When it comes to employee productivity, and work performance, training, and development play a crucial role. Businesses spend over 359 billion on training globally in a bid to equip their employees with the right tools to succeed in their jobs. This is not just for company performance and improving the bottom line, either. The recent Compensation Best Practices Report showed that as much as 94 percent of employees said they would stay longer at a job if it invested in their career performance, and 68 percent of them prefer to do their learning on the job.
What’s one of the most tried and tested methods of employee training in the workplace? Roleplay. Commonly used in either employee-customer relations or employee-manager scenarios, role-play may be the answer if you are looking to improve your employees’ concentration, boost their confidence, and present them with valuable opportunities to practice the skills needed to exceed at their jobs.
Builds Employee Confidence In Their Role
Low confidence at work can not only hinder the company’s performance, but it can also impede a worker’s career progression. In some cases, workers may feel they lack the skills required for their role. In other instances, their lack of experience compared to other colleagues may seem intimidating.
However, by employing role play in your employee training program, you can provide a safe environment for your employees to practice their response to a wide variety of situations- and correct them if needed. It also helps employees to take a more self-sufficient approach to their role in the company by improving their problem-solving skills. This is particularly helpful in customer-facing or fast-paced roles, where on-the-spot decisions are required.
Encourages Employee Communication And Collaboration
Communication is not only important between employees and managers, but it’s also a vital part of team and customer relationships. As a manager or employer, you want to be confident that your employees can represent your brand well and disseminate the right information, in the right circumstances. This can include handling customer criticism and inquiries in the right way and also managing internal team conflicts well.
Using role-play scenarios can encourage teamwork since it is a great bonding opportunity for your team and a great way to witness your team’s dynamic. To take the pressure off employees and encourage their interest, managers can try more informal team-building games. For instance, you can incorporate off-site employee hobbies into the exercise by offering gaming merchandise as appreciation tokens for team members fond of video or fantasy tabletop games. Also, role-playing gives managers the opportunity to witness the communicative flow (or roadblocks) within their team and rectify them. Lastly, role-playing is a great way for employees that may be lacking or have poor communication skills to develop them.
Allows for Real-Time Feedback And Performance Improvement
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, role play promotes the retention of learning, making it a great tool for helping employees learn new skills. While it also provides the opportunity for workers to put their learned skills into practice, there is also the added benefit of immediate feedback. This means managers can communicate the positives and negatives of an employee’s work performance in real-time- eliminating the time delay in correction and a positive impact on worker productivity. There is also the chance to ask questions or voice concerns for employees — something that is often lacking in other types of employee performance approaches, such as an employee review form.
However, even with all of the cited benefits of employing role play in your employee training program, the term still carries a negative connotation for employees. To avoid this, be sure to implement tips to help your employees feel comfortable and excited by the training exercise.
Be sure to give advance notice and clear guidelines on what to expect. Above all, foster a safe and welcoming environment. Employees want to know their unique approaches will not be judged harshly and that they will receive constructive feedback. Do this, and they will not only learn useful skills but leave the role-playing session feeling empowered, motivated, and ready to tackle their work roles head-on.