Category Archives: Corporate Learning Best Practices

How QuoDeck enables enterprises to deliver game-based learning

QuoDeck relies on using gaming as a natural behavior of the learner to drive enterprise learning.

Experience indeed is the best teacher. Having experienced their share of boring mandatory trainings in their 15-year-old careers, Kamalika Bhattacharya & Arijit Lahiri thought something needed to be done about the kind of training which was literally being forced down the throat of employees. While a lot of this learning is needed as it a functional understanding, but the way in which it is delivered does not evoke any sense of excitement or feeling from the employees that it is being done for their betterment.

But over the last few years, people have picked up mobile as the primary device through which they consume content. So while people were clamoring for more content through new age formats on Google or Wikipedia, but somehow enterprises could not get into that mind shift. Enterprise learning remained very boring, stale, and desktop oriented. Says Kamalika, 

“That is when we thought that there was a need for enterprises to adjust to the new millennial generation used to consuming on mobile, in interesting and interactive formats.”

When the duo started looking at millennials, they realized that apart from browsing on social media, a large chunk of their time is spent on online gaming. A lot of these games were simple games like Candy Crush, Angry Birds which fall in the category of hyper-casual gaming. The duo started looking at how to marry these thoughts together and that’s when QuoDeck was born in 2010. 

QuoDeck is a SaaS product catering to the enterprise learning market, using interactivity and games to engage enterprise learners and use that to capture data, which in turn gets used to improve the learner experience and effectiveness. The product relies on how to use gaming as a natural behavior of the learner to drive enterprise learning. 

When the duo started looking at millennials, they realized that apart from browsing on social media, a large chunk of their time is spent on online gaming. A lot of these games were simple games like Candy Crush, Angry Birds which fall in the category of hyper-casual gaming. The duo started looking at how to marry these thoughts together and that’s when QuoDeck was born in 2010. 

QuoDeck is a SaaS product catering to the enterprise learning market, using interactivity and games to engage enterprise learners and use that to capture data, which in turn gets used to improve the learner experience and effectiveness. The product relies on how to use gaming as a natural behavior of the learner to drive enterprise learning. 

How does Quodeck enable enterprises to deliver learning

Kamalika believes that the thing with LMS is that they tend to think of themselves as just a delivery vehicle. They don’t give much thought to what content they put in it. But QuoDeck cares as much about the content as much as the format in which it is delivered to the learner. The platform has a delivery app along with multiple products under the same room-such as an authoring tool, an entire game library-so all the tools are embedded in this platform. 

Organizations can easily upload their content in predefined templates and create content in a simple way on the platform. All enterprises have to do is enter content in text and the product platform renders it in beautiful formats for the mobile app. The DIY platform is also enabled with big data tracking. 

The platform allows enterprises to create a pull-based learning.

So from gamification to game-based learning to storyline based games which can be used to create an entire course, the platform goes on to offer simple hyper-casual games; documentation simulation which teaches people how to do documentation- a big requirement in insurance, banking, pharma, and retail; conversation simulations which teach people how to talk by simulating a chat with a customer, which is used a lot for sales training as well as customer service training. Moreover, the full-featured platform can address a small company of 30 people to a large company with thousands of people with a complex environment. 

35 companies, half a million learners

The product which was released in 2014, has seen steady adoption in the four years hence. Today, the platform boasts of almost half a million users on the platform across more than 35 companies including global clients as well. This number is expected to grow to 600000 over the next 3 months on the back of the current deployments in progress.  Unilever, Star India, eBay, SBI Life, Aditya Birla Group, Axis Bank, are some of the companies which are big clients of the subscription-based SaaS platform. 

Kamalika attributed this growth to the fact that the product spans an entire gamut of what you could do with gamification to simple gaming complex gaming to create a pull for learning. Companies like Reliance, Unilever, Aditya Birla use the platform to train their ecosystem advisors such as advisor network, distributor network as well as their salespeople. Thus the platform is being used to deliver a level of impact which actually drives business for them and not just for training them. So effectively, she believes that QuoDeck counts with pretty much every LMS out there. 

The future of game-based learning

A report by US-based learning technology market research firm Metaari states that the worldwide five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for Game-based Learning products and services is a robust 37.1% and revenues will more than quadruple to reach well over $17 Bn by 2023. While revenues will more than triple in all eight global buying segments surveyed in the report, over the forecast period, the corporate segment will see the maximum rise in demand, driven by the booming demand for pre-employment assessment and evaluation games.

Kamalika avers with this trend of the corporate segment poised to post the highest growth rate out of all eight segments. She adds that upwards of 50% of companies in the world are looking to change their existing learning systems. One of the main reasons they look to switch is because of the lack of interactivity and mobile capability in these systems. So gaming, mobile learning, social learning are the new trends which no enterprise can afford to stay away from given their audience has changed completely. Added to the fact that they are no more dealing with traditional learning problems anymore. With a globally scattered employee base, companies can no longer get their employees to sit in a classroom for learning. 

