Category Archives: eLearning Develpment Best Practices

Why is an Induction Program important?

An induction program is the process used within organizations to onboard new hires into the organization and familiarize them with the new role and company culture.

As you would expect, new hires are typically stressed and nervous about the new job, and the induction program helps them to get warmed up for the challenges that lie ahead. During the course of the program, new hires get an opportunity to learn about the new work environment, company culture, and their own role. A good induction program ensures they go through this without feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

A good induction program will include activities like-

  • Organizational hierarchy and structure
  • Introduction to the different departments within the company
  • Introduction to key members of staff
  • Guided tour of the office space
  • Introduction to employment terms and conditions
  • Rules governing working hours
  • Expected behavioral standards and dress code
  • Information pertaining to benefits, incentives and appraisals
  • Job description along with key duties and responsibilities
  • Specific job-role training

Benefits of Induction Program

  1. Drives Productivity – Productivity is a major aim of business, and a workplace with comfortable employees brings more productivity at work. Good Induction training empowers your team with the skills needed to get their jobs done correctly and more efficiently. It defines the right track for one to follow in terms of the job profile and also seeks to build a positive aura in the team with respect to the organization.
  2. Saves Cost – Giving a certain amount of time in the beginning, leads to faster time-to-performance, which saves a considerable amount of time and money. Further, by investing time and money into induction training for your workforce, you show that you value them, which in turn, can improve loyalty and staff retention, saving your business money in staff turnovers.
  3. Improves Communication – Letting everyone know who is in the organization and their first point of contact sets the basis for good employee/management communication. It instills a level of confidence as to where they sit within their teams and who their leaders and mentors are.
  4. Improves Retention – Employees leave their job in the first year if they don’t receive adequate training, or if they find it difficult to know about the organization, and, the roles and responsibilities. Typically, employees that do receive induction training are more likely to stay and progress within the company, as they are given a transparency regarding the organization context.
  5. Healthy Environment – Getting an employee to know about other employees as well as the people in charge of the organization, creates a healthy environment that prevails as long as the employees work in the organization. Induction leads to a comfortable and friendly environment. And overall, with a comfortable environment around, people come out with more ideas and it paves the way for more creativity.

Induction training, is a great way to train staff, visitors and contractors on their roles in a company. It increases overall performance and job satisfaction, benefiting both the business and the employees. It significantly improves staff and visitors’ first opinions about the organization, sets their expectations and gives them the tools to make a great start at work.

References-

5 ways to know if you’ve successfully launched the ON-BOARDING program

Employee onboarding can be defined as the process of familiarizing a new employee with the organization’s policies, the employee’s role in the organization, and the organization’s culture. It also involves making the employee comfortable at the workplace, making interactions with colleagues easier.

The success of employee onboarding depends on the structuring of the onboarding program. Faster the employees are made comfortable and empowered to do their job, faster we get the outcome.

Onboarding may not only be for newly joined employees, but also for employees who are getting promoted. Even though they know about the work culture, the team culture can be different. The onboarding process also helps in such situations.

A formal onboarding program can range between 30 days, 90 days, 180 days, or a good 365 days. It takes place immediately after the employee joins the company. Pre-boarding can also be done as soon as the person gets the offer letter.

An onboarding program includes information about the policies of the organization, rules and regulations, benefits, job profile, roles and responsibilities, work culture, social connections with colleagues. It can also include a tour of the organization (or a virtual tour too!)

With all the effort, it is essential to know if the onboarding program is successful or unsuccessful along various vectors:

1.Role Clarity

The first point to check is if the employee is aware of the job profile. If the new hires seem to be easing into their roles a few months after the onboarding process has ended, it’s a sign that the onboarding has gone well in terms of role clarity. If the employee is frustrated or confused about the job profile even after a few months, the onboarding process needs to be modified.

2. Organizational Functions

The new employee should also know about the organization along with own role. The employee must know about the departments, and whom to turn to, in case of any doubt. If the employee does not know these things, it can be stated that the onboarding process didn’t go well. A virtual tour is an option in such cases wherein the employee can go back and visit the program even afterwards.

