There is an emerging trend to use gamification or simulations in the workplace. It is being seen in both recruitment and also during in house training events. So what exactly is gamification and why is it so popular?
When recruiting, team activities and games are sometimes a major component of group interview processes, especially for the retail and customer service industries, as they provide real insight into the candidate’s capabilities. These games can help the interviewing manager or panel to see how you – as a potential employee – interact with others and gets things done within a team during practical, work-based scenarios.
If someone isn’t a team player in a light-hearted group game, imagine how he or she is going to behave in a highly stressful team based project or business environment.
While early childhood educators and primary school teachers recognise the value of games and role-playing in helping younger people learn, it has taken a while for the rest of the world to catch on to the fact that they can help adults as well.
Gamification and Training
Games and simulations aren’t just for recruitment purposes. Project management courses need to have some realistic and practical scenarios included in their content – so you can carry what you learn easily and effectively back into the office.
This is referred to as “gamification”. More effective Project Management training courses contain real workplace simulations. The idea behind this is that while many professionals graduate with highly specialised qualifications in certain industries, these industries are often project based and they become what we in the industry call ‘accidental project managers’. Effectively these resources are ill equipped to effectively work on or lead projects in complex and challenging business environments without process or project management capability. The uncertain ground that characterizes any modern project requires informed management on a number of levels – from planning through to human resources, risk mitigation and evaluation after it has been completed.
Inexperienced Staff Put Behind The Wheel?
Throwing a qualified, but inexperienced candidate into a large-scale project can cause it to blow budgets, bleed money, fail or occasionally lead to project cancellations. A cancelled project is not going to see any results, apart from a negative balance.
Games and simulations in project management education courses are very useful because they provide you with real experience in managing project lifespans from beginning to end. You also learn how to handle the number of variables that can occur in any project – clients change their mind; your staff holds conflicting visions and everybody can butt heads. Furthermore team based simulations can be extremely valuable team building activity for new projects, existing projects that need a pick me up and business-as-usual teams that are frequently involved in projects. Project Management team simulations unite, motivate and educate the team to perform more productively and cohesively.
Games can also emulate the rush and reward of success, the satisfaction of good planning and anticipation, the fear of failure and the sting of disappointment – all real feelings that can and do occur in typical challenging workplace projects.
You Can Take the Training Home
The bonus of doing training that includes games and simulations is that you get to take the experience and knowledge back to work with you. It is proven that learning is a lot more ‘sticky’ when it’s fun, engaging and relevant. Everything that you learn can and will be applied to the next project that you or your staff has to manage, and hopefully you’ll be properly equipped to do it!