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Can gamification work for you?

Stay engaged at work with interactive skill challenges.

When you hear the word ‘gamification’, what comes to your mind?

Most people will think of video games, FarmVille or Candy Crush — but these are just a small part of what gamification is all about. 

“What most people are familiar with are game mechanics: leveling up, earning a badge, unlocking another ability for your character. Gamification goes beyond that. Besides game mechanics, gamification also involves creating engaging storylines and tasks for players, as well as progression and feedback,” said Vince LoRusso, the CEO of TrueUp, a skills-based gamification startup.

Since its introduction about 10 years ago, gamification has been used in several professions — for instance, coding challenges are commonly used when hiring new software engineers. According to a 2019 survey by learning management provider TalentLMS, over 89% of employees feel that gamification made them more productive. Here are four ways gamification can help accounting and finance professionals: 

  • It makes learning and development relevant and interesting. Most corporate training decks are very standard, which makes them not very effective in engaging employees. Gamification allows training to reflect real-life situations that employees face, which makes it more interesting. “One of our challenges is about a day in the life of an auditor. Players need to talk to their managers, email clients and decide how long they can watch the cat video their friend just sent them on their phone,” said LoRusso.  

  • It helps identify and correct skill gaps. Due to its focus on interactivity, gamification allows the introduction of bite-sized tasks that focus on specific skills. These can be modified to be accounting and finance-specific: for instance, players need to solve one formula on an interactive Excel workbook before unlocking the next tab. Through in-game feedback, employees can identify skills that they need to work on, while employers get useful data about where training efforts need to be focused.  

  • It introduces a fun way of learning new skills. With the pace of change in our profession going faster by the day, accounting and finance professionals need to constantly learn new skills to stay relevant. However, learning from books and on-the-job may not be fast enough for most employees to ‘get’ new technologies and skills. By introducing interactive challenges and mini-tasks, gamification helps break down new skills into bite-sized chunks that employees can easily learn in one sitting.  

  • It helps in hiring and retaining talent. All games have scores — and introducing gamification when hiring helps employers and employees know where they stand in specific skill areas. “The very element of introducing a skills challenge can make a difference. One firm sent out a skills challenge to 43 job candidates, and 29 of them completed it — this alone sets them apart from their peers who did not do the challenge. It also speaks about their commitment to the company,” LoRusso said. For employees, knowing the skills that they’re good at also helps them apply and stay in jobs that are better fits for their skill sets. 

For more on gamification, hear the full interview with Vince LoRusso in this episode of our Go Beyond Disruption podcast.