3. Company Culture

Understanding the Company culture is very important for a newly hired employee to operate effectively in a team. It is essential that one get acquainted with the new atmosphere and co-ordinate with other employees. If the new employees find it difficult to synchronize with the team, the onboarding process surely needs modifications.

4. Knowledge Retention

It is essential to know if the new employees remember the information a few months after the onboarding process has been completed. Onboarding typically includes drives critical information and skilling centered around an employee’s role. Thus, if the employee is unable to recall the knowledge imparted, the onboarding process needs to be revisited.

5. Employee Retention

High employee retention is a sign of successful onboarding process. Every organization wants its talent to retain and sustain for a long period.  If the retention rate of newly hired employees is high, it hints at a successful onboarding program, whereas, if the employees are leaving within a year, the onboarding program needs to be checked.

Often, the first impression is the last impression, and the onboarding process works in the same way. Though it is limited to the initial period of an employee’s life in the organization, it must be well-structured to bring out the best in an employee throughout their tenure. This benefits the organization in terms of profits, and the employee in terms of growth and development.

Reference: https://elearningindustry.com/signs-show-onboarding-process-is-successful

https://hr.toolbox.com/articles/what-is-new-employee-onboarding/

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

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.

How To Enhance The Impact Of Your Mobile Learning Strategy In 2019

With the maturing of mobile learning, the focus shifts on how to maximize its potential. In this article, I showcase approaches that will help you enhance the impact of your mobile learning strategy in 2019.

Mobile Learning Strategy: Enhance Its Impact In 2019

Mobile learning is the training that is available to learners on their mobile devices. It can be consumed on the go, and it gives them the flexibility to learn anytime, anywhere, and at their own pace.

Access to learning assets is not limited to smartphones. Instead, it features “multi-device” support providing additional flexibility to the learners to move seamlessly across devices during their learning journey (between smartphones, tablets, or laptops and desktops).

Over the last 2-3 years, mobile learning has transitioned from its first avatar—the mobile-friendly format—to the mobile-first format. The initial format of mobile learning was an adaptive or a mobile-friendly format that supported all devices but wasn’t fully optimized for smartphones. But the more recent format of mobile learning is the completely responsive or mobile-first format that is fully optimized for usage on smartphones. Not only does it feature interactions that align better to the way we use smartphones but also the designs adapt fully to the viewable area of each device.

It also aligns well to the changing learner expectations and demographics. Today, mobile learning is the preferred mode of training for learners and this cuts across learner profiles (not just Millennials) and resonates well with the multi-generational workforce.

What Are The Key Benefits Of Adopting The Mobile Learning Strategy?

The mobile learning strategy offers several benefits to learners and L&D teams as it:

  1. Aligns to the way learners want to learn (on the go, anytime, and anywhere)
  2. Empowers learners by giving them control on the pace they want to learn
  3. Facilitates a “pull” of learning vs “push” and this resonates better with the learners
  4. Offers a higher engagement quotient
  5. Can be used across learning needs (formal, informal, or social learning)
  6. Can be used to support Instructor-Led Training
  7. Can address the entire spectrum of corporate training needs (ranging from induction and onboarding, soft skills training, product training, sales training to compliance)
  8. Features better completion rates
  9. Can be used for knowledge acquisition, its application, as well as meeting specific learning needs (through instant learning aids or job aids)
  10. Can be used to retain an ongoing connection with learners

What Is The Value That The Adoption Of Mobile Learning Strategy Offers?

The biggest strength of mobile learning is that it aligns very well with the way learners want to consume learning. For instance, you can craft your mobile learning strategy to include learner-centric formats that sync up with their lifestyle. These could include:

  1. Podcasts that they can listen to during their commute to the office
  2. Microlearning nuggets for learning that can be easily consumed during waiting periods (and avoid carving out specific time slots for training). You can also offer microlearning nuggets as refresher nuggets to keep the “forgetting curve” at bay
  3. Microlearning videos for quick time learning
  4. Interactive videos for the application of learning
  5. Just-In-Time learning aids or job aids to address specific challenges or provide tips, ready reckoners, or learning summaries
  6. Quizzes
  7. Practice exercises
  8. Personalized curated content
  9. Furthermore, you can add dollops of fun through gamified elements or make learning more immersive by using nuggets featuring Virtual Reality (VR)
  10. Mobile apps for learning

How Can You Enhance The Impact Of Your Mobile Learning Strategy Further In 2019?

