Work: this serious game of which you are the hero

Training, recruitment, team building, or simply breathing, getting employees involved in virtual games or IRL is not a trivial hobby. On the contrary, it makes it possible to discover oneself differently, to learn about oneself and others. A phenomenon that has been growing steadily in recent years.

“Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick”. Few days or the deductive abilities of an employee are as much involved as during an escape game with his colleagues. The enthusiasm for scripted games that has been spreading in France for some years now, counts among its first customers a number of companies, eager at the same time to stimulate their teams, to offer them experiences of a different nature but also to draw some lessons from them.

Whether it is breaking the ice, forging ties of another nature, or changing our eyes on those with whom we share most of our time, these experiences are not lacking in virtues. It is also necessary to choose well from the multitude of places and structures that offer to live such moments. To do this, it is better to turn to passionate people who have at heart to share and constantly imagine new concepts, new intrigues.

Fishing for «soft skills»

The designers of these games often put forward the skills required in the participants to cope in a given universe: here communication, collaboration, flexibility, adaptability, or leadership, patience, etc. So many “soft skills”, skills that can be transposed to the world of work and project management.

Hence the interest of human resources managers in these activities, which allow them to test their employees in new situations, and to reveal what in them can prove to be a strength or a weakness. Apart from the recruitment process, however, these criteria are often used only for guidance and are not used to disqualify a given person. On the contrary, “It helps candidates reveal what they have trouble showing in a classic exchange as the speeches are so well-run,” says researcher Hélène Michel, interviewed by Socialter magazine.

Online games both showcase and recruitment tool

Disinhibiting participants, pushing them out of their usual thinking patterns, this is what serious-games also allow, these video games that confront participants with individual challenges in a virtual world. Long reserved for internal use, some of these games are now available online, and rely on game comfort to attract participants beyond just the employee circle.

Thus Décathlon or L’Oréal propose to manage from A to Z the launch of a product, in order to make discover the professions within the company. Orange on its side invites players to install a power grid in a fictitious city. Beyond the gaming experience available to everyone, these companies are not hiding from carefully scrutinizing the behaviour of users on their platforms so as not to miss the talents of tomorrow. Then reality takes precedence over the playful experience.

Whether or not HR is focused on what happens during these playful experiments, it is clear that magic works almost every time. It is rare for an employee not to play the game and not give up their conventions for an instant.

It is then that unusual but desirable phenomena occur. The event puts participants on an equal footing, people who are not used to working together learn to collaborate, find common ground. We are then witnessing a form of emulation, the unfolding of collective intelligence, while having fun.