The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the way organisations approach professional development and training.
A recent survey by the Harvard Business Review showed that 83% of organisations have increased their focus on remote work and virtual learning as a result of the pandemic.
This shift to remote work has led to a rise in the use of virtual business simulations for professional development.
The shift to virtual delivery has been relatively smooth for technical training, but the transition to virtual professional skills development has been more challenging.
However, in contrast, organisations are finding that virtual business simulations are an effective way to provide employees with professional development opportunities, regardless of their location.
According to a report by Global Industry Analysts, the global market for e-learning and virtual simulations is expected to reach $325 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 7.5% from 2020 to 2025.
According to a recent study by the International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, the use of virtual business simulations in corporate training can increase retention by over 50% and lead to improved performance by up to 25%.
Companies such as Ford, Dell, and GE have all reported significant improvements in employee productivity and knowledge retention after incorporating business simulations into their training programs.
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the top three benefits of virtual business simulations for professional skills development.
1. Breaking down silos and fostering collaboration
One of the biggest challenges of remote work is that it can lead to a sense of isolation and a lack of connection with colleagues.
This can be especially true for employees who are located in different regions or time zones. Virtual business simulations provide an opportunity for employees to network and collaborate with colleagues from different locations, breaking down silos and fostering a sense of community and connectedness.
In a virtual business simulation, participants are placed in a simulated business scenario and tasked with working together to solve a problem or make a decision.
The virtual environment allows employees to develop new relationships and work together in a way that would not be possible in a traditional in-person training setting.
This is particularly important for organisations that have a geographically dispersed workforce, as virtual business simulations can help to build stronger, cross-functional teams.
A recent study conducted by the International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning found that virtual business simulations can lead to improved collaboration and communication among employees, with up to 80% of participants reporting increased teamwork and improved relationships with colleagues after participating in a virtual simulation.
Furthermore, a survey by the Harvard Business Review found that remote workers who feel connected to their colleagues and their organisation are not only more engaged and productive, but also experience higher levels of job satisfaction.
The same survey found that virtual team-building activities, such as virtual business simulations, can help to reduce feelings of isolation and increase a sense of belonging among remote workers.
These results are consistent with other research that has found that virtual business simulations can help to promote social interaction and build trust among employees, even when they are working from different locations.
2. Risk-free learning environment
Virtual business simulations provide a risk-free environment for employees to practise, apply and develop their professional skills.
In a virtual simulation, employees can experiment and make mistakes without any real-world consequences.
This allows them to learn from their mistakes and improve their skills in a safe and supportive environment, leading to more effective learning and higher levels of engagement among participants.
According to a survey by the Brandon Hall Group, 94% of organisations believe that providing employees with practical, hands-on learning experiences is important to the overall effectiveness of their training programs.
Virtual business simulations provide exactly that - a practical, hands-on learning experience where employees can apply their knowledge and develop their skills in a simulated environment.
Research has shown that virtual simulations are an effective way to improve knowledge retention and performance.
A study by the International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning found that the use of virtual business simulations in corporate training increased retention by over 50% and led to improved performance by up to 25%.
In addition, a survey by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) found that organisations that use virtual simulations as part of their training programs reported an average improvement of 23% in employee productivity.
Furthermore, virtual simulations provide a flexible and scalable solution for professional skills development.
They can be easily adapted and customised to meet the needs of different organisations and industries, and they can be delivered to large groups of employees at the same time, reducing the cost and time associated with traditional in-person training programs.
3. Flexible and customisable training
Virtual business simulations offer a flexible format for professional skills development, making it easier for organisations to deliver training to a dispersed and remote workforce.
Virtual simulations can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, making it easy for employees to fit training into their schedules.
Additionally, virtual business simulations can be customised to meet the specific needs of an organisation. For example, a virtual simulation can be designed to focus on a particular business challenge or area of professional development, such as sales, leadership or project management.
This customisation allows organisations to deliver targeted and effective training to employees, while also providing a fun and engaging learning experience.
Our clients have reported significant improvements in employee productivity and knowledge retention after incorporating virtual business simulations into their training programs.
We have an industry-leading portfolio of business simulations that can be tailored to meet the needs of any audience, from new hires to senior management.
And with the flexibility to run virtually or in-person, our simulations can be integrated into any corporate training curriculum.
So, if you want to boost retention, performance, and engagement in your corporate training program, explore our simulations today and see the difference for yourself.
With virtual business simulations, you can provide your employees with the professional development opportunities they need to succeed, no matter where they are located or what the current circumstances may be.