Employee training has emerged as a hallmark of forward-thinking organizations, who base their own growth story on equipping their workforce with new skills and training required to upskill constantly. As the influx of digital tools, software applications, data, and devices continues to transform workplaces, the need for well-rounded employee training is now more critical than ever. Apart from relying on traditional methods of upskilling such as presentations, workshops, seminars, and e-learning modules, enterprises today are also turning towards a tried-tested tool in fields such as medicine, aviation, and military – simulation training. Let’s decode the rising popularity of this training approach by analyzing its many benefits for upskilling programs and understanding how enterprises can implement it for optimal gains.
How Does Simulation Training Work?
Simulation training is facilitated by a virtual environment where digital tools, apps, and methods are introduced to mimic their real-life usage. This simulation is executed digitally, and the emphasis is on creating a virtual extension of the actual working conditions, including workspace set up, background noise, lights, and other effects. This helps create an immersive environment for the learners and enables them to master the new skill and its application in real-world scenarios.
It is fast gaining popularity as an effective training method in the corporate world since simulation can deliver hands-on knowledge of using new tools, applications, and equipment. This, in turn, helps enhance the learners’ skill efficiency, reduces the risk of errors, and boosts self-confidence. Considering these outcomes, more and more organizations are acknowledging the potential of simulation training as a cost-effective tool for aiding their skill development programs.
Benefits of Simulation Training in Employee Upskilling
1. Hands-On Experience
Simulation training provides a unique opportunity for enterprises to give their employees hands-on experience and knowledge of new tools, devices, applications, and programs being incorporated in different workflow operations. This helps users gain a deeper knowledge of these new technologies, processes, or protocols as well as fine-tune their ability to work with these a lot more efficiently than by merely watching presentations or reading literature.
2. Instant Feedback
With simulation training, employees’ efficacy to use new equipment, platforms, tools, or protocols can be assessed instantly through a review of their performance. Instructors or guides can then focus on the specific areas that need improvement to ensure that the people who are participating in such programs, gain uniform skills and expertise by the end of the training.
3. Better Knowledge Retention
As the old adage goes, “I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand.” Hands-on handling of new actions or skills allows the participants of a simulation training program to better understand and retain the knowledge gained in the process. What’s more, this knowledge and retention are not just of theoretical concepts but their actual implementation in real-world scenarios.
4. Reduced Risk of Errors
Mastering new skills or knowledge in a virtual environment enhances the learners’ ability and confidence. This helps in reducing the risk of error when applying these to real-life scenarios, and thus, increasing output and efficiency.
5. Reusable Modules
Simulation training programs can be tweaked and revised as per the changing requirements of an organization. Using a single training module for new training programs as well as refresher modules, contribute to its ergonomics.
6. Time and Cost–Effective Training
The element of hands-on training and reusability facilitate improved retention, greater practical knowledge and reduced risk of errors. All of these factors collectively make simulation training one of the most time- and cost-effective training tools available to enterprises today.
Best Practices for Simulation Training Implementation
Organizations around the world are exploring possibilities to leverage the potential of simulation training. Since these are highly interactive specialized programs, their implementation and usage have to be executed with precision for the desired results. Here are five best practices to bear in mind when implementing simulation for employee training:
1. Identify Specific Training Areas
Before implementing simulation training in your organization, identify the areas that need skill development, and involve only the concerned teams in the training program. For instance, in case of training for a new software application being added to the workflow, a simulation that mimics its use in different operational aspects can be created, and people from different teams can be made to practice only those processes that are relevant to their job profiles.
2. Keep Simulations Short and Simple
You don’t want to overwhelm your employees with a deluge of information because that would be counter-productive to the idea of skill expertise you seek to achieve through simulation training. It is, therefore, crucial to divide the training module into simple, short bits of information and activities to allow the learners to polish their skills, with repeated practice, if necessary.
3. Make it As Real As Possible
Attention to detail is a crucial element that determines the impact of a simulation training program. When your employees interact with that digital space, they should enter an immersive scenario that replicates the real-life setting they operate in. This promotes retention, triggers recollection and facilitates a better application of skill acquired in actual work processes.
4. Follow the Watch-Try-Do Model
Whether you are introducing a new software application or revamping an existing protocol, your employees need to familiarize themselves with the new concept before working on its application. The watch-try-do model of simulation training allows participants to first learn a process by watching a step-by-step explanation, then try their hands on it in a virtual setting until they master its application and then start doing it in an actual work setting.
5. Choose the Right Partner
Most importantly, partner with a training solutions provider that has the right authoring tool to help you build a simulation capability in line with training objectives.
Implementing simulation training as part of your employee training strategy is an excellent opportunity for you to enhance their skills and ensure that they are trained to achieve their targets. Complement this with eLearning modules and your employees will have all the required means to deliver efficient output at work.
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