Category Archives: Corporate Learning Best Practices

7 Ways to Maximize Learning in your Training Programs

Training programs are a collection of instructions or procedures that are designed to help people improve their abilities. Skills and knowledge, mentality, attitude, and efficiency of a person are important in any profession.

Every person receives training at some point in their lives, whether formal or informal. How many times have you gone to training programs as a student or a professional and been able to recall or put what you learned into practice?

If your answer is close to zero, this was most likely because you were forced to attend the training against your will due to institutional obligations. It’s also conceivable that you received general training with no actual or direct application to your topic or career.

Whether public or personalized, any activity will undoubtedly provide value to individuals in some manner, either directly or indirectly. The only stipulation is that you must be able to benefit from it.

Now check out the tips listed below on how to get the most out of any training program and improve your learning retention:

1.   Clear your mindset:

The majority of individuals do not benefit from any training courses (primarily generic ones). They already have a terrible impression of the session.

This kind of training is of no benefit to them in their career or at work, because they do not concentrate on learning and application, any activity they get will be useless to them.

The primary source of this issue is a preconceived mentality. This mentality is formed as a result of previous experiences or disinformation. So, if you want to learn and have a good belief system, you must not use these filters.

2.   Finalize the pre-work:

Many training courses contain a pre-assignment or pre-assessment exercise that you must complete before the course commencement.

Many individuals do not want to complete this pre-workout, but it is critical for you to self-analyze your present abilities and create a route to your goal talents. It enables you to assess your current abilities and knowledge gaps to succeed in your profession.

3.   Determine the aim of training programs:

It is critical to determine the purpose of training, or in other words, the goal of the program. What are you expecting to gain from the training? Find out what’s in it for you, what skills you’ll get, what information you’ll gain, and what new learnings you’ll accomplish.

This way, you’ll be able to pinpoint your specific objective and concentrate your efforts on achieving it.

4.   Match your learning outcomes to your objectives:

Establish a clear link between what you gain in a training course and your desired outcome. Determine which learnings are linked to your desired abilities. This will encourage you to participate actively in the program and strive to improve your abilities.

5.   Focus on analysis:

What you can’t define, you can’t improve. You must first evaluate the efficacy of your staff training and development program before you can enhance it. Fortunately, current training systems make it simple to get a wide range of data about your learning program’s success. While smaller businesses may choose to forego utilizing training analytics, more prominent companies cannot afford to do so.

It’s difficult for educators and training managers to remain ahead of training innovations on an individual level as the amount of students and courses grows, perhaps spanning several training groups, divisions, and branches.

Make it a habit to track your training data to enhance your business training program. This will assist you to:

  • Gain a sense of your training program’s overall development
  • Find and fill skill gaps, detect issues in your courses (e.g., challenging lessons)
  • Identify parts of your training program that need improvement
  • Recognize and appreciate training effort, locate your top talent

6.   Attend follow-up meetings:

Many training providers schedule follow-up sessions for their students to address any issues they may have when putting the ideas or learnings into practice. Attend these seminars to receive answers to your questions and get additional insight into putting your skills into practice.

Even if you don’t have any questions, you may still learn something new by attending to or studying other people’s problems and solutions.

7.   Add ‘Social Learning’ to your training:

You learn more when you exchange your experience with others, when you have a mentor to assist you, and when you have a model to follow.

Learners and mentors are connected via social learning, allowing them to talk and share their thoughts and problems. Chat rooms, forums, online communities, video conferencing, and other methods are crucial.

This social learning method is an excellent technique to stay motivated, passionate, and eager to learn more.

In conclusion

To advance in your professional job or company in today’s competitive world, you must surpass others. You must have a good attitude and understand your learning style to get the most out of it. These tips will help you get that extra knowledge from your training programs, and you’ll see the change in your learning methods from day one.

The key to success is to put your plan into action. So, put everything you’ve learned in class into practice, and keep brushing up on your abilities.

Podcasts: Effective ways to train your sales team

Podcasts aren’t just entertainment, but also informative. We summed up a 3 minute write-up to explain how these mini audiobooks can affect your overall sales. Few things might surprise you. 

A podcast is  an audio/video transcription of information that can be downloaded and played anywhere and anytime—it’s like satellite radio, but in pre-packaged and time-limited format.  

  

Podcasts are recorded using certain software online recording programs, exported to a digital warehouse like Spotify, and then downloaded/streamed by anyone who searches for that topic or anyone who has a direct link to the podcast itself. 

The popularity of podcasts have exploded and are now considered a conventional mode of media, easily accessible to everyone. You have podcasts available for every topic under the sun, from gardening to mental health to project management. The ease and mobility of podcasts make it a perfect medium for conducting sales trainings.  

