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Using Games to Encourage Involvement
The world of games should be explored by every trainer/lecturer/teacher for all age groups, from kindergarten to university level. The benefits are numerous: students will retain more information in the class contact period if they are excited about a particular topic, games are great as icebreakers and are particularly useful if team work is a key area in the course and games can engender camaraderie and will allow trainees to work together toward a common goal. This is especially useful in certain tyes of employee training.
Games are not just about having fun. A smart trainer can use games as an assessment tool. The various skills and abilities of students can be observed during play time and there is the added bonus of seeing individual strengths and weaknesses especially in a relaxed setting.
There are several types of games that can be used in the classroom. The focus should be imparting knowledge on the particular area. If games have no focus they lose their usefulness as an educational and training tool. Listed below are a few games that have been utilized in various areas of training and can be adapted to fit into any proven to be effective through the years.
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Types of Games Used for Employee Training
- In-Basket/In-Box Exercises – This is a simulation exercise and can be applied to any position in the organization. The player is usually told which position they hold in the organization and who they report to or who reports to them along with any other relevant information such as job description. In an in-basket exercise a list of random every day activities in a typical company are listed (they vary from hard to easy) these activities are placed in a persons in-basket or inbox in the form of memos, telephone messages or emails. The game is timed (usually 30 minutes) the object of the game is to see how well the player will prioritize the tasks and manage their time.
- Crossword Puzzles – Like regular puzzles, the crossword puzzle, would give clues and the corresponding answers would fit into the crossword puzzle grid. This game can range from easy to very difficult on any topic used in the training session. The typical time is usually 30 minutes to an hour depending on the number of questions and the difficulty of the game.This game can be used to test knowledge or as a means of reinforcement of information.
- Role Play – Another type of simulation game that can give trainees the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge gained from training or for trainers to see how trainees would react in a given situation. This is a popular game in customer service training or other simulation based areas. The trainer would set the parameters for the game based on the specific skills or knowledge that the trainees are expected to demonstrate.
- HR Jeopardy – A fun way to unite the popular game of jeopardy with training. Questions and answers are given in different categories. Be creative with daily doubles, classes can be divided into groups.
All of the games listed can provide reinforcement of a topic, provoke interest or simply keep a employee training class interesting. Duration for these games should be kept to 10-30 minutes and should stay on topic.