For those that attended the AGC of America Annual Convention in Las Vegas last week, we hope you returned home inspired with new ideas and best practices to make business even better. The week was filled with informative sessions and wowing presentations.
But for those that couldn’t attend, we’d like to highlight one AGC technology showcase we felt was especially insightful: “GAME ON! Using video games to attract and train construction workers.”
The presentation discussed using gamification – applying game-playing elements into other activities to increase engagement with a product or service – in our industry, specifically utilized as a safety training strategy.
Presenters from Simcoach Games showed that over 183 million Americans spend three billion hours a week playing video games – 48 percent of which are women -- and that video games have been proven to be effective in motivating behavior change and facilitating learning. Furthermore,
three-quarters of adults own a smartphone and half own a tablet, so the access to online games and apps is there.
Per Simcoach, and you might agree, “traditional learning is boring.” They say that despite the average attention span decreasing to five minutes, games remain engaging, reinforce good behaviors, create competition, can be accessed any time require focus.
Therefore, to increase safety procedures and participation in buying into a safe culture in our industry, Simcoach Games and Contractors Association of Western Pennsylvania developed an app called Harness Hero, which can be downloaded for free. The game aims to reduce injuries and fatalities
related to falls and improper use of protection equipment by highlighting use of a fall arrest system.
Mosites Construction Company talked about its approach and how it has incorporated the app into its training program. A Mosites representative said they “created a corporate-wide incentive program to initate use” and can measure retention through post-use surveys.
Additionally, two AGC chapters in Western Pennsylvania have developed video games to help current and prospective members assess career fit, explore construction careers and develop skills.
While gamification hasn’t caught on across the entire industry yet, presenters believe taking advantage of this strategy will “maximize training opportunities,” utilize downtime more efficiently, and attract new employees and prospective clients through technology.
It certainly may not be for everyone, but it seems like a great strategy to attract millennials to the industry and enhance safety best practices – one you may want to at least look into.