How Minecraft Can Improve Your Corporate Learning Program

We have all wasted time with them and we all know the near drug-like draw they can possess. Smartphone games. They are a guilty pleasure that few can claim they are innocent of. The siren song of that simple yet wildly addictive game is too much for many to deny. Familiar titles such as Candy Crush, Farmville, and Minecraft have pulled in fans (and revenues) by the millions. Now here is the real kick in the C-Suite trousers; many Chief Learning Officers are taking cues from them in order to get their teams more engaged at work.

If you are looking at implementing an E-Learning platform within your business or just searching for ways to get more people actively involved and participating, Minecraft has a lesson or two that you may want to heed.

1.) Get Social. Often when you are trying to engage workers and maximize participation and utilization in corporate learning programs, incorporating a social element may just be the key. Programs such as Yammer and Jam have led the way in regards to enterprise level social platforms. Like a “corporate Facebook”, these virtual communities bring together workers that would never otherwise work together.

2.) Encourage Sharing. Online game manufacturers know that when you are engaged socially, you are more likely to share resources (ever send a friend a game tip or free “spin”?) When corporate learning becomes a group activity, participants begin assisting one another, generating content, asking questions, and most importantly, assisting others in finding the answers. Give it enough runway and you are now creating a go-to location that team members will learn to rely on.

3.) Take them by the Hand. If you have ever started a new game, or a new anything for that matter, you know that the process can be intimidating, and at times frustrating. Game companies lose potential revenues if you don’t stick around long enough to get comfortable with how things work. How do they handle this? Chris Davis; Senior Learning and Performance Innovation Consultant with Cigna explains; “There has been a lot of work done in the area of massive multiplayer online games…you need to introduce the mechanical aspects …gradually and then increasing the difficulty over the course of the game….you allow the game player to get his or her footing.”

Throughout all of this, it is important to know and remember that people do not all learn the same way and at the same speed. Davis further details; “…because you don’t have this homogenous group of people. They’re made up of different segments and I think that the message on how you approach them should really focus on who they are.” Within these virtual meeting places, it is possible to easily gather people into learning groups. These groupings allow for more focused content to be delivered and for the message to be tailored toward their particular style of learning.

However you look at it, it appears that social media has officially come to play in the corporate world. It may all look like just “fun and games”, but the landscape of corporate learning programs has forever been altered.

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Louis Carter
Louis Carter founded Best Practice Institute in 2001 after completing one of the world's first studies on high impact leadership development with Warren Bennis. Since then, BPI has become one of the top associations for leadership and human resources development in the world. He has written 10 books on best practices and organizational leadership including Change Champions, which has been translated into 8 languages and the Best Practice book series published by Jossey Bass/John Wiley and Sons including Best Practices in Leadership Development and Organization Change. He is a highly regarded authority on learning, talent, leadership development and change.

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