Experiential learning events are designed to engage and motivate employees to increase learning retention back into the workplace.

There is a common misconception that businesses have to create business simulations as part of workplace training in order to achieve the various benefits that experiential learning programmes have to offer. This, however, is not the case.

Implementing workshops and activities allows businesses to provide experiential learning programmes for their workforce without having to construct lengthy business simulation events.

How can business simulations differ from experiential learning?

To better understand how business simulations and experiential learning are two different entities, it is worth noting the spectrum on which both sit.

On one end of the spectrum sits traditional training methods that are common in the modern workplace. These methods include lectures, videos and reading materials. Although typically used by many companies, they are not as effective in engaging employees and increasing learning retention compared to modern methods.

On the opposite end of the spectrum lies business simulations. A simulation event allows employees to fully immerse themselves in a situation mirrored to what they will experience within their roles. A useful business simulation will be tailored to the goals of the business, develop the commercial skills of employees and give them apt opportunities to assess their performance to improve in the future.

Experiential learning methods sit in the middle of the spectrum. While they are similar to business simulations in the sense that they give employees the chance to develop their commercial skills in an active environment, they differ in the sense that they can be delivered in shorter activities and workshops like typical workplace training methods, but are tailored to the KPIs of a business to develop employees more effectively.

Experiential learning activities

Practical tutor-led workshops allow individuals to work together to solve problems and discover how best to operate within their roles in a fun and engaging environment. Without having to spend money on developing useful business simulations, these workshops aim to provide a quicker alternative to increase retention and boost morale.

Similarly, engaging in discussions, putting them into practice and later evaluating business decisions is not reliant on business simulations. These active discussions allow individuals to gain ideas from their peers and take these back into the workplace.

Benefits of experiential learning activities

Experiential learning has rapidly improved in popularity among the modern workplace. According to research by Eagle’s Flight, typical retention rates for experiential learning programmes can be up to 90%, compared to 5% and 10% for usual methods like listening and reading respectively.

By allowing employees to take part in engaging training activities as opposed to merely telling them how to do something, they will be able to draw on their training experiences when it comes to real situations.

When constructing an effective workplace training programme, business leaders do not have to spend excessive time on creating a simulation to make their event experiential. Instead, drawing on quicker workshops and activities will adequately increase retention.