Employee training: MOOCs versus Business Simulations, what’s the difference?

Employee training: MOOCs versus Business Simulations, what’s the difference?

Several studies and reports recently make the same point:  the best way to engage an employee is to deploy the learning experience using the technology they want.  It is no surprise therefore that HR professionals are increasingly turning to innovative technology to deliver skill and business training.  The flexibility in delivery methods, be that online/on-demand, blended, events or via a workshop enables a closer fit to the learners needs. Regardless of delivery, the training MUST be stimulating and fun in order to ensure higher retention levels.

This month I would like to look at two popular training options HR Directors are turning to:  MOOCs and Business Simulations and Games:

MOOCs – this stands for Massive Open Online Courses. These are primarily focused on individual learning and skill development.  They are available as on-line, on-demand learning tools.  These are a great option for business professionals looking to gain/improve specialties of certain functional areas; such as sales skills, accounting, listening, web development, marketing skills, etc.  The advantage is their flexible delivery; done over a period of weeks with sets of short videos containing presentations, interviews and images.  The disadvantage is they are focused at the individual – not the team – they are generic as they are targeted at the masses, not the businesses – which means business culture/language/goals will still need to be taught and finally, whilst flexible, they are not exciting.

Business Simulations and Games – these literally are simulations played to learn and develop a skill, which is directly linked to the business.  They can be focused on an individual (ie Fantasy CEO) or a team.  They are completely flexible in their delivery; which means they can be on-demand, blended or run as a workshop. Additionally, they can be an off the shelf package per vertical, tailored to business vertical needs or completely bespoke for the business.  The simulations can be targeted to a specific audience, from a graduate recruitment programme, to onboarding, to talent nurturing, to executive training.  It’s no wonder Enterprise and SMEs are increasingly turning to business simulations as THE employee engagement tool.

The key difference between a MOOC and a Business Simulation is the depth of training and development and the engagement level obtained.  

A MOOC will develop employee skills to carry out their particular role, whereas a Business Simulation will not only provide skills training, it links it directly back to your business culture/language/goals/performance, thereby helping your employee understand their skills/role and how they can contribute to the overall business success.

In terms of employee engagement and development there are endless choices available in the marketplace today.  It all depends on the HR engagement goal – is it simply to offer employees skill enhancement via self-study? If so, then Business Simulations and MOOCs are viable options.  However, if it is to improve employee skills, excite the employee about their role within the business, to aid growth, then a Business Simulation is the choice which will inevitably offer you better knowledge retention and ultimately company ROI / ROE.

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In the meantime, please feel free to have a look at our simulations.