Benefits of Experiential Learning
Staying competitive in today’s marketplace is more challenging than ever. Technology is changing and advancing so fast, it means people’s skills need to change to keep up.
There is also a changing of the guard occurring with baby boomers moving into retirement or to a more backseat position. Companies need skilled people to keep up with technology and take over leadership positions.
Advances in training and development are also moving rapidly. Experiential learning is one of those methods.
Seven Key Benefits of Experiential Learning
Experiential learning is based on experiencing the task and observation. Taking someone with theory training and letting them use it with a hands-on practical experience speeds up their learning because they are actually doing the task.
- Accelerates Learning
Gone are the days of memorization where you learn by repeating it until you need it, then forget it all. Experiential learning combines critical thinking, problem solving and decision making to complete the learning package as a whole.
- Combines Theory and Practice
Many new managers get thrown to the wolves when they are training. Sitting in front of a large boring, antiquated manual that they can’t understand or want to do nothing for the learning. Then, being sent in to apply a theory they don’t understand is a recipe for failure.
Taking what they already know and putting it into practice is the best way for the learner to understand and see firsthand what is expected.
- Safe Controlled Environment
The trainee is safe to try different methods and make mistakes. There are no consequences for making the wrong decision. It removes the fear of failure and opens people up to taking chances.
- Makes Learning Fun
What better way to learn something than having fun? People can engage in teamwork, individual games, apps, workshops and all types of decision making. With no risk of failing, there is more fun involved. People retain more information when they enjoy what they are doing.
- Increases Engagement
Many simulation training modules require communication, teamwork and cooperation. These skills are fundamental for new leaders and lacking in many young people entering the business world. People are able to see the results of teamwork and learn how important it is for buses and for their own personal goals and accomplishments.
- Relatable Learning
For a generation who grew up gaming, they find these learning simulations second nature. They excel at games and technology and it seems less like learning.
They also understand much faster and much clearer what is expected, what needs to be done and are able to produce actual results based on their decisions. It’s doing their job without risk.
- Instant Results
Learners are able to see the results of their actions immediately after they make them. They also have the chance to try several different possible methods and see the results of those decisions.
It’s invaluable training because they would not get that change on the job. The wrong decisions could cost the company a lot of money, lose clients and cost them their careers.
These simulated programs can be designed to mirror exactly what the trainee will be doing. It is an exact reflection of their job, the company and all the tasks and consequences.
It is also possible to update and alter the programs to suit the changing needs of the company as it grows or changes. There may be aspects that are no longer relevant and they can be replaced for items that are.
All People Learn Differently
We know people learn differently and at their own pace. Some like visual stimulation whereas some prefer to get their hands on it. The business simulators can cover all those areas to make sure all trainees get the most out of the training.
There can be group sessions, where people can help each other and collaborate. There are individual programs where people can tackle their training in their own way.
These applications are perfect for ongoing training, as well. People can revisit them as often as they need, if they are feeling unsure. The results from the simulation give them greater insight without fear. People may be very hesitant in the real world to make certain decisions, but with simulation practice, they don’t need to be.
When people are allowed to learn with multiple options and results, they open up to more possibilities. They take more chances in the simulation because they can risk free.
They get to see what the results will be and it causes them to think about those decisions and reflect on how a different choice would produce different results. They can also try different methods of a variety of outcomes.
It’s very stimulating for learners to practice their leadership role before doing it. The mistakes are very valuable lessons for them and in a controlled environment, they don’t have to worry about the fallout.
Workforce Training Trends
Corporations need to keep up with their training and development to stay competitive. Changes in business happen very quickly which means training needs to, as well. Training people in a simulated environment makes it more fun and helps people train faster.
It’s also a great way to train people for the soft skills many lack. Communication, teamwork and active listening are learned by practice and doing.
It can help with problem solving, it helps people become more flexible and adaptable, it gives them the ability to be open to change, to new ideas and sharing information.
Training people properly means less failure. Many new managers fail because they are not prepared for what the outcome of their decisions will be. It can cause resentment, it makes the new manager doubt their ability and people won’t trust their decisions.
Business simulations are growing in popularity because they work. People can learn at their own pace and try different methods to see real results. It speeds up the learning process and gets people into position much faster. Experiential learning is the best way to get tomorrow’s leaders ready today.