Category Archives: e-Learning

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

5 reasons to leverage mobile for performance support

Performance support, as the name suggests, helps the user by supplying the relevant information at the time of need. Research shows that a person will need the necessary information at five different moments, to perform a task effectively and efficiently. These five moments of need are- for first-time learning,for in-depth knowledge,for recall and application,for solving problems and for changing according to upgrades. Thus, it becomes evident why performance support is crucial for a given industry.

Since its conception, mobile phones have revolutionized the market. What was first conceived to be a device primarily used for communication, can now perform a variety of other functions including the ability to deliver relevant content and collaborate with others, especially experts when needed. Hence, it is not surprising that mobiles can prove to be indispensable when it comes to enhancing performance support.

Given below are the 5 reasons to leverage mobiles for performance support-

1. Portable and Versatile

Mobile phones are portable and can be carried everywhere. This makes assessing the performance support system, in times of need, easy because location and time are no longer an obstacle. It is very simple to operate and doesn’t take much time which makes it convenient for the user.

It is also versatile and can support various formats like text, image, audio and video which can be utilized to deliver and receive the relevant content.

2. Offline Storage

Online information would be of no use if it cannot be assessed in a place without internet facility. This is why mobile phones are useful as they provide offline storage. Thus, they function not just as a channel to gain information but also as a powerful computing device. It would therefore, be possible to gather the required data even in a remote location without network access, to solve a problem. 

3. Multimedia Usage

The usage of videos and other multimedia devices in eLearning and m-learning are constantly rising. Similarly infographics and other audio-visual tools are also utilized to enhance the learning experience. These devices are very popular because they deliver information in a brief and engaging manner, which creates a rich interactive experience for the learners. These multimedia tools can be easily accessed from the mobile phone, even without a good network connection. They can ,thus, be very useful in performance support.

4. Responsive design

One of the best features of mobile phones is their responsive design. The modern phone is designed in such a way that the software automatically senses and is able to adapt to the display of the device. This is important because it removes the need of repeatedly developing content to support different device types and allows a company to concentrate on creating engaging content without having to worry about restructuring and reinventing it for the different mobiles currently available in the market. This allows information to be shared and accessed across a variety of platforms and makes the mobile an indispensable tool for performance support.

5. Generating Feedback

Simply gaining access to information is incomplete without provisions for feedback. It is important, especially in regards to elearning and m-learning that the learner’s progress is assessed and tested to see whether they have retained the information provided through the learning modules. Mobiles can also allow access to information and experts in real time who can provide the assistance or feedback that is needed. It also makes provisions for bookmarking or saving a particular information for future use.

It is therefore evident that one must certainly leverage mobile for performance support as they are extremely useful in providing the required information at the right time in a very engaging and versatile manner.

Why should you pay more attention to the on-boarding of your new hires?

Onboarding new employees is not just briefing about the office; but integrating them into the business. The onboarding process should start from day one. Starting a new job is baffling for any employee, so it is the employer who makes the employee feel comfortable from the day they arrive and ensure that their worries are eased. The onboarding process should start as soon as the employees are offered a new role. Employees tend to stay for a longer period if more attention is given to the onboarding process.

Any reasonable employer will understand that employees are the backbone of the organization. Without good employees, the organization may rise financially but it doesn’t lead to growth and development if employers don’t consider their employees enough and this includes the way they are treated when they first sign the contract.

A strong onboarding process can ease anxiety and stress, by making the new employee feel welcome from day one. Employees feel valued if they are treated with respect and a good onboarding process can help to achieve this. If low retention is seen, it is time for employers to look carefully at their onboarding processes and make necessary changes. Here are some reasons why you should pay more attention to this process.

1. It’s cost-effective

Hiring an employee is a long process which comprises of putting up the ad, interviewing the candidates, shortlisting, negotiating salary, providing the setup. Onboarding process ensures that all the hard work doesn’t go waste. Paperless onboarding is also a way of minimizing cost. Instead of overwhelming an employee with a lot of information on the very first day, sending documents to go through becomes easier.