Sales professionals are usually exposed to a lot of content, sometimes too much. Yet, finding accessible and correct content to read can be struggle. Especially if you are an incentive driven sales professional, every second not spent on a deal could feel like a useless second. Apart from being incredibility popular among the current generation, podcasts are turning out to be an effective way for sales trainings. The 5 top reasons to use podcasting for sales training are listed below: 

  1. In most companies, sales professionals don’t have a stationary office job in-front of a computer or at a desk for most part of their day. Creating secure mobile podcasts can make it easier for the field sales teams to have access to the content on their phones, away from their office and home networks. Podcasts allow representatives to have access to the trainings offline, on the road, or anywhere they can multi-task. 
  1. In a podcast episode, business guru Tim Sanders says that our capacity to   understand information when reading text is 7% but increases to 38% in an auditory setting. This would mean that shifting from an email-based culture to an audio-based culture, would improve the understanding by almost 500%. For sales representatives, or anyone for that matter, this jump in efficacy is critical. 
  1. Mobile training methods for sales reps don’t just improve accessibility to content on the field, but are also a good way to generate quantifiable productivity gains. According to research, sales reps spend at least eight hours per month in transit. Extrapolate this number to all the sales representatives, and the company loses a huge amount worth of productivity every month. Mobile training methods easily engage the reps to continue learning, especially in the field, or even behind the steering wheel. Hence, this makes podcast trainings an exceptional choice to turn the wasted downtime into productive opportunities.  
  1. You can’t deny the fact that podcasting is already incredibly popular and has seen a sharp growth due to the pandemic. After the US and China, India happens to be the third-largest podcast market in the world, and the estimation states that the country would see 17.61 million people listening to podcasts by the year 2023. 
  1. Highly successful organizations usually provide its sales representatives with ongoing training throughout the year. This can become extremely easy with 5-minute daily/weekly podcasts in keeping the sales representatives up to date. The minimal effort required in the production of these podcasts, makes it an even easier tool to work with.

Podcasts are proving to be efficient micro-learning solutions as they produce bite sized episodic content which are short, information heavy and engaging. And although podcasting for training is still at an early stage, this could be the perfect time to initiate and experiment with it. 

BONUS READ 

How to Record a Podcast from your Mac 

1.) Open Garageband. Click on “Podcast” when it asks what to record. 

2.) Click the record button to record your voice. Click it again to stop recording. To playback, click the rewind button.  

3.) To add artwork, just select “Artwork” section on your podcast. Then, from the right sidebar, select “Photos”, pick one and upload.  

4.) Select the “Jingles” section on your podcast to add them. Then, from the right sidebar, select “Audio” and find a sample you’d want to use. Shorten it by selecting the track.  

5.) After you’re done saving, go to the top and under “Share”, click “Export Song to Disc”.  Now, you can upload the exported file to your platform.  

REMOTE WORKING: IS IT TIME TO GO DIGITAL ON LEARNING?

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic forced nations of the world to go into complete (or partial) lockdown. As a result, industries worldwide either shut down their operations or switch to remote working. 

Organizations and people have struggled to stay productive while working remotely due to the lack of social life or personal touch. It is debatable if the new-normal will stay normal even after the lockdown measures are entirely lifted. However, there will be a significant fundamental shift in the work cultures of organizations across the globe

Remote Working: A Necessity

Remote working was desirable with the majority of the population even before the pandemic, though not most of them got it. Few companies were digitally ready to implement the work-from-home strategy as they used to practice it pre-pandemic. However, companies worldwide were forced to move to full-time practice of remote working and struggle.  

To stay functional and productive, organizations help their employees with all sorts of information and training, which is also done remotely. At least some of these practices will probably go on even after the pandemic is over. Fortunately, there are tools of digital learning that can ensure success. 

The Changing Mindsets 

Before the pandemic hit, most managers believed that it is impossible or way too challenging to achieve high productivity levels while working from home. For them, there were no two ways for it. However, they are now beginning to see a change in their long-held believes, as they see the results of the employees working at their own places. It is more apparent now that the employees will perform when they are trusted for responsibility. 

The managers can now see that any mandate of having all of the employees in one place together is pointless. People still work well when they do not see each other all the time. Besides, did we always meet everyone in the office on a daily basis? 

Although there are jobs that require people to meet and work together, we might not need to meet our colleagues or our teams daily. We may still gather, but not with the same people every day. 

Digital Learning: The key enabler 

For an organization to succeed at these fundamental shifts in an organization’s culture, the employees are at the core. The companies have to create a collaborative and learning culture for their employees to be efficient at these. On top of that, the companies need to change  the learning style from the one-size-fits-all format to a more personalized mode for the employees. Engaging learning integrated into the day-to-day work is even better. The rise of digital tools is making learning shift towards the concept of individualized learning. 