You can enhance the impact of your mobile learning strategy by providing:

  1. A judicious mix of learning and reinforcements to ensure that the “forgetting curve” does not set in
  2. Adequate room to practice, hone skills, and gain proficiency or mastery
  3. Detailed feedback and remediation or recommendations to further enhance the learning
  4. Nudges to review, challenges, and hooks to come back for more
  5. A channel for informal and social or collaborative learning
  6. An avenue to contribute User-Generated Content (UGC)

Here is a ready reckoner of the strategies that you can use to enhance the impact of your mobile learning strategy.

1. You can use microlearning and video-based learning:

  • To create buzz or awareness prior to the formal training
  • For formal training
  • For Performance Support
  • For informal learning
  • For inclusive learning (provide room for User-Generated Content)
  • For social learning

2. Invest in some of the learning strategies that will deliver high-impact experiences:

  • Interactive video-based learning
  • AR/VR
  • Gamification
  • Scenario-based learning
  • Story-based learning
  • Guided exploration

3. Retain the connection with learners by pushing nuggets that:

  • Reinforce
  • Refresh prior knowledge
  • Provide room for practice and mastery
  • Encourage learning beyond the specified outcomes

As you have probably seen, if you want to enhance the impact of your mobile learning strategy, you need to adopt a multi-pronged approach (that cuts across learner profiles and across various types of training needs). I hope this article gives you the required insights on how you can use my pointers and step up your mobile learning strategy.

By Asha Pandey, Chief Learning Strategist at EI Design

6 Must-Use Video-Based Learning Strategies In 2019

While the usage of videos in eLearning is not a new concept, the wider adoption of mobile learning and microlearning has accelerated its use for learning. In this article, I outline 6 video-based learning strategies that you must adopt in 2019.

Video-Based Learning Strategies You Should Definitely Use This Year

We consume video-based content several times during our day for a variety of reasons. These include videos for entertainment, infotainment, learning and so on.

It comes as no surprise that video-based learning is fast becoming a “must-have” component of an organization’s training delivery. Fueled by increased adoption of mobile learning and microlearning, video-based learning is surely becoming a core component of online training.

Take a look at the stats that affirm the popularity of videos, and why they should be adopted for learning:

  • According to Forrester Research, employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than to read documents, emails or web articles. (Panopto)
  • 97% of businesses using explainer videos say it helps users understand their business better. (Wyzowl)
  • Studies have shown that adding video can improve people’s ability to remember concepts and details with effects that increase over time. Presentations that include visuals like video along with slide text are 9% more effective than text alone when audience comprehension is tested right away. (Panopto)

Where Can Video-Based Learning Be Used?

Video-based learning can be used for:

  1. Formal training (online)
  2. Performance Support (learning aids/job aids to support formal training)
  3. Social learning
  4. Support Instructor-Led Training (ILT)

This is not all. Video-based learning can also be used very effectively to:

  1. Create awareness
  2. Support crucial change management initiatives

Are There Any Parts Of Corporate Training That Video-Based Learning Cannot Address?

While video-based learning is a very high impact training, it does have a drawback of “passivity”. This means that the only control learners have is play/pause/stop.

This can become a limiting factor when:

  1. The run length of the video is over 3 mins. Beyond this run length, the user’s attention wavers and you may not see the required learning impact in longer run length videos.
  2. The expected cognition level is beyond recall or understanding. To achieve the mandate of application, you need to look beyond the classic video-based format.

However, NextGen approaches like interactive video-based learning offset these challenges and enable you to create highly interactive and immersive video-based learning solutions.

A very powerful approach, interactive video-based learning features:

  • Learning interactions similar to traditional eLearning (hot spots, click-and-reveal, and so on)
  • Quizzes and assessments
  • Learning paths that branch to different tracks based on learner’s choices

What Are TheVideo-Based Learning Strategies That You Must Adopt In 2019?

