How Gamified Training Drives Retention and Participation in Retail & Hospitality

13 February 2020

Training & learning | Employee engagement

Employee turnover in the hospitality industry is at a worrying 75%, and an even more troubling 81% in the retail industry.

The problem is, employee retention often isn’t taken seriously in retail and hospitality because turnover is naturally quite high already. Quite often, workers are students in need of extra cash, or people who already have other jobs and are supplementing their income.

Employers don’t see the point in properly training employees who are likely to leave after a few months - completely understandable, right?

But employee retention is perhaps even more important in retail and hospitality than in any other sector, because employees are so crucial to the quality of customer experience. Plus, it’s costly to lose their knowledge and skills when they leave - annual turnover for just one grocery store costs a retailer $190,000 per year.

It’s time for a change, beginning with employee training.

Creating a fun and engaging training program for deskless employees is the best way to cultivate their professional development and empower them to do their best, every day.

We think gamification - adding elements of game playing to training - is the best way to do that. Here’s why:

Don't have time right now? Check out this short video blog instead:

Gamified Training Blog

Our brains respond better to fun

Remember those seemingly endless, dull, incomprehensible classes you’d have at school? The kind where a clearly indifferent teacher would just recite a chapter from an ancient textbook for an hour straight?

Well, it’s the same with workplace training. One in three employees cite “uninspiring content” as a barrier to learning.

There are two problems with the old-fashioned approach: the volume of information being disseminated at once, and the format it’s presented in.

Our brains are not designed to take in large amounts of information in one go. According to Ebbinghaus’ Forgetting Curve, 50% of knowledge is forgotten the next day, and 90% after a week.

Splitting information up into smaller, more manageable chunks in the form of fun interactive quizzes helps make all this information easier to digest, so it’s more likely to stick.

Gamification also promotes teamwork through shared success and collaborative learning. A little friendly competition in the form of “battles” goes a long way in forging connections between colleagues, and sharing knowledge encourages the adoption of best practices across your network.

Related: Social Learning: What It Is, And Why It’s Crucial For Frontline Employees

Being rewarded with points and badges gives users a rush of dopamine, the feel-good hormone integral to the reward system in our brains. Meaning the more employees use a gamified learning platform, the more they will want to continue!

Training can be tailored to the individual

Nobody enjoys a boring training session, but even worse than that is a boring and irrelevant training session.

People don’t want training for training’s sake. They want it to be relevant to their role, and to be worth their time and effort.

With a gamified platform, customized learning paths can be created for each employee according to their role, seniority, current skill set and career trajectory. That means employees are given exactly what they need to excel, and aren’t overloaded with useless information.

The nature of the gamified format also means that employees receive instant feedback. They know immediately what they’re already doing well, and what they need to work on. What better way to empower employees than by putting their professional development in their hands?

It shows employees that they matter

If an employee isn’t given the right training tools, they sense that their employer doesn’t see them as a priority, causing them to become disengaged from their work.

An unengaged employee is just as bad as an incompetent one. Customer-facing roles require a certain level of enthusiasm, and when a worker simply doesn’t care, it shows. This puts customers off and loses sales - employee experience and customer experience go hand in hand, after all.

Just handing your employees a manual that hasn’t been updated since 1991 in lieu of real training does not send a great message to employees. Investing in a proper training platform, however - one that they will actually use and enjoy - shows them that they are an important asset to the company that deserves to be nurtured.

Here’s what it comes down to: you get out what you put in. If you want your employees to be engaged, you have to give them something to engage with. Gamified training is the perfect employee engagement tool - if you still need convincing, you can find out more here.

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