The Outbreak of Covid19 has created social devastation and economic disruptions in the country. Pretty much all the workers across various sectors are in lockdown, and some are self-quarantined. The concept of Work from Home has therefore become an essential part of most organizations.
You need some proactive strategies and tools to create social bonds, connections and motivate employees that are working from home. So here are some pointers on how to do this effectively:
- Set Clear Expectations: Flexibility in schedule is an advantage for working from home employees. But if you want your employees to be present and more responsive at a certain time, you need to communicate this to them in advance. Encourage employees to maintain a calendar to know their online and offline availability.
- Communicate and Stay Connected: Try and connect with your employees over phone or video/audio conference. Your voice and tone will typically communicate your thoughts much better than emails.
- Recognize: Recognize the efforts made by the employees and reward them with praise, whenever appropriate.
- Create a visual scoreboard: You can create a visual scoreboard for the week and ask employees to tick each and every pointer on the scoreboard. This will help the employee understand their goals, progress and potential on an ongoing basis.
- Convert Phone calls/Conference to Video conferences: Use technology to the utmost. Organize Video Conferences instead of phone calls to have a stronger connect with your employees. Agenda of what will be discussed in the meeting should be sent well in advance to allow the employees to prepare themselves. The call should always start with small talk by the Manager to make the employees feel connected.
- Use Gifs: While chatting or on a group chat, in order to praise and congratulate, you can use gifs to make employee feel more connected. After all, comfort of the employee is most important. Often having an informal conversation with employees can be constructive.
- Group Breaks while you work from home: Whenever you take a break, consider connecting over video conferencing with other employees to have an informal chat. Be as creative as much as you can with your team.
- Have a Development Plan: Make sure you have a development plan for each employee for one week. Have video conferences every day. Here are some points you can discuss as per the day:
- Monday: Cover the following stock-taking and planning points:
- Did we finish and meet the deadlines of the last week?
- What are the new tasks for each employee this week and how are they planned to be done?
- How can we help each other in the tasks?
- Who should improve and in what areas?
- Tuesday- Thursday: Have a conversation with each employee (if possible) or have a conference with small groups to help the team tackle the tasks and any problems they face. This would help in increasing coordination among the employees.
- Friday: Friday should always focus on Reflection. Here the manager should ask about how the team felt while doing tasks, what problems they faced, etc.
While there are many advantages to working from home, managing employees over the wire presents unique challenges. While the work environment has completely changed, the goals are no different from the traditional workspace because you require the same results as what you needed at the office workspace. Remember, a little planning, help and praise for hard work can go a long way in keeping your team motivated while working from home.
All successful businesses, big or small, have one thing in common – Extensive business knowledge. In big organizations this knowledge can reside in entire teams, or units. In small organizations such knowledge is restricted to the people who founded the business, and maybe a few key employees that drive company strategy. In either case, scaling and sustaining organizational growth might be difficult, if the knowledge discovered, collated, and curated by the team is not stored for future reference. And that is why it is important to have Knowledge Repositories.
Before going any further, let us understand what knowledge means to a business. Business knowledge is a sum of skills, experiences, capabilities and expert insight, which you collectively create and rely on, in your business.
Knowledge can exist in many forms, but can be broadly categorized into:
- Tacit knowledge – Personal know-how or skills rooted in experience or practice (Eg. Skill, Competency, Experience).
- Explicit knowledge – Articulated knowledge recorded in documents, memos, databases, etc.
- Embedded knowledge – skills and understanding locked in processes, products, rules or organizational culture (Eg. Informal Routines, Codes of Conduct, Organizational Ethics).
Your understanding of what customers want, combined with your workers’ know-how, can be regarded as your knowledge base. Storing, searching, accessing and using this knowledge in the right way is together known as Knowledge Management (KM).
At its core, KM has important implications on decision making in an organization. Effective KM supports the process of decision making and strategic planning and makes it possible to create, transfer and apply knowledge at different levels in a coherent and productive way.
