BCD Travel is a company specialized in corporate travel management. It was created to provide companies with a quality service to keep their employees safe and productive during business trips. With 13,500 employees in 109 countries, the company’s 2017 turnover topped $25,000 million.
To provide its customers with a high-quality experience, BCD Travel needs employees who not only understand the sector but also have soft skills. Leadership and team management skills are especially prominent among these soft skills. In a changing and competitive market, where the emergence of new technologies makes it easier to hire travel services, it has become essential to have innovative leaders who know how to manage and motivate their teams. In this way alone can the company maintain its leadership in the world of corporate travel.
The challenge: to train more employees, more quickly and in less time
BCD Travel’s training and development team in the United States identified three challenges that the company should face:
- Leadership training. After an extensive audit across the organization, the company realized that it needed to focus on the leadership skills of its managers, particularly in middle management. Many recently promoted employees were facing problems in managing their teams and there was a significant difference between leaders at executive posts and middle managers. BCD Travel pinpointed leadership and team management as an opportunity for its employees and the company as a whole to improve and grow.
- Intensive training. The company was seeking to develop an intensive, quick and effective training. With the growing flexibility of our working environment, training managers strived to provide employees with useful tools to put what they learned into practice as soon as possible. The core idea was to “do more in less time”.
- Global training. Another major challenge facing the company entailed simultaneously training all its employees in the USA, Europe, Latin America and Asia. Given the significantly broad geographic dispersion of its workforce, BCD Travel was looking for an online format capable of reducing in-person sessions and thus cutting costs without ever compromising the quality of the training.
Solution: Pacific, the serious game for leadership and team management
BCD Travel opted for the serious game Pacific to tackle these challenges. In this graphic adventure, employees survive a plane crash but are stranded on a desert island. To escape, each employee is challenged to learn about leadership and managing a virtual team to build a hot-air balloon that will let them return to civilization.
Pacific provides at least three advantages:
- Maximum quality contents. The lessons appearing in Pacific are the result of hundreds of interviews conducted with the CEOs, executives and senior managers of large corporations spanning a period of over 12 years. With this video game, BCD Travel employees were able to learn to set objectives, ascertain the individual needs of team members, give feedback and delegate tasks.
- Interaction with contents. Thanks to its video game format and gamification techniques, Pacific provides an educational experience in which students have an intense interaction with the content. Doing so allows students to activate more areas of their brains and achieve deeply rooted and longer-lasting learning. Moreover, this serious game incorporates a sophisticated simulator to guarantee that students are actually putting what they’re learning into practice, thus enabling learning by doing, aka “experiential learning”.
- Total flexibility. Students only need an email and internet connection to access Pacific. The serious game can be played from a computer, tablet or smartphone. Such eminent flexibility allowed the training and development department at BCD Travel to combine the use of video games with other leadership courses and launch training in several countries simultaneously.
Results: 60% savings
All these advantages have made the BCD Travel-developed training with the serious game a resounding success. Thanks to greater interaction with contents and use of the Pacific simulator, the company was able to reinforce leadership skills throughout the entire organization. 100% of the students finished the course, 91% said they would recommend it and 100% considered it applicable in their day-to-day lives.
The online format’s flexibility also simplified an intensive implementation of the training across several continents. BCD Travel management set aside an entire workday so that employees could completely immerse themselves into Pacific during the full eight working hours. This yielded a quick, intensive and effective training in a single day among the middle managers around the world. By using Pacific, BCD Travel managed to reduce training time from 12 months to 5 months. The company also reduced the number of in-person trainings from five to two, lowering the associated costs (travel, lodging, cost of opportunity, etc.) by 60%.