Traditionally, digital learning has been dull, even after being a revolution. One could not imagine oneself being involved in digital learning regularly, more so on a daily basis. A teacher in front of a camera, running through a series of PPTs, has been the norm. Fortunately, there has been much evolution in this area – game based learning and mobile learning. Learning is now interactive, engaging, at the learners’ convenience, and as a part of their day’s work. 

Few companies were enabled with the WFH model, and others were forced to adopt it. In both cases, the usual 9 to 5 daily office routine is likely to be disrupted with remote working becoming a part of the norm, if not the norm itself, with the employees demonstrating productivity at the comfort of their homes even more than they did being in their cubicles. The corporates will have to deliver the training that is personalized to the employees to keep their employees up-to-date, engaged, and skilled digitally.

How To Enhance Virtual Learning With The Help Of Social Learning

A virtual environment is a medium of learning where learners go through courses, study materials and learning aids through an online medium. It can be browser-based or a virtual training session through Zoom. Virtual learning offers activities, interactions, and resources within a course structure and provides different levels of assessment. Given this context, learners can access learning materials through peer-to-peer collaboration networks such as forums. As social learning is a continuous process of learning from other people within and outside the organization, it can be integrated into virtual learning through various means.

At the present virtual learning also happens through social technologies like blogs, wikis, discussion forums, messaging tools, conferencing tools, subject-matter directories, and videos. Organizations are increasingly using social learning in their training methodologies for improved learning retention, increased learner engagement, and reduced training costs.

The 70:20:10 Learning Framework

In traditional classroom training, most learners recall only 10% of what they have learned after 72 hours. Such lack of knowledge retention can harm the business of your organization. For example, a salesperson may face trouble recalling the knowledge learned at the appropriate time the next week, which could cost them a sale.

As per this methodology, about 70% of learning happens through on-the-job training and practical experiences, 20% through interaction with peers and colleagues, and just 10% in a traditional, instructor-led classroom training environment.

Why Social Learning?

Social learning helps employees with enhanced retention of knowledge, which is the primary goal of any training program. Social learning encourages learning in a working environment and allows learners to apply their knowledge to work. They can learn from peers, senior employees, or experts within the organizations. People learn from real-life scenarios/examples and by direct experiences. Research studies also indicate that social learning methods deliver a better ROI (almost 75:1 ratio) when compared to traditional classroom training.

Here are a few strategies on how to enhance virtual learning with the help of social learning.

Enhance Learner Engagement

A virtual learning environment allows you to manage the learning activities by using various means such as an LMS for learner administrations, learning platforms, and virtual instructor sessions. In social learning, employees can either start or take part in a discussion, training or coach others as and when a situation arises. This type of freedom to engage in their learning will directly impact increased engagement in their work.

As part of social learning, provide a network of mentors and peers, where information is created and distributed easily to employees. Thus, employees can obtain more practical knowledge and make better decisions through increased engagement with others.

Collaborate Proactively With Learners

Communication and collaboration among the participants with emails, chat, wikis, blogs, etc., are other key components of a virtual learning environment. Social learning is collaborative in its approach, happens in real-time, and has a direct relation to an employee’s work. Learning can happen anytime, anywhere, and by using any device. Organizations that support social learning need to have learning environments that foster conversation, discussion, and collaboration between learners across the organization.

Social learning involves knowledge sharing in a joint effort between peers, and between peers and facilitators. It promotes high-level thinking, good relationships, oral and written communication, self-management, responsibility, and leadership skills.

Encourage Peer Learning

Peer learning is a great way in which learners learn from each other. Participants connected can observe and learn from others, helping each other in the virtual session. Learners can directly learn from seniors and experts who have been in similar situations. In peer learning, learners receive more time for individualized learning, and interactions between employees promote active learning.

Learners get a chance to reinforce their learning by instructing others. Also, learners feel more comfortable and open when interacting with their peers. For companies, peer learning is a financially efficient alternative to hiring trainers or instructors. Research studies indicate that peer learning activities yield more benefits to the organization, such as enhanced team-building spirit, more supportive relationships, greater psychological well-being, and improved communication skills. Thus, organizations should encourage peer learning to achieve greater productivity.

Add Simulations And Gamification Elements

Simulations and gamification help facilitators turn their virtual learning into a more interactive experience. Simulations can turn virtual learning sessions into more interesting and fun learning sessions. Mock trials and digital simulations are great ways to enhance a virtual learning session and engage the participants more.