All of this is sounds great, and we can look up to major organizations such as Microsoft, Amazon, etc. for how they manage knowledge. However, implementing this in small businesses might create some challenges.
To do it right, a small business should
- Start with thorough research to find the right tools for knowledge management
- Implement these tools, without shying away or getting intimidated by new technologies
- Thorough documentation goes a long way in Knowledge Management such as developing SOPs and guidelines of workflow.
- Lastly, simple creative measures such as mentorship programs and discussions ensure effective flow of knowledge sharing and develop awareness amongst employees.
All the efforts of Knowledge Management are pointless if it is not safeguarded and backed up. A surprisingly unsettling statistic shows that 60% of companies that lose their data will shut down within 6 months of the data disaster. In addition to replacement time and irretrievable data, catastrophic data loss can destroy client confidence, leading them to take their business elsewhere. Retrieving the data requires an embarrassing explanation, and lost data could even lead to lawsuits.
Given the risk loss of data poses, it is important for every business to have a reliable backup solution. If your business has physical servers, backing up these entire systems are critical. As a small business owner, this should not be a big task once you have a proper plan. Backups can be created using two basic methods: file level and image level. File level is perfect for backing up files and folders on your file server. Image-level backups are perfect for when you want to protect an entire system at once. Backups can be done in full, incremental or differential manner. A right backup strategy would also include backups such as Cloud Backup, Encryption of Data In-Transit, 3-2-1 Strategy, and Testing Backups.
Knowledge Management helps you run your business more efficiently, decrease business risks and exploit opportunities to the fullest. So, treat and safeguard your organizational knowledge as carefully as you would a sack of diamonds. Because it is every bit as valuable or more.
At this time of the year, you look out for trends that can enhance your training delivery. In this article, I share the eLearning Trends in 2019 you can use to enhance, measure, and maximize the impact and returns on your learning strategies.
eLearning Trends In 2019 You Can Use To Enhance Your Learning Strategy
As I began my exercise to predict eLearning Trends in 2019, the fourth one in this series, I took a step back to see why anyone seeks upcoming trends.
The top 5 reasons why L&D teams look at trends are listed here. They prompt them to adopt new or better approaches that:
- Keep the learners engaged.
- Ensure knowledge acquisition happens.
- Facilitate the application of the acquired learning on the job.
- The desired performance gain and ROI occurs.
- A positive ROI on training spend is established.
In this article, I take this need as the thread to share the eLearning Trends in 2019. I have grouped them as follows:
- Section 1: I list the trends that help learners learn and, more significantly, apply this learning to show better performance or the required behavioral change.
- Section 2: I list trends featuring learning strategies with a proven track record of delivering a better engagement quotient and higher training impact.
- Section 3: I follow this up with a list of trends that organizations must invest on to measure, enhance, and maximize the impact of their training.
- Section 4: I wrap up with trends that are clearly emerging as front runners for investment in the very near future.
With this approach, I am confident that the featured eLearning Trends in 2019 in this article will offer tremendous value in enhancing your learning strategies in the New Year.
Upcoming Release: I also have a free eBook on eLearning Trends in 2019 releasing on Jan 15th.
- Designed as a guide that you can practically use, it features a typical learner journey that highlights how modern learners learn and what they wish to see in their online training delivery.
- I use this backdrop to highlight how the featured eLearning Trends in 2019 can be used to add value to learning and its application plus measurement and further gains.
Without further ado, here is my list of eLearning Trends in 2019 banded logically to facilitate their impact and application.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 1: The Trends That Help Learners Learn And Apply This Learning To Show Better Performance Or Behavioral Change.
- Mobile Learning
- Digitalization of ILT (to Blended or Fully Online)
- Performance Support Tools
- Informal Learning
- Social Learning
- Self-Directed Learning
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 2: Learning Strategies With A Proven Track Record Of Delivering A Better Engagement Quotient And Higher Training Impact.
