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Is Gamification the Solution to Dry Online Courses?

One of our customers, a large telecom company, recently came under new management. They asked us to find a fun, low-budget way to teach new company values. We built them an online game!

Building the game was easy. Getting people to play it was not. Eventually we got around 90% of the staff to play it, but not without a lot of tips and tricks.

Here is what we discovered really mattered:

Manager buy-in: We can't expect people to accept something new without giving reasons. Those reasons must be shared with their managers who can do the convincing. The game is an add-on.

Clarity: People wonder why they must learn new values. Can you think of some good reasons? Here are a couple we came up with:

  1. Everyone in the company should be on the same page. (Sales should know about reducing waste, something that may be associated with procurement. Procurement should know about customer satisfaction, something that may be associated with sales.)

  2. The company will take less hits on more fronts if everyone has the same definition of right and wrong. The work of one team will not be misaligned against (and will therefore not hinder) the work of any other team.

Getting things right: It's gotta work the first time around. If the tech fails, the word gets around fast. Dry runs, beta versions, concept testing and feedback sessions help make necessary changes before launch.

In summary, it is tricky business. Everyone needs to be on board as to why they must play the game at all. And when they play, it better work!

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