We hear a lot about cultural differences between Baby Boomers and Millennials and even us Gen-Xers get stuck in the middle. (I was a middle child and now I’m a middle generation, and boy, I’m feeling neglected! Somebody get me some cake.) Baby Boomers and Millennials do clash—as well they should—old people always think the youngsters are horrible. (Remember, this song was sung about Baby Boomers!) So, when you have to develop some corporate training, you’ll need to come up with something that everyone will like. How about Business Simulations?
Business simulations engage today’s learners and the learning style Millennials are used to. It involves discussion and input and isn’t a straight lecture. Baby Boomers may have been raised on lecture-style learning, but they don’t like it any more than anyone else.
Business simulations allow all people of all ages and experience to work side by side, which allows styles, ideas and knowledge to be shared across an organization. Because it’s practical information it can be adapted to the business. Simulations provide the chance to run a business, they not only teach skills but also leadership in an environment where making a mistake isn’t the end of the world—or the business.
Another advantage of business simulations is that they can break down business silos. People get out of their own little worlds and have a chance to see something from another person’s point of view. This can be a tremendous advantage in getting diverse teams to work together. When someone has done your job—even as part of a “game”—they have a better understanding of why it takes so long to do task X, or why detail Y is important.
In the past, business simulations have only been accessible to big companies because they were expensive, small companies didn’t have the proper trainers or facilities, and there weren’t good, inexpensive technological solutions. That’s all changed.
Gamification is a buzzword in everything from Fortune 100 companies to the startup down the block. Your average employee is going to be much more technically savvy than people were 10 years ago, and modern development tools mean that simulations are now much more affordable.
If you’re interested in using business simulations to build your teams, increase your leadership skills, and make everyone sharper at their jobs, there are a few things you can do.
- Start talking to different providers. There are people out there who are willing to work with you and who don’t charge harsh licensing fees.
- Read a book or two. “Shift: Using Business Simulations and Serious Games for Corporate Training” is a good place to start. It’s only $3.99 at Amazon right now.
- Talk to other people (networking is awesome for all sorts of things, not just job hunting), and ask what they’ve done. One excellent resource is to download a free eBook or two. You can find a good one here: Business Simulation eBooks.
Basically, if you’re looking for training that will actually benefit your staff and that everyone (well, except for Bob in accounting, but you know how he is!) will enjoy, give business simulations a shot.
This post brought to you by Simulation Studios. The content and opinions expressed above are that of Evil HR Lady.