- Video-Based Learning (Videos and Interactive Videos)
- Mobile Apps for Learning
- Curation and User Generated Content
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 3: The Trends That Organizations Must Invest On To Measure, Enhance, And Maximize The Impact Of Their Training.
- Learning Engagement Platforms – LXP
- Learner Analytics
- Big Data-Reporting and Analytics
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 4: Other Notable Trends To Watch Out For—The Future Is Here!
- AR/VR and MR for Immersive Learning
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Learning
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 1: The Trends That Help Learners Learn And Apply This Learning To Show Better Performance Or Behavioral Change.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #1: Mobile Learning
Over the last 4–5 years, the adoption of Mobile Learning has been on the rise. This is on account of the flexibility it provides to learners (learning on the go, multi-device support – including smartphones, tablets or laptops/desktops, and anytime and anywhere access).
From an organization’s perspective, this is clearly an approach that resonates better with learners, offers higher engagement, provides better completion rates, and can be used to support both formal and informal trainings.
What I see changing in 2019 is the maturing of Mobile Learning solutions, leading to a bifurcation into mobile friendly or adaptive designs and mobile first or fully responsive designs. The latter will align better to the way learning is expected to be consumed (notably on smartphones) and will feature learning interactions optimized for them.
Additionally, Mobile Learning will be used to offer almost the entire spectrum of corporate training needs. It will feature high-impact formats including videos, Microlearning, and apps for learning.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #2: Digitalization Of ILT (To Blended Or Fully Online)
While the ILT mode is not dying, it will soon start getting limited to niche programs. 2019 will see further increase in the Digitalization of ILT (to blended or fully online). Even the core ILT delivery will get supported by online resources including pre- and post-workshop material and assessments.
The triggers include push from learners to reduced training budgets and shorter cycles to train employees.
My assessment is that in 2019, we will see a higher percentage of programs going to the fully online format that can be consumed on the device of the learner’s choice (ranging from smartphones/tablets to laptops/desktops).
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #3: Performance Support Tools
Performance support tools or PSTs are learning aids or job aids that are designed to address a specific learning need.
They are available to the learners within their workflow and hence can be easily accessed and used without having to log on to an LMS.
Designed to support formal training (focusing on knowledge acquisition), PSTs can facilitate learning application thereby improving the training impact and learner proficiency. They can be used to support ILT as well as online training, and they effectively serve as a measure to offset the “forgetting curve.”
2019 will see further adoption of PSTs riding high on the increase in mobile learning, Microlearning, and video-based learning.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #4: Informal Learning
The fact that learning happens through multiple channels (and not just formal training) is an established one.
Many of us may be familiar with the 70-20-10 model for Learning and Development. According to this model,
- 70% of the learning is experiential (that is, happens on-the-job).
- 20% is through social or collaborative learning (that is, learning with or from others).
- 10% is through formal training programs.
While we may debate on the percentages shown here, the model does affirm the need of organizations to create a support system and the opportunities to promote informal learning in their workplace.
The usage of measures like performance support tools or PSTs as well as platforms to promote social learning will see significant increase in 2019.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #5: Social Learning
In our early years, our learning is purely from others and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this is true for learning at the workplace too. Over the last 3–5 years, L&D teams have seen value in adopting and promoting social learning.
With the options of platforms, next gen LMS, and learning experience platforms, social learning is finally poised for growth in 2019.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #6: Self-Directed Learning
In general terms, self-directed learning is the approach of moving the onus of learning to the learner rather than the teacher. As an extension, in the context of corporate training, it maps to empowering learners to choose how they want to learn.
Unlike training programs that are “pushed” through LMS, self-directed learning is all about giving this control to the learners. They can decide on what they want to learn, how they wish to learn, when they choose to learn, over what time frame would they want to learn and so on.
