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Why games should be used as part of your staff training

March 29, 2023

Welcome along to #TalkingTeams

Talking Teams is a weekly newsletter about all things people development and is for HR managers, L&D people and team leaders. If you are working with people then we are confident that this content will be of value to you.

In this issue we are offering you some reasons about why you should use games as part of your staff training programme.

There are 100 reasons why creating more interactive, personalised and fun training methods will give you better results but here are our top 5:

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Engagement: Games can help increase employee engagement and motivation. When employees are actively engaged in the learning process, they are more likely to retain information and apply it to their work.

Getting ‘bums on seats’ is normally our starting point with any training programme, from induction to refreshers. Games will give you a much better chance of actually getting people along and making sure they are engaged when they arrive.

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Interactive learning: Games provide an interactive way for employees to learn and practice new skills. This helps employees to better understand and retain information, as they are actively participating in the learning process.

I remember watching a video by Nick Shackleton Jones where he goes into this in a little more detail but his point is basically that as humans, we are hard-wired to remember experiences that have meaning to us and that we were emotionally connected to – games help us do that!

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Real-world scenarios: Games can simulate real-world scenarios that employees may encounter on the job. This allows employees to practice decision-making and problem-solving in a safe environment, which can help them be better prepared for real-life situations.

A lot of our games are imagined situations or work as a metaphor for real-life stuff. You could be lost at sea or trying to solve a crime in early 20th century Yorkshire. What’s most important though is that teamwork, decision making and difficult conversations feature heavily in the debrief, meaning that participants get a chance to try different approaches with colleagues.

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Collaboration: Many games are designed to be played in teams, which can help promote collaboration and teamwork among employees. This can be especially useful for training programs that require employees to work together to achieve common goals.

I am always amazed by how people’s imagination works. We regularly see people debate characters, situations and outcomes as if they were actually doing it for real. I think this is because people cannot help but turn up as who they truly are.

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Immediate feedback: Games can provide immediate feedback to employees on their performance, which can help them identify areas where they need improvement. This can help employees to better understand their strengths and weaknesses and make adjustments as needed.

A good debrief should be twice as long as the game of activity. You’ll be amazed at how people hold metaphors, consider performance and twist / turn through conversations.

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Overall, we are pretty committed to games as a tool for facilitation, training and learning. They can help you create rich experiences that improve engagements and feedback but crucially results as well!

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If you have used simulations in your training programmes before then I’d love to hear how it worked for you!

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