Since the 1950’s, games, and their ability to captivate the attention and imagination of players across the globe, have grown exponentially, with billions taking part in the popular pastime each year.
But when it comes to using games outside of recreation, gamification has become an increasingly popular tool within businesses and the education sector alike, generating engaging and informative materials through the addition of game mechanics into non-game environments.
Within the legal sector, the application of gamification could help overcome barriers to learning and working, generating an engaging and interactive experience that teams can use and re-live again and again.
By adopting a gaming platform that allows users to quickly develop bespoke training tools and recruitment materials, businesses can develop compelling games with clear-cut objectives and goals for their employees, providing immediate feedback to inform development.
Although many have been put off by the high costs associated with traditional gamification, new, browser-based tools are increasingly becoming available for businesses, giving employers the power to create their own high-quality games in just a few hours.
Sarah Byrom MCIPD, Founder of Sarah Byrom HR, former HR Business Partner at Allen & Overy, and legal HR consultant for Construct, discusses the challenges facing the legal sector and how gamification can help firms in overcoming these issues.
When it comes to the ever-evolving subject of case law, ensuring workers are up to date with the latest rulings and court deliberations is essential to maintaining an effective workforce.
How firms work to encourage teams to study this case law is an area in which gamification could give some firms a cutting edge.
Games that use high profile cases and simulate the twists and turns of real-life court rulings could transform the way law students, and existing practitioners, experience and study cases.
“With case law it’s so important to keep up to date on the rulings and what’s going on in the courts.
“Having game software that allows individuals to re-visit important cases and experience them first-hand is incredibly beneficial when it comes to training teams and can significantly improve their retention of important information.
“Software like this would also be incredibly beneficial for attracting graduates and others considering a career in law as it highlights the versatility of the industry.
“Many see criminal law as the only exciting branch of the legal industry, but this couldn’t be further from the truth, law has so many elements that are often overlooked.
“Civil cases, such as Depp v Heard, or even Rooney v Vardy, that have gathered widespread interest from the public have led to many considering law as a career possibility.
“Being able to take these exciting celebrity cases and gamify them could be a fantastic way to both highlight the sort of work that is carried out on a daily basis and allow aspiring lawyers to practice their reasoning and skills.”
With lawyers working to meet a large criterion of continued professional development each year, finding the time to complete these sessions can sometimes prove difficult when schedules are already crammed with meetings, cases, and a heavy workload.
Making use of games that diversify the traditional training materials and transform the delivery, such as utilising avatars and experience points, can provide legal firms with a global portal to identify the distribution of CPD skills not only for each worker, but for the workforce as a whole.
By playing games based around a range of training topics, individuals could develop their avatar’s skill set, reflecting their real-life skills as they go through subject materials.
This gives multinational firms an opportunity to pull across talent from other markets when faced with a skill shortage, as well as allowing teams to understand their skills gaps.
Some platforms allow employers to watch members of their team play these training games in real time, giving them insight into thought processes and decision making.
“Gamification can do so much when it comes to delivering training, whether that’s internal training on things like diversity and inclusion or CPD.
“Giving workers the opportunity to undertake this training in their own time at their own pace does wonders for engagement and paves the way for results.
“Law firms are incredibly busy places, and most employees don’t have the time to do some of these training courses, leading to some elements being neglected and, in turn, a lack of attention given towards topics that are incredibly important.
“Making mistakes in a legal setting doesn’t just have detrimental ramifications for the client, but it can also cost you a fortune in fines, and on occasion it can even cost you your own career, which is why it’s important to give your employees an opportunity to learn in a safe environment with limited risk.
“By gamifying the course and generating engaging games that also provide all the key information, you’re much more likely to hold that attention. It makes more ‘dull’ subjects something that colleagues will enjoy and re-use when they need reminding.
“If workers can undertake fun training sessions at their own pace and a time that suits them, then it’s no longer a chore or something teams worry about, but rather an opportunity for workers to take control of their own career and development.”
Large multinational law firm’s workforce can often span different continents and countries, and now with increasing numbers of staff working from home, the importance of tools that employers can use to connect teams remotely is huge.
“When you have multinational companies, it’s not always easy to connect and share ideas and updates on practice. These systems can run on all kinds of devices and be used both online and offline. It’s easier than ever to use games to connect.
“These games and their results can, not only, showcase the varied skills within each region, but can help teams connect and learn from each other.
“Technology is always developing and is fantastic at bringing people together, so being able to use something like gamification to do this in a fun way is even better.”
Recruitment and career development
Within the legal sector, identifying talent and developing it is an ever-pressing issue for firms around the world. Career development is more important than ever for graduates and those joining the industry and is a crucial part of retaining employees.
The utilisation of gamification techniques and programs can be used in recruitment and selection. By assessing aptitude and traits through simulation games in which candidates are asked to make decisions, employers can make informed choices about who they’re bringing into the business.
“When we look at recruitment from a HR perspective, we see a lot of people applying for roles, but it can be a lot more difficult to see potential talent and how it might fit into the workplace culture.
“Using gamification to highlight these well-suited individuals early in the recruitment process can be incredibly beneficial for employers to not only spot potential for their teams, but to ensure employee retention later down the line.
“Through the use of games, we can work to find out where an individual’s strengths lie and put them on a more personalised path. It’s really this attention to detail that ensures that employees feel valued, and it does wonders for employee retention.
“Gamification is also an incredibly beneficial tool to showcase the diversity of the legal sector to those considering a career within it. It’s an exciting area to work in and can often be overlooked because many still see it as being stuck in its traditional past.
“Information can be input by the player within a number of form fields, and those producing it can even work to implement other web content such as videos into the game.
“Law practice is evolving every day, and it’s important that alongside this, the way we approach and carry out recruitment and training evolves too.”
There are a variety of processes team members may take part in during their time at a legal firm, such as joining a new team, receiving a promotion, working overseas, taking maternity leave, or even heading into retirement.
For many, a lack of knowledge as to how to go about this means that many may not ask the question or speak to their manager about it, which may lead to missed opportunities.
“In people management & development, we see a lot of instances where someone might want to take time off work, or explore moving into a different role, but they don’t know where to start or who to speak to.
“Gamification could help solve this issue by simply providing employees with a tool to provide them with information and resources.
“An online platform game that can run employees through these various lifecycle processes and teach them about the protocols involved at every step would be hugely beneficial to legal firms.
“When you’re managing hundreds of employees it can be hard to see those that are struggling if they don’t speak up, so having fun, informal ways for those working in law to get the information they need doesn’t only help those looking to find answers, but also those coordinating large teams.”
Make games at: https://www.construct.net