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Gamification: Bringing fun to L&D

Ardent Learning

Gamification sounds like off-hours enjoyment, but L&D gamification isn't a game of Candy Crush – it's a tried-and-true strategy that can increase engagement and help your learners retain information longer. Gamification reflects game design principles that direct human behavior – the same principle as a reward system in elementary school, in which students trade earned points for trinkets, badges, or toys. There's a reason gamification principles are so prevalent in our lives: they work.

What is Gamification in L&D?

Gamification is not just limited to video games. It has helped companies understand how they can use the same principles to increase engagement in learning and development. Gamification leverages inherent competitiveness to boost dopamine – the neurotransmitter responsible for motivation and reward – encouraging a cycle of engagement for your learners. Although it's been used for decades, today's digital shift has given gamification a renewed interest. 

The challenge is that gamification's success depends on how it's being used. For example, one company found that team-based contests led to lower levels of collaboration while individual competitions led to higher levels of collaboration. Gamification has also been found to be more effective when it's used in short-term training sessions.

Benefits of Gamification in L&D Programs

Gamification is an effective way to engage learners. It is also an excellent tool for developing new skills and enhancing the existing ones. Gamification can transform your current programs without developing entirely new materials – you can use gamification to refresh materials and re-engage your employees for retraining and review.

Beyond adding an element of fun to dull topics, gamification is proven to support learning, engagement, and retention and decrease turnover, illustrated by these statistics:

  • Engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave an organization
  • Employees who participate in gamification retain information 50% longer
  • Participating employees report higher enjoyment during training with gamification

Best of all, you can easily integrate gamification into mobile learning and other learning solutions without creating new learning programs.

Best Gamified Training & Learning Techniques 

Gamification is the process of applying game design elements to non-gaming environments. These elements can be anything from points, rewards, or badges to online social interaction.

What does gamification look like for corporate training programs? Here are a few ideas.

  • Status bars in an onboarding series
  • Leaderboards for training completion
  • Interactive quizzes for instant feedback
  • Digital achievement awards 
  • Friend requests or group chats to encourage teamwork
  • Badges or certificates
  • Physical gifts or discounts
  • Interactive trivia with groups of learners competing against one another

In an increasingly remote workforce, gamification may be the future of learning for one core reason: collaboration. When learners collaborate, they get to share their knowledge and experiences. They also get to see how others react to the problems they face in their day-to-day life at work – all while having fun.


What are some other ways you can empower your team? Discover how motivation can excel business results in our informational brief.

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