As you will note, this approach provides control to the learners and gives them the option to decide their learning path. Alongside social learning and informal learning, organizations are recognizing the value of promoting self-directed learning that can help them create learning as a continuum. This trend will continue in 2019.
eLearning Trends For 2019 – Section 2: Learning Strategies With A Proven Track Record Of Delivering A Better Engagement Quotient And Higher Training Impact.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #7: Microlearning
The debate on the value and impact of macro learning (or traditional eLearning) and microlearning (bite-sized, short learning nuggets of 2–7 mins run length each designed to meet a specific outcome) goes on.
However, the fact is that the usage of microlearning-based training has revolutionized training delivery over the last 2 years, and I see this trend accelerating further in 2019.
Today, you can opt for microlearning-based training to offer formal training and informal training and support ILT. Its flexibility to be delivered as a single, short nugget to meet a specific outcome to a learning path that can have an array of learning nuggets makes it a powerful choice for corporate training. I see an increased adoption of microlearning in 2019.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #8: Gamification
Till a few years ago, the impact of gamification-based training had a big question mark associated with it. While gamification provides fun-based learning to users, does it indeed help them achieve a specific learning outcome?
The usage of gamification for serious learning has been on the upswing in the last 2 years, and I see this trend increasing in 2019.
The application of gamification, including the game-based approach, or partial gamification will see an increased application across various corporate training needs. With the reduction in development costs and shorter time frame to develop, L&D teams will see higher value in this investment in 2019.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #9: Video-Based Learning (Videos And Interactive Videos)
Video-based learning is fast becoming a standard piece of online training. This includes its usage in traditional eLearning formats to its extensive usage in the microlearning-based trainings.
In 2019, I see this trend continuing. Equally interesting is the wider adoption of interactive videos that overcome the passivity of traditional videos and increase learner engagement manifold through interactivities and assessments.
Another usage of video-based learning in 2019 will be through the curation of public domain videos.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #10: Mobile Apps For Learning
The widespread adoption of mobile learning and its updated avatar of mobile first or responsive design leads to an important fact that the learning experiences on smartphones must be optimized to the devices. The interactions must mimic the way we use these devices.
On similar lines, similar to Apps that learners use, mobile apps for learning can provide a very effective strategy for online training. The training can be personalized and updated with ease.
The cost and longer lead time to develop mobile apps for learning have led to its limited adoption. I see this as a very powerful approach; I see it play a significant role in training formats.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #11: Personalization
Today’s learners do not have the patience or the attention span to go through learning that is generic and doesn’t map to what they are looking for.
This is where personalization of learning fits in and provides a custom learning path to learners. You can personalize learning based on the learner’s role, proficiency, area of interest and so on.
The Microlearning-based training approach provides the required granularity to draw up highly personalized learning paths for various learner profiles. Rendered over mobile devices, this approach can provide a highly relevant and personalized learning path to each learner.
This trend is worth a watch in 2019 wherein we will also see the usage of machine learning and AI to create more meaningful learning experiences.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #12: Curation And User-Generated Content
While we may be spoilt for choice on data and information that is easily accessible on the Internet, tagging it and identifying the relevant info is a time-consuming process.
Content curation addresses these pain areas and provides relevant learning resources to users. Learners have the flexibility to opt for the recommended learning path or configure their own version.
Furthermore, the exercise also promotes user participation by encouraging user-generated content to keep the knowledge base current and relevant.
This is not all. Content curation enables organizations to tap into resources that are available in the public domain, and they do not need to re-create them.
This trend has been on an upswing, and I see a similar traction in 2019. This too will benefit from emerging techniques like AI for learning, machine learning and so on, to create even more relevant learning paths to the users.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 3: The Trends That Organizations Must Invest On To Measure, Enhance, And Maximize The Impact Of Their Training.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #13: Learning Engagement Platforms – LXP
Learning Engagement Platforms (LXP) provide a highly personalized learning experience to users through learning pathways. Besides this, they feature social or collaborative learning, inclusive learning, content curation and facilitation of user-generated content.
