A resource from the leaders in simulation training.

Greetings, Troubleshooters! Thanks for joining us again on Troubleshooting Thursdays. In this series, we’ve been talking about hot trends in manufacturing training.

In Part  1, we looked at learning management systems (LMSs)—what they are, and how they can help businesses reduce training costs, lighten the burden on training program administrators, and provide a centralized learning environment ensuring a standardized level of training for all trainees, along with actionable data to inform training and deployment decisions.

In Part 2, we focused on the microlearning trend in manufacturing training, and how research into brain science is the basis for incorporating platforms that deliver small bursts of information sized and timed just right for optimal learning and retention.

Our next hot trend is gamification.

Gamification in training

Simply put, gamification is the use of elements of computer and video game design in applications that have things other than fun (such as training programs) as their primary purpose.

There is a reason why games are fun—they leverage behavioural psychological principles so that they are practically addictive. They use techniques such as points, badges, levels, instant feedback, and affirmation that make users want to keep on playing.

And it works! We’ve all seen kids rooted to the spot in front of the Xbox until their eyeballs are just about bleeding—maybe you’ve done it yourself. Now that’s engagement!

Gamification in training takes those same techniques and game elements—points, levels, badges, leader boards, rewards—and uses them to keep trainees engaged in their learning.

Why gamify? The Millennial workforce, of course

In case you’re wondering why you should go to the trouble and expense of implementing gamified training, here are some interesting facts about the people working for you:

  • Millennials now make up 35% of the US labor force. They are between the ages of 22 and 38, and the oldest of them were only 4 years old when Nintendo came on the scene. So they have spent their whole lives with video games.
  • US video game sales reached a record-breaking $43.4 billion in 2018, up 18% over 2017 Millennials love video games so much, they actually spend more on donations to video game creators than they do in subscriptions ($29 vs $25 a month).
  • Gen Z can’t imagine life without gaming. The generation coming up after Millennials say that gaming is a core part of their identity.

Manufacturing execs and Directors of Technical Training—pay attention! Training is expensive – it might as well be effective. If you want your staff to engage in their training, you’re going to have to gamify.

The case for engagement

You may be thinking, well, it might be nice for my staff if they were engaged at work, but—what’s in it for me?

In fact, employee engagement is simply good business. There is a well-established connection between employee engagement and nine separate performance outcomes. Gallup researchers found that the most engaged work units were four times more productive than the least engaged. Not only that, they outperformed the least engaged units by 22% in profitability, 10% on customer ratings, 37% on absenteeism, and 28% on shrinkage. They had 48% fewer safety incidents, and 41% fewer quality defects.

Imagine how real engagement in their training programs would benefit not only the learners themselves, but the company as a whole.

Gamification supercharges manufacturing training

In the manufacturing sector, gamified training can be used for onboarding, to bring new hires up to speed quickly; for preboarding, to reduce turnover before they ever begin; for customer service skills development, and for specialized skills training to close the skills gap. Simutech Multimedia’s Training System is an example of gamified 3D training modules that keep engagement high and learning optimal during electrical troubleshooting training. CEO Samer Forzley spoke at two Serious Play conferences in 2019, highlighting how Simutech’s award-winning modular software uses immersive 3D tech, simulations, and other gamification techniques such as levels and instant feedback to teach maintenance professionals to quickly, safely, and efficiently troubleshoot electrical faults in production line equipment.

And that’s it for today, Troubleshooters! Tune in again in the coming weeks, when we’ll be looking at simulation-based learning, virtual/augmented/mixed reality, and collaborative learning for training in the manufacturing environment.

Check out our article in Industry week: https://www.industryweek.com/technology-and-iiot/candy-crushing-it-gamifying-manufacturing-train-millennials

Our previous blog: https://www.simutechmultimedia.com/manufacturing-training-with-gamification/

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