As I had mentioned earlier, video-based learning can support all facets of corporate training.

The strategies that you should adopt in 2019 should map to enhancing the impact of your training. Essentially, they should help you create training that:

  1. Motivates learners
  2. Engages learners
  3. Is relevant and relatable (preferably personalized)
  4. Is challenging
  5. Is rewarding
  6. Facilitates not only acquisition of learning but also the application of learning
  7. Helps learner walk away with a feeling of accomplishment
  8. Helps learners upskill
  9. Triggers the required behavioral change in learners
  10. Helps learners practice and gain mastery

Let me show you how you can accomplish this through the following video-based learning strategies:

1. Use Video-Based Learning To Create The Buzz

Use teaser videos to highlight the significance of the program and its value for the learners. This will help you motivate learners and drive better engagement.

2. Use Video-Based Learning To Teach Concepts

Even if you are using a traditional eLearning approach, you can embellish it with conceptual videos.

3. Use Video-Based Learning For Learning, Practice, Application, And Summaries

If you are using a microlearning-based approach, you can intersperse the learning path with varied videos offering:

  • Watch and learn
  • Practice
  • Apply the learning
  • Learning summaries/takeaways

4. Use Video-Based Learning To Checkpoint Learning

You can opt for interactive video-based learning and use scenario-based assessments to:

  • Checkpoint learners’ knowledge.
  • Provide feedback for further improvement.
  • Practice and hone their skills.
  • See the impact of their decisions and help them recalibrate the way forward.

5. Use Video-Based Learning To Reinforce

Did you know that learners forget nearly 80% of what they had learned if there is no reinforcement after 30 days of a successful training program? You can offset this “forgetting curve” by providing video-based learning reinforcements as:

  • Learning summaries
  • Challenges
  • New supporting material

6. NextGen Approaches That Are A Must-Have As You Implement Video-Based Learning

  • Microlearning Videos
    These are short, focused bite-sized videos (featuring a run length of a few seconds) that map to a specific learning outcome. These are a great fit to offer formal learning as well as Performance Support or just-in-time learning aids.
  • Microlearning Videos As An Effective Informal Or Social Learning Tool
    This can be leveraged to share learning, encourage contribution, and create “learning as a continuum”.
  • 360* Video Format And VR
    This high-impact format can be used with technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) to create engaging and immersive learning experiences.

By Asha Pandey, Chief Learning Strategist at EI Design

This article was first published on EI Design

How To Choose The Right Kind Of Video For Your Employee Training

Video-based learning has become an important part of corporate training delivery today. In this article, I share pointers that will help you identify what training videos would work best for your employees.

Choosing The Right Kind Of Video For Your Employee Training

Using videos for training employees has been around for a while. Of late, there is an acceleration in their usage. This is on account of the wider adoption of mobile learning and microlearning as they both leverage extensively on video-based learning.

Video is an immensely high-impact medium and when used as training videos for employees, they offer:

  • High engagement quotient
  • Sticky learning experience leading to higher retention and recall

The value of using training videos for employees lies in their ability to offer:

  • Formal training which can be consumed “on the go”
  • Instant job aids that are within the learners’ workflow and can be accessed at the moment of their need
  • Informal learning
  • Social learning

How Can You Use Training Videos For Your Employees?

You can use training videos for employees to supplement your corporate trainings and step up their impact. Some of the key trainings that can leverage on videos for employee training include:

  1. Induction and onboarding
  2. Soft skills training
  3. Product training
  4. Sales training
  5. Application simulations training
  6. Compliance training

The flexibility of training videos enables you to use them for:

  1. Formal training (online)
  2. Support Instructor-Led Training (ILT) or Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT)
  3. Performance Support (learning aids/job aids to support formal training)
  4. Social learning

This is not all. The true power of videos for employee training lies in their ability to contribute beyond learning or performance support intervention. They can contribute to other levels of the learning and performance ecosystem, notably to:

  1. Create a buzz or awareness (before the launch of the training program)
  2. Support crucial change management initiatives
  3. Continue the connect with the learners (post the training program)

Are There Any Drawbacks Or Limitations That You Should Be Aware Of As You Opt For Training Videos For Employees?

