Simulators in Corporate Training
Corporate training with simulators can make us acquire skills through virtual learning, with no risks and in an effective way. Many simulators are used in company environments to allow workers in an organization to improve the knowledge of their business and their management skills.
Training vs entertainment
Simulators mimic real life processes in order to provide a realistic learning experience, which is usually carried out from a computer or technological device. Companies all around the world use simulators and gamified tools to train their employees. It is important to understand the scope of the “gaming” side of these simulators, as their main objective is to “educate” and “train” in a certain area, not just to entertain.
The use of simulators for corporate training is often framed in the use of game-based learning, to facilitate the learning for employees. Companies that have chosen to use gamification in their training programs have done that to improve the soft skills of their employees. The result is a satisfactory, efficient and profitable training for both the worker and the company.
Competition to enhance engagement
Many simulators incorporate a competition system so as to reinforce commitment and involvement of the user. As we were saying, it is important to note that the “gaming” aspect is not the primary objective of the simulators, as it is not in the training programs of companies. The practice of a skill through simulation is aimed towards obtaining knowledge and habits to improve personal and professional life. The gaming element promotes motivation and competition, which ultimately enhances the learning experience and reinforces the engagement of the participant.
Over the years, internal training in companies has gained importance and relevance in the business plans of nearly every organization. The way of learning has changed and so has the market. In the case of simulators and game-based learning, that change has been laid upon the foundations of the rising importance of new technologies.
Simulators to develop soft skills
There are thousands of different industries and companies, and therefore there are thousands of different simulators with thousands of different purposes. Among those most in demand in business are the ones focused on developing soft skills, which virtually any company is in need of. Among those skills that can be developed using simulators, we can highlight:
- Time management simulator: almost every simulated learning process includes time management, either as productivity per se or as decision-making and specific skills in a given amount of time allotted by the simulator.
- Team management simulator: many training simulators focus on teamwork and people management. It’s one of the most important and necessary soft skills in everyday work (especially for leaders and team leaders) and simulators can improve leadership, task delegation, team coordination, etc.
- Negotiation simulator: there are specific negotiation simulators in the market which reproduce conflict situations to teach students the necessary steps and measures to take in order to solve them, and to acquire and improve their skills, both in negotiation and communication with involved parties.
Benefits to train large numbers of employees
Companies with a large number of employees face an important challenge when implementing training programs in their organizations. If we are not just talking about a large staff, but also of great geographical dispersion of their workers, things get even more complicated. How to train all or most of their many employees?
We have already noted that most virtual simulators are launched from digital platforms, which are accessed through computers, tablets or mobile devices. In many cases, the Internet is the only requirement to use these tools, allowing companies to offer a training program to all their employees, wherever they are, simultaneously and without increasing costs.
One successful example is the SCL (Society of Chief Librarians) which has implemented an online training program for all its employees to be properly trained. The British public libraries network integrated a LMS (Learning Management System) by Learning Pool, Paul McElvany’s company, as you can read in this article on Training Press Releases.
Thanks to this online training project, the SCL could train 14,000 employees (80% of its workforce) in less than four months. With training programs like these, companies can face the challenge of improving the skills of their employees even under tight schedules and budgets. But more important, in practice, is the satisfaction of employees, who consider game-based learning and the use of simulators not only fun, but also highly applicable to their jobs.