More so as the audience demographics changes to millennials, who live in a digital world, enterprises are starting to realize that very strongly that they will start to fall behind if they are not using digital means for disseminating learning. So they are moving from traditional learning to digital learning. This change is very much essayed by the fact that compared to 2010, when QuoDeck would have a hard time convincing companies of game-based learning, today it is no more a challenge.

Kamalika aptly concludes, “Moving away from traditional learning is more a question of companies coming out of their comfort zones. Gaming is no more as bad a word as it used to be anymore!”

By Shweta Modgil, Feature Writer with People Matters

This article was first published on People Matters

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HR Tech and Startups in 2018: The year that was

How was the year 2018 for startups in the HR tech space in India when it comes to adoption and talent? Read on to find out.

December is a time to look back and take stock-where did we start from and where have we reached after 12 long months. And when the startups in the HR Tech space look back, they will mostly say it has been a good year. From the degree of adoption to the amount of funds flowing in, the startup space has generally seen an increased awareness around technology in HR. With the talks of AI, automation, technology dominating the whole year around, HR Tech saw a definite uptake both in India and globally.

So if in the first quarter, Degreed, a global platform for discovery, learning & certification of skills, made news by raising $42 Mn in a funding round, back home, in the second quarter, Indian corporate social responsibility and sustainability management technology platform, Goodera brought raised around $12 Mn. Similarly, employee focused HR tech app Hush also saw itself raising three funding rounds in the year, a major thumbs up for employee engagement apps. 

The space also saw major consolidations taking place in the HR Tech space this year. Globally, US-based job review and job hunting website Glassdoor was acquired by a Japanese human-resources and consumer-information provider, Recruit Holdings Co. Similarly, global consulting firm Mercer acquired India based HR tech startup Mettl.


Which brings us to the first trend in the space-awareness, fund flow, and consolidation.

A good year for HR Tech- more awareness, more funds

We talked to a number of startups in the HR Tech space such as game-based learning platform Quodeck, employee engagement startup Hush, sustainable credit provider SalaryFits, HRMS provider Zimyo, talent discovery platform Vyre, on-demand video platform Monjin, and Zeta which digitizes employee benefits, HR talent marketplace Noble House, among others.

Majority of the startups agreed that globally as well as in India, there has been a huge spike in interest and fund flow into the HR Tech space. 

Quodeck’s co-founder Kamalika Bhattacharya says, “There has been a marked increase in awareness for the need for technology-enabled employee engagement amongst the HR community and companies. For the HR tech startups that have kept up with the evolving needs of our clients, this year has been good, steadily moving up the value chain of the requirements for our clients.”

Most of the startups believe that the major acquisitions in India and globally point towards interest as well as consolidation in the space.

Kumar Mayank, co-founder of Zimyo believes that HR Tech startups had a great year in 2018. “From Recruit’s $1.2 Bn acquisition of Glassdoor to Mercer’s $40.5 Mn acquisition of Mettl in the Indian subcontinent, HR Tech is now drawing the long due attention it deserved. Incidentally, Mettl’s acquisition is not only one of the biggest HR tech acquisitions from the country but also one of the biggest SaaS acquisitions too thus making it the joker in the pack for drawing international investors’ attention to Indian SaaS startups.”

Ashutosh Dabral, Co-founder & CEO, Hush reiterated the same belief that it was a good year with multiple startups in the space raising one or multiple rounds of funding.

“This industry is poised to be a $400 Bn dollar industry so the funding activity reflects this assumption.”

Aye for adoption, aye for technology

The startups agreed that early-stage startups too have quite been successful in making inroads to mainstream HR with many of them raking in early customers and investments. 

Sudev das, co-founder, Vyre shared, “From an adoption perspective more organizations specifically the ones which are growing have a larger appetite to try out newer HR Tech solutions to support rapid business growth and efficiencies.”

This was reiterated by Kunal Kapoor CTO, Monjin who believes that HR tech is gaining importance in the era of skilling and tech-based recruitment and employee management services. 

Another major trend was that hiring has seen a big surge in adopting technology to screen and assess candidates. There has been an increase in off-premise interviews assisted by use of tech to shortlist resumes, online assessments, and video interviews. Similarly, there has been a significant uptick in interest shown by teams within large organizations and SMEs including startups for simple, attractively priced and quick to deploy Learning Management Systems. 

“More than hiring, we believe that companies are taking definitive steps to enhance engagement and productivity in the workplace as a retention tool,” says Guilherme Mota, Head of Operations, India, SalaryFits. 

Referral hiring has also become a preferred route but companies don’t find it easy to run effective referral programs, avers Ashutosh.

Then again, adoption of video in hiring, learning and engagement has significantly increased and will increase significantly in the next couple of years. This would be largely driven by Gen Z as we go forward. In fact, organizations from a hiring perspective will have to focus on Gen Z as they would significantly change the landscape of a workplace and drive change significantly as they become a part of the workforce. 

