Washington: A new research has indicated that organizations using video games to train employees end up with smarter, more motivated workers who learn more and forget less.
A University of Colorado Denver Business School study found those trained on video games do their jobs better, have higher skills and retain information longer than workers learning in less interactive, more passive environments.
"Companies have been designing video games for employees for years but so far it has all been done on a hunch. They suspected the games helped but they could never actually prove it," said Traci Sitzmann, PhD, assistant professor of management at the Business School.
Sitzmann spent over a year examining 65 studies and data from 6,476 trainees and discovered those using video games had 11 percent higher factual knowledge level, 14 percent higher skill-based knowledge level and 9 percent higher retention rate than trainees in comparison groups.
She said games work best when they engage the user, rather than instruct them passively. She found 16 percent of the games she studied were too passive and no more effective than other teaching methods.
Second, employees should have access to the games whenever they like.
"One of the advantages of games is that they are intrinsically motivating, resulting in employees choosing to repeatedly engage in game play and mastering the skills," Sitzmann said.
Finally, video games must be part of the instruction but not the only instruction. Employees must be taught before and after the games to ensure they grasp the entire scope of the job.
"Remember the video game is a tool and not a substitute for training."
"But if you can engage your employee with the video game, you will likely get a well-trained worker," Sitzmann added.
The study will be published in the winter edition of Personnel Psychology.