7 Reasons Why Your Online Training Leaderboards Are Missing The Mark
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What Might Be Wrong With Your Online Training Leaderboards

Online training leaderboards are supposed to pit employees against their peers without creating any hostility. Corporate learners are working toward a common goal, but they’re still able to show off their talents and expertise to raise up in the ranks. However, incorporating these incentives into your online training course can be a tricky task. You don’t want corporate learners to feel like they’re being forced into an all-out war with their co-workers or that they’re being singled out for all the wrong reasons. Are your online training leaderboards plagued by any of the following pitfalls?

1. Don’t Support The Desired Behaviors

Your online training leaderboards are fanning the flames of competition, but employees still aren’t achieving the online training goals. This could be blamed on the fact that your online training leaderboards simply don’t align with the desired behaviors or outcomes. You must ensure that your boards reward employees for displaying favorable performance behaviors. For example, they will only earn points that bump them up the board if they outperform their peers during a simulation. Namely, a simulation that involves a task that ties into your customer service satisfaction goals.

2. The Competition Is Far From Friendly

The last thing you want is to create a cut-throat online training environment that fosters hostility among your employees. Online training leaderboards should fuel friendly competition instead of making corporate learners feel uncomfortable or spiteful. Keep things light and stress the importance of peer-based support so that corporate learners encourage one another rather than trying to seek revenge when a co-worker outranks them. In addition, incorporate other social learning activities to humanize the experience. Employees are less likely to belittle their peers or brag about their high rank disrespectfully if they know who their co-workers are. It’s no longer a faceless ‘threat’, but a fellow employee who is striving toward the same goals.

3. New Employees Don’t Stand A Chance

Everyone in the workplace should have the same opportunity to reach the top of the board if they have what it takes. Specifically, a strong work ethic, drive, and talent. However, some online training leaderboards don’t give new arrivals a fighting chance. The seasoned veterans are already at the top and it’s simply not possible to surpass their scores. A great way around this is to develop separate online training leaderboards for each group of new hires or devise a system that gives everything a chance to excel. For example, the board resets every month or quarter.

4. Unclear Rules Of Engagement

Employees want to compete and the motivation is there, but the ground rules are not. It’s unclear how employees are expected to participate or how they can move up the online training leaderboard and achieve their training potential. For instance, do they need to earn a specific number of badges or points to move up a spot? Is online training leaderboard based on daily or weekly performance? How is their training performance even evaluated? You must have clear rules of engagement so that corporate learners can focus on personal growth and rising up the board instead of trying to figure out how they’re recognized for their efforts and how it all ties into the learning goals.

5. The Board Lags Behind

The online training leaderboard doesn’t show results in real-time, or it no longer aligns with the desired learning outcomes and objectives. Simply put, the board is lagging behind and creating confusion among your remote workforce. It’s become an online training relic that doesn’t have any real meaning and certainly doesn’t motivate corporate learners. The key is to keep your boards current and re-evaluate the criteria from time to time. Update the leaderboard guidelines to reflect changes in your online training program. It’s also a good idea to mix the design up periodically to keep things fresh and exciting. For instance, every quarter you adopt a new theme based on employee interests or current trends.

6. Your Organization Relies On Online Training Leaderboards Alone

It’s a one-hit wonder. Sure, your online training leaderboard does give employees the added motivation they need. But it’s the only game mechanic used to track their performance and acknowledge their achievements. This can lead to several different issues. Firstly, even the top performers may grow bored or complacent with the board. It can also make certain members of the team feel excluded, which I’ll cover in the next item on our list. There are a variety of game mechanics to choose from, such as levels or badges that encourage employees to actively participate. Don’t rely solely on a leaderboard to tap into their competitive nature.

7. Corporate Learners Prefer Other Online Training Incentives

There isn’t an opt-out feature. Which means that every member of your organization is forced to participate in the online training leaderboard, even if they would prefer other incentives that better align with their personalities or backgrounds. For example, an introvert employee might not enjoy competing against their peers publicly. Instead, they’d like to accrue badges that recognize their achievements and allow them to test their abilities. It’s crucial to survey your employees to disclose which online training incentives they’re looking for. Then personalize your approach based on their expectations. Those who want to train solo and go at their own pace can always opt out of the online training leaderboard. But those who want a more interactive and socially engaging experience still have the chance to rise up in the ranks.

Online training leaderboards aren’t for everyone. They can be a powerful motivator for employees who like to engage in lighthearted competition and be recognized for their accomplishments. But things can quickly spiral out of control without a solid online learning community that encourages peer-based support. You should also give employees the ability to chose other rewards if they don’t feel comfortable competing.

Problem-solving is one of the most challenging skills to develop. It takes experience, trial-and-error, and lateral thinking to arrive at a solution. Read the article 7 eLearning Gamification Tips To Enhance Problem Solving Skills to discover some useful tips to use leaderboards, badges, and other gamification elements to improve problem-solving skills.

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