In contrast to LMS, the LXPs empower learners to define their learning path from a set of learning assets featuring varied formats. Besides facilitating self-directed learning, they encourage learner participation through user-generated content.
They feature social learning and offer recognition to active participants. They do feature assessments along with badges and certification.
They are fun, more engaging, and relevant for learners, and they will help learners meet specific learning outcomes.
In the short term, including in 2019, they will co-exist with LMS. Many existing LMS players are already offering the LXP option as an add-on. Then, there are new participants that offer AI-based recommendations and aspects like “career pathways” that resonate very well with the learners.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #14: Learner Analytics
2019 will continue to see the usage of learner analytics to review learner behavior and what additional measures can be adopted to increase engagement, motivation, and facilitate the application of acquired learning.
A wider adoption of Tin Can API will provide the relevant cues in this endeavor. Furthermore, the usage of Artificial Inteligence (AI) in learning will further facilitate the usage of this analytics to create more relevant and personalized learning experiences.
I see this trend seeing further traction in 2019, resulting in learning designs that appeal to learners and create the required value and ROI that businesses seek.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #15: Big Data-Reporting And Analytics
Big Data refers to voluminous data that is aggregated from various sources (typically, LMS, LCMS, learning portals, and surveys/polling or assessments in the context of eLearning). Given its volume, complexity, and the fact that it is dynamic, there is no tool that can manage and analyze it.
Big Data-reporting and analytics refers to the methodology to present the data in formats that are actionable. When processed right, this can give us tremendous insights on how learners learn, the impact of training on skills or behavioral change, and the impact on business and eventually ROI determination.
I see an increase in Big Data-reporting and analytics in 2019, leading to further optimization of the training delivery. This analysis can be used to understand learner behavior, the way they want to learn, the learning paths chosen, and how to update the existing training delivery. These cues can then be used to create personalized and more effective learning paths that enable learners to learn, practice, obtain feedback and remediation, and so on.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 4: Other Notable Trends To Watch Out For – The Future Is Here!
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #16: AR/VR And MR For Immersive Learning
L&D Teams’ hunt to evaluate immersive learning strategies is an on-going endeavor. Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) are acknowledged as superb approaches to provide highly immersive learning experiences for a few years now.
High price and substantial lead time to develop them have been two factors that have limited their wider usage. Also, the use cases that justify the investment and ROI are limited.
With main authoring tool providers like Adobe and Trivantis getting into VR solutions, the price points have dropped. Their design approach also makes it easier to author these learning experiences in a short time. I see further traction on VR solutions in 2019 as these solutions become more affordable and can be offered to supplement the formal training.
In my opinion, 2019 will see a wider adoption of AR-based training, including mobile apps that embed VR features. The use cases will expand to include soft skills training as well as learning to trigger behavioral change.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #17: Artificial Intelligence (AI) In Learning
The usage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in learning is one trend in 2019 that you should watch out for.
AI can facilitate the creation of highly customized learning paths by analyzing the data it collects. This data can then be used to understand the learner’s interest, proficiency, and recommend further learning assets that they may not be aware of. Potentially, personalized learning will not only engage the learner better but also help L&D teams gain the impact they seek.
I hope this article helps demystify the value and impact of each eLearning trend I have listed and provides the context of why you should use them.
Data saturation is everywhere. We’ve often had the belief that more is better; however, that actually isn’t true in the case of data.
Why do hypermarkets keep chewing gums and candies at the cash counter? How do coffee chains manage to have two cafes on the same lane and still be profitable? How do online searches draw advertisements of the same products on your devices? Most of this is not conventional wisdom, it’s use of data, which companies across the world are obsessing about. Data analytics, for many, is the holy grail to drive user demand and revenue.
