Talking teleworking with Gamelearn COO Aurora Martínez
If we’ve learned anything from the current health crisis, it’s that adapting quickly to change and embracing digital transformation are the keys to success in the face of uncertainty. These two pieces of knowledge have served many of us well with employees being forced to work from home for long stretches of time over the past few months.
To delve further into what we’ve learned, both as an industry and as a company, during this time, we sat down with our own COO, Aurora Martínez. Apart from her time with Gamelearn, Aurora has extensive executive experience, often managing teams remotely, with other companies in the training and education sector such as Pearson, McGraw Hill, and Curriculum Associates.
What sets Gamelearn apart from other training companies?
The educational sector, specifically corporate training, has largely remained faithful to traditional formats, which are often dominated by lots of text. In many cases, even e-learning has limited itself to just digitizing existing texts. The problem with this approach is its failure to motivate or engage students.
Faced with new technology and increasingly diverse employee profiles, the demand for training is changing all the time and companies are looking to develop and equip their teams more dynamically moving forward.
At the moment, revisiting learning methodologies is a clear need for companies and Gamelearn is dedicated to revolutionizing corporate training with its game-based learning platform. This platform combines three core elements:
- Quality content: the information and materials used during training provide practical and useful lessons for professionals.
- Experiential learning simulators: having fun is the best way to learn. Our simulators give students the opportunity to learn and practice in a controlled environment with instant feedback.
- Gamification: we incorporate all the best parts of video games (leaderboards, points, stories, etc.) to hook students in and make sure they are as engaged as can be.
How are Gamelearn’s clients doing in the crisis?
From a training standpoint, we’ve seen our clients want more online training solutions, not fewer. This is because many companies:
- Recognize that telecommuting can be seen as an opportunity to grow, not an inconvenience to be weathered. Their employees have a chance to come out the other side better equipped than before.
- Were not prepared to work from home full-time and had to prepare their employees for this reality on the fly. To this end, Triskelion, Gamelearn’s serious game on time management and personal productivity, has been very helpful for our clients. This game has consistently been among the platform’s most popular courses.
- Had already committed to face-to-face training sessions that they didn’t want to have to cancel outright. Given that in-person classes are an impossibility at the moment, it just made sense for them to move training online.
For these reasons, among others, our clients have actually increased their use of Gamelearn’s online platform during the pandemic, seeing it as a quick, intuitive, and adaptable training solution (that’s also available in multiple languages).
Also, now that we’re all spending more time online than normal due to telecommuting, we’ve developed targeted Learning Pathways to help managers lead their teams remotely and educate employees on good cybersecurity practices both in the office and at home.
How has Gamelearn handled telecommuting internally?
Even though Gamelearn employees were already used to working from home one day a week before the crisis, the lockdown took us by surprise. However, we’ve tackled it proactively, with employee safety as our number one priority. We adopted preventive measures early and have been transparent with our actions since day one. In fact, we even began telecommuting before the state of emergency officially started in our home country of Spain.
With our whole staff of more than 100 employees teleworking at once, transparent communication has been crucial to promoting unity, change management, and solidarity in the company.
At Gamelearn, we’ve supported each other at every level of the company, and we’ll continue to embrace innovation and teamwork moving forward.
How have you supported your teams throughout this crisis?
Our company culture and transparent communication were obviously very important throughout the process, but the emotional (not to mention logistical) support that we’ve gotten from our People Department (HR) has been absolutely indispensable.
“People” has designed specific tools to support our staff and help them along the way. At the end of the day, Gamelearn is simply a group of people, many international, with relatives in different parts of the world and who’ve been affected by the Coronavirus in one way or another.
The emotional support has kept us together and allowed us to plow on without losing motivation or getting discouraged.
What role has training played within the company?
Training has helped tremendously with change management and in giving our teams the support and tools they need, both in and out of the office. We’ve offered our employees training on telecommuting, effective feedback, coaching, and cybersecurity. Additionally, we used Mars to create a customized training video game and provide our employees with factual and practical information about the virus.
Our team played for an entire week and was able to help each other out and learn together. Learn more about the experience in this video!
What recommendations can you give based on what you’ve learned from the health crisis?
Every company different –different culture, different challenges, different personnel, etc– so it’s hard to say. Having said that, there are some important things that all companies can focus on:
- Embrace innovation and agile methodologies.
- Set clear, defined objectives.
- Push for a digital transformation.
- Encourage team development through upskilling and reskilling.
- Work as a team and prioritize communication.
Finally, what projects does Gamelearn have on the horizon this year?
Although times are changing a lot these days, our objective at Gamelearn never wavers: help companies around the world get more from their corporate training.
We’re always tinkering with and looking for ways to improve our game-based learning platform and provide better service to our clients. We’ve recently updated our catalog based on what companies are looking for right now given the circumstances –cybersecurity, coaching, and teleworking, etc.
We’re also getting ready to launch Editor, the game authoring tool that gives users the power to create their own high-quality serious games using their existing training material — all without having to program a single line. Look for that in the near future!