Hiring talent in the non-tech world will become a major focus for organizations across the board, adds Sudev. Consumer-facing roles will be in demand but the supply will always be shorter. The current way of hiring this talent will go through significant change. 

Moreover, recruiters will have to move beyond the traditional job board and platform sourcing to actually embed themselves in the real-life contexts of the candidates and attract them. 

This leveraging of technology will only ramp up as the volume and quality of data increases and AI improves. While awareness of AI and acceptance of AI in the HR Tech has increased, however, it would take a couple more years for us to see the real benefits of AI as systems and tech matures in the AI world

Challenges ahead: A dearth of talent, funds and market access

Notwithstanding how highly hopeful and happening the year 2018 was for startups and HR Tech, there are still many significant barriers they have to cross before they can scale greater heights of success.

For instance, hiring talent itself in the space is a problem. Mayank of Zimyo shares that it is becoming difficult day by day to hire quality talent. He revealed,

“We floated over 20 openings during the year, each carrying a 40%+ hike & ESOPs and yet we failed to generate good interest among potential candidates. Many of our partner HR Tech startups (from our HR marketplace) complained of the dearth of quality talent too; especially, at senior levels.”

The same thoughts are shared by Sanjay Lakhotia, Co-Founder, Noble House Consulting Pte who reiterated that a significant challenge for HR tech startups is a scarcity of talent in the market, across all functions, technology, sales, operations etc. He also added that price realization continues to be a big challenge for most HR tech startups.

Bhavin Turakhia, co-founder of Zeta feels that a major challenge with HR Tech companies is that the user interface has mostly not been built from the standpoint of easy adoption, which is what makes ready adoption difficult. The real challenge he feels is creating that HR tech mindset among companies where the goal of HR Tech is beyond managing operations all the way to empowering and enabling people to be their best. With that as an objective, the scope expands 10X for HR Tech. 

Unavailability of a ready-market they can sell their business to is another challenge, adds Mayank. For SaaS based HR Tech startups like Payroll or AI Chatbots, it is the lack of cloud adoption in the Indian subcontinent; for Niche HR Tech startups like Compensation and Benefits it is the lack of domain knowledge. Being enterprise solutions, HR Tech startups have to undertake a lot of shoe and leather cost to make every sale happen.

“While the market is there for the taking, quite a few of us in the HR Tech space find it difficult to get across to potential customers. We are not great at selling the product or even marketing or engaging customers. Even platforms which could help us do that are limited and very costly, adds Sudev.

The same is reiterated by Kamalika who shares that HR departments in companies face hurdles in getting business buy-in for tech products. A significant percentage of product/service acquisitions are led by the business teams rather than the HR team. Moreover, companies in India, view HR tech as a service rather than a product. This leads to delays in deployment due to discussions on feature additions and customizations. Ironically, companies still adopt an extrinsic motivation approach (reward vs punishment) as against intrinsic motivation approach (micro-learning, immersive experience, casual game-based learning), which hopefully should shift majorly in 2019.     

Then there are global big incumbents in this space and for startups, it’s difficult to build a competitor. So most startups are looking at working on niche areas that can make them an acquisition target for the behemoths, shares Ashutosh.

Interestingly, though the year 2018 saw a lot of funds pour in, yet the number of VCs interested in investing in HR Tech startups are still far and few.  Hopefully, the startups believe that in the next 1-2 years, HR Tech will hit the tipping point where investors users and businesses will invest significantly in HR Tech. 

For now, some feel there need to be more cost-effective platforms where Tech HR startups can come together meet learn and share experiences, where seasoned HR leaders, tech leaders, and founders come together on a regular basis. An ecosystem that supports startups at a fledgling stage would be more than helpful in the current scenario. A little guidance in sales and early client acquisition would go a long way for the startups. 

While technology (AI, video, automation) will definitely push up adoption and increased interest from both buyers and investors up the ante for HR Tech startups, we will have to wait till 2019 to see if the dreams and hopes of HR tech startups will materialize. 

By Shweta Modgil, Feature Writer with People Matters

This article was first published on People Matters

10 best practices to implement gamification

Gamification is not a magic lamp. It won’t solve your problems overnight. But if you plan and use it well, it will serve its purpose.

Here are the 10 best practices which you can use while implementing gamification.

1.Identify the success criteria: Define success i.e. what you intend to achieve through the activity. It is important to know the parameters of a successful outcome. Without having a clear cut desired result, you can’t find out whether the activity was successful or not.

2. Consider alternatives: Always explore the alternatives. DO NOT jump the wagon. Many a times, people ignore simple and effective learning solutions just because they find a new trend catching up. Use gamification only if it makes sense and will add on to the activity. If you think the alternative is much more effective, use that!

3. Creating a tie-in to business needs: Any activity has to tie-in with the business goals. Make sure the gamification also does. Do not use gamification just to make your content interesting. It has no value if it does not push your business forward.

