You are the talent acquisition manager of your organization and after posting your company’s open positions on a job website, scouting through hundreds of applications and conducting multiple rounds of interviews, you’ve successfully hired a couple of new recruits. After all that hard work, you’re ready to welcome some really talented millennials into your organization.
You want to get the best from your new employees and so you’re determined to create a seamless e-induction for your organization. So what are the choices, which you have? You can look at including a theme to your e-induction but another very interesting option, which I feel, you can explore is the use of games in your employee e-induction program. Sounds interesting?
Certain attributes of e-learning games, such as compelling storyline, attainable challenges, rewards, recognition, control, and a safe learning environment make them a powerful choice for e-induction programs.
In this blog, I would like to share five tips to use e-learning games for employee induction.
1.Know your learners’ preferences
So you decided to use games for employee e-induction, what’s next? Which game are you looking to implement?
A game with challenges and task orientation, an adventure type game, or a pure fun game like temple run?
Confused………well the answer lies in knowing your learner’s preferences. I recommend knowing your learners first before you decide on the type of game. Here I will strongly advocate Bartle’s Taxonomy (1996) that categorizes the players into four types of gamers-they are:
Let us see what does this classification mean?
They are the category of the players who prefer to gain points, reach higher levels and earn the maximum awards. Achievers also like to show off their achievements and they take a sense of pride when they are ahead of others. They value themselves as an elite class and look at the socializers to praise them.
If you know that your learners have a dominant trait of achievers in them, you can always design games with challenges and difficulties, but achievable tasks and complex scenarios involving choices and decision making.
Achievers also enjoy games, which allow them to progress through the different stages of the game, solving the challenges and tasks to achieve the end goal before anybody else does it (terrific spirit of competition). Take the example of formula one car race game, which gives these achievers a tremendous adrenaline rush and the feeling of having achieved the first spot, leaving the others behind.
Killers like to provoke, they enjoy the thrill of winning the dominance and enjoy their superiority over the others . Killers mostly like the game type of ‘fighting games’ where the killers are able to fight with their opponents exhibit dominance over others. Games like save the human race from an alien attack or games with concept of superhuman etc are types of games which can appeal the “killers”.
They use the game for discovery and try to go beyond what the game allows, such as exploring unknown areas that other users have not already found. Their motive is to use the tool to explore more. For them, the scores, points etc are not the motivators but the feeling of having explored an uncharted area is.Games which are based on travel themes or a virtual tour around the office are a true inspiration for the explorers.
Socialisers are a kind of learner-player genre that are motivated by the feeling of sharing and social communication. They use the game as a platform for meeting players to talk about the game and ensure that the other players are having a good time too. They love such games where they get the opportunity to interact and communicate more and together achieve an end goal. Games with themes like FarmVille or Words with Friends etc can appeal to these type of players.
2.Brainstorm and chose the appropriate game type
There are various e-learning game types, which the organisation can choose for the induction.But care should be taken to choose an appropriate theme that is relevant to the learning objective.
- Action games (also called platform games) —That emphasizes physical challenges, including hand–eye coordination and reaction-time of the gamer.
- Adventure games—The players solve a number of tests in order to progress through a virtual world.
- Fighting games—These games involve fighting against computer-controlled characters or those controlled by other players.
- Role-playing games—Human players assume the characteristics of some person or creature.
- Simulations—The player has to succeed within some simplified recreation of a place or situation to achieve a particular goal.
- Sports games—These games are based on sports like cricket, football, car race etc.
- Strategy games—These games that recreate a historical or fictional situation to allow a player to devise an appropriate strategy to achieve a goal.
Organisations can use the results from Bartle’s taxonomy to plan and select the game type. For example, the killers and achievers will enjoy playing e- learning games of the genre like fighting, action, etc. whereas simulation games are more likely to be enjoyed by the socializers and explorers.
3.Allow the learners to flaunt their success
While building games for e-induction, the organisation can include the game elements like badges, leaderboards, certificates, points, etc. They act as rewards and recognition for the learners effort in completing the set tasks and challenges in the e-induction program.
As human beings we love competition and there is always a natural instinct in us to achieve more and in the process defeat others.A leaderboard in the game can bring the competition and motivate the learners to score more points to reach the top positions.
The organisations can further encourage such healthy competition by circulating emails among the learners with the current leaderboard positions etc or by displaying the names of the players with the badges earned by them.
While the learners earn the points, badges and certificates, they would definitely enjoy flaunting it and like to get appreciation from others. The e-induction games can include social sharing as well. Sharing the scores, certificates, and badges across the social media or even on the intranet of the company can definitely give a boost to the learner’s morale. This enhances social recognition for the learners and gives them a sense of achievement or completion of the different tasks and challenges.
4.Give learners more control
The players should be allowed to explore and enjoy the game experience, rather than controlling them tight. Every player will have their own strategy in playing the game, and I suggest you to let the players free to decide and plan their path to reach the objective. However this has to be done within the rules and guidelines of the game. For example not completing a particular task can result in penalty or loss of a badge etc. and at the same time completing a task within the given time frame can lead to accrual of bonus points or rewards.
5.Keep your ears close to the ground
While designing and incorporating games in your employee e-induction, it is important to understand the feedback from the learners as this will definitely help to improve on the game design and mechanics.
Companies can use social forums and chat forums, where the learners can actively and constantly share their feedback about the engagement levels of the games. Such social forums encourage genuine feedback and can definitely help the organisation to build better modules and games. These forums should be used before the designing of games starts as it can help in building e-learning games, which already have a buy in from the learners.
With traditional techniques of e-learning, not proving to be much effective anymore, new models of e-learning that are more relevant to the workforce of today and tomorrow need to be explored and I feel using e- learning games for employee e- induction is one such amazing strategy.