Organizing employee training and development is a very delicate process. The methods used should engage employees and keep them motivated for long periods of time. According to Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience, the two best ways for people to remember something is through real experiences and contrived experiences, respectively.
Some realities are far too big and complex to grasp. That’s why representative models (mock-ups) can be used in order to provide an experience close to reality. These models provide concrete experiences, even if not as concrete as direct experiences, that allow for visualization and practice. They make the learning experience more accessible to the learner, which fosters better understanding of the concepts.
An example of an experiential learning tool is a business simulation. In a business simulation, participants learn by running a virtual business in an interactive, risk-free, and realistic environment. Using real-world competitive dynamics, participants experience critical interdependencies, execute best practices, and gain exposure to the big picture.
A business simulation is also a powerful tool for organizational learning and development. Business simulations are an interactive learning experience that allow participants to truly engage in the material. They encourage the development of business skills by presenting testing business scenarios and asking the participants to make informed decisions.
Strategic planning and execution are important business activities. The process of defining a company’s direction and making decisions on allocations of resources is crucial for an entrepreneur. The main aspect of simulation games revolves around careful planning and
strategy execution to ensure the optimum return for the effort put in. Simulations offer a great way of developing business acumen among leaders, giving them a broad enterprise perspective, strategic thinking, and financial acumen.
Unsurprisingly, gamification is a current trend in business training. The usage of gaming methods in employee training makes every training session an exciting and eventful experience, thus keeping them motivated throughout long learning periods. Furthermore, companies are increasingly turning to simulations to help build strategic alignment when faced with implementing a new strategy. Business simulations allow for implementing culture change by accelerating innovation and strategy execution.
To summarize, here are 6 reasons for using business simulations in a company:
1. Put theory into practice
Simulations emulate real-world challenges and allow participants to put theory into practice in a dynamic environment. Through this kind of experimentation, participants can put theories to the test, see what works best, and come up with innovative solutions.
2. Boost participant engagement
Learning outcomes are highly dependent on the conditions and motivation for learning. Business simulations are hands-on learning tools that involve competition between participants. The game-like nature of business simulations is proven to engage participants.
3. Higher knowledge retention
Experiential learning methodology yields a higher level of knowledge retention compared to other instruction methods. A simulation provides a big picture view of operations, meaning that participants are able to grasp a wide range of concepts and materials in a short period of time.
4. Practical environment for soft skills development
By playing a business simulation, participants need to apply and practice important soft skills, such as adaptability, reliability, teamwork, collaboration, conflict resolution, critical thinking, communication, problem solving, etc.
5. Increase entrepreneurial and enterprise skills
Business simulations also develop participants’ holistic thinking, decision making, and strategic skills. This results in the dissemination of best practices and strategy execution.
6. Learning to fail and to cope with uncertainty
Failure is never pleasant, but learning from your own mistakes is a key part of self-improvement. Business simulations provide a risk-free environment where failure is safe, yet the lessons learned are genuine and applicable in real life.
Try out our simulations and bring out your inner CEO!