaler and retailer. Our goal was to work together as a team to predict and meet demand and send orders, striving to minimize inventory carrying costs while avoiding inventory shortages. This was my first introduction to operations – in my undergrad work I studied communication and professional writing – so operations, supply chain management was completely new to me. But by starting off the course with what was in essence a game, I was immediately engaged and had a general sense of the larger concepts that we would delve into in the course.
So last week when I read an article on gamification, I wasn’t surprised to learn that integrating gaming into training and development is expected to see a 70% adoption rate in companies by 2014. According to the MarketingProfs article, gamification “drives performance, highlights achievement and boosts engagement.” This week while at the SCCE 12th Annual Compliance & Ethics Institute, I heard over and over from compliance professionals that they were looking for ethics training that was engaging. We were able to say that we can offer employees engaging ethics training that has an entertainment value, as well as being highly professional.
Researchers are discovering gamification is the next “big thing” in training; and at The Network we’ve been saying that for quite some time. For that very reason we chose to do something different with our training. We went away from the traditional, overly dramatic training videos with actors and opted for vector animation. We also shied away from using humor (that sometimes borders on sarcasm). Our learning blocks are interactive, including quizzes and scenarios to engage the employee so they retain their attention. If you are interested in bolstering your ethics training and increasing your employee engagement, I highly recommend looking into gamification.