Corporate compliance training has always centered on the use of traditional methods and techniques to impart mandatory information like laws, company policies, and regulations to employees, in order to avoid violations of regulations that could lead to legal liabilities for the organization or employee.
Unfortunately, the very nature of compliance training being at their core “mandatory” can be a major deterrent in how effective they are. They can be dull, boring, and formulaic, and learners will more often trudge through them with the objective of simply getting through them and achieving a completion status, rather than taking an active interest in the topics covered.
Although this was the accepted way to deal with compliance training up to a few years back, there has been a recent paradigm shift where compliance modules are concerned. The trend of gamification in corporate training has caught up swiftly, and learning experts now claim that more and more companies are gradually moving towards the practice of developing gamified compliance training for their employees.
So, what exactly is gamified compliance training? It basically implies the use of game-based elements to explain the non-game-based concepts. If done right, gamification in corporate training gets the employees to think, learn and apply the concepts put forth a lot more effectively. This helps serve the purpose of the training – which basically involves understanding the compliance rules and knowing how to apply them practically for the benefit of the organization.
Here are some of the key elements that can be used for the gamification of compliance training.
1. Use of theme-based Approach
Using a story-based approach with the objective of achieving a goal or completing a mission to grab and retain the learners’ attention can be an extremely effective strategy for creating a “sticky” learning experience. For example, use of a maze game theme, or a “rescue mission”, can hook the learners’ attention to the module, and also helps the learners relate to subjects in real life, and understand the significance of guidelines, rules, and regulations.
2. Keeping it Real
Integrating real-life scenarios in gamified compliance training can make the training a lot more effective. For example, in a training module about best audit practices, you could let the learners make choices about how to file documentation, timelines, and answering the questions posed by an auditor. Points can be credited for each right choice and can be deducted with each wrong choice, and the “consequences” of the learner’s choices can be communicated to them in the course of the module.
Similarly, using high fidelity simulations and scenarios can also greatly improve learning effectiveness in compliance training.
3. Inclusion of a Rewards and Penalty System
All gamification includes rewards and penalty, but it is especially necessary for compliance training. Since compliance training serves as the means to enable employees understand the difference between right and wrong practices, using rewards to drive positive compliance, and using penalties to discourage deviations is key to a gamified approach.
How could these gamification elements help create a better learning experience?
Gamification in corporate training has multiple advantages. Let’s take a look at what those are.
1. Enhancing Employee Engagement
Most web-based compliance training modules make use of scenario-based learning to explain concepts related to compliance. However, the same concepts can be taught to learners using gamification strategies. In fact, game-based training keeps the learners glued to the course, as they are a lot more engaging and interactive. Moreover, offering rewards and badges to learners ensures that they are hooked on to the game until the end. In simple words, it transforms a boring concept into an interactive and exciting one!
2. Inducing Behavioral Change in Employees
Gamified compliance training, if developed using the right game mechanics, stimulates the learner’s attention and curiosity to learn more about the subject. So, what exactly is an appropriate gaming strategy? Well, it is basically finding an accurate balance between extrinsic (external awards and recognition, such as money, fame, etc.) and intrinsic (satisfaction, achievement, enjoyment, etc.) motivators. A well-designed game-based compliance training encourages the learner to go back to the content and get better scores/ranks in the game.
3. Offering Immediate Feedback to the Employees
In scenario-based learning, the learner gets final feedback at the end of the training in the form of percentage or points. However, in game-based compliance training the learner has to go through multiple levels to achieve points, grades or ranks. Thus, strategies that use gamification in corporate training offer instant feedback to the learners. The benefit of offering quick feedback is that the learner has the opportunity to take corrective steps, go back and learn the concept again and score better in the remaining sections of the training.
4. Providing a Safe and Positive Learning Environment
Designing a gamified training which essentially keeps the learners (or players) at the center of the design can also help stimulate positive emotions in the learners, like fun, and feeling alert, and alive. Additionally, a gamified compliance training that uses an exploratory approach, for example, gives the learners absolute freedom to access the training at their own pace and define their own paths, which in turn, gives them a sense of independence and confidence.
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As a part of the training industry, and even at a higher, organizational level, we are always seeking ways to create and deliver overall better learning and employee experience. Gamification can help achieve these objectives to a large extent. Well-designed games facilitate learner engagement, and that, in turn, helps in reinforcing the concepts covered in the module, and an overall positive learning experience for employees. This will lead to employees making lesser errors, and see an overall reduction in violations in laws and regulations, and subsequently also decrease compliance fees and penalties that a company would have to pay.
With this end in mind, consider switching to a gamified approach for your compliance training!
Author Bio: Sebanti Sengupta
Project Lead – Instructional Design
Sebanti has over 10 years of industry experience in the eLearning and communication domains, with a thorough understanding of strategy, design, and technology. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from the University of Pune.