Gamified learning is a creative way to go


The success of every enterprise depends on how well its internal structure works. With strong motivational skills, it is almost entirely possible to keep everyone on their personal bests. To get to this point, the management requires special motivation skills that will help them improve its image as leader and its ability to encourage others. Many management learning systems are initiating to introduce special learning programs for this cause. A popular approach is gamified learning, in other words, to get management, learn through gamification.

Motivation through Gamification

Gamification is the use of creative game dynamics to stimulate learning. Most people relate to the rush of playing games they used to feel when they were kids. This same feeling can be used to encourage management to learn and develop skills on motivation. The games designed for the learning management system in particular are designed in a manner that places the gamer in difficult situations. They must then apply their analytical skills and reasoning to arrive at a solution to the problem. At the end of each level the gamer would receive a badge or points as a reward for clearing the level. 

As the participant keeps clearing levels and moving up he will encounter more difficult scenarios that will truly put him to test. All of these hypothetical situations help them create a strong knowledge and skill foundation which can later be extracted at any point of time and applied to real life events. For executives who have just started out their career or even for those who have prior experience this method can prove to be equivalent to hands on experience in the field.

Learn to acquire 

Almost all of the participants who have tried gamification learning have agreed that it is an excellent way to learn and acquire skills. It has also come to attention that motivation strategies may be developed while playing these games which can help improve the way your employees perceive you and your leadership in the office. Almost all of the traditional methods of training have required management to take a much longer route to get to the end point. With gamification learning the same can be achieved in a short span of time. These systems do not cost a lot and are very simple to set up as well. Without a doubt gamification learning systems are a much more efficient solution to a company’s training needs. 

Gamification: Hype or Hero?


When people outside the learning industry first hear the term gamification, they likely perceive it as another bit of insider geek terminology to keep them in the dark. A hard-boiled production manager might think: you want my people to play games instead of doing work?’s definition of gamification isn’t enlightening. Not surprising…it is jargon.

                  gamification [gey-muh-fi-key-shuh n] noun: 1. The process of turning an activity or task into a game or                     something resembling a game.

                  jargon [jahr-guh n, -gon] noun: 1. The language, especially the vocabulary, peculiar to a particular  trade, profession, or group. (

But as gamification begins to see use in functions other than learning, it may become a part of the business lexicon.

The use of game elements in motivating people to learn has been with us since ancient times. More recently, millions of people learned how to click and drag using Microsoft’s free solitaire games in the new Window environment. But the term “gamification” is a recent invention related to the use of technology to deliver the experience, and word didn’t become common until 2010.


The practice of using game elements has already passed the hype and fade stages of adoption and is beginning to show signs of robust growth. We may have passed through the trough of disillusionment stage of the Gartner Hype Cycle and started to see productivity measures that prove the value of using gaming techniques in learning. As Zac Fitz-Walker explained in his Brief History of Gamification, We may have passed through the point where funding was available for inferior products, and the technology and practices are maturing.


If it is done well, gamification produces results. When we frame results in terms of user experience, we have high adoption rates.

                   “78% of workers are utilizing games-based motivation at work and nearly all (91%) say these systems  improve their work experience by increasing engagement, awareness and productivity.”

                   “Gamification Improves Work Experience for 91% of Employees, Increases Productivity Across U.S.                              Companies.” Badgeville. August 6, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2015.

We do see some results using game elements in training. In a study of B2B sales organizations, the Aberdeen Group analyzed the performance of organizations who use game mechanics and gamification technology solutions against those who don’t. In the industry leaders, 84% of sales reps made quota, versus a 55% industry average and only 16% for gamification laggards. And game mechanics users had a 6.1% increase in revenue over laggards.


Gamification is finding its way into areas other than learning. Companies are using gamified onboarding, and we see growth of gamified assessment in talent acquisition, but we haven’t seen published metrics yet.

A word of caution: gamification is not a solution, it’s a platform – or you can think of it as a way to deliver content to make it more engaging. But coupled with disciplined behavioral targeting and spaced repetition, it looks like a powerful tool.

How Gamification is Transforming Corporate Learning


Your challenge is to build an agile workforce that can achieve your company’s growth and profitability goals. The executive team expects it to be done quickly and efficiently, with high levels of participation and retention.

One obstacle standing before you is that the traditional classroom model is proving less and less effective in meeting corporate learning needs. Classroom teaching consumes large blocks of uninterrupted time, moves at a fixed pace, provides little ongoing feedback, and other than a certificate at the end may provide participants with little recognition for their efforts. Recorded courses delivered to a PC address some of these shortcomings, but they are better as a test administration method than as a way to build core knowledge.

