BBVA is Mexico’s largest bank with over 20% of the market and nearly 20 million clients. In a context of increasing competition and ever-emerging technologies (online banking, big data or fintech), the company has committed to innovation and talent to remain the market leader.
To do so, BBVA’s human resources department has given its all to create a training ecosystem capable of integrating all format types and reaching every generation in the company. The goal was to get a quality multichannel and multidisciplinary platform that would be attractive to employees with ages ranging from 18 to 65 (millennials, baby boomers, generation X, etc.).
Challenge: strengthen staff negotiation skills
As in any bank, negotiation skills are essential for BBVA México employees. Bank employees create and provide offers to clients every day, seeking the best way to convince them, identify their interests and mutually create value. The challenge for the human resources department thus entailed enhancing and strengthening these negotiation skills in order to continue driving business and improve the presentation of new products.
With its sights still set on achieving a great training ecosystem, BBVA Mexico turned to the new available technologies. Doing so assured the possibility of multi-channel training in multiple formats that can reach every department and all profiles at the company. One of the challenges entailed shaking off boring e-learning formats with their lack of interactivity by embracing more attractive, practical and innovative proposals. With this in mind, the company chartered a course for gamification and video games.
Solution: the serious game Merchants
To successfully meet these challenges, BBVA Mexico committed itself to the Merchants video game designed by internationally acclaimed Gamelearn. In this serious game, the student becomes a Venetian merchant and must face off against important figures (including Machiavelli himself ) to negotiate matters such as the silk trade, sovereignty of several islands or different Mediterranean trade routes.
This video game affords at least three advantages to the company:
1. Maximum quality contents. Merchants offers the best techniques, tips and skills for negotiating, and is chock-full of examples and concepts that have had proven success across hundreds of companies worldwide. This serious game particularly emphasizes searching for alternatives in every negotiation, making a bigger pie, and reaching agreements that ensure a win-win for everyone involved.
2. Direct practice and experiential learning. Since the department heads at BBVA Mexico finished Merchants, they have remained very impressed with the ability to directly practice their learned skills. With its sophisticated simulator, this serious game recreates six real situations in which students have to negotiate and practice what they have learned. Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that experiential learning and learning by doing get better pedagogical results.
3. Competition and challenges for a motivated staff. Thanks to its gamification techniques and classifications, the serious game Merchants was able to motivate and captivate bank employees, who usually thrive in competitive and challenging environments. Players were able to keep tabs on their spots in the ranking compared with their co-workers at all times, which thus increased their motivation and engagement, ultimately improving the impact of the learning.
Results: a tremendous success that spread the training to other departments and countries
Implementing the Merchants course at BBVA Mexico was a resounding success. 90% of the employees finished the course, 90% would recommend it and 100% considered it applicable to their jobs or personal lives. Because of the roaring success of the training, which was initially only intended for department heads, it was extended to include other managers and middle management at the company.
After learning about BBVA’s experience in Mexico, the bank’s central headquarters in Spain decided to expand the program to all the countries where the bank has activities. In light of the videogame format’s benefits, BBVA Mexico also began using Gamelearn’s other serious games such as Triskelion (for increasing productivity and time management) and Pacific (on leadership and team management). Presently, the company’s human resources department in Mexico is designing a program in which a further 750 employees will participate.