Team-Based Games Help Drive Employee Productivity

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More Employers Using Games To Build On High Productivity - Now At A 6-Year Peak

We have seen a steady increase in employers using learning games to sustain and build on high employee productivity levels, and increase workers' learning retention about new job roles, the company's business, products, and processes.

More employers are planning to use team-based games in the new year to maintain and build on high employee productivity - which is currently at a 6-year peak. The Learning Key Inc. offers guidelines on how companies can make the most effective use of team-based learning in 2010 and increase workers' knowledge retention by up to 10 times over traditional learning methods.

"We have seen a steady increase in employers using learning games to sustain and build on high employee productivity levels, and increase workers' learning retention about new job roles, the company's business, products, and processes," said Elizabeth Treher, Ph.D., founder, President and CEO of The Learning Key Inc.

Employee productivity rose 9.5% in the third quarter of 2009 - the highest level since 2003, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics - as employers realized more output from fewer workers.

Employers are also more often utilizing learning games to assist them with strategic, operational, and communications issues following downsizings, mergers, and acquisitions, according to The Learning Key (http://www.thelearningkey.com), which has more than 19 years experience in transforming learning into action.

The Learning Key offers these guidelines to optimize the return from using learning games in the new year:

  • Use learning games to achieve specific purposes and objectives. "Learning games combine knowledge with enabling employees to practice and apply desired skills and behaviors while playing," said Treher. Among the reasons companies are using team-based games are to:

            Convey new organizational strategies

            Teach employees about an employer's industry, business, or products

            Communicate how to use a new process or system

            Instruct employees about highly technical information

            Engage employees in improving strategic partnering and outsourcing

            Develop one corporate culture from newly merged organizations

            Build spirit and cooperation when playing in teams

  • Significantly improve employees' long-term retention of important information with games. Learners retain 75% of the knowledge they acquire when playing games, according to research by the National Training Laboratories. In addition, people recall as much as 10 times more knowledge after six weeks when using learning games than through traditional learning methods. Learners retain 45% of knowledge after 6 weeks using game-based learning vs. 4% of knowledge after 6 weeks using traditional methods, according to a study by Indiana University. "The repetition of knowledge and the element of competition that games provide dramatically increase long-term learning retention," said Treher.
  • Promote collaboration and diversity with team-based games. "Team members consult with each other before providing answers, promoting a collaborative learning environment to improve decisions and solve problems. The discussions that take place during team-based games help participants think through situations, take risks, and test ideas - which increases learning," said Treher.
  • Treat learning games with the same respect as a lecture, but encourage employees to relax and have fun. "Learning games must provide a relevant experience where employees gain insight into the topic and themselves; they are also fun to use. Team-based games add the thrill of rolling the dice, the uncertainty of using a spinner, or the disappointment of losing a turn," said Treher.

"We need both 'heads-on' and 'hands-on' instruction in order to learn, and board games accomplish this. As Albert Einstein said: 'Games are the most elevated form of investigation,'" added Treher.

"As a stand-alone learning tool or to complement a training program or organizational educational initiative, learning games provide focused learning in a memorable way. That is why our slogan is: 'Play for Performance®,'" Treher said.

Custom games can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. But The Learning Key's team-based games are a way for companies to maximize resources and increase employee productivity and learning retention for a fraction of the cost of creating a whole new game.

The Learning Key's team-based games are immediately available, can be used multiple times in multiple ways with the same groups, and last for years.

The Learning Key's team-based games include:

  • "Wi$eMoney®" is an interactive, reusable, team-based game that teaches about financial planning, budgeting, banking, investing, credit and financing. It also helps players learn about identity protection and financial responsibility while they face dynamic, real-world life and financial decisions. $395
  • "The PHARM Game®" teaches novice and experienced employees about pharmaceutical drug discovery and development and the pharmaceutical industry. $2,495
  • "BIG BUCK$$®" is a business solution to the challenge of bringing new and experienced bank employees up to speed on the changing world of banking, the financial industry, and the regulatory environment. $2,495
  • "Making Your Number$®" is a team-based learning tool for both seasoned and inexperienced sales staff to refresh and practice all stages of a consultative sales process. $2,400
  • "Partnering Success: The Challenge®" engages employees in improving strategic partnering and outsourcing. The game gives employees new insights into ways to build and enhance partner relationships quickly and efficiently. $1,400

To purchase these team-based games, visit http://www.thelearningkey.com or call (800) 465-7005. In addition to team-based games, The Learning Key creates and sells unique facilitation tools and simulations for a fraction of the cost of a customized solution.

About The Learning Key Inc.
The Learning Key Inc. has been transforming learning into action through team-based games and simulations for more than 19 years. The company designs custom board games and simulations, training, and instructional design for organizations in educational, banking, information services, pharmaceutical, biotech, chemical, and other industries. For more information, visit http://www.thelearningkey.com or call (800) 465-7005.

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Sal Vittolino
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