Your Guide to Business Simulations

Designing Digitally


Business Simulations

“Learners retain only 5 percent of what they hear and 10 percent of what they read, but they remember more than 50 percent of what they learn through discussion and interaction." - Josh Bersin

This is why business simulations are so popular in the training community. Business simulations provide an engaging experience that encourages learners to apply their knowledge in their job profile.

Here are some of the components that make a successful business simulation.

  • Simulations are all about learning by doing. They teach new concepts and provide opportunities to learn by applying the knowledge acquired. Learners make mistakes and learn from them.
  • Learners practice in a risk-free environment. Simulations recreate the real-world feel in a virtual environment. That way, learners can immediately identify with the concepts taught. They retain information better. Since there is no real-world damage associated with their mistakes, they can practice without inhibitions.  
  • Business simulations are interactive. The participants are encouraged to take decisions and strategize. They determine the final outcome. If they fail, they know what wrong moves they made and how to avoid them in the future. If the outcome is positive, they are rewarded.
  • In a simulated environment, learners receive instant feedback. They know what their strengths and weaknesses are. For example, when they make mistakes filling out a policy document, it is pointed out immediately. It may take some time for them to get it right. But once they learn the procedure, chances are that they will not repeat the same mistake again.

Organizations are warming up to simulation-based training. They use it when they want to implement new strategies or accelerate existing ones. They can use it for explaining complex process models or implementing change in the organization culture. Basically, they can use it wherever they feel it will make a difference.

Why use business simulations for learning?

There are several reasons why many organizations have opted for using simulation-based business training. Here are just a few reasons to adopt it.

  • The simulations have game elements embedded that make it an immersive experience. Learners are given control of the situation. They like the autonomy provided and drive the learning. The ‘fun’ element further ensures that they remain engaged. The competitive streak drives them to excel.
  • According to the 70/20/10 model, 70% of what your employees learn is from experience and application, 20% comes from their social interaction, and only 10%  is from traditional learning. This proves that simulation learning is the way ahead. Concentrate on providing learning experiences that encourage learners to apply their knowledge.
  • Simulations recreate the work environment. It provides learners with scenarios that they encounter in their daily work. This helps them empathize with the situation and apply their brains to resolve it. They are invested in the learning. And, when they are faced with similar situations at work, they know how to resolve it.
  • Simulations do not allow too much time for making business decisions. Participants need to take action fast. This prepares your employees to be able to make good decisions under pressure. It is beneficial because in real-life when your employees face similar situations, they will be ready.
  • Simulations may involve teams to collaborate and work together to solve a problem. It boosts their ability to make decisions together, resolve conflict, and work together amicably. Team spirit is important for the success of an organization.
  • As already mentioned, a simulated environment is risk-free. Your employees may not want to experiment in their job role for the fear of getting penalized for mistakes. But, they need to practice and experiment in order to innovate and enhance their productivity. Simulations provide them that sandbox environment where they can do anything they want without any real-world damage.

When organizations use their existing data to build their own simulations, the employees are provided with a rich learning experience that helps them boost their productivity.

At Designing Digitally, Inc., our team of instructional designers has been creating simulated learning experiences for decades. These simulated learning experiences range from a complete 2D simulated software experience up to a 3D immersive experience. We can help you create your customized solution.

Get in touch with our experts for a free consultation about how business simulations could work in your organization.