5 Ways Interactive Games Work to Upskill & Reskill

Corporate Trainers; Learning & Development; K-12 Education | By: Erin Patrick-Proza

As we continue to adapt to a rapidly changing world, we are also faced with new and evolving work challenges that require some nuanced solutions at times. As the ‘Great Resignation’ starts to exact its toll, we contend with a shrinking talent pool to fill our skill gaps or hiring needs externally. And as the adage goes, when the recruitment process gets too hard, training has to take over. In this blog, we will discuss how to employ gamification to upskill and reskill your workforce, and how that can improve your business metrics, drive productivity, and increase overall employee satisfaction.

Why should your organization
focus on upskilling and reskilling?

These are effective strategies to prevent what is expected to be an ongoing skills shortage. We are seeing more and more job displacement while new roles are created at an exponential level, driven by the digital tide and advances in technology. We also have skills in many different areas that lose buoyancy and need to be refreshed. As these demands for new capabilities and skillsets start to crest, reskilling and upskilling can enable your organization to attract and keep top talent and ride out that wave in style. If you’re in Learning & Development you’re probably very familiar with this, but if you’re just learning about this, grab a snack, and let’s dive in.

What’s the difference between reskilling and upskilling? According to the Cambridge dictionary:

  • Upskilling is the process of learning new skills or of teaching workers new skills.

  • Reskilling is the process of learning new skills so you can do a different job, or of training people to do a different job.

Reskilling is adjacent training, in that you’re finding people with skills that are close to the skills you are looking for and providing them with a somewhat lateral learning experience. Upskilling, however, is a more comprehensive training to teach employees new and advanced skills to help close gaps in talent or hiring needs. These are important considerations to make in how to retain your talent while solving any hiring problems in an efficient and cost-effective way. In fact, more organizations are turning to their talent management or L&D to figure out how to manage change and keep employees engaged.

The Pandemic has illuminated and amplified any problems in the workplace that already existed, so the question now is, how we are going to respond?

Here are some numbers and insights to consider, via a recent industry survey by TalentLMS, Workable and Training Journal:

    91% of companies say upskilling/reskilling training has boosted productivity at work

    74% of employees think their managers need reskilling and upskilling training

    68% of companies invest in reskilling training to handle changes within the organization

    65% invest in upskilling/reskilling to train employees on new technologies

    50% of employers target both hard and soft skills through their initiatives

    35% of employers have an official upskilling/reskilling program already in place

Create a culture of learning through gamification

Games provide an opportunity to improve your organization’s culture with a less threatening learning environment to enhance skills or even clear new career pathways. It’s a way for you to meet the demands of a changing landscape in the workforce and problem solve without the additional expense in time and resources of hiring. In that light, let’s look at the 5 ways to use games in upskilling and/or reskilling:

1) Leadership Development
Use games to deliver your content in a judgment-free way that will promote an intrinsic desire to learn and improve both hard and soft skills. Because these can integrate with your LMS, you can even assign these as a learning module and assessment. Continue their learning with extensive media options and opportunities to learn more.

Example: What is your management IQ? Via our template called SPARK

2) Ongoing Education
Even compliance training can be fun and engaging when you’re working as a team to defeat safety hazards. Interrupt the lecture with interaction and reap the benefits of more knowledge retention, while they actually have fun. Extend their learning and teachable moments with preview and summary slides that add context to your content.

Example: Safety Crash Course via our template called Catapult

3) Handling changes, promos, or rollouts
Situation learning is not exclusive to hands-on training anymore, and games can make this a fun and informative learning experience. Use image mapping features to create hot zones on an image for the correct answer, while reaching your visual and kinesthetic learners as well. Or maybe you survey your team about the best brand for your new rollout or promo with a polling option during your presentation.

Example: Using Image Mapping in Tally featuring our template called Tally

4) Case-by-case basis
Employees now want to know they have opportunities to advance and excel, and when provided a clear pathway to achieve it, they are much more likely to stay. Combined with the feature of instant feedback, what better way to keep it fun and interesting than with games? Create different assessments for technical knowledge that they can access to ‘level up their game’ at any time.

Example: Who Wants to be a Microlearner? Via our template called Billionaire

5) Data-driven sessions
Use a game to conduct a competency check-in, or as ‘homework’ before a training session as a knowledge check that will help inform your time together in the future. Use the analytics that these games provide to revisit or remediate as needed, and provide that feedback to your learner so you can continue their learning moments.

Example: MOVIE MANIA! Via our template called Moonshot

Remember…keep it fun!
Most of our success in learning results from some basic ingredients: quality content, interaction, ability to apply our knowledge, time to practice our skills (preferably with a mentor), and consistent and measurable feedback. While the urgency around upskilling and reskilling is building fast, and it’s estimated that by 2025 50% of the workforce will require reskilling, we don’t need to fret over content delivery when we know how to employ gamification. When we get lost in the details of anything, we can lose engagement with our participants very quickly. So, do take on upskilling and reskilling to retain your talent and keep it fun and focused on their learning experience with games…the results will deliver themselves.

"We use WHIRL predominantly as an Interval Reinforcement tool to reduce the forgetting curve. It's helped create a fun expectation from our programs as well as lets people have fun while learning!"

-Troy Danahey (Rinnai America Corporation)

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About C3 SoftWorks

With over 35 years of involvement in education and training, we bring a deep understanding of the instructional challenges you face. Whether you’re teaching in the classroom, or over the web, our customizable training game software will help you present your content in the most engaging way.

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