Recently I was sitting with my kids watching them chat, laugh, plan, and of course argue, about a game they were playing on their Xbox. They were really into it and I did not quite understand what was going on the entire time. I was almost dizzy from the multiple viewpoints and player info on each quadrant of the screen. Honestly, I felt old and I was overwhelmed. This type of gaming is par for the course for the younger generations. These kiddos are used to picking up a controller and banging away at the buttons blowing away their competition and ganging up on their internet friends to win wars, build block castles, and win races in their virtually real way of life.
Many of us, up a generation…or two may feel that this is just not “how it was done” when we were growing up. We played actual real games, board games. We sat down as a group, we bonded and competed for real. We learned our opponent’s weaknesses for next time. Let’s get real, we never played video games. There was no going to an arcade, playing a handheld game station, or watched movies in 3D. That just…oh wait. Well we kind of did…when our parents gave us quarters.
Thinking back from that viewpoint, maybe we are a little harsh on the whole gaming idea on these next generation. If you really get down to brass tacks, games transcend generations. Everyone played something; be it jacks, hopscotch, dominos, or even red-light-green-light. Just saying those names may have happy memories bouncing into your mind. You learned how to play games even if it was simply Red Rover or London Bridges. We all played.
Why do we seem to have an aversion to gaming? Games are an essential part of growing up, learning boundaries, playing by the rule, being a good loser, and bonding with our peers. For grown-ups there are Bunko, bowling, chess, baseball, football…recently I saw a company helping their employees be safety aware by playing “Safety Bingo”. Grown adults. Playing games. Maybe there is something to this.
I was digging around looking for good news in a sea of not so fantastic news and found an interesting article about the CIA. The CIA is using a gamification technique to train their employees (Cnn.com). This is kind of amazing news! While you would expect the CIA to use virtual reality and other amazing technology, the games this article was talking about are board games. Yes. Board games.
The reason for this is to help randomize how situations may arise in their work. For example, virtual reality can help them understand the way a situation may unfold unexpectedly. The one thing that virtual reality may not be able to teach how their co-workers will react in the same situation. That type of issue could lead to death or destruction. These people must know how to work together. I find it fortunate that most companies don’t have this same problem. Working together is just not necessary. No one is going to die in your office if you don’t work together right? Wrong.
Maybe no one will die in your line of work. However, what if people get laid off? What if people not working well together or not understanding the business strategy waste labor, thus wasting net profit, thus losing jobs? Working together is key to making your business the best it can be, would you agree?
What does your CIA and gaming have to do with your business? Everything. One author stated, “gamification is a highly persuasive learning technique because it triggers motivated learning and can more effectively connect students with a variety of subjects” (Davis, Xbox to the CIA). This is incredibly true. This process will allow you and your employees to remember key strategies, SWOT analysis, good and poor decisions in a game that translated to every day business.
Why are you not doing like the CIA and many other businesses do? Take your business, make it into a board game. What if your employees could run that business? What if they had to make a profit, even when they were facing an economic downturn? What if your employees who didn’t really get along all had to sit at the same table and decide to lay off, work overtime, or leave your workforce the same size and be profitable?
This is the now, this is real, this is an option.
Imagine your workforce the very next DAY after playing this type of game. How are they reacting to you? Are they asking questions about net profit and being more efficient with their time? Are they turning off the lights in their offices at night because they know every penny needs to go to net profit so they can get a raise?
I don’t know about you, but I can tell you how I feel. I know that when the people I work for and with understand the language that a company speaks, an amazing thing happens. Co-Hesion.
Would you not be amazed if not only you could link your people to your profits, but if they truly believed and understood that they were in fact profit makers? Let me tell you this, your competition may not know this yet. Your competition is still using price increases to cover their losses in overtime and inefficiencies. You however, your company can have a leg up. Get on the bandwagon and stop educating your employees with snarky comments and annual reviews you hope they listen to.
Your team absolutely will understand how they link up to your profit. They will come to their annual review and be ready to hear how they can help, not just why they can’t get more than a 3% raise this year. Each person how they personally impacted profit.
This is a simple, easy, fun, comradery building process like hop-scotch, red-light-green-light, or any of the board style games you played as a child.
Talent Reality 101 is an entire board game experience like none other. This program gives your company the opportunity to really be on the same page. This will change your language, your point of view, and really draw the line between just clocking in and out like always, and being a net profit powerhouse. At the end of the day, if the CIA is doing it…maybe you need to find a way to involve your employees in strategizing for the hard times, and digging in now while things are good to save money, increase morale, maximize engagement, and intensify positive inter-departmental communication.
Games aren’t just for kids any more. Gamify your employee educational experience.
Give us a call – Game, On!