Leveraging Games and AI to Maximize Cultural Intelligence in the Workplace

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American companies are spending $177 billion per year on talent development. But with labor competition intensifying amid the Great Resignation, expectations are growing. Employees are now demanding more diverse opportunities and being open about what will fuel their motivations and loyalty. Elements of high importance include training and progressive Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) solutions. According to PwC, 85% of women and 74% of men seek employers with diversity and inclusion strategies.

But with an abundance of easy-to-access online educational content, how can employers differentiate their talent development offerings to attract, develop and retain the best employees? Many large companies today are now turning to games and artificial intelligence (AI), which can enhance the human experience and maximize cultural intelligence in the workplace. Let’s see how this combination works.

Why traditional talent development is no longer enough

In a competitive job market, the strength of your people is intimately linked to positive business results. Strategically hiring and deploying the best candidates and retaining them long after onboarding is key to mitigating risk, achieving goals and objectives, and ensuring continued success. Talent development has long been considered a critical strategic initiative for engaging and empowering a company’s workforce, but now we find that the old tactics no longer work.

Historically, employers sent their staff to training courses or had them read popular skills-building or coaching books. Then come the annual reviews intended to criticize and inspire. These traditional knowledge-based talent development tools served more to improve a company’s return on investment than to foster employee development. Today’s workforce still craves intellectual growth, but it also demands more “focused” employee development opportunities alongside meaningful work.

The internet has spawned a plethora of niche solutions, including learning platforms, learning management systems, and online course providers. Even a quick browser search for “talent development” gives us over a billion hits. The vast amount of educational content now available can be overwhelming. How can an employee choose when there are so many options to choose from?

There’s also the fact that many of us don’t know what we want to learn, let alone what we need to learn. Often recommended or required content is not given in the employee’s preferred learning style or offered at the ideal time to learn, so the information is not retained as well as it could be. to be.

Regardless of where the content comes from, it is important to understand that we cannot (and should not) separate DEIB from talent development. DEIB should be intrinsically integrated into all content and learning experiences. And we must provide these development opportunities in a way that enables everyone to succeed in the workplace.

The importance of instilling DEIB in the workforce

Our definition of DEIB must extend beyond employee demographics and the categories they represent. We need to be more intentional and more human because the goal is to change and improve behaviors.

Unfortunately, when trying to instill DEIB in the workforce, many organizations rely on methods such as conferences, panels, surveys, and pre-recorded videos. These methods help to disseminate information, but they are not enough to modify the behavior of employees. Technology is often used to track participation or the number of various hires, but not the impact, change or development in employee thinking.

What is missing are recurring real-world experiences that enable humans to self-recognize flaws, biases, voids, shortcomings, and areas of development without feeling like they need to be on the defensive. . People need real practice to continually develop basic skills such as communication, listening, vulnerability, empathy, and compassion.

Behaviors in the workplace shape the world around us. After all, 78% of full-time workers spend more time with their colleagues than with their family. If we are able to create more culturally smart workplaces, we will see a smarter and more culturally compassionate world, which will reduce the number of people losing their jobs because of their posts on the networks social.

Games + AI = next-gen talent development that works

So, you’re probably wondering, how do you put employees at ease to become more culturally intelligent and able to self-identify areas where they need development? In a word: Games.

Games help us to let our guard down. At the start of a game, we all agree to follow the rules. In the New York Times item Why do people like games? Sam Von Ehren explains how the rules of the game disarm us. He says: “We adhere faithfully to these agreements and rules, committing ourselves and performing the game with little hesitation. Game designers call this alternate state to be “the magic circle”. Imagine a circle drawn in chalk on a sidewalk. When we are inside the chalk, we are ‘playing’ the game. We will only do what the rules of the game allow. We will try to win. When the game ends, we leave the circle and return to normal. The magic circle is what separates a game from reality.

When we play games, we all start out as equals. Each of us has an opportunity to win, and as human beings we all have the desire to win. However, some are more competitive than others. The games are on the luck of the draw. They allow us to be free while having an element of control.

Games are also a trigger for learning and growth. Psychology-based games that emphasize storytelling raise awareness of areas that need to be developed, while AI searches for the best educational content to help employees achieve their learning goals.

Psychology-based games save you from having to create or dig for content, while challenging your thinking and pushing your abilities. The randomization, the impossibility of preparation and the ambiguity of these online games for teams played in person or on video bring out the authenticity in the players. Much is revealed about oneself and others during the game.

Competitive games that award points based on your degree of openness, honesty, and vulnerability help people reflect on themselves, recognize where development is needed, improve their interpersonal skills, and maximize their intelligence culture in the workplace. Learning requires reflection. Often we don’t realize everything we learn while playing until we have thought about it. Games help us determine where we can still grow at a specific time.

Games can help us understand where we need development, but what about training and resources? As mentioned earlier, the content exists, but it’s hard to sort through and find the right content to achieve the right goal. Today, Natural Language Processing (NLP), a form of AI that gives machines the ability to read and interpret human language, uses game results to deliver the perfect content for your style of play directly to you. ‘learning. You no longer need to search through millions of courses. You can connect to any training content database and get the perfect content without a single search.

Technology allows us to track and measure the impact of psychology-based games on individuals and groups. We can use games to collect impact data in some of the most difficult areas to measure, including cultural intelligence, engagement, team dynamics, innovation, and job satisfaction. This data can be analyzed at the industry, company, and down to the functional team level.

Impact matters, and a desire to learn and grow is necessary to create impact. We need to invoke joy, playfulness and humanity in our work tech solutions to see the positive impact and behavioral changes we wish to see. The combination of games and AI provides both.

Lauren Fitzpatrick Shanks is CEO of KeepWOL.


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Leveraging Games and AI to Maximize Cultural Intelligence in the Workplace

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