Implementing business simulations into workplace training is an effective method of developing the commercial skills of an entire workforce, while also improving decision making and teamwork.
Improving employee engagement and learning retention should a top priority for business leaders when constructing a workplace training programme, and a business simulation event is a guaranteed way to achieve this, providing it is implemented correctly. If those in management do not take the necessary steps to ensure that a business simulation event matches the specific operations and KPIs of their company, progress will not be made. By accurately identifying exactly what employees should take away from a business simulation event, leaders are more likely to see a real return on investment.
Set out clear goals for the business simulation
A strong or poor workplace business simulation event can be identified before it has even begun. If business leaders fail to prepare adequately, they run the risk of wasting time and money on an event that will not engage employees and not increase learning retention.
Whether it’s compliance training, operations, financial development or anything related to the business, planning the right training is critical. By setting out precisely what the company wants employees to achieve, which subject matters are to be discussed and exactly how this is going to happen will allow business leaders to focus on exactly what needs to be implemented, enabling them to make the event a success.
Focus on commercial skills
Developing the commercial skills of a workforce is critical to business progression in any industry. If a workplace training programme does not provide a sufficient amount of attention to commercial skills, the entire programme is more likely to fail.
Business leaders can ensure that participants at a business simulation event are improving their commercial awareness by structuring the simulation to provide employees with latest industry developments and ways in which to work more efficiently in their roles, thus increasing engagement. Whether the aim is to accelerate innovation, create a culture change, transform sales or anything else, blending the necessary commercial skills with fun and experiential team-building exercises will deliver ROI.
Tying the business simulation together after completion is arguably the most crucial element of the process. Merely making a business simulation fun and engaging without taking time to ensure that employees are taking responsibility for their decisions and later reflecting on what was executed well and what could have been done better is unlikely to embed learning back into the workplace. An effective analysis system can be implemented into business simulations and workplace training by asking participants the following questions;
- What have you learnt about yourself?
- What aspects did you excel at?
- What aspects could you improve on?
- What will you take and apply back into the workplace?
Implementing a constructive analysis model allows employees to conduct their performance evaluations based on how they’ve engaged with the simulation. According to a study from i4cp, only 55% of employees feel that their performance management has a positive business impact on their organisations. By taking active steps to ensure that performance analysis is maintained as part of workplace training, employees can reap the benefits on a regular basis.
Although business simulations widely improve employee engagement and performance, care must be taken to ensure that events are commercially relevant and planned accurately to ensure success. By maintaining a focus on goals, commercial skills and analysis, this can be achieved.