Over the past decade gamification, or game-based learning, has been emerging as an alternative to traditional classroom instruction. Its ability to improve the speed and quality of corporate learning is becoming apparent as both large and small companies adopt it.

What is Gamification?

Gamification is the application of concepts such as point accumulation, recognition, player journeys, player collaboration and other gaming design principles to engage participants in tasks and activities. You may be a participant in an early and still vibrant application of gamification -- airline loyalty programs. As in many online games, frequent flyers can accumulate rewards, earn status and gain privileges. 

Today gamification is widening its reach and sophistication. While the number of customer loyalty programs are growing, many companies are deploying “gamified” applications to provide task-specific training, strengthen employee knowledge and skills, encourage adaptation of new processes, and promote desired behaviors. Some examples:

  • McDonald’s in the UK, with over 1300 locations,trained its staff on a new cash register system using a live service simulation that included competitive time trials, scoring, lifelines, and customer satisfaction scores.
  • HP is supporting its sales force accreditation process with multiple training modules, some of which use games to reinforce product knowledge and others that have participants use their sales skills training in simulated selling situations.
  • Accenture used a recognition system to encourage wider use of a new collaboration application. Leading employees were scored and recognized for blogging, rating content, and creating user profiles.

How Gamification Improves Corporate Learning

Game-based training offers numerous benefits over traditional classroom based or passive e-learning. It delivers many of the benefits of “hands-on” training while adding motivational elements (scoring, recognition) that promote employee participation and achievement.

Game-based training can have an impact throughout the corporate learning agenda.

  • Training for specific, discrete tasks in service and manufacturing environments can be delivered in short separate modules to improve retention of each task.
  • Onboarding for new hires can familiarize employees with company policies and processes on such subjects as safety, ethics, and IT security, and assess their retention with situational simulations.
  • Product and solutions training – a critical need for global sales forces – can be gamified to give recognition to sales staff for increasing their subject matter expertise.

While the “formal” learning agenda is important, there’s another learning landscape where gamification may be even more critical – new technology and process adoption. Companies may spend tens of millions of dollars on enterprise, CRM and knowledge management systems only to find that employees are reluctant to adopt them. Game-based support applications for Oracle,, SAP and SharePoint are becoming an accepted part of new employee onboarding and company-wide implementation programs.

How to Start a Game-based Training Program

There’s skepticism about gamification, and it’s well founded. Game-based training is behavior-based, so pre-conceived notions about learning preferences can be a point of resistance. Your colleagues may dismiss it as a gimmick to attract smartphone-obsessed Millennials. It’s also a new field populated with many companies with varying levels of skills and experience.

  • Start small. Identify one area that needs improvement. Employees may take too long to complete onboarding. Refresher training in ethics, safety or sexual harassment may have poor participation rates. Decide on the topic and the improvement you seek, whether it’s faster completion times, higher participation, or improved retention.
  • Talk to multiple game-based learning developers. Look for a partner who has successful experience in your topic area and          asks penetrating questions about your workforce, goals, and content. Before you select a developer, talk to reference                        customers  about their results.
  • Set senior management expectations. Your program is about improving the quality, efficiency and impact of corporate learning. Explain your goals and get their buy-in. 
  • Launch and evaluate. Set expectations for employees, supervisors and managers, and expect a few technical hiccups along the way as you implement the program. Assess the results and decide on your next steps.

Gamification and game-based training are in their infancy, but are rapidly entering the mainstream and over the next decade will become an important part of the corporate learning landscape.

5 Steps in Preparing for Gamification in Your Enterprise


Gamification is the use of the mechanics of play to modify behavior. It has many uses in a business enterprise, and organizations have been using the technique for decades. It is only recently, with the rise of online learning, that the term “gamification” has been used to describe it.

In the early days of online learning gamification, there were failures. In 2012, Gartner opined that 80% of gamification initiatives would not meet business objectives. Designer Mario Herger disagreed, saying that the lack of success were management failures, and the benchmark of “business objectives” was vague. We have seen failures, but we tend to agree with Herger. Most failures are due to unrealistic expectations, poor design, and failure to plan. We know from our experience the techniques work if they are properly employed.

Our purpose in writing this and the articles and the ones that will follow is to help you lead your gamification project to success.

If you are just getting your organization started in gamification or want to restart your efforts for better results, this is the time to stop and engage in some careful planning.

We won’t bore you with platitudes about why you should plan. Let’s get right to the meat of the issue and develop a step by step plan to realize the value of game mechanics in learning and performance.

