The Power of Simulations for Change Management

Change in a business landscape can be difficult for employees, as they may feel overwhelmed and ill-prepared to adapt to new requirements. Organizations that have a clear set of goals about managing change and preparing the workforce will adapt more quickly, ensuring a reduced impact to business continuity. Targeted, experiential learning techniques like simulations are a proven and highly productive way to empower employees to adapt to organizational changes effectively.

Simulations and Change Management

The 70:20:10 model of workplace learning created by the Center for Creative Leadership, states that 70% of learning is experiential, 20% is from interacting with others, and 10% derives from traditional learning methods. Simulations fall in the 70% category and help employees adapt to shifts in mindset, behavior, process, and skills. The following are four scenarios where simulations can help organizations successfully manage change in today’s business climate.

Modeling Behaviors

Scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness make business simulations ideal for workforces trying to adapt to new circumstances. Simulations like gamified branching scenarios with designated learning paths and milestones can initiate behavior change over time. Employees enjoy a degree of autonomy in the learning process and real-time feedback helps them correct their mistakes. For example, managers receiving training to provide criticism also need to learn to accept criticism from their teams. They need to be able to anticipate reactions and act accordingly. Games are a great way of modeling this. Or the simulations can be team-based and engage an entire group of employees. In remote work situations, team-based simulations help alleviate feelings of isolation, promote cohesion, and increase productivity.

Making Decisions

Through simulations, employees can learn strategic decision-making skills, build resilience, and improve interpersonal communication. A business simulation scenario that requires learners to make decisions to move forward and resolve challenges helps develop critical thinking. Sales teams can greatly benefit from simulating an entire sales conversation, asking pointed questions, and figuring out how to steer the conversation based on the answers to open questions. The ability to practice these skills and gain a level of expertise before applying them on the job is a great motivating factor.

Upgrading Systems

Even routine change initiatives, like adopting new software or migrating to a new platform, call for training and upskilling. Software simulations can help bring employees up to speed with new technologies like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems or videoconferencing tools. These simulations can be created easily using rapid authoring tools that support screen capture, like Storyline 360 or Captivate, and can include demonstrations, practice, and tests. Software simulations give employees hands-on experience with new platforms in a safe environment.

Experiencing Realities

In this era of rapid digital transformation, organizations can manage change efficiently by employing emerging technologies like VR, AR, and XR to provide a completely immersive experience for learners. As in-person trainings may not be possible, newly recruited healthcare and safety workers could harness the power of simulations to sharpen critical, life-saving skills. Total immersion in real-world scenarios gives them time and space to understand urgent daily challenges. The immersive environment allows learners to fail without fear and make attempts until they succeed.

To learn how KnowledgeWorks Global Ltd. can partner with you to create simulation-based training that drives successful organizational change, please contact