4. Create a story/context: We all love stories! Develop a story around your gamification activity. Tell people the context. Give them a purpose, a reason to interact with your content. Tell them why they are earning points, saving someone or conquering something.

5. Use science to advance learning: Remember the 2 mantras – Spaced Retrieval and Retrieval Practice. Spaced retrieval helps a learner retain access to the memorized information over long periods of time because it promotes a deeper understanding of the learned material. Retrieval practices encourage a learner to recall information rather than simply re-read or re-listen to it.

6. Make scoring and winning transparent: Make scoring easy! The learner should know how his actions are related to the scores. So, he will know exactly what he needs to do in order to be successful. Also, try different scenarios. Make sure you have covered up all the possible issues that could arise when a learner is doing the activity.

7. Keep the rules simple: Really simple! Avoid complexity. Always provide a tutorial so that the learner can learn the rules beforehand and perform better. This will also help you prevent any kind of frustration that a learner might develop due to lack of knowledge of the rules.

8. Keep leaderboards small: No one is really interested in the world rankings unless he’s up there. Keep the leaderboards customizable and personalized. The learner should be able to see his position, his friends’ position along with the top 5 performers.

9. Use levels and badges appropriately: Give the learner a goal and the number of levels he will need to complete before the learning is over. Badges can be tied to either levels or enabling objectives. Badges are also a good way to show off your prowess to your friends and colleagues.

10. Test your game before you release it: It is a good way to find flaws, cheats and shortcuts that you might have overlooked. Human Beings are the most creative and lazy people imaginable as we look for a better/faster way to achieve the same result.

Let us know if you have any more points to add to the list.

By Deepak Gawas, Head- Partnerships at QuoDeck

5-step guide to kick-starting your digital strategy for sales training


Digital learning is a shift that sales trainers need to get behind as quickly as possible. Designing a good digital strategy can make a big difference to whether your sales training program succeeds or not. Let’s talk about how to get started with implementing a great digital sales training strategy

Every sales trainer needs to have an effective digital strategy for reaching and training their workforce. In the sales segment, this is even more important, because every day that salespeople physically spend away from the field being trained, means another day that sales are not being done. So, reaching them through digital means can ensure that they are focused on what matters to the organization – generating business.

Most sales training follows a blend – a combination of classroom training, mentoring & coaching and digital learning. If you already have a mobile learning strategy in place, then your digital strategy can be delivered right into the hands of your learner. Earlier, the blend of 70:20:10 between these strategies was recommended, however, because modern audiences are much more digitally savvy, this blend has been moving more towards 50:20:30. This means 30% of your workforce’s learning hours will be spent on digital learning that you need to put out.

Is that a terrifying thought? It shouldn’t be! Let us take you through these simple 5 steps to kickstart your digital sales training strategy. 

  • Find a digital delivery platform – A good digital delivery platform is half the battle in your digital strategy. Look online and you can find some pretty exciting platforms that can help you rocket your digital strategy to the stratosphere. The criteria you need to be judging them on are the mobile experience they offer, how easy it is to update and put out your content and how data gets tracked. Check out Docebo, QuoDeck, Grovo, and Litmos.
  • Collate your existing content to get started – You don’t need to create content from scratch to launch your digital strategy. Get started with your presentations, documents, existing videos and even audio podcasts and put them out on your digital platform. You can create as you go along, but to begin with, your existing material should power your first month of learning, so that you can focus on driving consumption.
  • Launch with a mandatory program – The most important milestone when you launch your app is getting your learners to download it. It’s always a good idea to start with a mandatory test or course that your learners are required to go through. Remember to launch with content beyond your first course, so that if learners finish the course and want to go through something else, there is content for them to consume.
  • Fresh content every day – Make sure that you have something fresh to send out every day on your platform. Even if it just a quick 5-question quiz or a nugget of information in the form of a social post, make sure that there is activity on your platform every day. If you can keep this up long enough that your learners get into the habit of checking into the platform every day, you are home free.
  • Track data to understand what your learners like – Your digital platform can give you data on what your learners are consuming more of. Track the kind of courses or media that are most popular. You can figure this out by checking two data points – the amount of time spent and consumption levels across your learner base. If any of your learners like this kind of content and they spend a lot of time on it, it’s a good sign that you should do more of it.

Once you’ve kick-started your digital strategy, and gained some momentum, start leveraging your digital platform’s content creation tools to put out more interactive content like games and story-based courses.

By Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-Founder at QuoDeck

4 most effective corporate applications of micro-learning

Everyone knows what microlearning is, it a more focused bite-sized learning to achieve specific objectives.  But often, micro-learning is incorrectly implemented leading to undesirable outcomes for the course. The best fit cases for microlearning in a corporate environment are

Product Training: Product manuals are very large and typically contain too much information. The learner will find it hard recognize key take ways and forget them in days following his learning session. No one really wants to go through the entire document or video to recollect a few key features. Micro-learning can help break cumbersome courses in smaller portions, each containing 5-10 key take ways that you want the learner to remember. This will increase retention and easy recollection for the learner.

