Operations & Training

By Keith Gerson, CFE, FranConnect


In the world of franchising, where consistency and operational excellence are crucial for success, training plays a pivotal role in ensuring that franchisees and their employees are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills. 

However, traditional training methods can often fall short in engaging trainees and providing an effective learning experience. This is where gamification steps in, offering a powerful solution that not only enhances training outcomes but also aligns with the relevance and impact of artificial intelligence (AI) today. In this article, we will explore how gamification in training is critical for ensuring effective learning in franchising, and why it is every bit as relevant as AI is today.

Consider these training facts attributed to gamification based on studies conducted by TalentLMS, eLearning and EHS Today:

  • 80 percent of US workers believe game-based learning is more engaging whereas 50 percent of business transformation programs fail due to poor employee engagement.
  • 88 percent of respondents say that gamification makes them happier at work.
  • 89 percent of employees think they would be more productive at work if it were more game-like.
  • There is a 60 percent increase in employee engagement as a result of gamification training features.
  • 83 percent of employees who undergo gamified training are more motivated at work.
  • And 78 percent of new hire prospects believe that companies would be more desirable if their recruitment process is gamified.

What is Gamification in Training? 

The target of any training program should be to create a fun, engaging and rewarding learning experience. Gamification within a Learning Management System (LMS) helps you achieve these outcomes by adding competitive game-based elements to training programs in order to create a fun and engaging training environment while also increasing learning engagement. This includes elements like points, levels, badges, leaderboards and rewards which deliver a transformational learning experience. When combined with bite-sized lessons, you will deliver learning in a more digestible and entertaining way.

The target of any training program should be to create a fun, engaging and rewarding learning experience.

Conversely, traditional training methods deliver content that trainees passively consume without active participation. In contrast, gamification introduces an element of challenge, competition, and achievement, triggering motivation and fostering a sense of excitement and enjoyment. As a result, trainees become more invested in the learning process, leading to increased knowledge retention. Moreover, gamification provides instant feedback and progress tracking. Through real-time feedback and performance metrics, trainees can gauge their understanding and competency levels, identify areas in need of improvement and track their own progress. This real-time feedback loop encourages trainees to strive for continuous improvement and mastery of the training material.

There are Learning Management Systems such as World-Manager that utilize real-world scenarios with simulated “hands-on” exercises. An example of this is in the QSR segment, where the simulations are available for areas such as portion control and assembling of sandwiches. Failing to put together the sandwich in the correct portions and order would result in immediate feedback — whether it’s praise for a job well done, or gentle feedback on what they failed to do correctly along with a chance to go back and get it right the second time. This occurs within a safe virtual environment where trainees can practice and apply their knowledge and skills without the fear of making costly mistakes. This experiential approach is available for every industry within franchising and helps to bridge the gap between theory and practice, allowing them to transfer their learning to real-world franchising.

Similarities and Relevance of Gamification Compared to Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Gamification and AI at first appear to be distinct concepts, however they share several similarities:

  1. Personalization: Just as AI technologies enable personalized experiences through data analysis and adaptive algorithms, gamification allows for tailored learning experiences. By providing trainees with individualized challenges, progress tracking, and feedback, gamified training adapts to the unique needs and learning styles of each individual, maximizing their potential for success.
  2. Motivation and Engagement: AI-powered systems leverage advanced algorithms to deliver personalized recommendations and content, ensuring users stay engaged and motivated. Similarly, gamification taps into intrinsic motivators like competition, achievement, and rewards which keep trainees engaged and motivated throughout the training process.
  3. Real-time Feedback: AI algorithms can analyze data and provide instant feedback, enabling users to make data-driven decisions in various domains. Similarly, gamification provides real-time feedback, allowing trainees to adjust their approach, reinforce learning, and improve their performance immediately.
  4. Experiential Learning: AI technologies often leverage virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to create immersive and interactive experiences. Similarly, gamification incorporates elements of simulation and role-playing, enabling trainees to experience and learn from practical scenarios, enhancing their problem-solving skills and decision-making abilities.

Gamification in training has emerged as a critical tool for ensuring effective learning in franchising. By engaging learners, enhancing retention and promoting experiential learning, gamified training programs provide a transformative approach to knowledge and skill development. Furthermore, the similarities between gamification and AI highlight their shared relevance in today’s evolving landscape. 

As the franchising industry continues to embrace technological advancements, the integration of gamification within LMS systems holds tremendous potential for delivering personalized, immersive and impactful training experiences. By leveraging these powerful tools, franchisors can empower franchisees and their employees to excel, ensuring operational excellence and continued success in the dynamic world of franchising.


Keith Gerson, CFE, is the president of franchise operations for FranConnect. He is a wellknown and respected executive with 49 years of franchise experience, an author, consultant, advisor and prolific speaker on topics ranging from franchise sales, training, operations, marketing and franchise engagement. For more information about IFA supplier member FranConnect, please visit franchise. org/suppliers/franconnect.