World Vision New Zealand’s team, including members from the finance, marketing, and partnerships/fundraising departments, recently beta-tested our online business simulation workshop. This was accompanied by pre- and post-workshop surveys to measure the learning outcomes.
We divided the participants into two groups, Finance (those who had previous experience in finance) and Non-Finance, to get more nuanced feedback and understand how different groups responded to the workshop. The most noteworthy results were found in the non-finance group.
Understanding Key Financial Ratios
The workshop introduced a range of financial terminology and stimulated discussion about key financial ratios used by World Vision New Zealand, including the Cost/Acquisition (CPA) ratio, the Return on Investment (ROI) ratio, and the Percentage of Income promised to the field.
Even though these specific ratios were not part of the workshop’s curriculum, the non-finance group demonstrated a significant improvement in their understanding of these ratios.
- Pre-Workshop: 45% of responses from non-finance individuals indicated they understood the three ratios.
- Post-Workshop: This increased to 78% of responses from non-finance individuals.
Confidence in Business Acumen
The workshop seems to have increased non-finance individuals’ confidence in their business acumen.
- Pre-Workshop: 55% of non-finance individuals perceived their business acumen as below their colleagues’.
- Post-Workshop: This figure dramatically dropped to 17%.
Either they knew more than they thought, or they learned more, or both… but the workshop gave increased confidence.
This increased confidence can result in individuals becoming more actively involved in meetings and projects, impacting the dynamics of teamwork and decision-making processes.
Understanding of Business Operations
We asked participants whether they agreed with the statement, “I have a good understanding of how all the pieces of a business fit together to produce a coherent set of actions and a financial result.”
- Pre-Workshop: Only 36% of non-finance individuals moderately or strongly agreed with the statement.
- Post-Workshop: This number soared to 83%.
This remarkable improvement signals a deeper understanding of business operations, which should positively affect the day-to-day functioning of the organization.
This points to some promising benefits of the business simulation workshop, particularly for non-finance individuals. As they have gained a better understanding of critical financial ratios and become more confident in their business acumen, they are likely to contribute more effectively in their roles, enhancing the overall operational efficiency of the organization. This test case serves as a positive signal for future implementation of such workshops in diverse departments.