Exploring game-based training for enhanced engagement and learning
Alma Hannesdóttir, Training Director at Arion, saw an opportunity to utilize gamification in teaching the company’s systems. She became acquainted with the Attensi software solution and realized the opportunities that lay in using gamification in training that is structured like a computer game.
“At this time, we had a digital training system (LMS) that had worked very well, along with having many in-house specialists who could create instructional videos and presentations for training materials. The demand for new training content from us is constant. There are many systems to teach, there are frequent updates that need to be followed up with training materials, we need to conduct training related to the regulatory framework around financial institutions, and then we have intensive new employee training every quarter. I had serious concerns that collaboration with an external party would not be able to keep up with the variable environment that prevails at Arion,”
Since Arion and Attensi began collaborating, new employee training has been established through gamification. Arion’s Human Resources team has also trained staff within the bank to design training content themselves within the Attensi system.
What convinced Alma to take the leap and try creating training with gamification, and has that decision affected training within the company?
“Collaborating with Attensi was like winning the lottery! When I saw how the system actually worked and saw the results in black and white in the data that can be monitored in the system – I realized how powerful a tool we had in our hands. There you could clearly see how much success we could achieve in training matters with the help of Attensi.
I have worked with corporate training for many years, and when you witness such a significant revolution in digital training, it is important to be ready to seize the opportunity. At Arion, we place great emphasis on using technology in all our operations. For example, the Arion app has been chosen as the best bank app for seven years in a row in surveys, so digital development has become a natural part of our daily tasks. Many young people work for us every year, and we must offer modern training to meet the needs of new generations. With the collaboration with Attensi, I feel that we are doing that,” says Alma.
What was the business case to invest in simulation-based training?
“Videos and presentations that we have been using for training until now have taken a lot of time to produce, and what’s worse, the content becomes outdated very quickly in many cases. Therefore, an immeasurable amount of time has gone into updating videos and presentations in the current training system. In the Attensi system, we can make changes or updates to existing content in a very simple way. It is also very easy to create new content in the system.
Attensi also enables us to eliminate inconsistencies in teaching methods and thereby improve the results of the training. People who have worked for many years with certain systems at our company are not necessarily using the same methods to retrieve certain information, and therefore, new recruits get different training depending on who is teaching them. Consequently, not everyone is taught the most efficient way. Through gamification, everyone is trained on our systems in the same way, and at the same time, we get very accurate statistical information about the success of the training. We have not obtained such good information about the success of training before.”
“If we think about the profitability of implementing virtual reality training, we can calculate how many hours it would take us to train staff by having more experienced staff teach their methods compared to the cost of implementing Attensi. For example, if we take the cost of training our summer staff now in the summer, the cost of Attensi was about the same as if our specialists had trained 17 newcomers. Once we exceed that number, we start to see profitability from the investment. For fun, it can be mentioned that as many as 76 newcomers used our Attensi system this summer,” says Alma.
“At Attensi, our goal is to help individuals and organizations unlock their full potential and grow together. In our collaboration with Alma and the team at Arion, we’ve been impressed by their innovative thinking on learning and witnessed a shared passion for achieving this goal. Our joint efforts not only harness the power of simulation-based training but also set the stage for a transformative and engaging learning experience for every employee at Arion.”
Business Development Director | Attensi
What did the gamification actually change for you?
Alma says that training through gamification really changed everything.
“The interest in participating in the training was greater than we have ever seen. We were quite sure that the interest would be greater than before, but the atmosphere around the game completely exceeded our expectations.
“Participants went through the training over and over again to get more points in the system, which led them to learn the correct methods very quickly and well. The system works like when you play a computer game for the first time. The first time you try, you just have to get used to the circumstances, maybe bump into some things you’re not supposed to touch, and end up finishing the game with rather lax results. The next time you try the game, you know where the obstacles are and therefore go a better way through the game, and over time you learn the best method to finish the game. If we talk again about the group that went through the new employee training this summer, they played the training an average of 7.7 times each.
Another advantage of the gamification is that our staff can practice real-world examples in the same environment they use in their daily work, but have leeway in the game to make mistakes. Getting to make mistakes and learn from them gives them the courage to try again and improve. In our working environment, making mistakes is costly and they affect the quality of our service and the satisfaction of our customers.
In the system, the participant engages in conversations with virtual characters who come up with the same inquiries as our customers ask us daily. The system is built so that the virtual character responds differently depending on how the participant in the game handles the situation.
The fact that we could see the participants’ progress as they tried the game more often convinced us of the excellence of the gamification. When staff first enter the system, they can get sample instruction on the aspects being taught each time. After that, people test themselves further and after a few repetitions, they grasp the correct methods. With this method, we managed to close the knowledge gap by up to 95%.”
What did the participants say about this new approach to training?
“They were absolutely thrilled. They not only gave positive feedback after the training but also expressed a desire to have more training courses through gamification. For example, we received interesting feedback from one participant. This person had worked with us the previous summer and received training on a particular system from a colleague. The individual pointed out that in the system, they were given a tip about a better way than they had been taught the previous summer for a particular action. There it became crystal clear to us how important it is that our new staff receive the same training on our systems. The computer game interface was clearly encouraging for participants as they could, among other things, follow the score table, and there was fierce competition to have the most points. It was very fun to experience how much the newcomers found this format of training to be enjoyable,” says Alma.
Are you creating the training content that is used in the Attensi training system yourselves?
Alma considers the Attensi system to be very user-friendly and says it does not require any programming. “We have found it easy to create or update training content as needed. We received good training from Attensi before we started using the system ourselves. Because of the highly variable environment in which we work, we need to be able to update training content very quickly and securely ourselves. The collaboration with Attensi has worked very well for us, and they work very closely with us. We lay the foundation for what the training should look like in the system, and they optimize the game so that it delivers the best possible results. We can then always update as needed.”
Do you foresee any changes in training at Arion in the near future?
“We see great opportunities in continuing to work with gamification in training through Attensi. In the next few months, we will implement additional training for our service center. We place great emphasis on professional development at Arion and see great opportunities to use the system for such courses,” says Alma Hannesdóttir, Training Manager at Arion Bank.