1. Identify and Isolate the Problem

Determine what it is you want to accomplish. Work with business leaders in your organization and isolate a problem where improved engagement and motivation will improve results. Narrow the problem down to a specific metric. A single solution will not fix a broad problem with multiple causes.

Keep narrowing the issue down until you identify a particular behavior you want to change. Here are some ideas that might help you frame your problem.

  • Field technicians take too long to learn new products.
  • Sales staff needs to increase cross-selling performance.
  • Training for a particular skill is not effective. Supervisors have to re-train people on the production floor.
  • Vehicle accidents are increasing.

Determine whether the problem you want to solve requires a learning program or a performance initiative. Although they have similar characteristics, a gamified e-Learning program is substantially different from a performance improvement initiative.

2. Assemble the Team

At minimum, these are the people you will need on your team:

  • The person who controls the resources. You will want to include that person in the decision process so you don’t run into                    approval roadblocks.
  • The person who owns the problem. Ideally, this will be the person who controls the resources.
  • Experts in the work process. These should include people who do the work.
  • A learning expert. Even if the initiative does not require a learning program, learning principles will apply to the design.
  • The designer – but not yet. You don’t need to involve the designer until you have determined the scope and budget.

3. Determine the scope

Keep the scope narrow enough that it will not require more than one solution, and the solution should pertain to everyone within the scope. If you have a large organization, you may want to pilot the program with a small group and use others as control groups.

4. Determine your Budget.

Know what you can spend. Gamification initiatives can range in cost from nearly nothing to very expensive, but you need to know the upper limit of what you can afford to do. You will most likely not be able to have everything you want, and a budget limit will help you avoid setting up unrealistic expectations.

5. Begin Change Management

It may be counter intuitive to start managing a change before you know what it is, but as you discuss the possibilities with the people involved, they will discuss it with others. You will benefit by getting the right message out early. You can start things in the right direction by asking for input. Make the conversations casual to gain the most positive participation.

Next Steps

Taking these five steps will get you started in the right direction to manage a successful gamification initiative. In our next article, we will discuss how to select a design partner. 


Herger, Mario. “Gamification: 80% failure or 100% success?” Enterprise Gamification. December 18, 2012.

"Gartner Says by 2014, 80 Percent of Current Gamified Applications Will Fail to Meet Business Objectives Primarily Due to Poor Design." Gartner. November 27, 2012. 

How to gain from gamification in the long run


How to gain from gamification in the long run 

It is said that the best way to learn is to learn from your mistakes. This is absolutely fine while you are at college or interning but in a real work environment there will be no room for errors. Every misstep could cost you dearly and is not at all worth the learning experience. But to learn you must challenge yourself and to challenge yourself the only thing you can do is to place yourself in a simulated environment. These make-believe worlds will give you the freedom to learn from trial and error.  

  • The science behind gamification : another reason why people don’t make a lot of mistakes is because                                        they avoid any situation that will put them under the spotlight. With the help of gamification it will be  possible to coax these same people out of their shell and motivate them to try new things and learn from their experiences.
  • Learning that truly engages your attention : once you have had a chance to try these simulated games                                          you will be able to interact with the game itself and also other employees who you are playing against.  This interaction is what makes the entire process fun and engaging. The more you play the more joy  you find in the learning process.
  • Retaining knowledge : learning should not just end when the game is finished but must go beyong that                                        into the real world. Only when knowledge and skills acquired through this process are retained and  applied in a real life scenario  can they truly be a successful endeavor.
  • User friendly : all of the games that were designed to stimulate and encourage the human mind to grow    and learn were created with a particular purpose. None of these games are hard to play. No matter    what age group you fall under you can be sure that these learning techniques can be used.  

    Whether you are a student just grasping the basics of life or an adult working for a large corporate   deep  down inside you want to broaden your skills. The only problem is that you are not familiar with the ways of achieving it. Through interactive gaming and learning you can do this and a whole lot more. As long as you have your goals in sight you can set out to achieving them by clearly one round after the other and winning rewards.                                                                                                                             

Training Gamification leads towards overall profitability


Consumer portals or customer portals are multi-channel applications that easily encourage sharing of information and content between your customer, partners and your team members in your organization. Information gathered and analyzed from a customer portal allows enterprises to better aggregate insights on customer behaviours, needs and future expectations on companies products or services. These portals play a crucial role in building products around your customer expectations and also help customer to pick the right partner according to the requirements.

