How does the world’s largest employer attract and develop a new generation of managers who have spent more time playing games than they have in the classroom? With a game, of course.
I’d like to invite you to join us for a private webcast where you’ll get the inside scoop on Spark City, Walmart’s new mobile management game. In the meantime, you can try it out for yourself – Walmart has taken the bold step of making the game public for anyone considering a career in retailing, whether they already work for Walmart or not. The game is now available on the App Store and Google Play. It was recently featured in Yahoo Finance and has already earned us a Brandon Hall Gold Award (catch our podcast interview here) and we’ll be presenting the case at ATD International in Washington DC next month.
Modeled on popular mobile resource management games like Sims and Clash of Clans, Spark City challenges Walmart associates to run their departments like small businesses. Players make inventory, staffing and customer service decisions, packing months of business processes into hours of gameplay. By unlocking new levels, tools and useful information, they learn to consistently execute Walmart’s “One Best Way” department management routine.
- Familiar mission and storyline, hint-system and feedback, level progression and freedom to fail elements keep learners engaged.
- Real-time feedback – in the form of customer service, inventory and sales scores – keeps them focused on business results.
- Spark City leverages a “learning while having fun” model, maximizing “reps and sets” at critical job tasks.
- It also helps associates visualize a clear career path and advancement opportunities as they level up from department to department (and eventually to store and district manager).
Associates engage Spark City in the Walmart Academy, one of the largest employer training programs in the country. Front-line hourly supervisors, department managers and assistant managers play the game on iPad Minis during week-long training programs, and it’s already proven to be both viral and effective. On the net-promoter question, “how likely are you to recommend playing the sim to a Walmart colleague?” pilot session participants rated it an average of 9.625 on a 10-point-scale. And classes that played the game improved 22% from pre-assessment to post-assessment.
Excitement about the launch of the game has been building for several months. Walmart received more than 2,800 entries in a competition to name the game and the two associates who suggested Spark City (a reference to the spark symbol in the company logo) were rewarded by having their names and likenesses appear as managers in the game. Now that it’s available to all 1.4 million associates (and beyond), the app promises to simultaneously upend conventional understandings about what’s possible in training, selection and recruitment.
As you can imagine, we at Gronstedt Group couldn’t be prouder of our work with a visionary client like Walmart, and we’re gratified – if not surprised – by the results. The truth is that advanced, innovative learning technologies and practices are generating unheard-of successes for think-forward organizations around the world. Projects like Spark City are the future, and as Walmart demonstrates, the future is already here.
Wednesday April 24, 2.00 pm ET
Bring your questions and ideas for a lively session featuring presenter Daniel Shepherd, Walmart’s Senior Manager II, Customer Experience. The Gronstedt Group development team and I will also be on hand.
Let us know if we can meet up on the conference circuit this Spring and Summer, we’ll be presenting at:
- ATD 2019 International Conference & Exposition in Washington DC.
- Life Sciences Trainers & Educators Network (LTEN) Annual conference in Dallas, TX.
- Training Industry Conference & Expo in Raleigh, NC.
- Realities360 in San Jose, CA.
- Serious Play Conference in Orlando, FL.
- TechLearn 2019 Conference in New Orleans, LA
As always, feel free to contact us to discuss how our Gronstedt Group team can help boost performance at your organization with games, simulations and VR learning experiences..