Gamification involves turning an activity into a competitive game for the learners. You can take learning concepts, assignments, and activities and convert them into interesting games. The facilitator can announce badges and rewards for winners and create that unique spark that attracts the learners’ interest. Gamification and simulations allow learners to observe real-life scenarios and examples.

By Suresh Kumar DN, CEO at Tesseract Learning

On-boarding for a Job Role STACK

Unless you have been living under a rock through the last decade, you have heard of tech stacks. A tech stack is the set of underlying elements of a software application. These are the frameworks, languages, and software products that everything else is built on. Every developer who joins a tech team needs to learn his stack.

Similarly, I believe that every business role has a stack. A stack that has to be mastered by anybody looking to do that role.

Skills

Skills are what we all need to know how to do in order to our job effectively. There are two broad categories of skills – Soft Skills and Functional Skills. In the context of this framework, the “Skills” being referred to are Functional Skills only. Every role demands certain core functional skills, that are essential for the employee to function in that job.

Good examples of these are Javascript expertise for a ReactJS developer, Negotiation and Presentation Skills for a salesperson and Accounting Skills for a credit analyst. While such skills can be trained for, true expertise comes only from experience. This is why expertise in such core skills is typically evaluated during the recruitment process itself. And once in the job, organizations trust employees to progressively get better the longer they perform the role.

In the context of role on-boarding, there is very little that can be done in a short duration program to build up these core skills. Instead, what is recommended are skill assessments and quick refreshers. Essentially, just show them a mirror and jog their memory.

Don’t spend inordinate amounts of time (not more than 10%) on skill training during on-boarding.

Tools

Can you imagine a carpenter without a saw or a blacksmith without a hammer? A skill is useless without the tools that go along with it. Similarly, every job role typically requires an employee to use a set of software and hardware tools and systems to perform their jobs.

Good examples of these are IDEs for developers, Canva and Amplayfy for content marketers and Microsoft PowerPoint for salespersons. Apart from industry-specific tools like these, most companies also have their own company-specific ERP, CRM, LMS, HRMS, etc. that the employees need to familiarise themselves with.

In the context of role on-boarding, expertise on industry-specific tools is akin to having the core skills. It is not recommended that any industry-specific tool training be undertaken during the on-boarding program. Instead, it is recommended to focus on providing primers for company-specific tools. Most people are hesitant to learn new systems, and the on-boarding program is the best place to manage this trepidation through these introductions to the tools. Giving them access to manuals or help videos in a repository format will encourage deeper self-training at a later date.

Spend more time on training on tools (about 15%) over training on skills during on-boarding.

Attitudes

Attitudes are a mixed bag of soft skills, beliefs and habits that are required for working in a role. These dictate how well you can work or interact with others to form relationships, create trust and dependability, and lead teams.

Good examples of these are leadership abilities in team leaders, assertiveness in analysts and persuasiveness in salespersons. Beyond the role requirements, all companies have a clear set of values, principles and guidelines that they look to inculcate in their workplace. Every employee must learn, internalise and display these attitudes to fit into the company culture.

In the context of role on-boarding, such attitudes need to be communicated right up front. These are best done through meet and greets, icebreakers, evangelical sessions and value discussions with the employee. Given that these require significant face-to-face interactions, it is perhaps the most expensive part of an on-boarding program in terms of time and effort and might seem to have a lower direct benefit in role on-boarding.

However, attitudes are critical in integrating a new hire into the company on the whole, and deserve significant resource allocation (about 20%) during on-boarding.

Customers

Customers are the only purpose for existence of any business activity. Customers can be internal or external, depending on the nature of the job role. But in all cases, knowing about and understanding customers is critical to performing the job well. Such customer education is unique to role on-boarding, differing from organisational induction in its application.

Good examples of these could range from retailers for front-line FMCG sales, website visitors for SaaS inside sales teams and company employees for an HR team. A stakeholder mapping exercise would be a good starting point for identifying the customer for a role.

In the context of role on-boarding, the difficult question is determining the best approach for the customer familiarisation exercise. In the case of institutional sales, it could be one-on-one meetings with the clients and account planning exercises. In the case of B2C sales, it might be participating in surveys, focus groups and interviews. Attending reviews and meetings might be a good way to familiarise the employee with internal customers.

Customer familiarisation during on-boarding requires significant time expenditure (about 25%), but reduces the need for on-the-job training in the long term.

Knowledge

Knowledge required for a job role spans a matrix of Industry-Company-Employee and Information-Concepts-Expectations. This has been explored in great detail in the ICE Cube induction framework I and II which are linked here and here.

Good examples of knowledge needs are company background, regulations, company policies, business concepts, etc. A larger part of required knowledge are job role specific knowledge of concepts, processes, products, expectations etc.

