Companies with good employees can turn them into great employees by providing the training and development employees require to learn new skills and hone existing skills. Trainers often use games as a way to present and teach the skills in a way that employees can apply what they learn, which can help employees learn the business principle and retain the information once they leave the training session.
Types of Games
Training topics run the gamut. Employees can participate in training games that range from teamwork to time management. In addition to numerous categories, training games can just as easily take place online or using training software programs as it can in classroom-style training and face-to-face interaction.
Whether a team is training together or it is a group of people that have come together for the training, icebreaker games are a great way for the group to get to know each other. Especially in a case where it is a group of people that have to work together in the real world, getting to know each team member on a personal level can help them work better together professionally when they return to work.
- The ABCs of Me: Have each participant write their name vertically on a flip chart so that each letter of their name occupies its own line. The participant should use a word to describe themselves that starts with each letter. For example, Christie might use "creative" as a word to describe herself for the letter "C." Each member of the group should present their "poster" to the other members of the class so they can all get to know one another.
Teamwork games and activities teach participants how to work together to accomplish the same goal. Additionally, teamwork activities teach employees how to communicate with each other in order to accomplish the goal. Teamwork games also teach interaction so participants learn how each member of the group or the team contributes to the overall outcome.
- Salt and Pepper: Think of pairs of items, such as salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly, and so forth. Write one of the paired items on a piece of paper. Write the other pair on a separate sheet of paper. Tape one paper to the back of each of the training participants. The participants have to go from person to person to ask questions about the word they have on their back. When they guess the word, they then have to work to find their pair.
Time management games teach participants how to maximize the product of their work while minimizing the amount of time it takes them to complete the task. By managing their time wisely, employees produce more work at a higher quality level and reduce their frustration levels.
- Momma's Diner: Momma's Diner is an online game that teaches time management skills. Players have to seat customers, take their order and serve their food to receive tips. While seating one party, however, other customers are lining up. Players have to learn how to find a balance in seating new customers while providing superior customer service to those that are already seated. Better service equals higher tips, which allows players to buy additional food machines to feed and service customers at a faster rate.
Some great leaders are born. Others have to acquire and hone their leadership skills through training and development activities. The game illustrates the best qualities of great leaders.
- Leadership Race: Create a "race lane" for each participant. Use squares of cardboard or paper as "stepping stones" in the race lane. Create strips of paper with leadership statements that portray good leader characteristics on them and drop the strips into a bowl or hat. Have participants line up at the "start line." Read the statement, such as "I always put the needs of my team members ahead of my own needs." Each participant that has the characteristic can advance one step in their race line. The participant that reaches the "finish line" first wins.
Employees face problems in their work situations on a daily basis. The employees have to learn how to work to together to resolve these problems or issues.
- Two by Four: Have eight participants line up shoulder to shoulder. Alternate male and females. Have the participants face in the same direction. The object is to get all of the females on one side and all of the males on the other side making a maximum of four moves, but using as few moves as possible. The second rule is that each move has to be conducted in pairs-a pair is any two people standing next to each other. If a move leaves a hole in the middle of the group, a pair has to fill it. Pivots, turns and gaps are not allowed.
According to Susan Ambrose, Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education & Experimental Learning at Carnegie Mellon, game-based training is highly effective because it allows participants to draw connections between what they learn during the games and real-life scenarios.
In lieu of traditional book or classroom training, companies often turn to games and activities to teach employees various skills. The sampling of games allow employees to apply learned principles to situations that help to cement the principle in the minds of the trainees.