How BCG fast-tracks the learning of new consultants through gamified simulation

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Innovating the ‘classical’ way of training to boost the engagement of new hires

A key component of welcoming new hires to BCG is helping them understand their role and expectations. Traditionally, these sessions were classroom-based, with a PowerPoint presentation and an experienced presenter. However, BCG recognised that the new generation was not particularly engaged by this ‘classical’ way of training and decided to push the barrier by designing a gamified simulation. In the simulation, new consultants need to tackle and master tricky situations that they can expect to experience in real life.

“Simply talking about roles and expectations does not do enough to give Associates a real lens into the behaviours and skills that will allow them to succeed at BCG.”

– Judith Weberhofer-Larsen, L&D Manager Nordics

Allowing associates to explore, fail and then succeed

The gamified simulations focus on tricky situations new consultants can expect to experience through their first few cases with BCG. Learning outcomes are measured according to BCG’s people development framework and provided insight into what behaviours will allow new consultants to succeed.

Deliberate design and carefully crafted options meant that most new hires found the simulations challenging. But mistakes were followed by reflections and feedback which reinforced learning and encouraged them to repeat the training while having fun along the way. The combination of digital realism, gamification, and expert post-simulation facilitation led to an impactful learning experience and glowing feedback.

“When Associates put on their headphones you could see how focused and concentrated they were…they really immersed into the game.”

– Dr. Christian Fink, L&D Manager, CEMA & WESA

BCG laptop gamified simulation training

The Results: A gamechanger in BCG training

In follow-up surveys, 100% of trainees agreed that they enjoyed the simulations and found them fun and engaging. In addition, the simulations had real business impact with 96% of trainees stating that they felt better prepared for their role and had a clearer understanding of their expectations. By analysing the playthrough data, BCG could identify key moments of learning and systematic mistakes that the new consultants typically made. This insight enabled BCG to guide facilitators to specific challenges that they should focus on in their discussions.

“You are really fast-tracking a lot of these aha moments that used to take three, five, six months before the light bulbs went off.”

– Charles Hendren, Nordics Principal, BCG

 

100%

“I like this form of training”

100%

“I found the training fun and engaging”

96%

“I have a better understanding of my role at BCG”