In the context of role on-boarding, the knowledge requirement takes up the largest chunk of time. It is recommended that to the extent possible, the knowledge sections should be administered through e-learning and not instructor-led training. The knowledge content should be structured as a combination of course-ware and reference learning centers, with a focus on on-demand learning and personalization. Try and find ready learning resources on LinkedIn, Coursera, Udemy, etc. before starting to create your own learning resources.

Knowledge training forms the base of the entire role on-boarding program (about 30%) and needs to be planned smartly to manage time, cost and effectiveness.

* * *

The Job Role STACK approach integrates really well with competency mapping and organizational development. Ideally, we typically recommend getting veterans of each job role in the organization to define the STACK and its constituents. Post that, taking the common elements of multiple Job Role STACKs into a common company induction program becomes easier. The remaining STACK components then move into a relatively shorter role on-boarding exercise that finally gets integrated with on-the-job training and coaching.

Do let us know your opinions on job role stacks and whether you see them being applicable in your businesses. And if you are looking for an easy to use tool to create interactive content for such programs, do consider giving Amplayfy a spin…

P.S. This was first published on LinkedIn – Click here to see the original post

6 tips to integrate micro learning in your courses for rapid learning

Micro-Learning can be defined as a skill-based approach in education as well as training that delivers the information in small, ‘bite-sized’ chunks. This is useful as the learners can quickly assimilate the knowledge that they need to perform a particular task without having to spend long hours learning about it. Thus, it creates an opportunity for the learners to engage with the content exactly at the moment they need it.

In recent years, Micro-learning has supplemented and in many cases, even replaced the traditional method of learning which was time-consuming and primarily focused on theory. Microlearning, on the other hand, focuses more on the application and is largely self-driven, thus, producing effective and measurable results.

This is why many training programs are now utilizing the micro-learning principles to generate rapid learning and make the process engaging and successful.

Let us look at the 6 tips to integrate micro-learning in your courses for rapid learning:

1) Gamifying Learning Content-

Learner engagement is one of the most important aspects of any training program. Without effective engagement, content retention or recollection is not possible. Micro-learning principles can be utilized to create a game-based learning scenario that is interactive and interesting. Gamifying the learning content makes it visually appealing and engaging which can help the learners better understand and remember it. Incorporating gaming mechanics like compelling narratives, characters, badges, etc proves to be useful in making the entire learning process fun and effective.

2) Using Interactive Training Tools-

Using micro-learning principles in creating Interactive training tools like simulations and scenarios can effectively and rapidly teach a particular skill-set. Simulation, in particular, can be really helpful in creating a virtual situation where the learners can apply the knowledge they have gained to solve a problem or achieve a certain goal. Thus, focusing on the content application instead of theory can help increase its intake and retention. A time-based decision-making scenario is also helpful in testing the learner’s capability in handling work pressure. Thus micro-learning principles offer a unique experience in a training program that may not be possible by following the traditional way.

3) Creating Instructional Videos and Podcasts-

Instructional videos can be a great way to give information as they are engaging and brief. Micro-learning can be used to create short videos about a particular product or developing a needed skill-set, which can then be shared across a variety of platforms like the company’s website and Youtube. This is convenient as the learners can access it whenever required.

Similarly, educational podcasts make it easier for the learners to gain information from the comfort of their own house or while traveling, without taking up too much of their time during work hours. It makes the process more learner-centric as they have control over their learning and can easily set their own pace for receiving the necessary information.

4) Writing Blog Posts-

Micro-learning principles can be used to create something as simple as a blog post which can keep the learners informed about various topics. Blogs don’t take much time to read, and a large chunk of information can be easily condensed in the form of points which the learners can easily remember. Blog posts can also be easily accessible from any device and can be published on various platforms which makes it handy for the learners to read them as and when required.

5) Creating Self-Assessment Tools-

One of the most effective ways of using micro-learning principles is by creating self-assessment tools which can include online quizzes, questionnaires, puzzles, case studies, etc. They provide an excellent opportunity to gauge the level of the learner and quantify their progress and understanding. Instant feedback that is given, helps the learners in identifying knowledge gaps which they can then rectify. As the evaluation is quick, the learning also progresses at a rapid pace. Self-assessment tools are also helpful in judging the effectiveness of a training program as they test the learner’s understanding and retention of the content.

6) Using Multimedia Resources-

Micro-learning makes it easier to condense information into various multimedia resources to provide a variety in learning and make the process interesting and enjoyable. Online slideshows and presentations are a great way to deliver information in a few minutes as the learners can easily absorb the content. Micro-learning is also used to create infographics that provide a comprehensive overview of the subject in a way that the learners can quickly understand and recollect.