Compliance Training: Given the integrated and fast-changing world we live in, the legal, compliance and regulatory policies are changing all the time. You need to ensure the relevant stakeholders are regularly trained. Micro-learning will help deliver the key content in a continuous and easy to assimilate fashion.

Induction and HR Policy training: Ok, so you hold a weeklong Induction training for new joinees running through your company history, ethos, and HR policy. You can be assured that they would have forgotten most of it within two weeks of the course completion. HR policies regarding Sexual Harassment, Employee benefits, and Whistle Blower policies need to be delivered on a regular frequency to reinforce appropriate behavior from your employees.

Negotiation and Objection Handling: You can only organize and run so many case studies, live demonstration or use cases in a two-day workshop. You will have to keep sending short new use cases or simulations to all your learners throughout the year to maximize learning.

By  Venkataraman Ananthakrishnan, Head- Online and Global Business at QuoDeck

3 essential tips to maximize the ROI of training off-roll & temporary employees

In functions such as Sales or Customer support, outsourced, off-roll employees constitute a significant portion of the workforce. In addition, L&D managers are faced with high attrition rates and constant changes in the products and regulations. The following tips will help you maximize the ROI on the training.

Go Mobile: It is financially unviable to provide desktop training to a distributed or off-roll workforce. Mobile & Tablet browser/App based training platforms, will eliminate the cost of conducting the training at any physical location and allow the employees to complete the course on-the-go. Create courses that are mobile friendly.

Keep things simple: Create courses and journey that are easy to navigate and operate under low bandwidth conditions. You want to reduce queries regarding Content or the System, given the sheer volume and geographical spread of your users.

Use SaaS LMS: SaaS LMS are the best tools for training your employees at an affordable cost. They can be deployed across most devices and operating systems. They are hosted by the product creator on cloud, hence do not require any infrastructure spend or extensive IT Security approvals, allowing your user to access the platform at her convenience.

By  Venkataraman Ananthakrishnan, Head- Online and Global Business at QuoDeck

How to build effective sales training for high attrition teams?

Attrition is, unfortunately, one of the harsh realities that sales trainers have to deal with today. Driving productivity with a changing base of resources can be tough for any business function, but with sales, it ends up hitting where it hurts. Here are some insights to building effective sales training programs in a high-attrition environment.

While companies worry about attrition across all functions, they worry about it the most in sales teams. CSO Insights puts average sales team attrition levels at around 16% – twice as high as any other function. This means sales trainers are training a third of their audience from scratch every year, without accounting for growth in the team.

Attrition in a sales team can have a strong effect on turnover and affect client relationships as well. Especially when that attrition is of high performers, any organization can go a while before finding replacements and getting these new hires to perform effectively. Therefore, the cost of attrition is not only in actual lost revenues but the time value and return on investment on every subsequent hire.

In high-attrition environments, these costs can pile up significantly. With the amount that companies spend to train these teams every year, ROI for these spends can steadily decline unless managed carefully and through effective sales training programs.

Sales trainers have just one job in high-attrition environments – make new people productive in the shortest time possible. Good onboarding programs can help make sales people productive 2 months faster than less effective programs. With such clarity of purpose, this seems like an easy problem to solve. But its not. 71% of companies take six months or more to onboard people effectively according to CSO Insights.

So, what does it take to build an effective sales training program in such high attrition environments? In one word, “standardization”. Here are some critical ingredients that can help you cook up the right recipe to standardize and increase velocity of your sales training program.

Increase the eLearning/mlearning component in your blend

In today’s mobile world, the tendency and receptiveness to consume digital content has gone up tremendously. A 70:20:10 approach – with 70% on-the-job, 20% mentoring and only 10% structured or eLearning – may be outdated, and more expensive than you think. In high attrition environments, placing the burden of on-the-job training on sales managers can mean a further slowdown in productivity. Since millennials are prone to consume a lot more digital content today, given the ease and convenience of doing so, it could be more effective to increase the eLearning/mlearning component of onboarding programs to ~30% to play into your audience’s natural behaviour. Apart from standardizing what is taught to your audience, it also ensures sales managers can focus on productivity and retention among their sales team rather than constantly worrying about training.

Build a eLearning/mlearning repository for informational content

Most sales onboarding programs try and cram in as much information into the first few interactions that a sales person has with the program. Retention typically takes a hit because of this. A more natural way for your audience to consume is to give them online courses with all the information to be imparted that they can explore at their own pace. This will serve as a go-to destination for all sales people to refer to on a regular basis. In some cases, this can also be used as a sales aid in the field, for quick reference before meeting with customers or networks.

Of course, onboarding programs must give critical information to the sales person before they can get started such as product information, company history, sales processes and systems etc. However, including microlearning highlights with references to your online courses repository will ensure they don’t get deluged with a lot of information they ultimately cannot remember. In a high-attrition environment, having this repository will help you send out your sales people into the field faster with a safety net of the reference repository.

