The Unicorn HRO Blog

Benefits of Team Building Simulations

Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2016 by Unicorn HRO

Team building activities promote teamwork, increase productivity and problem solving skills, as well as encourage creativity within the workforce. One of the newest activities to be introduced is team building simulations. Team building simulations are activities that simulate possible scenarios and situations that workers and companies may find themselves facing in their daily work lives. Team building simulations have multiple benefits due to their interactive nature. By simulating ‘real work’ problems, employees are enabled to develop relevant skills which can be used when similar problems arise in the workplace.

Team building simulations can take many forms, from problem solving activities to games which promote collaboration and communication. For team building simulations to be truly beneficial there must be a clear connection made between the activity and its relevance to ‘real world’ situations and scenarios. Mock simulations should resemble problems that workers are likely to face and be used to address company specific problems. For companies which may have recently received poor reviews in customer service areas, simulations can involve the use of role-play, with employees being asked to play the role of the customer.. This helps workers to develop empathy for their customers and it can also help staff to practice their customer service skills in real time, while receiving feedback on their performance from colleagues.

The key component of team building simulations is how it uses experiential training, with workers learning skills through experience, practice, and observation. A vital component of simulations is ensuring that there is a lecture based introduction before the activity. The introduction should provide clear guidelines and directions. Any good team building activity should also include a debriefing at the end, in which staff members are asked to review their actions and behaviors, provide feedback and encouragement to one another, and receive feedback from a trained facilitator.

In addition, simulations allow staff members the opportunity to practice their responses to challenging situations in a safe environment. This safe environment also encourages workers to try out new behaviors and approaches to problems, something they may not have done in the workplace due to a fear of making mistakes.. Encouraging employees to step out of their comfort zone can increase a workers’ confidence in their own abilities, particularly when employees realize that they are able to manage situations better than they had thought.

Simulation activities can be adapted to meet the specific needs of any company which make them a particularly beneficial training activity. The unique approach of teaching through ‘doing’ often results in a more successful transfer of knowledge in the workplace than traditional team building activities. 

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