2. Improves retention
Onboarding a new employee is creating a good impression even though it is not just a day process. An employee gets the idea about the organization on the website but briefing personally has a different and positive impact on the employees. It’s a crucial phase where expectations are set, concerns are clarified, directions are given, and culture is instilled. If you are unable to create a comfortable environment, the risk of losing an employee increases before one can significantly contribute to your goals. A strong onboarding process improves retention as the employee feels a part of the organization.
3. It boosts productivity
Newly joined employees get overwhelmed when they try to absorb all the information in one go. This results in lower productivity. A good onboarding process includes a clear structure that helps new hires ease into the role and responsibilities. Details can be provided in stages instead of explaining all in one day. This helps in faster learning and the employee remembers the information systematically. Instead of providing theoretical knowledge of a task, if the employee is trained while performing the task, it would lead to better results.
4. Builds good reputation
An employee’s experience during onboarding, whether good or bad, can easily creep its way to review websites and social media networks, and this can affect how job seekers and clients perceive your organization. Making a successful onboarding program motivates the employee and fosters a feeling of pride in working for the organization. This further results in employer branding and creating a good reputation.
5. Creates brand champions
When onboarding an employee, you must clearly state what you stand for as an organization and explain how the new hire can contribute to that. Also provide an experience to make your employees, firm believers of the organization. This creates motivation which goes beyond the paycheck they receive. The onboarding process makes employees feel that they are an essential part of the organization and encourage them to work with dedication.
Employee onboarding is more than just communicating company policies, setting up workstations, and office introductions. It is the process which would lead to further outcome of the employee, be it positive or negative. And thus, a lot of attention needs to be paid on the process.
References:
https://www.tanda.co/blog/five-reasons-to-do-employee-onboarding-right/
https://recruitwrite.com/why-employers-need-to-pay-close-attention-to-the-onboarding-process

‘Karma points’ keep employees motivated

Gamification encourages healthy competition, and the immediate incentives range from gift vouchers to virtual one-on-ones with the CEO for racking up a certain number of ‘karma points’

Mumbai: About four months ago, helping a colleague out or going above and beyond the call of duty only earned Sukrit Sarkar, 24, a pat on the back. Now, the associate product manager at HR platform Springworks earns points every time he does something to help a team member. Sarkar had the most points, 300, until another colleague overtook him on the leaderboard last week.

Appreciation is fuel in any organization, but while working from home, it’s often easy to miss thanking that one team member who goes the extra mile. Companies such as Proctor and Gamble and Goodera as well as startups like Springworks have turned to gamification to induct new employees, motivate existing ones, and run training modules remotely during the covid-19 pandemic. Gamification encourages healthy competition, and the immediate incentives range from gift vouchers to virtual one-on-ones with the CEO for racking up a certain number of ‘karma points’.

“When you work from home, other people on the team don’t know what you’re doing. And it’s nice when your teammates recognize your contribution,” says Sarkar. “In the physical office, we’d chat or congratulate one another. That was missing.”

Bengaluru-based Springworks built a gamified peer-to-peer recognition platform called Springengage in late April after its staff moved to working remotely. ‘Kudos’ (appreciation and gratitude for help) from a fellow employee earns the person 10 points, while a ‘shoutout’ (when someone goes beyond his or her role or does something that helps the company) brings in 100 points. The scores are displayed on a leaderboard, which creates a healthy competition.

“It has helped me keep motivated during these times. It has made us more curious about each other’s work. If someone gets a kudos or a shoutout, I want to know how the person solved the problem,” says Sarkar. Recently, he redeemed half his points for a ₹500 Amazon voucher to buy a book that was long on his wishlist.

Game-based activities are also helping companies induct new hires and interns, all of whom are rejoining work remotely now. For the first time in its history, Procter & Gamble India inducted 90 interns into a two-month stint virtually this year. To ensure learning and collaboration was engaging and interactive, a gamified module was created on its app. As the interns completed mandatory and optional training courses on the app, answered quizzes and challenges, they accumulated points. This was tallied on a leaderboard on the app with the top scorers getting gift hampers.

