By Katie Ward
A Monday evening Masters of Science in Management (MSM) 566 class nearly doubled in size this past week due to guests who attended a guest lecture by Sam Caucci, CEO of 1Huddle. The lecture, which was opened to the public, was held in a Maloney Hall on September 9.
Caucci founded 1Huddle to help companies engage their employees in “science-backed, quick burst games” for more interactive onboarding and job training. He has built the company up over the past five years to what course professor Jack Yoest describes as “an industry thought leader.” His team hopes the accessible and easy-to-use gaming platforms will change the field of corporate training— noting, for example, that only one percent of corporate learning can be done on cell phones.
“The average millennial will have spent over 10,000 hours on a gaming platform before age twenty-one,” Caucci said, explaining why gamification is such an effective resource for companies hoping to quickly and effectively train the workforce of tomorrow.
Caucci explained how a form of gamification thousands of people use— the collection of frequent flyer miles—helps to motivate airline customers the way friendly competitions among employees can boost workplace morale, and “bring out the best in everybody, if done the right way.”
“Think Trivia Crack, but for job training,” Caucci said. “Every employee can compete to be first in something and get recognized for it in their work place—you might be last in points but first in minutes played, or in number of learning modules completed on time.”
During the lecture, Caucci explained in depth to the students his company’s beliefs in “culture fit over skill” and tailoring training programs for the middle managers who will actually be implementing them.
Beatriz Fernandes, who is pursuing her Master’s degree while working as the graduate assistant for the Catholic women’s soccer team, finds value particularly in the inclusivity of the class, and Yoest’s way of “making his students understand that the business world is not on the other side of the wall, but actually within their reach.”
“Professor Yoest’s real life experiences and great guest speakers, like Sam Caucci, allow the class content to be shared in a very dynamic and comfortable environment,” Fernandes said.
Karli Ryan, an admissions counselor for the university, uses the class to improve training for her student staff.
“We had just learned about the benefits of an official training, and having Sam come in and talk about his company 1Huddle was a great tangible way to understand the material,” Ryan said.
Yoest wrote about his gratitude for Caucci’s loyalty to the Busch School and to his human resources management courses.
“Sam has graciously donated his time each year over the last five years to share his research on corporate education,” Yoest said. “During the class, he even had to step out briefly to be interviewed by Bloomberg News.”
Yoest agreed that the guest lecturers help students see that their studies have “practical, useful knowledge beyond the classroom”, and looks forward to opening up the course to visitors again soon.