To put the data deluge in perspective, Google processes 3.5 billion searches per day, Snapchat users share 527,760 photos, 41.46 million people watch YouTube videos, Instagram users post 46,740 photos, and 456,000 tweets uploaded on Twitter. India generates a subset of this consumption, but the numbers are bound to be massive.
India is the second largest internet nation with close to 400 million internet users, many of them on smartphones, only second to China. Access to social media, Google search, entertainment, among other things, on the palm generates data that is dissected to get desired outcome.
Add to that, hyper-focused targeting and segmentation to define niche audience segments. But is the entire stack of data important and efficient?
Data mining became an important aspect in the late 1990s, but as new concepts like big data, and technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning surfaced, it opened-up the Pandora’s box. “There isn’t a thing as too much or too less,” says Pranay Agrawal, CEO of Fractal Analytics, a Mumbai- headquartered analytics service provider. Citing the example of a leading diagnostics chain for medical data, he says, “If the prediction accuracy improves by even 0.5 per cent, millions of additional data is worth it.” Size doesn’t equate usefulness. Many believe that data isn’t about size but relevant attributions and metrics — so, more the merrier. But there are different approaches.
Abhishek Ganguly, Managing Director of multi-channel sportswear brand Puma, believes in a “business objective first” approach. “Instead of looking at ways to collect and mine data, we start with business objectives. Then we create platforms to collect data,” he says. There are many, like Ganguly, who believe in the business- first strategy. “Business-first framework should take into account use cases, data sets, data collection, data preparation, learning and intelligent actions,” says Pramad Jandhyala, Director of Finance and Human Capital at digital analytics firm LatentView.
But there are segmentations to this approach, one them being the size of the organisation. “For large, established enterprises, data-first strategy drives innovation. But for start-ups and SMEs, setting up and aligning business objectives first should be the priority,” says Arijit Lahiri who runs QuoDeck’s, a game-based mobile learning management system.
Hero MotoCorp, Mahindra Group, Reliance Industries, and Baja Auto are spending millions to build data-driven enterprises. Others like Amazon, which has the customer at the center of its business model, has constituted a team of data scientist, A1 experts, and data analytics models. For them India is no different.
Amazon uses AI and ML to analyse huge chunks of data in various fields — from improving address quality to ranking of deals, and from improving catalogue quality by finding missing descriptions in titles to weeding out inappropriate images. The good part is that Amazon has a lot of user-generated content from product searches, buying patterns, and search. All this data is analysed to figure out what customers want. It doesn’t stop there, Amazon takes its findings forward to its entertainment platforms: Prime Videos and Music. It has been at it for ages. But every firm is not Amazon and every CEO is not Jeff Bezos. Even with the right approach, money-inflow and business alignments, a digital-data strategy can fail. Making sense of data is the biggest challenge. With colossal amounts of data being generated every day — 2.5 quintillion bytes — we are bound to get lost in the web jungle.
QuoDeck’s Lahiri says that data without a hypothesis is pointless. “Before collecting data, one needs to have a hypothesis in place. You might know the answer but if you don’t know the question, it won’t make sense,” he says, alluding to the bottleneck in the analytics industry.
“Forward-looking approach that relies on data-based intelligence, trend analysis, forecast modelling, and predictive analysis is what people need to obtain success in today’s dynamic market. And only accurately collated, actionable insights can give them that, not massive amounts of raw, unfiltered information,” says James Giancotti, Co-founder and CEO, Oddup, a data-driven research and insights provider.
Oddup’s chief operating officer and Co-founder, Jackie Lam says that just analysing past trends alone won’t help, because the market is constantly evolving. But all of this cannot happen without making data-analysis any company’s culture, like in the case of Amazon.
“Creating an organizational cultural can solve the issue of failure. And the culture should follow the top-down approach,” says analytics academician Dakshinamurthy Kolloru, Founder President & Chief Mentor of International School of Engineering.
This story has been written by Nishita Chandak from Times Group
This article was first published in, The Times of India