“We wanted to innovate and truly translate our on-ground ‘GetIn’ onboarding programme to a fully virtual experience. Gamifying the experience with deliberately planned touch-points increased the overall participation and engagement on the app. This also created a sense of community, drove engagement and motivated interns,” says PM Srinivas, head, HR, India sub-continent, Procter & Gamble.

At Goodera, gamification has worked to get its young staff to interact again, and ease work stress. Over the last few months, the tech company working in the space of CSR has rolled out a virtual volunteering facility. While employees met all their deadlines, moral seemed to be flagging during the lockdown. So, founder Abhishek Humbad introduced virtual volunteering for his team. But it really took off when employees could earn ‘karma points’ for individual and team effort, social impact of the voluntary work and more. The points, which reflect on a leaderboard on Goodera’s internal platform, earn employees gifts, ecommerce vouchers or a virtual one-on-one meeting with the CEO. “People notice what others are doing, and it also nudges them to do more,” says Humbad.

Webinars and informal Zoom meet-ups are losing novelty. “Gamified content gives a sense of micro achievement, which makes people feel good,” says Arijit Lahiri, co-founder, QuoDeck Technologies. The Mumbai-based game learning app creator has seen its turnover double since the start of the pandemic, he says, adding that clients are requesting casual games to fit into a storytelling format.

Rajib Chowdhury, founder, TGC Technologies, which helps companies create gamified activities, however, says companies should not get swept away by gamification and ignore other aspects of deeper employee engagement. “Companies have to be clear about what they want to achieve from the whole exercise. Besides uplifting morale, companies need to focus on creating purpose,” he says.

By Reshmi Menon, journalist at livemint.

This article was first published on livemint

Scenario- based learning

Learning and instructing can be done by various strategies. The goal is to make learner understand the topic and have a positive approach towards learning. The learner must attempt to learn what is taught and how to apply it in everyday life.

In passive learning methods, a learner typically reads content and tries to absorb as much as possible. Scenario-based learning is an effective strategy where learners are given realistic tasks and scenes. Unlike passive learning methods, scenario-based learning is characterized by a lot of interactivity.

Scenario- based learning is especially effective in corporate training. It provides the learners with situations which require analysis and problem-solving skills. Dealing with a challenge helps a learner to accelerate their thinking processes and hone their decision-making skills.

Other key benefits of scenario-based learning are:

Higher Retention: Passive learning may or may not sustain the attention of an employee, and they can miss out on certain elements which may be essential for growth. In scenario-based learning, a learner devotes their full attention throughout as they solve issues and challenges.

Involvement: Since the learner is role-playing, he gets involved in the training and experiences it in-depth, staying engaged and taking part actively throughout the training program.

Enhancement of Skills: Scenarios need a learner to put on their problem-solving hat and apply their skills. This leads to enhancement of decision-making process and other skills like time management, analytical skills, resource management, etc.

Knowledge Application: More the practicality of learning, more its application in genuine life. Since a learner gets engaged as a part of the scenario, along with better retention, it also enables the application of the learnt content in a much better way to real-world situations.

Try Again Option: Being a problem solver in a simulated environment gives you the opportunity to fail and try again without real-life consequences. A learner can take the program multiple times safely with short feedback loops. They can try unique approaches to the same situation, gaining various perspectives and enhancing their skills.

Scenario–based learning should be built only after having a detailed knowledge of the subject and understanding the audience for the training program. The scenario can be a narrative with a single character or a situation with multiple characters. The success of the training program will depend on the learners’ perspective and understanding of the thought process of the character and the situation being simulated.

The idea, ultimately, is to motivate a learner to go further into detail and trigger interest and thought. If done well, the combined use of practice and problem-solving in scenario-based learning can go and long way in building and strengthening the learner’s knowledge, skills and confidence.