Gamification: law firms think outside the Xbox

Gamification: law firms think outside the Xbox

What is gamification?

Technically, it’s applying game design and methods to training to engage, encourage and motivate users. The basic idea is that, if you make the learning as engaging as possible, the “player” will learn and understand more while they are playing and then retain more once the learning has concluded.

Gamification can be as simple or as complex as you design it to be. From static images on a screen to animated characters, from clicking on answers to touch-screen immersion, you can generate interest and hold attention by gamifying what might otherwise be seen as a necessary but uninteresting part of workplace training.

How can it be used by the business world in general?

If you associate the word “gamer” with teenage boys frantically tapping consoles until 3am you are not alone, but statistics suggest the reality is very different indeed. About 59% of 6–65 year olds are gamers and, of that 59%, nearly half are women. You might be surprised to know that, aside from dedicated gaming experiences such as sophisticated online multiplayers, every time you log on to an app, whether you are trying to run faster, lose weight or you’re just trying to beat the Ultimate Boss at the end, you are gaming. It is part of everyday life and the number of players will only increase as technology develops and accessibility improves.

The prospect of engaging, encouraging and motivating new and existing employees, clients and customers through gamification means the technology goes hand-in-hand with an expanding business.

How does it help with HR and recruitment?

HR is about helping people perform at their best. Whether it is used to welcome new starters, to deliver business-critical training or simply to engage with your workforce, gamification is a means of delivering consistent and engaging messages without taking people away from their day job for too long.

Like many e-learning solutions, it helps HR meet their learning and development needs despite reducing budgets and a geographically diverse workforce. Face-to-face learning has its place, but the cost and time involved in getting large numbers of people together often means that important training (particularly on HR related issues) is either delayed or delivered on a shoestring – the message is out there but has anyone actually understood it?

Gamification is more effective at making learning stick and it is more flexible in its application than traditional routes. It is the best of both worlds – it allows you to deliver business-critical training at low cost while ensuring a high level of engagement in the content.

As Benjamin Franklin said: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Can gamification be useful for law firms and their clients?

A law firm is no different from any other business. It wants its employees to be engaged and motivated in delivering the best service to its clients. While that hasn’t altered for years, the ways in which we engage and motivate people seem to be changing.

The press is riddled with articles about engagement, the existence or otherwise of Generation X, Y and Z and ways of motivating and engaging employees with different learning styles and a multitude of expectations about the world of work. Although gamification isn’t the answer to everything, it does require you to think differently and critically about how and what you are delivering both internally and externally. There is no reason why law firms shouldn’t be doing that for themselves as well as for their clients.

How will gamification be used by law firms in the future?

Times are changing and it is crucial that the profession as a whole looks to embrace new technology and new ways of working. From our perspective the sky is the limit.

Even at this early stage, you could see it being used to identify potential trainees as part of a graduate recruitment process, to test the aptitude of job applicants, during induction, to deliver business-critical training and as part of ongoing mentoring and personal development for lawyers and support staff alike.

It doesn’t have to be just about work either—it could be used during team challenges or as part of wider corporate social responsibility (CSR) work. Most lawyers respond well to a competition!

Jemma O’Reilly and Jonathan Chamberlain, Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co (Interviewed by Alex Heshmaty).

The views expressed by our Legal Analysis interviewees are not necessarily those of the proprietor.

First published on Lexis®PSL

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