Business EDUCA

Combatting the Lack of Interactivity and Fun

Önder ErolIstanbul (TR), November 2017 - Önder Erol’s presentation on "Methods and Tools for Motivation, Engagement, and Productivity" will be a feature of the discussion at Business EDUCA’s Session BUS21, 07 December from 14.15 to 15:45. Önder Erol is a committed learning-and-development professional with over ten years’ experience in banking. His focus is innovative and engaging digital learning solutions, and he is responsible for the design, development, implementation, and maintenance of online courses at İşbank (Türkiye İş Bankası), Turkey’s largest bank. 

How do you define modern workplace learning today?

Önder Erol:  The development of the internet has affected learning and development positively. The internet facilitates access to almost all kinds of information. Individual learning and its importance have accelerated with the development of the internet. In today’s world, adults are in constant need of learning and development in order to fulfill their needs, such as professional development and personal development.

Modern workplaces are where employees develop themselves in a professional and personal sense. For instance, I can use a lot of skills in my private life that I have learned at work - such as communication skills. Therefore, I think continuous learning and development is a phenomenon that shapes the modern workplace of today. Besides, many companies use various assessment methods to figure out whether or not individuals are open to learning before hiring them.


What role does gamification play in it?

Önder Erol: I think that the trainings given to adults at the workplace should facilitate the lives of the employees, give them the opportunity to practice what they learn, and be based on the principle of volunteerism. The learning-and-development needs of employees, which I mentioned above, have been addressed by online courses and video trainings in parallel with the developments in learning technologies in recent years. However, due to these methods’ low degree of interactivity and lack of fun and competitiveness components, gamification has emerged as a good alternative learning method.

Gamification is a learning method that is being increasingly used in today's modern workplace, along with the trend of digitalization in the world. Gamification has become a more advantageous learning method compared to other learning tools because it is more accessible, relatively cheaper, interactive, engaging, mobile, self-motivating, and entertaining. Besides, it allows people to make mistakes repeatedly without paying the price in areas in which their results could be disastrous in real life.

How do these forms of learning affect the learning culture in the business context?

Önder Erol: Fun changes employees’ behavior in a positive way. Employees try to learn at work, at home, on the bus, etc. They don’t even recognize how and when they learn. In the gamification project I participated in, I monitored that 64% of the logins to the game were made outside of working hours. I think this is a very impressive result.


Based upon your opinion or experience, what types of learning programs stimulate the greatest increase in workplace engagement or produce the most sustainable increase?

Önder Erol: I think that interactive training programs in which competition is blended with entertainment are the most successful. When I get employees to play games in classroom training, and when they compete against each other, I can clearly observe that attendees have a more enjoyable time and their engagement level increases a lot. I think the sub-structure of the games that is based on these basic principles will shape the future of the learning-and-development world.