How to prepare the perfect launch for a Serious Business Game training in your company
The way you present and launch a game-based learning program to your staff will be vital for its success, especially if it is in a format that is new to the company. A good launch event (that explains why it is important to take the course and aligning it with the interests of your organization) will help you achieve the best possible results.
These 7 tips will help get you off to a good start launching your video game training:
1. Focus on learning
When they hear the word “Serious Business Game”, many people only think of fun and entertainment. Therefore, it is important to explain to your employees that the main goal of the training, as always, is to learn. Stress the educational value of the training and its usefulness for their personal and professional life.
2. Explain how the Serious Business Game works
The format will be new for many of your employees, so it is important to explain how to access the Serious Business Game, what they are going to learn, how they will be assessed and how long it will take to complete the game. Providing an explanation in advance will help them to understand how it works and increase course participation and completion rates.
3. Launch a communications campaign
Novelty always sparks interest, so use it to pique your employees’ curiosity and get them motivated. When launching their game-based learning programs, some companies held events that mimicked the premiere of a Hollywood movie: they created communications campaigns prior to the premier, emailed tickets to the movie and gathered all the staff together in a room to show them the Serious Business Game trailer. These kinds of launches, with communications campaigns inside the company (whether by email, posters hung in the office, WhatsApp, SMS, etc.) created a buzz and got employees ‘into’ the Serious Business Game even before it began.
4. Use groups
One of the “easiest” ways to increase interest in serious games is to create groups. Divide your employees into groups (by department, country, interests, professional profiles, etc.) and make them compete against one another in the game. This mix between the online and offline world will allow them to see how their co-workers are doing and will turn the game into a social and competitive activity that will enhance their engagement.
5. Be flexible, but set a time limit
One of the advantages of game-based learning is that employees can do the training when and where they like. However, don’t be too relaxed: set a time limit to encourage them to register for the game and finish it as quickly as possible. If not, it’s quite possible that some employees will never find the time to complete the training.
6. Reward the effort
The launch is the perfect occasion to talk about prizes and recognition. It is important that employees know that their efforts are going to be rewarded. Depending on the type of Serious Business Game and number of employees, you might consider giving a prize to the winner, to the three finalists (gold, silver, bronze) or the person who finishes first. The bigger the incentive, the greater the motivation will be to play (and learn!).
7. Be clear on your goals and start measuring
Before launching the Serious Business Game, you have to be clear about what you want your employees to learn and how you are going to measure the results after the training. Don’t forget this, or you will most likely regret it when it is too late. Identify the metrics you want to analyze and have the figures ready before you launch the game-based learning program (this way you’ll be able to compare them with the actual results after the game).