17 January 2017

A culture of fun and its benefit to learning


To improve the Velpic platform, our development team is constantly learning, innovating and implementing new technologies. This can be quite stressful at times.

However, the fun culture we work in not only helps to relieve the stress of intense software engineering and tight deadlines, but helps us retain knowledge more easily.

For instance, when wracking my brain to remember some new thing I learnt at work, successful recall often comes quickly, along with memories of humour and laughter. I remember a fact more easily and clearly because of the fun I had when learning it.

Neurolinguistic psychologists call this ‘anchoring’—when a strong emotion is associated with a learning event, it is more easily remembered, and this makes learning easier and more successful.

Creating a fun culture is easy when a learner can interact as part of a group, with challenges such as friendly competition through gamification. This allows for stimulating and playful discussions among co-workers that is the best environment for producing creative solutions.

You may think that building a fun culture in an online setting is therefore relatively difficult, especially if the person learning the content is by themselves, but it is possible for the content author to innovate by scripting a fun and engaging experience.

This strategy to increase effective learning can be applied to workplace training, which most people would consider a mandatory chore, and not much fun at all. Precisely because of this, I would consider it even more important to make workplace training fun, enjoyable, and thus more engaging and effective.

The flexibility you can exercise while creating content in a learning management system like Velpic makes it possible for an administrator to create fun training material with ease, and gives you the golden opportunity to create a fun culture through training.

Learning in a fun culture has multiple benefits for business.

Reduced stress levels. A fun culture alleviates stress and worry about passing or failing the content, they are engaged and learning in an environment that helps retain content.

Improved knowledge retention. Making content or culture fun improves knowledge retention and therefore will decrease the chances of a trainee having to repeat the content.

Improved team unity. We have a great team culture at Velpic, where the culture is fun and lighthearted between team mates. This makes all the difference to the frequency and quality of conversations we have and the knowledge we share to build a fantastic product that is always getting better.

Improved staff morale. The fun culture that also promotes learning also improves general staff morale. At Velpic when we have a tough day tackling the challenges that come with developing amazing new features, our team members rally round to provide support, sometimes in the form of insider jokes, sometimes chocolate.

So how do we build a fun environment for trainees to learn in? We can use new technologies such as training in virtual reality, we can make jokes or we can set friendly competitions and rewards for those who get the best marks, which can also be easily tracked in Velpic by setting tests or quizzes.

This rewards achievement, improves the learning culture, and makes learning goal more attractive. For example, just think how much more motivated trainees will be to learn as much as they can if the reward for getting the highest marks was a day off with pay?

Technology can certainly make workplace culture fun.

Think about a trainee in a virtual reality simulation, looking around to find safety hazards, or better yet using some of the more advanced systems with controllers to demonstrate the correct method for performing a task safely. It would not only be fun for the trainee, but for those who have to watch the trainee, because, to be honest, watching someone use virtual reality is almost as entertaining as using virtual reality.

The opportunity here is to move away from traditional classroom lectures and connect people from different offices, make the learning culture fun and engaging, and increase knowledge transfer and retention, while alleviating stress and promoting unity in a group.

The benefits of a fun culture also extends pass learning, it creates an environment where people want to come into work, as it is enjoyable, there is a camaraderie between colleagues, and everyone feels like they belong. Everyone is pointed towards one goal, so they want to learn to improve their knowledge, they want to go the extra mile.

I can say from experience that learning in fun ways makes creating new features in Velpic highly satisfying. What fun can you have while increasing work performance in your organisation? Velpic can help you make it happen, so give us a go.