Tips To Gamify Compliance Online Training Courses

Summary: Compliance online training courses are not renowned for their excitement and entertainment value. However, serious games may just change all that. In this article, I'll share 5 tips on how you can transform your compliance online training courses into amazing gamification experiences.

How To Transform Compliance Online Training Into Amazing Gamification Experiences

Sitting in rush hour traffic, washing a pile of dirty dishes, or getting a root canal. These are just some of the things that employees would rather do instead of compliance online training. What if you could make boring, tedious, and dull compliance online training courses enjoyable? It may sound like a tall order. However, gamifying your compliance online training can make it not just tolerable, but exciting. Here are 5 secrets to keep in mind when turning your online compliance training into a serious game, as well as 6 tips to make your mandatory compliance online training courses more motivational and memorable.

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5 Secrets To Keep In Mind When Gamifying Your Online Training Compliance

1. Focus On Realistic And Relevant Goals

The key to a successful gamification strategy is concentrating on realistic and attainable goals that improve performance and develop skillsets. More importantly, you must integrate these goals into every aspect of your initiative so that it offers real value to your corporate learners. Be sure to specify these goals and objectives in advance and highlight the key takeaways beforehand. This gives your corporate learners the chance to focus on the core concepts and ideas while they are enjoying the compliance online training experience. A good rule of thumb is to carefully examine your compliance online training course during the final edit to ensure that every element, every character, and every plot twist is essential. If it does not serve the goals, then you may want to leave it out.

2. Don’t Overcomplicate The Storyline

Many times, we’ve all sat through a movie, book, or video game that has completely confused and befuddled us. The storyline was so full of twists that we got a headache halfway through, or the characters were so complex that we lost track of who was who and their motives. This is one of the main reasons why it’s essential to keep things simple. This doesn't mean you can’t get creative, but you should try to avoid plots that are convoluted or overly complicated. In fact, it’s best to offer just enough information to get them hooked, so that they can fully explore the subject matter.

3. Find Out What Drives Your Corporate Audience

Gamification is only truly effective if you know what motivates your corporate learners. If they do not care about earning badges or points, then you may need to find an alternative reward system that does drive them to succeed. Just make sure that the rewards you choose are intrinsic in nature, rather than extrinsic. In other words, it should appeal to their inner motivation rather than external sources. Do some audience research to figure out what they want to learn, why they want to learn it, and how you can use this information to create a memorable online training course.  Compliance may be mandatory, but an effective gamification strategy will make your corporate learners want to participate instead of feeling like they are being forced to take part.

4. Include A Relatable Character

It’s a proven fact that relatability makes online training experiences more powerful and memorable. If a corporate learner is able to relate and connect to the subject matter, they are more likely to absorb and retain the information. This is why it’s a great idea to integrate storytelling into your gamification strategy by introducing a character the corporate learner can relate to. Better yet, a character who stirs emotion, either positive or negative, and makes your online training course even more realistic. For example, you can include a dedicated salesperson as your protagonist to motivate your corporate learners and drive them to improve their performance.  This is also another benefit of corporate audience research. Learning as much as possible about their background and work responsibilities can help you create a character they can connect with.

5. Concentrate On Quality Versus Completion Times

Instead of focusing on how quickly your corporate learners can complete the compliance online training course, it’s wise to concentrate on the quality of the online training experience. It’s true that time is money and you should keep your gamification online training course as brief as possible to avoid cognitive overload. However, if you need to make it a bit longer to fully explore the topic then you should not hesitate to do so. Keep in mind that taking a gamification approach improves the excitement and engagement factor, which reduces boredom. Thus, you can keep your corporate learners in their seats for a little longer without having to worry about the online training experience becoming tedious or tiresome.

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eBook Release
Mitigating Risks In The Modern Corporate World: Your Guide To Investing In A Compliance Training LMS
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6 Tips To Create Serious Games That Enforce Workplace Compliance

The biggest advantage of investing in compliance training over pre-built solutions is customization. You can build the exact online training course you want in order to personalize the process. But how can you utilize these techniques to ensure compliance skills are not just learned but also applied? Keep in mind that by making your process entertaining and immersive, you won’t really need to enforce anything. They’ll do it because it’s fun.

