Simulation training is the newest technological advancement in the world of employee learning. Studies across the globe have shown that this kind of training allows for an immersive, all-encompassing experience, and hence improves the effectiveness of the training exercise.
With the rapid evolution in technology, creating a real-life mock-up scenario is no longer a complicated feat. Organizations can now benefit from the reduced risk factor during training by creating online simulations, while still being able to provide real-life learning experience.
What Is Simulation Training?
Simulation training, as the name suggests, is a kind of training created to mirror real-life situations. Employees can put their knowledge to the test in situations they may encounter in their jobs. However, this attempt is within the safety net of simulation, thus allowing them to experiment, learn, and grow.
This training is highly cost-effective for employers. It also allows for them to assess their employees with respect to how they use their skills when put in pressure situations. And thus, it can help gauge each employee’s decision-making ability.
Examples of Simulation Training
There are a few industries where simulation training has become the front-runner as far as training employees is concerned –
- Aviation – The aviation industry uses simulation as a training technique for its employees extensively. Flight simulation is a part of pilot training, whether it is commercial flying or flying an air force jet. Airplanes and jets are expensive. Not to mention the risk of loss of human life, which is unacceptable. This is why flight simulation is used to train pilots instead. It is not only cost-effective, but it also literally saves lives.
- Driving – There are very few things as dangerous to people’s lives as an out of control driver. To prevent this from happening, driving schools across the world use simulation to train learners before they take their cars out on the road.
- Medicine – Very few professions are required to be more infallible than those in the medical field. Medical professionals cannot afford to make mistakes; if they do, lives are lost. Simulation-based training is used in the training of many of these medical professionals, including surgeons.As part of their training, surgeons are often required to perform surgeries on dummies or even computer-generated bodies, before they proceed to cutting open real ones. It not only allows surgeons to learn without fearing every step they take, but it also saves hospitals and medical schools millions of dollars in damages. Not to mention the countless human lives that are also saved.
There are quite a few popular organizations that have made simulation training a part of their employee curriculum –
- KFC – This fast-food giant has turned its training program into a simulation game. Employees are put in an escape room scenario where they have to prepare items on the menu to escape. This not only allows employees to gain hands-on experience in serving fast-selling food items in record time, but it also makes the whole experience fun, so they can enjoy while learning.
- UPS – UPS has built nine training sites across the globe which are essentially replicas of real cities, streets, and blocks. Employees are given delivery targets, and they drive around in trucks within these simulated spaces to deliver those parcels. This way, they learn how to deliver items within the specified timeframe, while also learning how to navigate hazards such as rogue drivers, pedestrians, unfriendly neighbors, etc.
- Walmart – Walmart, like many of its other retail counterparts, uses Virtual Reality to simulate the work environment and train its employees. For instance, if there is a spill on an aisle, an employee is required to clean it up while ensuring all safety precautions have been taken care of. It is cost-effective and immersive. Thus, it ensures maximum productivity. Know more about how to make interactive training program for retail employees.
The above given examples were of actual hands-on simulation training experiences. Enterprises also have the choice to opt for a mobile-based simulation training for their employees. The idea behind simulation training is to test and experiment. The same can be achieved on a mobile device as well, incurring less expenses than utilizing physical space to conduct these experiments. Employees can go through them anywhere and anytime, as per their convenience.
Here are the benefits of mobile-based simulation training:
- Life-like experience – When training in a simulation, employees are able to explore the situation and understand the rules & regulations and the limitations. Employees work in virtual scenarios that is a replica of what they will face in their actual jobs and are armed with choices on how to proceed. As a result, despite being in a controlled environment, trainee employees can experience every facet of an on-the-job training module.
- Accurate and immediate feedback – Because of the nature of this training, employees receive immediate feedback from their instructors regarding their performance. This feedback is also as accurate as it can get, regardless of the form of training. Any constructive criticism or tips and advice received during such training greatly enhances employee performance in the long run. Simulations with branching scenarios are quite helpful in guiding the employee towards the right outcome.
- Efficiency and knowledge retention– Knowledge acquired through reading or by being part of a real-time training session can’t possibly be retained as long as the one acquired through hands-on training. Simulation-based training not only allows for better knowledge retention, but they also allow employees to use the acquired knowledge and understand the broader concepts. The insight gained through such training is invaluable, irrespective of the job profile.
- Zero risk – Employees are often hesitant when using new tools because of the fear of making mistakes and the resulting consequences. However, when training is conducted in a simulated environment, and that too online, this fear is removed from the equation and in the long run, having already learned from their share of mistakes made while in training, employees make fewer errors.
- Quantifiable training – An obvious benefit of any simulation-based training is that it is easily measurable. All performance data and analytics related to it can be used by the organization to design future training exercises. The same data sets, when passed along to managers and team leads, allows them to assess their teams and use their strengths and bypass their weaknesses.
- Cost-effectiveness -Any training program based on simulation tactics dramatically reduces the time and cost associated with the same in the long run. A mobile-based training program cuts travel and utility expenses, as well as the logistics of arranging for a training session.
Using simulation as a training approach is the most effective form of skill-building available today. It not only promotes better learning, but it also helps employees gain confidence and improves their decision-making ability. Any organization looking to grow should take advantage of this technological evolution and use the opportunity to improve their employees’ skills and efficiency.