When it comes to Automotive industry there is a huge competition between different OEM’s and dealers in making the sale happen. Though we have great product attracting the customer to buy, the product is a big challenge in this industry. With buyer centric market, there is great deal of research done by the buyer before the actual product. So for OEM’s in providing additional value for their dealers, they have to constantly innovate in delivering value for their dealers. Also consumers expect to visit qualified dealers who can answer their questions and enhance the overall buying experience.

Most of the OEM’s train their dealers or partners using one or the other Learning management system. This OEM using SumTotal as their learning management system offer services to their global network of dealers. They would like to train their dealer personnel on their products, services and parts that would bring value and ultimately increase profits. They have built consumer portal to offer information and services to their existing customers and also to educate and attract new customers towards their products. As part of this process, they would like to enhance the value to their OEM and help the consumers in picking up best dealer in their location.

To achieve this, we have built a consumer portal with gamification approach tied to dealers. There is wide variety of training offered to the dealers in the areas of sales, products, parts and services. Dealer personnel have to complete this training using their Sumtotal learning management system. All the training is maintained and tracked in Sumtotal. Now the real part of this training has gamification approach, so that they wanted to build sporty competition among their dealers.

Badges are tied to each of these certifications. Based on their completions, these badges are displayed against each dealer on their consumer portal. There are metrics and ratings build around number of completions, number of certified personnel, time spent to complete the training and assessment results. CSI ratings for each dealer are applied on providing dealer ratings. This ultimately led to better decision making power for the consumer.

When it comes to consumer, he will be searching for dealers either by his location or a particular zip code. This will list all the dealers in that location along with their badges, ratings, reviews, comments and certified personal in different categories. This would allow an easy decision making process for the consumer to pick a dealer who has personnel certified by the OEM on this staff and with better ratings and reviews.

Dealer personnel completions are pulled in real time from Sumtotal LMS and presented on the consumer portal. This has added value for the OEM’s to engage their dealers with required training and also helped dealers to get more inflow of customers based on the badges they see on the consumer portal. Dealers take pride in making sure their results show up on the consumer portal, so that stay advantaged over other dealers in their location.

Overall with introduction of Training gamification and real time availability of data for the consumers in their decision making process, added value and ultimately led to increase in sales and profits and achieved ROI from training.

7 Steps to Measuring the Impact of Gamification in Enterprise Learning


Gamification is well established in consumer marketing and is a growing trend in learning. Done well, gamification gets results – in consumer marketing, performance management, and learning.

In earlier articles, we have discussed preparing for gamification and selecting a design partner. Today we want to show you how to measure your results and calculate the return on your investment.

What we are suggesting here is not a new breakthrough in analytics or a breathtaking scientific innovation. Our suggestions derive from research at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, industry practices, and our experience in practical applications.

Prepare yourself with a good grounding in the behavioral science of gamification. We recommend For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business by Kevin Werbach and Dan Hunter. For power readers, Why Games Are Good for Business: How to Leverage the Power of Serious Games, Gamification and Simulationsby Helen Routledge is an excellent book.

  1. Name a business problem or issue. Find what you want to change and quantify it. For example, increase Sales Per Hour (SPH) by 12%.
  2. Identify a specific behavior that influences results. In our SPH example, it could be how to overcome sales objections. Consider how changing that behavior will affect other behaviors and dynamics in relation business results. To illustrate, consider how a gamification to improve SPH in an outbound sales center without constraints will drive unethical behavior. A typical constraint in that case is a customer satisfaction score or customer returns.

If possible, make participation voluntary. Coerced participation can diminish performance.

  1. Combine #1 and #2 into a goal and add a time frame. In our outbound sales center we could use the next quarter, next year, or a specific date.
  2. Describe the target group. In our simple example, it is outbound telephone sales representatives in a specific group or location. Consider a pilot program of one group, with other groups as controls.
  3. Design and deploy the solution. Every program is unique, so you will need to work with your design partner to devise an intervention that will work in your specific business case.
  4. Run your project for long enough to assess results. Allow enough time for extrinsic motivation to internalize. Overreacting to immediate results, whether positive or negative, may negate the effects of factors like socialization or motivational decay. Recognize that motivational programs have lifecycles, and yours will not be an exception.

Once you have achieved success, multiply and expand your efforts, and be prepared to adapt your programs to changing conditions.

We wish you success in your efforts to use gamification to improve your business results.


"People Love Games - but Does Gamification Work? - Knowledge@Wharton." Knowledge@Wharton. February 3, 2016. Accessed February 26, 2016. 

Routledge, Helen. Why Games Are Good for Business How to Leverage the Power of Serious Games, Gamification and Simulations. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2015.

Werbach, Kevin, and Dan Hunter. For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business. Philadelphia: Wharton Digital Press, 2012.

Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.