How gamification builds new leaders

Simply put, gamification is the introduction of different game playing elements — such as point scoring, competing with others, and rules of play — into a traditionally non-game environment in order to encourage user engagement. According to Business News Daily, gamification has been around for many decades now and is actually being continuously used by a number of large corporations, including the U.S. Army, Starbucks, and Nike — and for good reason. As explained in our previous post about Gamelearn’s newest subscription platform and exciting video games for 2020, gamification strategies are incredibly effective in developing different skill sets, addressing specific themes, and integrating any content into a compelling and visually-appealing activity.

Thanks to the continuous evolution of technology, these helpful gamification strategies are no longer just tied to marketing campaigns, consumer products, and online applications. Instead, they’re also being used in different training programs that successfully hone effective leaders. In fact, a recent study mentioned that gamification practices done well are effective in providing opportunities for cooperation, communication, problem-solving, and progressive learning — skills that are necessary for shaping future leaders. Here are some of the ways gamification can help build new leaders:

1. It provides immediate feedback on leadership style

While it is easy to say that every effective leader should be a good communicator, training and honing someone to be equipped with the right communication skills – in addition to empathy, respect, and open-mindedness – can be rather challenging. To enhance the communication skills of their company’s future business leaders, Deloitte Consulting LLP has turned to gaming to help their employees have a better grasp of different leadership styles. The company used Candy Crush and chess to gain valuable data into how people reacted in different situations. 

2. It creates leaders through education

Given the importance of learning vital skills when shaping new leaders, even universities are examining how gamification can help students evolve. Looking at the study conducted by researchers from Winston-Salem State University, we can see that gamification has long been integrated into education since it addresses the perennial challenge of making learning fun, interesting, and engaging. And as these techniques develop, so too does the capacity of universities to create great leaders who can effectively communicate. In fact, students taking strategic communication and leadership degrees are now being taught the fundamentals of communication theory, on top of immersive projects and electives on emerging digital media, in order to help them pursue careers in a number of different fields. As more industries become digitally orientated, these upcoming leaders who have studied new communication theories will able to use advanced digital concepts, like gamification, to create and run persuasive campaigns, manage teams, and become more effective heads of departments.

3. It leads towards self-discovery when it comes to decision-making

A lot of us would agree that experience is the best teacher. However, no matter how much corporations try, there are just some events that they won’t be able to perfectly simulate. Even if they do, there is no guarantee that it would be free of personal biases and would closely play out like their real-life equivalents. Luckily, with games, individuals are finally able to cement the skills that they’ve learned by applying them to practical scenarios backed by data and multiple studies. In addition to this, gamification will also allow leaders-in-training to get a first-hand look at how their choices within the game lead to consequences or rewards, thereby providing them with an avenue for self-discovery when it comes to decision making.

4. It enables personalized learning in a risk-free environment

The rise of Gen Z workers in the coming years is inevitable, so if companies and corporations want to hone this new breed of workers to become effective leaders, they have to make changes in the way they conduct training programs. As explained by an article in HR Technologist, the things that learners of today need the most are relevancy and personalization. Gamification effortlessly provides learners with control over not just what they learn, but also when and in what way they learn it. In addition to this, gamification also incorporates relevancy to every learning opportunity, thereby promising a direct relationship between the learning program and the goal of the learner. What’s more, learners can accomplish all of this from the comfort of their homes. 

Since the ongoing pandemic has rendered face-to-face learning an impractical option, other learning methods that allow learners to continue learning in a risk-free environment are highly preferred.

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