Build a culture of contribution in your audience

When performing sales people leave, a lot of institutional learning leaves with them. Whether this is in the form of insights or anecdotes, effective sales trainers aim to capture and build an organizational knowledge repository to draw upon for their programs. To institutionalize this, sales trainers must push for a ‘culture of contribution’ among their sales teams. Having KPIs around knowledge sharing that require all sales people to contribute to a ‘knowledge repository’ can help build such a culture and keep your program current and relevant.

In today’s digital world, generating this content is far easier than you imagine, especially using modern mobile learning products. Instead of asking your experts for PowerPoint presentations – which you will probably never get – ask them to record and post a short video or audio clip with some sales insights, to the social section of your mobile learning app. Most modern eLearning and mlearning platforms will ease this process. Crowd-sourcing such content can help ease your time and budget constraints and promote ownership of the program among your audience. Such content can be drawn upon by your new sales people for sales tips and tricks they would otherwise take many years to learn.

If the holy grail is getting your new folks onboarded faster, then bringing your onboarding program into the new-age may be a great place to start!

Continue to watch this space for our upcoming series on how to drive sales training adoption

By Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-Founder at QuoDeck

Avoiding the LMS Overkill

“The world is full of people who will help you manufacture tornados in order to blow out a match”
Shaun Hick, Author

What LMS Overkill Is And Ways To Avoid It?

In a fast-changing world, organizations need to keep their teams up to speed with the latest trends and methods for each industry. This requirement for learning has spawned the multi-billion-dollar Learning Management System (LMS) industry. And, today, there are hundreds of LMSs to choose from, with a mind-boggling array of features. Which brings me to the all-important question: As a company looking to implement an LMS, how does one choose the most appropriate one?

Well, most LMSs would provide core features – User Management, Course Creation, and Basic Progress Analytics. What distinguishes one LMS from the other are the shiny advanced features they offer.

So, why not just go for the one with the largest number of features, or the one with the coolest features, or the one that the leader in your industry is using?

Because you might just end up with a system that is nightmarish to implement and, altogether, too complex for your audience to use. This is the concept of the LMS overkill, and most LMS providers, including us, have been guilty of it at some point or the other.

The truth is that given the size of the target base, experience with learning systems and the complexity of training to be administered, enterprises have different learning requirements at different points in time.

This is called the Enterprise Learning Life Cycle, which broadly maps into 5 stages:

Enterprise_Learning

The selection of the most appropriate LMS should ideally depend on where the company is in the Enterprise Learning Life Cycle.

1. Solo Stage Requirements

In the Solo Stage, a senior leader or trainer acts as a Subject Matter Expert and trains a select set of learners in the subject. The content is mostly from existing knowledge built over the years of practicing their trade. The onus of learning is on the learner with little focus on assessments or pushing adoption.

Stage Indicators

 Learning System Requirements

Learning_System_Requirements _LMS_QuoDeck

In the Solo Stage, there is no real need for a formal learning system unless the Subject Matter Expert is planning to translate his knowledge into something more permanent. In such a case, the only requirements they would have is a repository to store the learning content and a way to share the content.

Instead of an LMS, you should consider using Google Drive, OneDrive, DropBox or a similar file sharing service at this stage. Alternatively, you could create a course on a MOOC like Coursera or Udemy to host and share your content.

2. Startup Learning Team Requirements

In the Startup Stage, the organization relies on its managers to train their own teams. This is typically the case when the organization is in the startup stage or is composed of small teams. The main learning objective for the learners is to get familiar with the company’s products and sales pitches. A lot of the learning happens on-the-job, and the quality of training depends on the quality of the managers.

Stage Indicators

Learning System Requirements

Learning_system_requirements_lms_QuoDeck

In the Startup Stage, the requirement is for a low-cost system that can be handled by the manager himself. Most of the content that needs to be disseminated is already available as sales pitches and planning documents. The requirements, in this case, are a repository to store the content, a way to share it, a system to check whether the learners have viewed the content, a way to make the whole experience more engaging, some basic assessments and above all, a method to prevent download or onward-sharing of the often-proprietary content. In case the team operates in the field, you might also require mobile learning functionalities.

For this stage, you should try out a lite LMS like QuoDeck ExpressTalentLMS or ProProfs.

3. Standard Learning Team Requirements

In the Standard Stage, the organization takes on the responsibility to scale up all its employees. The organization typically has a dedicated HR team, who explore need gaps and plan and conduct learning sessions to plug them. Leading with classroom sessions, most organizations typically look to add in eLearning to standardize the content and dissemination approach as well as reduce costs.

Stage Indicators

Learning System Requirements

System_requirements_lms

The Standard Stage is when the company is most susceptible to LMS overkill. Given the mandate to acquire a new enterprise system, it is but natural for the team to go for the “best” instead of the “most appropriate”. LMSs tend to get evaluated on the number of features they offer, rather than what is really required by the organization.

