Why are purpose games becoming so popular in corporate training?

Some years ago, large corporations such as Coca-Cola, Deloitte and BMW incorporated purpose games into their offices. Designed to playfully teach knowledge and skills, these educational games are opening a precipice in the human resources departments of multinationals worldwide. But why? How come purpose games have had so much success in corporate training?

1. Improved employee engagement

One of the starkest problems facing companies is the lack of engagement among their employees. According to a recent report from the consultant Gallup, up to 87% of workers are neither motivated nor committed to their company. The same can be said regarding the training offered to them, which workers usually find boring and frustrating.

Purpose games have become one of the solutions to the problem. With the interaction provided by the games, their narrative techniques and gamification, workers feel more motivated to complete games and learn. For companies, this means having a more inspired workforce with a strengthened commitment not only to the training but also to the companies themselves.

2. Learning by doing

Compared to classroom-based or traditional e-learning methods, purpose games, especially the ones that employ sophisticated simulators, afford an opportunity to learn by doing. From the very outset of the game, learners are making decisions, interacting with the game and putting their learned skills into practice. For companies, this means more practical and effective training.

3. Purpose games work!

Though for years there was a lack of solid literature demonstrating the effects of purpose games, scientific evidence has nevertheless grown exponentially over the years. According to studies conducted by researcher Traci Sitzmann at the University of Colorado, the average scores of students who train with games (compared against other teaching methods) are 11% higher for learning factual knowledge, 14% greater for skills acquisition, and 9% better in retaining knowledge. Many other recent studies have confirmed her results.

4. New times require new ways of learning

In a context of profound economic and social transformations (including the changes stemming from the internet and robotization), companies are also seeking new ways of training and developing their employees. New times require new formulas and fresh formats. At this juncture, purpose games are meeting the new demands of workers in the twenty-first century.

5. Better purpose games

While the demand has increased, the offer has also risen. The availability of purpose games designed specifically for companies has soared with more complex and sophisticated games. Some companies have even been specializing in highly specific corporate training niches. With so many (and such high quality) purpose games to choose from, the number of companies doubling down on their commitments to incorporate them into their training programs continues to grow.

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