The popularity of gaming is undisputed. Current estimates by UKIE (Association for UK Interactive Entertainment) show that the global games audience stands somewhere between an incredible 2.2 and 2.6 billion people.
Further to this, the UAE is a particularly strong gaming market, appearing in the top 100 gaming markets worldwide. A study by gaming analytics firm Newzoo in 2019 revealed that 80 percent of smartphone users in the UAE identify themselves as “mobile gamers.”
With so many UAE adults gaming in their free time, why not leverage the popularity of this pastime in your next corporate training?
For team-building exercises, gaming is particularly well-suited to the development of communication, concentration and problem-solving skills. Read on to find out more about why the gamification of corporate training brings about such positive outcomes.
What is gamification?
The word “game” implies a situation that allows a player choices within a rule-based environment. It offers a challenge, competition, and ultimately the irresistible opportunity to grasp victory.
Gamification is more than just a game or gaming. Gamification is where the competitive principles of games and gaming are applied to educational and training scenarios. It moves beyond recreational gaming and works additionally to achieve a learning outcome for players.
Gamified training is both educational and supported by technology. This covers a vast spectrum, from knowledge-based quiz games to immersive virtual-reality games that promote soft skills such as cooperation and communication.
How can gamification be used for team-building?
Educators consistently advocate the need for children to need to learn through play. Why not adults, too? If a child’s play is the rehearsal of adult life, then surely adults can also learn through “playing” at real-life situations.
Games have been used in education for a long time, but now technological advancements are making gamified learning an increasingly attractive option for corporate training, too.
While gamification for learning can simply mean the use of simple Flash games, for instance, more and more HR departments are choosing to harness state-of-the-art gaming technology for training purposes, particularly team-building.
Today’s technology now offers the opportunity to utilize exciting 3D and virtual reality environments for learning purposes. Fully immersive situations can be engineered to simulate a range of scenarios.
When the fundamental principles of gaming (i.e., the rule-based play and competitive situations) are used alongside this compelling technology, the results are powerful.
The benefits of gamification for team-building purposes
If you lead the switch to gamified team-building, there are multiple benefits to be found:
1. Unparalleled employee engagement
As mentioned before, gaming is a hugely popular activity. Why is this? Because it’s exciting and entertaining. In gaming, you get to live out fun situations that you may never experience in real life. Gaming provides an exceptional thrill.
Another irresistible feature of gaming is its competitiveness. Humans find the chance to gain one-upmanship hard to resist. This is particularly true in team situations where friendly competition can increase camaraderie amongst participants.
There’s the addictiveness of gaming, too. Success in a game releases dopamine around the human body, providing that satisfying high. Gaming offers frequent rewards for short-term goals. Success can be gained quickly and thus provides addictive instant gratification.
By combining all these factors, gamification can therefore substantially increase employee engagement in training.
2. A safe environment
Gaming isn’t real life, but it can provide highly immersive simulations of real life. Virtual reality and other reproductions of real-life scenarios provide gamers with the opportunity to play out different ways of responding to a situation without any consequential real-life risk.
This makes it a useful tool for training purposes. Games provide an informal alternative to real-life situations. Participants can try out their responses in a risk-free and thus nurturing environment.
3. Instant feedback
Gamification of training also provides the user with instant feedback against measurable targets. Learners can instantly understand what they know, where their skills lie, and what they need to know and work on. This also helps to improve learner engagement.
How do you implement gamification for team-building?
Now you understand the benefits of introducing gamification into your training and team-building exercises, you are probably wondering how you can begin implementing this strategy.
● Set Your Learning Outcomes
Your gamified training sessions will have the power to significantly influence certain behaviors. Therefore, you need to consider carefully what behaviors you would like to encourage in order to meet your business goals. Also, know how you will measure the success of training.
Having clear objectives is vital to any successful educational or training program, gamified or not. Before you begin to select or design a team-building exercise, these are vital decisions to make.
● Involve your employees
For effective training to happen, your employees must be sufficiently motivated. Share your intended learning outcomes with your employees and make sure everyone is invested in the process.
● Provide positive rewards
To motivate learners, focus on rewarding positive behaviors only. Steer clear of any element of a game that implies punishment.
Ideas for gamified team-building exercises
There are many possibilities for gamified training. Some of the most exciting can be found in indoor theme parks in Dubai. You’ll find exciting options for team building exercises, like virtual gaming and laser mazes.
● Risk and reward-style games
Risk and reward-style games are incredibly addictive. Consider classic arcade games as an example of how compelling they are.
These are highly engaging games where participants must challenge themselves in order to succeed. They can help hone communication and cooperation within a team, but also improve confidence and a drive to succeed. An ability to take risks is vital for business success but so is the ability to fully assess that risk. Risk and reward-style team games can help sharpen these skills.
● Maze games
Maze games, such as popular laser mazes, are highly challenging but also highly rewarding when a maze is successfully completed by the whole team. Maze games are particularly useful for fostering cooperation and trust amongst teams.
● 3D and virtual reality games
These games provide an exhilarating, fully immersive experience for your team. They have the opportunity to take part in exciting operations that may be far removed from their everyday tasks. To complete the task at hand, your team must cooperate fully to develop an agreed-upon strategy in the virtual reality games arena, thus fostering skills in communication and cooperation.
These are all exciting, inspiring options for motivating and inspiring your team. With increased engagement in training, you should see an improvement in the skills your team needs to focus on. This will, no doubt, be good for business.