Ideally, the focus should ideally be on creating high-quality interactive content on tools like Articulate and Captivate. The LMS is required largely for structured dissemination.

At this stage, it is preferable to go for a cloud-based mobile learning system with a lower technical learning curve. Ideal candidates for this are LMSs like CanvasDocebo, and Litmos.

4. Seasoned Learning Team Requirements

In the Seasoned Stage, the organization starts a decentralization process due to the increase in its scale of operations. Each team has dedicated HR managers who take on the responsibility to scale up the employees in their team. There is a central, dedicated learning team, who oversee and authorize learning activities.

Stage Indicators

Learning System Requirements

Learning_requirements_lms

The Seasoned Stage is where the organization should look to acquire a full-fledged LMS. However, the key at this stage goes beyond the LMS features themselves. The ongoing learning management for the organization requires many offline processes which are the mainstay of the learning team.

Mapping of the organization, arranging them into cohorts and setting up aspects like escalation matrices, social networks, etc. require close coordination between the learning team, IT, and business units. Tracking of offline activities requires strong processes driving such activities and social learning requires tight moderation.

At this stage, it is advisable to go for a full-featured LMS like MoodleSabaBlackboard, QuoDeck Enterprise, CornerStone On Demand, etc.

5. Scaled Learning Team Requirements

In the Scaled Stage, the organization has learning as a business function. Beyond training its own employees, the learning team of the organization takes on the responsibility of training the employees of its company’s ecosystem (vendors, partners, distributors) and its consumers too.

Stage Indicators

Learning System Requirements

Requirements_lms_QuoDeck

In the Scaled Stage, the organization extends its enterprise LMS with multiple microlearning platforms. These platforms get deployed for differing purposes and are managed by the business teams once set up.

Advanced analytics become a significant component of learning management in this stage. Being a business function, learning at this stage becomes strongly MIS driven, with roll-up reports and integration with Business Intelligence systems.

This stage typically requires an on-premise deployment of a full-featured LMS as in the Seasoned Stage and multiple cloud-based micro-platforms as in the Startup Stage.

Conclusion

Given the hundreds of choices available when picking an LMS, it is undoubtedly difficult to be sure of the one you choose. Be careful that you do not end up investing in a system that is more expensive than what you need to afford, and one that offers features that sound impressive but in reality, add little tangible value to your specific needs. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and start simple.

And remember; ultimately, the LMS is just the technology. Your learning architecture, Instructional Design, content quality, and adoption drives are equally important in proving the difference between a successful implementation and an LMS overkill.

By Arijit Lahiri, Co-Founder of QuoDeck

This article was first published at eLearning Industry.com.

Enterprise Gaming – Once an Opportunity, now a Trend

Having spent a large part of my career in the financial services space driving traditional business growth, using gaming to achieve business goals was not a cause I expected to be championing. Gaming was always a personal interest, but the business parallels only became apparent after we started experimenting with service engagements for enterprises. Given the planet anyway spends 3 billion hours a week playing games, the challenge was really to figure out how learning could fit in that construct.

We formed QuoDeck in 2010 to bring gaming into learning for enterprises. Having started with some elementary game engines and simulations, QuoDeck quickly moved on to make an omnipotent system built with the changing business environment in mind. QuoDeck’s platform today is one of the most powerful and engaging learning platforms in the world, catering to enterprise requirements for mobile learning. And as a leading player in this category, our advice to new entrants is to stay true to course, understand that the market is huge and that innovation is the key.

Mobility is here to stay

Mobile learning was just about appearing on the horizon in India when we entered the market. In fact, it was still at a nascent stage globally as well. While enterprises saw the demographic shift coming, the speed at which the device shift happened took everyone by surprise. Within a period of 3-4 years, millennial users had junked tablets and wouldn’t access their desktops or laptops for anything but sit-down work. They wanted everything on their mobile – on-demand, anytime, anywhere. Being a generation bred on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, they also wanted content and technology that was easy-to-use, visually appealing and in bite-sized pieces. The learning evolution that needed to happen in enterprises was phenomenal and existing products just weren’t prepared for this. Mobility as a trend forced a change in behavior, technology, content creation and consumption patterns across all strata of business.

There is always an element of luck in startup success and we were no different. Perhaps being at the right place at the right time with the right thought process is what its all about. QuoDeck has been at the forefront of this shift, shoulder-to-shoulder with enterprises looking to stay ahead of the curve.

EnterpriseGaming_MobileLearning_CEO_QuoDeck_2018.jpg

Gamifying the world

Our personal insight of gaming being habit-creating and creating long-term associative memories, was the inspiration behind the approach we took. Countless times, behaviors and constructs learnt in gaming had been translated by us to address real-world problems with excellent results.

We had a learning curve here as well. Having played on consoles such as PlayStation and Xbox, we assumed the world was ready to deal with highly complex games and constructs. However, working closely with business heads, HR teams and the Learning & Development function, we learnt that hyper-casual games create the best impact from a learning perspective. This is because they are somewhat repetitive in nature, with a greater level of participation & addiction to ‘scoring’.

