The workplace has undergone swift and drastic change since the pandemic began. At first it was a scramble just trying to get things done and figure out how we work from home or in hybrid environments. Some time has passed, and this is now the new normal, so how do we engage, motivate, and upskill our workforce? We can’t rely on traditional methods of training with the inconsistency of office attendance or demand from family responsibilities whilst employees work from home.
So, what is the solution? How do you engage learners across hybrid work models who are never in the same place at the same time for long enough to run traditional learning programs? 
Gamification and Game-Based Learning (GBL) could be the answer.
Gamification is the inclusion of game design elements within non-game settings. Game-Based Learning is the use of serious games within educational contexts.
Gamification of learning is not a new concept. Game elements of learning have been readily adapted into educational contexts but are only emerging as a potential solution to the corporate learning environment. There is increasing research suggesting that game-based learning provides a number of benefits and affordances to the corporate training environment.  Why is this?
“All humans love to learn when it isn’t forced upon them” 
What makes Gamification and GBL so effective is the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, endorphins, oxytocin, cortisol, and serotonin. These neurotransmitters adapt neural pathways or create new pathways to learn. Read more about neuroplasticity in this article.
GBL encourages problem-solving and creates a moderate stress response that is optimal for new learning. It’s the same reason that people play games, level after level, in their spare time. Games stir several positive emotions, helping people to feel focused, engaged and accomplished. It’s about challenge-based fun. People can engage in real-world scenarios in a risk-free environment bringing a range of emotional responses, which helps them gain new understandings and retain knowledge.
How does this translate to the workplace?
Adopting game design elements into non-game learning is a starting point. These can be incorporated into learning management systems (LMS) and include rules, goals, interaction, feedback, problem-solving, challenges and competition.
Game-based learning contributes to the employees’ work-based competence development by exploiting the motivation of game mechanism in a virtual, interactive frame. It focuses not only on entertainment but more so active learning processes. Whilst there is growing evidence for the use of Game-Based Learning in corporate settings, it can be intimidating to undertake.
There are opportunities to find GBL learning solutions for your organization’s needs. There are a range of organizations creating game-based learning programs that can be managed from onboarding to offboarding externally. Games can be accessed and completed individually, at a time that suits your employees, whilst remaining part of a cohort. They can show you the gaps in learning not only on a cohort level, but on an individual level. Games can also provide insights into the learning behaviours of employees which you can use to impact future learning design.
Are you ready to embrace the future of learning?
If your organization is ready to step into the future of game-based learning, step into Wyda. Wyda is an engaging education platform designed to help salespeople develop business acumen through the gameplay experience. Sellers are immersed into real-world business scenarios, allowing them to walk in the shoes of 9 different C-suite roles. Through gameplay, they gain a wider perspective on the key roles, issues and drivers of each stakeholder. Learn more at https://www.wydagame.com/
- Subhash, S., & Cudney, E. A. (2018). Gamified learning in higher education: A systematic review of the literature. Computers in Human Behavior, 87, 192–206. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2018.05.028
- Larson, K. (2019). The Corporate Playground: A Review on Game-Based Learning in Enterprise Training. In S. Carliner (Ed.), Proceedings of E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (pp. 737-748). New Orleans, Louisiana, United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved July 13, 2021 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/211149.
- Prensky, M. (2003). Digital game-based learning. ACM Computers in Entertainment, 1(1), 1-4.
- R. Senderek, B. Brenken, and V. Stich, (2015). ‘‘The implementation of game based learning as part of the corporate competence development,’’ in Proc. Int. Conf. Interact. Collaborative Blended Learn. (ICBL), pp. 44–51.