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How Escape Rooms, CSI:Labs, And Comedy Can Train Staff To Be Better At Their Jobs

Source | FastCompany : By STEPHANIE VOZZA

Workplace training often feels like something to check off a to-do list. Companies spend about $130 billion each year on corporate education, according to a study by Bersin by Deloitte, yet research has found that the average adult forgets 40% of what they’ve learned after just 20 minutes, and 64% by the next day.

Four companies have adopted some unusual ways to train employees on everything from technology to culture to get a better return on the investment. From comedy to DIY, these unique methods get employees to expand their skillsets while having fun.


Asurion, a Nashville-based mobile technology company, has created a unique training program for its new tech recruits using the popular Escape Roomstyle. The company set up a space that includes a living room and kitchen that holds a series of connected digital devices that are all locked. To unlock and escape the room, the employees have to troubleshoot and reconfigure the devices so that they work properly. And they have 45 minutes to complete the task.

“This training gives hands-on experience with the most popular connected devices with the goal of being able to provide knowledge- and experience-based tech support,” says Vincent Phamvan, senior director of innovation. “It also instills a sense of patience, empathy, and a team mentality, which is equally important to providing tech support to consumers,” says Phamvan. “Most of all,’ he adds, “this training is fun.”


Using the art of improvisation, The Second City has launched dozens of comic careers. The nimble form of communication is helping employees at Bluecore, a New York City-based email marketing platform, become more successful, too.

[Photo: Flickr user Marc Majcher]

CEO Fayez Mohamood took an improv class for fun and was surprised how the experience helped his professional life. “It was one of the best things I’ve done; it’s on par with the professional education I took in engineering,” he says.

He decided to make improv lessons an employment requirement, and each quarter an instructor comes to their office to work with employees. “Improv teaches you how to communicate and articulate well,” says Mohamood. “It’s your goal to share your agenda to another person in room, and it’s common to see an engineer, for example, ramble on.”

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