Human Capital Management, Total Rewards

The Power of Gamification in HR

/ June 1, 2017


Gamification is the process of applying gaming designs and concepts to learning or training scenarios in order to make them more engaging and entertaining for the learner. It can be used to improve user engagement, organizational productivity, flow, learning, crowdsourcing, employee recruitment and evaluation.

Gamification does not typically occur in a classroom; it is often delivered to a learner’s computer, tablet or smartphone in two- to five-minute increments. It is a formal structure, but learners can engage with the content when and wherever they happen to be. The content is usually distributed over time, and is not meant to be learned in one setting. Content for gamification varies but is often focused on safety policies, product specifications, customer service, onboarding new employees and other information employees need to be reminded of regularly.

Learners recall just 10% of what they read and 20% of what they hear. If there are visuals accompanying an oral presentation, the number rises to 30%, and if they observe someone carrying out an action while explaining it, 50%. But learners remember 90% “if they do the jobs themselves, even if only as a simulation.”

Successful learning is a combination of three elements; (1) 70% from real-life and on-the-job experiences, tasks, and problem solving, (2) 20% from feedback and from observing and working with peers and role models, and (3) 10% from formal training. The most effective gamification platforms use two learning practices; retrieval practice and spaced retrieval.

Retrieval practice requires learners to recall information rather than re-read or re-listen to the material. Georgia Southern University professor John Dobson conducted a study in 2013 that found that using a series of very brief retrieval quizzes enhanced retention of previously tested material as much as 40 percent.

Spaced retrieval provides learners with content spaced over time rather than all at once. When learners receive content on a daily or weekly basis and are quizzed on that content with some additional game elements, the effect is long-term retention and knowledge application.

Gamification in eLearning provides a effective, informal learning environment that helps learners practice real-life situations. It captures (and retains) learners’ attention, challenges them, engages and entertains and teaches them.

By 2020, Gamification will have a significant impact on innovation, the design of employee performance, globalization of higher education, emergence of customer engagement platforms and Gamification of personal development.