I have reported about Learning through Gamification time and again in this blog. In the meantime Nokia´s Service Delivery organization has introduced this innovative way of learning to their organization and scaled it up significantly, with now thousands of people having been trained on Cloud Solutions and 5G Concepts.
Gamification uses game elements and mechanics as motivators in learning programs to affect behavior. Gamification makes training like a game. For example, employees can earn points for qualitative and quantitative training milestones. Their learning success translates to a score that is visible on leaderboards and injects a competitive element to the learning process.
But how do we know if this concept is really working? For instance: are our learners actually learning what they need to learn? Are they applying what they learn to their jobs? Does this learning have an impact on our company’s bottom line? Was it even worth developing and investing in the first place? Ultimately, it´s about the question:
Is there any Return on Investment from Gamification?
Return on Investment (ROI) measures the financial benefit to the organization from training. It’s calculated by identifying the total financial benefit the organization gains from a training program, and then subtracting from that the total investment made to develop, produce, and deliver the training. To determine the financial benefit of a gamified course, we need to identify the results that can be related to a monetary amount. The following benefits can be obtained from Learning through Gamification:
• Increased engagement of the learners
• Knowledge Retention
• Targeted Learning – learn only what you do not yet know
You may ask yourself how increased engagement results in monetary benefits. Well, here´s the story:
Imagine you want to get thousands of employees to learn a particular thing: can you think about the effort it would take to advertise it, follow up on the sign-in of employees, make sure they all complete in a reasonable time – a massive endeavor which you can easily translate into time and money. When we rolled out the first Gamification program in GSD it took merely two weeks for 1000 employees to sign-in and 7 weeks to complete the whole program.
Knowledge Retention: it´s simply a fact that we forget everything we learn – unless we practice and repeat. That´s what our Learning through Gamification method does. And what about the monetary benefits? It saves the time and costs of refreshing training courses. When employees lose knowledge because they forget, then this is directly related to a loss in productivity and loss of quality.
And last but not least: if employees only learn what they do not yet know it saves them valuable time which they can spend doing productive things. It is simply a more effective way of learning.
All of this can be expressed in money, although it can get tough if you really want to tie those savings to a dollar figure. It requires some KPIs which are to be established and measured over a period of time. And it requires a comparison with a situation characterized by the absence of Learning though Gamification.
How much less engaged would people be? How quickly would they forget learning? How much more time do they spend skimming through course content they already know?
The primary goal of a corporate learning solution must be to improve efficiency, minimize mistakes, improve engagement, and maximize ROI. Although the task of determining ROI of Gamification is a complex one, it can be done. One of the major goals for 2019 for us is to put some robust dollar figures next to it. And I´d be happy to report on the results in this blog.
What´s your view? Would you like to share any recommendations on how to measure ROI?