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Game Changer: Mixing Gaming with Work Can Improve Employee Engagement and Business Strategy


At Canon U.S.A., technicians play a video game to learn how and where replacement parts go in a copier.

At UPS, new truck drivers are trained using a virtual game. Previously, nearly a third of the drivers failed their traditional training program. But after UPS started using a video game for training, the failure rate dropped to 10 percent.

Spending hours playing such games as World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, once viewed as a bad habit, is now becoming an effective tool to train employees, implement business strategy and improve competitive advantage.

Using gaming in an organizational setting is growing as workers have a new stride in their step: They often have a smart phone that they use for, among other things, gaming.

Brian Baker, vice president and practice leader at Aon Consulting, a human capital consulting firm, believes that growth in smart phones will force organizations to re-examine their use as a social media tool and subsequently create applications for employees to use with them wherever they go.

Baker believes that the advancement of social gaming for use by employees will be linked to geo-location services.

“Providers such as Gowalla, MyTown, Foursquare and others have made checking in at a location via a user’s smart phone a widely popular activity that will likely increase as Facebook and Twitter add their own geo-location capabilities,” he said. “For employers, this will enable them to create location-based games with employees using their smart phones for scavenger hunts that encourage cross-department collaboration. Location-based gaming can increase learning during internal meetings and conferences with rewards given out based on check-ins.”

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