Thus, integrating microlearning into the regular courses is a great way to boost the productivity of the training program and generate rapid learning and better content engagement, involvement, and retention.

4 Micro-Learning Strategies For Employee- Engagement

Micro-learning is a skill-based approach to learning that delivers information in small ‘bite-sized’ chunks. In today’s modern economy which greatly prioritizes speed, this is especially effective in generating greater knowledge absorption and better content retention. In recent years, micro-learning, with its emphasis on application and self-learning, has supplemented the traditional methodology which was time-consuming and primarily focused on theory. This transition has improved the learners engagement with the program and has produced effective and measurable results.

Employee engagement is an essential aspect of any learning program. In today’s fast-paced world, it has become difficult to focus on lengthy content for a long period of time. Micro-learning strategies, here, prove useful in delivering the relevant content at the required time in a quick and easy manner, using technology channels that are favoured by the employees.

Let us look at 4 Micro-learning strategies for employee-engagement :

1) Gamifying Learning Content-

Micro-learning strategies can be used to create gamified, scenario-based learning content which is not only visually appealing, but also interactive and engaging. Employee engagement is essential for the success of any training program because without effective engagement, content retention or recollection is not possible. Gamifying the learning content with compelling narratives and characters makes it interesting for the learners and hence they can better understand and remember it. Incorporating gaming mechanics like badges, awards,points and leaderboards can also bring out healthy competition among colleagues and peers, making the entire training process more engaging and effective.

2) Utilizing Multimedia Resources-

Utilizing multimedia resources can be a great way to enliven a technical or lengthy content. Micro-learning principles can be used to effectively condense information into various multimedia platforms like slide-shows and infographics which provides a variety in the learning experience. Online slide-shows and presentations can effectively deliver information in a short period of time and in a manner that the employees can easily absorb and understand.

Similarly, infographics are a great learning tool as they provide an overview of the content in a visually appealing manner with the help of texts and graphics. They are an ideal reference material and can easily cater to the short-attention span of the learners, thus, creating better content engagement and retention.

3) Creating Instructional Videos and Podcasts-

Micro-learning videos are one of the most effective ways to engage the employees as they do not require any expensive set-ups and are highly flexible in terms of time and place and can be shared across a variety of platforms like the company’s website and Youtube. They are tailored to deliver a specific set of information and hence are not only brief but also relevant. Videos create an immersive learning experience and hence are effective in employee engagement and retention ability.

Similarly, micro-learning strategies can be used in developing educational podcasts that can deliver information to the learners that can be easily assessed anywhere, without taking up too much of their time, especially during work hours. This makes the process more learner-centric as the employees have control over their learning and can set their own pace for receiving the required information.

4) Creating Blog Posts and Interactive eBooks-

Blog posts are an effective way of providing information in an engaging manner as they do not take much time to read and a large chunk of information can be condensed in the form of bullet points that make it easier for the employees to recollect and remember. They are also easily accessible from any device and can be published in various platforms which makes it handy for the employees to access them as and when required. 

Interactive ebooks with their appealing visuals and user-friendly navigation is another great micro-learning strategy to enhance employee engagement. They can also be made compatible with various formats like pdf, epub, etc., and across various platforms and devices which makes for a very convenient learning experience. These ebooks can also be complemented by worksheets, checklists, quick tips and other interactive exercises that make the training program more immersive and engaging. 

Thus, micro-learning strategies can be employed to deliver content that is appealing, concise and highly interactive. It is ,therefore, an effective way to engage the employees in their training programs which in turn can positively impact the overall progress and productivity of the organisation.

Why is it important for the HR’s to upgrade their Induction programme in 2021?

The induction programme of an organization is an important process of introducing a new employee to the working environment, rules and regulations, company policies, job responsibilities and other such essential information. It forms a part of an organization’s knowledge management process and helps the new member become integrated into the team and the company’s business. It has proven to improve employee retention, build the company’s reputation and increase overall productivity of the employees.

However, the current pandemic situation has proven to be both, challenging and enlightening with regards to the typical recruiting process. With  new emerging technologies and more people opting for a digital workspace, it becomes imperative that the onboarding process be accordingly upgraded, to the changing times and scenarios. Here are some reasons why it is important to upgrade the Induction programme in 2021:

Remote Working:

Telecommuting has become the new reality for business corporations. In the current pandemic situation, the entire recruiting process is completely online. Hence, it is essential that the onboarding process also be similarly upgraded. The upgraded Induction programme should have information about work from home policies, provision for online introduction and interactions,  and should also provide technology training and support for those who require it. A mobile workforce changes the dynamics of an organisation, in the sense that it becomes more impersonal, in comparison to a face-to-face interaction. It is therefore important that the digital training process is able to make new recruits feel welcome and included in the company. 