While we initially worked on gamification applications on functions such as marketing, research, and learning, we chose to go with learning as a primary focus. Having started in this category long before games became the buzzword of today, we were fortunate to be able to take a pole position and we hope to actually drive the future of gamification for learning in the enterprise. But there are still a lot of white spaces to go after in enterprise gamification.

For New Players

Gaming as a learning solution is so vast in its scope, that it can’t be characterized or identified with any particular industry or even a clutch of industries. Wherever there is widespread staff or skilling required, gaming solutions can take charge and lead the change. So, when new players come in, they must remember that competition comes in various guises and is very rarely with another player. You will end up competing for mindshare against the likes of video-on-demand platforms or search engines where users can find information and content at their fingertips. Knowing what creates pull is perhaps the only challenge you should worry about.

Look out for learning opportunities

Gamification as an industry has a widespread application with learning being only one of them. A space was created for us because existing products failed to keep pace with what was required – large entrenched players became irrelevant in a matter of months. Overnight, enterprises recognized that resistance against this changing paradigm was futile, and mindsets started changing. Gaming and mobility were no longer bad words.

It would be foolish of us to think that we cannot be on the other side of such a trend. Keeping your offering relevant and at the cutting-edge requires you to have an innovation engine, which stops for no one. This requires tremendous willpower and a staunch refusal to settle into a comfortable spot.

 

This article was first published at YourStory

By Kamalika Bhattacharya CEO & Co-Founder at QuoDeck Technologies

5 Benefits of a Learning Management System for Businesses

With a growing need to foster effective learning and cater to the training needs of a global workforce, organizations across the world are implementing learning management systems for corporate training.

A learning management system (LMS) is a software application that can deliver course material to learners, administer assignments and tests, track the performance of participants, manage records, and offer continuous support.

When your business’s corporate training requirements start to become more complex, an LMS is likely to be the best solution that can meet your needs. With that in mind, here are five benefits of a learning management system for businesses:

1. All the eLearning content is accessible from one location

With a cloud-based LMS, your organization’s eLearning content is not stored on different offline hard drives or devices. Instead, its securely saved on the cloud which allows your employees to access eLearning courses wherever and whenever they want. This also greatly reduces the risk of losing data, since all the information is saved on a secured remote server.

The easy accessibility of an online LMS makes it the right fit for organizations that have a global or a remote workforce and it also ends up saving time for your employees.

2. Mobile readiness

Over 99% of the mobile users believe that mobile learning has enhanced their overall learning experience. That is why, with mobile-ready learning management systems, you are able to offer a great user experience to your employees and in turn get increased overall productivity.

Your employees are no longer required to stay at their desk to access and complete online courses. Instead, they can log into the LMS app on their mobile phones and view eLearning content while they are on the move. This is one of the main reasons why 67% of the organizations are already implementing mobile learning in some form or the other.

3. A more engaging learning experience

There was a time when corporate training was all about spending hours listening to an instructor in a conference room. But today, learning is more personalized with LMSes that offer interactive lessons, fun quizzes and games, video conferencing, and forums to discuss the courses.

The new learner-centered approach has not only led to a more engaging experience during the learning process but also helped achieve better results at the end of the course.

Since the LMS is already accessible online, it is possible to integrate social learning into your eLearning strategy. You can create eLearning exercises that are centered around peer collaboration and even add online forums where your workforce can discuss and help each other.

Games augmented reality, and virtual reality can also be leveraged to incorporate interactive simulations and scenarios that can easily explain and highlight complex tasks or processes.

4. Reduced time and costs

With an LMS, you no longer have to worry about instructor costs, printing course material, or setting up a conference room for training sessions. Your employees can carry out all the training online and your business is able to save a sizable sum on your learning and development budget.

Since LMS gives online learners only the information that they need in a more direct and organized manner, you are also able to reduce training time. Instead of sitting through a 3-hour seminar, your employees can just access the online modules on the LMS that they need to learn. With the flexibility that LMS provides, your employees are able to take these courses according to their own time, which doesn’t disrupt their important everyday work as well.

5. Driving compliances is easier

Compliance rules and regulations get regularly modified, but updating your traditional offline course to reflect these changes can be a rather time-consuming task.

With an LMS, it becomes possible to update your learning content according to the new compliance standards in just a matter of a few minutes. This is in stark contrast to the traditional courses where you would have to send the updated courses to every employee separately and different versions of the same course could create even more confusion.

LMS can ensure that all of your employees are on the same page about the company policies and the compliances are always followed.

In conclusion

A learning management system clearly has numerous benefits. You are able to create a more skilled, productive, and engaging workforce in your organization while saving time and costs. It’s also possible to track the training progress of all of your employees and generate reports in real-time.

That is why it is no surprise that more and more organizations are implementing LMSes for their workforce. When are you incorporating an LMS in your organization?