1. Send Them On A Quest

The simplicity or complexity of your tactics depends on your budget and technical ability. You could design a full-scale video game based on learning objectives or you could create a basic "game" where instructions are issued via animated text. What's the difference? In a full-fledged game, there will be avatars and gamescapes to explore in a first-person setup. In a text version, you’ll receive little word prompts telling you where to go and what to do. Whatever option you choose, incorporate a point-based system in workplace compliance to provide immediate, but subtle, eLearning feedback. For example, employees earn a certain number of points every time they follow the rules, or points are taken away when they violate your policies.

2. Build In Branching Scenarios

Along the journey, your corporate learners will have to use their compliance knowledge to make decisions. Each choice will influence the outcome. They can replay the online training course as many times as they like, and because it’s fun, they’ll surely do many repeat runs. The more they engage with this online training material, the more familiar they become with workplace compliance regulations. Rewards could be in-game badges and/or redeemable points.

3. Initiate A Challenge

In the former exercise, corporate learners had to search for something. In this one, they have to solve a puzzle or complete a challenge. For example, they could be tasked with delivering a package to a customer. To get there, they need to overcome various "game bosses" like a hitch-hiker (no unauthorized passengers should be allowed) or a street parade (you get a free gift if you wear a costume and join in…but this would mean you’re out of uniform). Each "mini-boss" or level tests an area of compliance training, and corporate learners have to figure it out as they go.

4. Engage In Direct Violations

Some challenges will be blatant, like a cop asking for a bribe to overlook your broken tail light; a tail light that may—or may not—have broken during an earlier task. Other challenges will be sneakier, like arriving at the customer’s home and being invited in for coffee (potential for sexual harassment or a COI violation), or being offered a pie as a tip for fast delivery (is it a bribe?). Once again, you can use avatars to play this. Employees who master the compliance nuances move up a spot on the online training leaderboard or they may even earn a badge that ties into the knowledge or skills required for that workplace compliance simulation.

5. Include Realistic Exploration

Sometimes, you want online training to be a little more down-to-earth. You could, for example, shoot a detailed 3D video of your workspace. Build this video into a simulation and ask corporate learners to spend some time there every day. It doesn’t have to be long; it could even last for 10 minutes. As an LMS developer, you should add things to the "virtual office" every day. Implant clues and queries for corporate learners to resolve, each one teaching them an element of compliance. They’ll unlock hidden objects to add to their virtual collection or badge-based rewards to show off their achievements.

6. Test Pressured Problem-Solving

Develop everyday branching scenarios that test your employees’ ability to react to compliance issues under pressure. For example, they log in to the workplace compliance training LMS one morning to find that there’s a hazardous spill on the virtual sales floor. The next morning brings a potential COI breach during a client meeting. The excitement is in discovering daily "Easter eggs." They may not even realize they’re learning, but the knowledge and repeated exposure will subconsciously sink in. They will receive an online training trophy or a printable certificate as a reward when they reach certain milestones.

Insider Tip: Follow Up With Online Training Feedback

It’s true that gamified online training courses should be fun and entertaining, but the main purpose is to give your corporate learners the feedback they need to improve performance behaviors. If they are able to learn exactly what they did incorrectly and how they can fine-tune a specific skill, then they have the power to drastically increase their productivity on the job. For example, the simulation concludes with a brief recap of the skills or topics they need to work on to achieve the best score. You can even keep a running checklist of workplace compliance badges they still need to earn and the activities that tie in. This way, they’re able to keep track of their own progress and increase their motivation by checking the box of each item.

Another way to provide feedback is by creating a system based on gaming elements, such as badges, points, or leaderboards that reward employees for their efforts. Corporate learners who excel and do their best will be given praise, while those who are struggling can receive invaluable feedback and guidance. When they answer incorrectly and or exhibit an unfavorable behavior be clear about how they can improve and offer them the necessary resources that can help. This can even be built into the compliance online training course itself. For example, an online scenario can let them know why their chosen path is not correct and provide links to eLearning articles or videos that can guide them in the right direction.


Compliance online training courses don't have to be despised. In fact, gamification can reshape your compliance online training and transform it into an online training experience your corporate learners will never forget. It may even set the gold standard for all future compliance online training courses.

If you’d like to know more about developing successful compliance that aligns with your goals and objectives, read the article Top 5 Compliance Online Training Best Practices to create compliance online training courses that enable your employees to avoid costly errors, make the right decisions, and respond to an improved workplace culture. Also, download our eBook Mitigating Risks In The Modern Corporate World: Your Guide To Investing In A Compliance Training LMS to learn how you can mitigate risks with a compliance training LMS and develop cost-effective safety training. It features tips to create an accurate budget, set prime examples with demo videos, and overcome LMS implementation pitfalls.