Networking Systems :

Technology has become an integral part of business and with the introduction of new tools, services and upgrades, it is important to train the new recruits to become more digitally aware and utilize these tools for better collaboration and communication, especially during these challenging times. 

Basic training on the new networking systems like Skype for business, Sharepoint, Google Meet and emerging technologies like Office 365 should also be incorporated to the regular induction process. This would enable the new members to communicate and be in touch with the organization and also provide a great platform for them to get to know their colleagues and develop a great working relationship with them.

Introduction of Learning Management Systems :

Induction is no longer simply a text based training programme. Many corporations are now opting for a gamified learning approach when it comes to introducing the new employees to the company history, structure and policies. Using a learning management system (LMS) for the recruiting process helps the new member learn about the business culture, standard business procedure, compliance policy etc in a more interactive and engaging manner. LMS can be used to design courses for enhancing the employee’s skill or to introduce them to a new software or technology. It can also be used by the Learning and Development team for testing and assessing an employee’s performance. It can thus help to evaluate the success of a training programme and see if the trainee’s have managed to retain the information after training.

Innovation (Creativity over Formality) : 

Many organizations are going the creative and personal route over the completely formal onboarding process. Induction forms the first introduction of the organization and its tone and the methodology used goes a long way in creating a great impression on the new recruits. Therefore, some companies prefer a more innovative approach, rather than the traditional approach while welcoming their new employees. This may include-

Gifting: 

This is a great personal way to make an employee feel welcome. Some companies give their new recruits a pen and a notebook with the company logo and others even give out gift coupons.

Activity based programme:

Some organizations arrange an activity programme where the new member can interact and get to know their colleagues. Activities like sharing a funny story, engaging in some fun games go a long way in breaking the ice and building great working relationships among people.

Buddy system:

Most new recruits often feel intimidated and unsure about their roles and responsibilities when they first join an organization. Induction usually takes care of this by giving them the information in print, but some companies have introduced the buddy system to supplement this process. The buddy system involves assigning a buddy to the new member, who would be responsible for introducing them to the other team members, helping them get accustomed to the company role and answer any queries that they have. Many corporations have reported great success in implementing this method during their onboarding process.  

Thus, upgrading the induction process according to the changes and emerging trends, helps in creating a friendly and dynamic workplace which in turn enables the employees to grow and develop and achieve greater results for the organization

The 7 Advantages of Remote Working

People have always been drawn to the idea of a flexible workspace that provides them with professional and personal control over their career and life in general. While some corporate organizations were hesitant and sceptical about the concept of a productive remote working scenario, the current pandemic situation has forced many to re-evaluate their opinion.

The last couple of months have highlighted the fact that working from home is not only a great alternative to the routine office set-up, but also benefits both, the employee and the business organization. 

Highlighted below are the seven main advantages of remote working :

Increased Productivity

Many corporate companies are of the opinion that working from home can result in their employees becoming lazy and unproductive, but factually, the opposite is true. 

Distance work gives people the freedom to select their own workspace. They can choose to work in comfortable clothes, relax on a comfortable chair or even have their laptop stationed on the kitchen counter. This familiar and ergonomic workspace helps in reducing stress, thereby increasing productivity and performance. 

Moreover, people do not have to expend their time and energy in daily commuting to their offices. Not having to travel long-distance or suffer traffic congestion reduces the anxiety of being late or wasting too much time. People doing remote work are often, more inclined to start their work early or even extend their work hours due to not having to travel to their workplace.

Independence of Location

A flexible workspace allows people to continue working despite a change in their location without having to change their company or start over in a new organization. 

It also provides access to a broader range of employment opportunities that are not limited by geographical location. People can thus, avoid moving to a major metropolitan area with a high cost of living simply to have a career that they desire. 

Companies will also not lose their employees if they re-locate and can thus enjoy a greater degree of employee retention in their organization. 

Reduction of Expenses

Telecommuting can be a great way to save money and reduce expenses. Having a remote job instantly reduces the cost of petrol, vehicle maintenance, professional attire, daily meals etc. It also benefits the companies and allows them to save money as it decreases the cost of real estate and technology.

Inclusion of People

Digital workspace is not limited by geographical location and hence, it allows companies to hire people from different places. This enables greater diversity in the work environment as employees belonging to different culture, language, race, religion, etc., all come together and enhance the social dynamics of the organisation.

Moreover, it also provides an excellent work opportunity for people with disabilities and others who cannot work an on-site job, to follow their career goals without having to worry about external factors like work commute, etc.

