Serious Games: Combining HR Management, Training and Recruitment

Serious games provide companies with an innovative approach to training, human resources and recruitment. Students in the Grenoble Ecole de Managements MSc in Human Resource Management and Organizational Development collaborated with six managers from BNP Parisbas Cardif to create three serious game prototypes. As the company aims to expand its culture of service to employees around the world, serious games offered an innovative and fun way to provide training.


Before we speak about using serious games for in-company training, let's step back and consider the design process. For the students and managers who created the three protoypes, the design process was a unique learning experience.

Training by design

"Designing a serious games is a great learning experience. The design process requires participants to create a universe that is based on their analysis of real situations and challenges. They have to think about creating rules and goals that match these situations. It's a process that is quite similar to fab labs used by engineers" explains Hélène Michel, a Grenoble Ecole de Management professor and expert on serious games.

Participants in the design process have to develop their ability to visualize various situations so they can adapt them to fit the game format. "The design process is a unique opportunity to learn. By thinking about designing a game, participants learn which behaviors and attitudes they wish to encourage. They consider the consequences of negative or positive managerial approaches. As a result, serious games are built through a concrete learning experience." explains Christophe Loup, in charge of HR development and communications at BNP Parisbas Cardif.

Developing a culture of service

"Up until recently, our company focused its service culture training on employees who interact directly with clients. However, our ambition is to develop a culture of service throughout the company. This means ensuring our 10,000 employees spread across 36 countries can benefit from this training." explains Christophe.

Serious games offered several key advantages to meet this challenge. First, Christophe underlines the flexibility of these games which combine real-life experience and an easy user interface. In addition, the company is undergoing a digital transformation. Serious games, which can be adapted to digital solutions, are a good match for this evolution.

An educational experience for future recruits

"Creating a serious game also allowed students to discover what we will expect from them if they are recruited. This is particularly true for digital education tools. We expect 'digital natives' to master training options such as e-learning, serious games or video experiences. In the case of serious games, I find they provide a unique approach to HR. My only real doubt was whether or not the students would be able to create a finished prototypes within a week's time. But I'm happy to say they succeeded." concludes Christophe.

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