Making A Big Difference With Little Nudges

Using Gamified Nudges In Your Training Modules
Summary: Steer employees toward desired workplace behavior using gamified nudges. Read on to learn how.

Incorporating Gamified Nudges Into Your Training Modules

In an earlier article, I explained how the behavioral science of nudge-learning propagates the idea of gently nudging people to do something instead of forcing them to do it. And now that L&D stakeholders are looking at nudge-learning as one of the ways to influence employee behavior, they are put to task with defining their nudge-learning strategy. While they do this, it is probably a good idea to evaluate gamification as one of the important considerations for nudge.

Gamification has always proven to be an interesting and effective mechanism to keep learners engaged, increase their interest, and maintain motivation. Excitement, persistence, goal orientation, and competition are essential parts of the gamification practice. These characteristics also make gamification an ideal strategy for implementing nudge learning. When someone plays a game, excitement is high, and they seek to fulfill various human motivations like challenges, rewards, and recognition. Game mechanics can help push learner behavior in the desired direction.

Let’s see how these 7 game mechanics can be used in the context of workplace nudges.

1. Points

Points are numerical values associated with a certain action. They are generally perceived as a form of reward or feedback in learning. In the context of workplace nudges, you could provide points to employees for achieving desired outcomes. For instance, an employee gets bonus points every time they complete their daily nudges or if they consistently take nudges for a certain number of days. You could also use techniques like positive points only. When assigning points, start from 0 instead of starting at 100 so that everything an employee does seems like a success. Instead of grading with negative points, offer them a sense of achievement.

2. Badges

Employees may be awarded badges once they accumulate a certain number of points. Badges fulfill the motivational need of "achievement." You could make an employee unlock an achiever’s badge when they go through their nudges consistently for, say, three days.

3. Levels

Levels are a game mechanic that represent the cumulative score. They fulfill the motivational need of "status." Points and levels could also be used together to motivate learners. Employees can earn some points whenever they reach a milestone in a project or otherwise. After they have accumulated a certain number of points, they move to a level higher. Employees in your organization could be categorized into multiple levels based on their performance.

4. Challenges

It is human nature to feel like an achiever when overcoming a challenge. It also gives birth to the desire to do better the next time around. So, use this game mechanic effectively to nudge your employees. Throw small challenges on a regular basis. Have a timed quiz pop up on a topic that the employee is supposed to know or a subject they were trained on recently. Challenge their recall abilities and logical thinking.

5. Emotions

Human beings run on emotions. Make the best use of these emotions to nudge your employees in the desired direction. Use elements of humor, excitement, or surprise in your training. For instance, plan something surprising, like a treasure hunt, or something simple, like a fun quiz that builds on the emotion of excitement, in order to achieve the underlying purpose of nudging.

6. Goals

Goals help set milestones and give a sense of accomplishment when fulfilled. Use game narratives where the end goal is clear to the user and they work to achieve that whilst learning in tandem.

7. Leaderboards

Who doesn’t like to be on a leaderboard? Leaderboards encourage competition and fulfill the motivational need of "achievement."Create weekly leaderboards of the best performing employees and send out announcements throughout the organization. Physical leaderboards will add to the impact.

The right game mechanics can help a great deal in nudging employees effectively. They need to be selected based on a thorough understanding of players, overall objectives, and the human motivations you are looking to fulfill.

Nudging doesn’t really take a lot of effort, but the gains from it can be substantial. Find out the best way to nudge your learners and results will follow suit. With a deep focus on improving learner engagement and workforce performance, Harbinger Interactive Learning has worked on creating gamified nudge-learning experiences for multiple organizations. Reach out to us to learn more about incorporating gamified nudges into your training modules.