Here at Treehouse, we’re big fans of games. A quick game of Street Fighter at lunch, ping pong during a break, or Spyfall after work. Games help us get to know each other, collaborate better and have a little fun, too. We even use elements of gamification (points) in our curriculums to motivate students with visible proof of incremental progress in their learning each time they watch a video, finish a quiz or complete a code challenge. They can show their progress to others and compete with themselves to complete courses.
Let’s get a little meta for a moment – what is a game at its most fundamental? (Besides fun.) It’s a group of people coming together to engage in some friendly, usually low stakes, competition. It’s the perfect union of the two traits that have lead to many of humanity’s greatest accomplishments: cooperation and competition.
Are you excited for the Olympics this year?
There’s a reason so many cultures thoroughly enjoy sports.
Humans are programmed to generally enjoy the company of others because being able to cooperate with others has contributed to the survival of our species. Competition motivates you to take action towards a goal, it helps you think more strategically, and contributes to increased creativity and innovation.
Now, you can also infuse your learning programs with a little friendly competition. Treehouse for Business includes a number of administrative tools and features, but one of our favorites is Leaderboards.
Managers and users can easily identify learning leaders by either individual learner or a group. That means that you can motivate departments or smaller teams to learn and work together to accomplish goals in a fun way!
First, create your teams. They can be grouped either by department (e.g. creating marketing and design teams) or you can have teams represent learning topics (e.g. having front end and back end teams)
Determine learning goals. Are you aiming to learn up to a specific level? Do you want the teams to finish entire learning tracks? Maybe you want to see who can complete the most material in a certain time frame. Pick reasonable learning goals for you teams that are challenging, but not impossible.
Assign team leaders. They could be department managers, project managers, or even the person who’s most excited about learning – all they really need is to be motivated to learn, organized and communicative.
Set a reward for the team that accomplishes the goal first, and get learning! Rewards make Leaderboards a fun tool, rather than just another set of employee measurements, and recognizes their accomplishments. Buy the winning team lunch (make sure it’s one they like!), send them to a movie, throw them a happy hour party, create team t-shirts. If you have two teams from the same department, you could let them choose the next big project they tackle. The type of reward you choose should supplement the awesome skill building they’re already getting through learning something new.
Leaderboards make it easy to insert larger goals and a little friendly competition into company learning programs that use Treehouse for Business. How do you motivate employees to keep learning?