Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Real World Scenario and Engagement In the Business Community--Part II

In the last post, I identified a challenge that most business leaders are well aware of and have struggled with over the years, that being, the problem of engagement of employees. One observation that should also be made is that the problem of employee disengagement is not improving but is getting worse. It is getting worse at a time in which changes are happening in the global market place that require more engagement on the part of employees rather than less.
In this post I hope to describe to you how the use of real world scenarios within a training context might be a step to re-igniting the engagement of the employees as if it was there first day of employment.


Creating an atmosphere of personal positive engagement within a company requires that we recognize the signs when we see them. The above diagram are the traits in employees that are visible within the company culture that indicate positive engagement. It is also worth noting that in Fortune Magazine (Feb. 2015)  that of the list of the best global companies to work for, the top five concentrated on nurturing many of the attributes indicated above but not all of them. Those companies were listed as:
  1. Google
  2. SAS
  3. NetApp
  4. W.L. Gore & Associates
  5. Belcorp
Using Real World Scenarios in Corporate Training

Using the engagement principles introduced in the last posts, we note that:

1. Relate: We want employees to use higher order thinking skills so that they will develop deeper understandings and knowledge in the areas that directly relate to their functions within the company. What this means is that they must be engaged in activities that occur in a group or collaborative context. The real world scenario used in a blended learning approach must be a scenario that is real and directly related to their the world that they enter everyday within the company.

2. Create: For example, a scenario could be designed as an online simulation dealing with customer relations. Within this type of scenario, a group of employees could be presented with a challenge which they have to come up with a solution to. This represents a problem based in the form of inquiry and investigation. The person that they are to deal with can be presented in the form of many personality types. Through collaboration, the employees make a decision and take action. Whatever action they carry out must give them immediate feedback on the client's reactions to their solutions. This should result in a reconsideration of their actions and a new solution. Confounding variables could be introduced into the simulation such as the reactions of the CEO or the COO to their actions.

3. Donate: The simulation that they are challenged by should result in them formulating new ideas that could work within their world. It is in this stage that engagement can be strengthened by offering them a forum to present their ideas to the decision makers within the company. They need to know that their efforts are valued as a good contribution to the company's culture. Personal recognition is crucial in order to nurture a desire by employees to continue to be engaged in the company's vision and mission.

How Do We Do This?

These are just a few suggestions:

  1. Distractions: Remember those things that were distractions for employees and which resulted in lost time? Such things as social media, game, and socialization can be used for a positive purpose by incorporating them into real world scenario. Properly, done the simulation will be far too engaging for sleeping to occur. As far as smoking breaks, I have nothing for that.
  2. Blended Learning Approach: The role of the trainer changes from being the "sage on the stage" to the "mentor on the side". Going back to the original assessment event, you will remember that the students had access to their teacher only three times during the event and the role of the teacher was not to give information but to ask questions designed to help direct the student and help clarify their thinking.


Please keep in mind that the scenario suggested is just an example and other real world scenarios could be substituted as more sophisticated purposes become important to the company.

Next...Other lessons from the assessment event.

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