Why Simulations are effective learning instruments in these times of cutting training budget.

Published on Monday 18 February 2013 by in Blog with no comments

Today I received an interesting link to http://home.bersin.com/. It’s about the ‘2013 Corporate Learning Factbook‘. Reading this with my ‘Simulation-focused-spectacles’ on  I discovered 3 interesting items that struck me:

  1. Despite the high levels of unemployement, skills are hard to find.
  2. Today employees want their training to include video and games. Important items are ‘learner experience’ and highly tailored to the working environment of the employers.
  3. Training is also an engagement and retention tool, it brings people together into a common culture.

Simulations are great instruments to develop the right skills to develop the corporate culture to solve the issues that are relavent to be fixed.

Reason 1 – we need to develop skills to do our work better

Let’s focus on the word ‘SKILLS’. “The ability to do something well; expertise”. Skills are what you need in order to apply the theory gained from reading a book, a class or e-learning intervention, into day to day work. It is this skill that will be developed in a one day simulation. Without the skills (and the knowledge) the participant will not be able to solve all issues. It requires communication, team work, decision making and a many more such ‘soft skills’. One full day with the whole team acting in a realistic environment, working on the issues that are relevant for the team, experimenting with new ways of working, practicing new skills can achieve significant improvement gains. And on top of that it isn’t all it’s not that expensive. Even less then Euro 400 per participant. Improving the work performance with 1% already gives a significant part of your ROI.

Reason 2 – we need to fix issues that are relevant for our work

During the intake of a new serious business simulation one of the crucial questions to explore is: “What problem do you want to solve?”. We want to customize the simulation in such a way that we make sure we focus on the issues that need to be solved. If the issue is lack of communication, then during the simulation we will focus on this item the whole day:

  • The ‘customer’ will react/ give feedback if the team does not communicate well
  • We will reflect on the communication and explore how it went
  • We will make improvements in the simulation process to improve communication
  • We will create an action list to be taken back to work to apply the lessons learned into day to day work

This is all based on the ‘wish situation’. This is a clear description of the behaviors we all want to see in our day to day work. Using the 8-field-model 

Focus on the things that matter

  • creates motivation in the team to learn and apply. A simulation is a perfect instrument to customize the learning intervention to create more ROI.
Reason 3 – brings people into a common culture

Playing together means learning together. We know this from our childhood. Discussion and dialogue are great interventions to test each others position. It develops the way we think about ‘things’, we develop ‘This is the way we do it here!’. We call this the culture of the company.

It is much more powerful to work together creating and testing this culture than to just listen to the boss who is telling us about the culture in the company.

So, simulations are great instruments to develop the right skills to develop the corporate culture to solve the issues that are relavent to be fixed.

I want to invite you to read some of our articles and blog (see on the right) and learn more about the value of simulations.

 

 

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