Experiential learning to drive better business at GSK

Learning strategies

Games & gamification

Motion graphics


New recruits to GlaxoSmithKline have a deeper understanding of business structure and strategy after experiencing a simulation game that brings the process to life.

GSK Vaccines produces and distributes 1.9 million vaccines every day to people in 150 countries. It’s a huge and complex operation from pricing to customer satisfaction. New employees need to understand how decision-making in one part of the business impacts another. The company wanted its people to feel informed and excited about their role in one of the largest vaccines businesses in the world.

Key Challenges:

  • Upskilling new employees in a large and complex business
  • Connecting the silos between business functions
  • Inspiring recruits about their role in an exciting company
“We wanted to help our colleagues understand how decision-making impacts a whole range of aspects of the business.”
Paul Read Director, Global Learning Solutions & Development GSK Vaccines

The Sponge solution

We created VaxSim, an immersive simulation that blends digital learning with a face-to-face experience.

Teams play out a simulated financial year, making quarterly decisions on what vaccines to produce, what commercial tenders to bid for, what resources are required and what social responsibilities they have. 

We built a bespoke multi-player game engine to power VaxSim, and perfected the game play through rigorous testing in-house.

It’s a highly absorbing experience that players enjoy while deepening their understanding of strategic decision-making and business structure.    

VaxSim includes:

  • News flash videos
  • Multi-media incident alerts
  • Game interface for players
  • Facilitator control panel
  • Debrief dashboard

New hires and existing GSK employees new to vaccines came together to play VaxSim at a global onboarding event.  Each team formed a pseudo-board taking on different C-suite roles during the game.  

Results Gsk Macbook Mockup
“We’ve had teams from Singapore, Belgium and the UK all competing in the same simulation game at the same time. It works really well for a global workforce like ours.”
Paul Read Director, Global Learning Solutions & Development GSK Vaccines

“It was a great experience to actually ‘feel’ what it’s like to work in another part of the business.”
GSK employee.

“It has worked really well. People are disappointed when we tell them the simulation has come to an end.” 
Paul Read, GSK Vaccines


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