Better work-life balance 

Telecommuting makes it easier for people to balance their career and family life. It reduces stress, gives time for recreational activities and improves personal relationships. In addition, the interaction between the employee and the employer is greatly enhanced without all the distractions and politics that come with an on-site job. 

Working remotely also encourages people to live a healthier life by eating well, having time to exercise and not being stressed or over-burdened by external factors.

Flexible Timings

Many remote jobs come with flexible timings where people can start and end their day as they desire, as long as the work schedule is not compromised. This factor is desirable to people as it allows them to take an active part in their family and still maintain their career. It allows them to balance time for their children’s school activities, family functions, medical appointments etc. Thus, an off-site workspace can lead to a more fulfilled and satisfying life.

Environmental Impact

Telecommuting not only benefits people on an individual level but it also proves advantageous to the world at large. When many people choose to work from their homes, it positively impacts the environment by reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases and saving oil resources. Reducing travel also helps in reducing pollution and carbon emissions which greatly affects the climate. 

Moreover, distance work negates the use of too much paper, air-conditioner, lighting etc in a corporate set-up which in turn can leave a positive impact on our globe.

 Although the current on-going pandemic situation has been the catalyst for people turning to a digital workspace, many are realizing its multifarious advantages. It is thus, safe to say that this  is one trend that isn’t going to slow down anytime soon

M-LEARNING TRENDS TO ADOPT IN 2021

The emerging technological innovations have certainly revolutionized the way learning is traditionally conducted. With the introduction of elearning and now, mobile learning, new trends are emerging in the market that can positively impact both young and adult learners.

Mobile learning or M-Learning refers to learning and accessing content in a variety of formats across multiple devices. It is quickly gaining popularity as it is cost effective,portable and allows for greater immersion and  interaction with the content.

Given below are some of the m-learning trends to adopt in 2021 –

1. Corporate Training:

Digitization of training within the corporate sector has become popular, especially in the current pandemic situation, with more people opting to work from home. M-Learning is highly effective in consolidating the content in a simple, clear and interactive manner which makes it easier for the information to be retained. It also allows flexibility, where the learners can set their own pace and choose the module they would like to complete first. Hence, a large percentage of companies are now utilizing mobile learning to train their employees and are seeing greater engagement, greater reviewing of completed courses and better completion results.

2. Collaborative Learning:

Learning is no longer an isolated activity. Most m-learning platforms are integrated to an app which is connected to different social media, where people can form groups and communities to enhance their learning experience. There are also open forums, where they can post their queries, share their experience and provide feedback on the course. This method of social learning positively impacts the learner as it allows them greater interaction with others and broadens their perspective on a particular content

3. Interactive Learning: 

M-learning provides an interactive and immersive learning experience using various strategies like gamified learning, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), etc. Instructional videos are also a popular feature of interactive learning modules. These techniques are especially used in fields of education, travel, real estate, fitness, healthcare ,etc. to provide for a tangible, rich sensory learning experience. Many learners prefer the gamified version of a content as it engages them, enables higher participation and retention and also allows for instant feedback

4. Personalization of learning experience:

Psychology proves that every individual assimilates knowledge in a different way and at a different pace. While traditional learning could not cater to this aspect, mobile learning allows for a personalization of the learning experience. Modules can now be created according to the proficiency and interests of the learner and they can set their own pace and choose their own learning path. It also allows people to utilize push notifications and update their app content easily. 

5. Microlearning:

Microlearning or small ‘bit-sized chunks’ of learning is gaining popularity among people. In our current, fast-paced reality, it becomes difficult to digest lengthy written content. Microlearning tailors that into smaller sections and utilizes videos, podcasts, infographics and other such media to convey it in a more appealing and interactive manner. Mobile learning leverages microlearning to enhance the learner’s experience by curating content and also allowing space for reinforcing the learning. 

6. Soft-Skills training:

People are recognising that formal, instructional training is not enough when it comes to the overall personality development of an individual. More organizations are acknowledging the importance of giving soft-skills training on communication, leadership, collaboration etc to their employees. Mobile learning is a great tool to enhance the learner’s  performance and bring about a behavioural change in them. It especially encourages self-directed learning which can greatly benefit the individual by informing, challenging and changing their perspective on a particular content.

7. Data-Driven learning:

Today’s society is largely influenced by data and statistics, which is now being recognised as an important part of the learning and development industry. Understanding data and designing courses based on them enriches the content and meets the learner’s individual needs. Data can also be utilized to track the learning progress of an individual and to analyze if a particular innovation has enhanced the overall learning experience. It can also give a fair idea of the demography of the learners and can assist the designers in creating content accordingly.

Thus, these M-Learning trends help in creating a rich culture of continued learning experience and should definitely be adopted in 2021