As I see it, there are a couple of aspects that you should note:

From The Development-And-Cost Perspective

The cost of video-based learning for formal training or as Performance Support is higher as compared to traditional eLearning development. You also need to be aware that any updates or enhancements do entail significant costs and lead time.

From The Learning-Impact Perspective

Even though video-based learning offers an immersive learning experience, the video does have an intrinsic limitation of “passivity”. It allows learners only to start/stop or pause.

This can impede the learning impact when you have long run length videos.

Additionally, you cannot track the learners’ progress as they go through videos for training.

What Kind Of Video Formats Can You Opt For In Order To Create Training Videos For Your Employees?

You have wide-ranging options that you can offer as training videos for your employees:

  1. Teaser videos
  2. Context-setting videos
  3. Explainer videos
  4. Scenario-based videos
  5. Story-based videos
  6. Complex decision-making branching simulation based videos

Are There Other Interesting Approaches That Can Enhance The Impact Of Training Videos For Employee Training?

Here are 3 interesting options that you should certainly consider:

1. Interactive videos
This is a Next Gen approach that creates highly interactive and immersive video-based learning solutions. It includes:

  • Learning interactions that are similar to traditional eLearning (Hot spots, Click and Reveal and so on)
  • Quizzes and assessments
  • Learning paths that branch to different tracks based on learners’ choices
  • Gamification elements
  • Unlike traditional videos, interactive videos allow you to track learner performance, and they also offer SCORM output

2. Microlearning videos
These short, focused, bite-sized videos use rapid development approaches. They are particularly useful as a social learning tool. They are designed to be available within the learners’ workflow so that they can access the relevant bite exactly at the time of their need.

3. 360-degree videos for VR and AR
These can take your user engagement and stickiness of learning to an all high level.

What Kind Of Training Videos Would Resonate With Your Employees?

Modern learners face challenges of distractions and multi-tasking, and they certainly do not want to carve out a block of time for training. They want the training to be flexible, short, focused, and available on the go. So, as you opt for videos for your employee training, match it with their lifestyle and accordingly, craft the learning journey.

Here is a list of my top 5 strategies you should adopt as you offer training videos for your employees:

  1. Create the buzz or awareness and establish WIIFM (What Is In It For Me)
  2. Set context or teach concepts
  3. Offer learning followed by practice, application, and summaries
  4. Checkpoint learners’ progress and understanding
  5. Reinforce and keep the “Forgetting Curve” at bay

What Would Be The Impact Of Using Training Videos For Your Employees?

You would see:

  • Higher engagement
  • Better completion rates
  • Better retention and recall
  • Better performance support leading to better application of the acquired learning
  • Increased focus on informal learning
  • Higher ROI on your training spend

I hope this article gives you great ideas that you can use as you implement training videos for your employee training. If you have any specific queries, do contact me or leave a comment below.

By Asha Pandey, Chief Learning Strategist at EI Design

Design Thinking: The Future Of HR Learning And Development

L&D and HR leaders deal with some pretty large-scale people development problems, starting from managing attrition and creating learning engagement, to managing to stay abreast of technology trends in Learning and Development.

What The Future Of HR Learning And Development Looks Like

In a fast-changing world, incorporating design thinking into the design of employee training can help to solve problems like maximizing learning, improving engagement, reducing drop-offs and managing attrition.

In most organizations, employee training design has more of a top-down approach, where employers decide what learners should learn and how they should learn it, rather than catering to what and how they want to learn. This process has been seeing diminishing returns as a rising proportion of Millennials and Gen Z has joined the workforce. While some organizations have tried to solve this by building access to MOOCs such as Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning, these sort of learning options only cover self-development. What gets left out is functional knowledge or product/process training, which needs to be put out as structured learning.

So, how can design thinking help? The central premise of design thinking is a solution-based approach to problem-solving. Design thinking requires that the client (in this case the employee) is placed at the center of it all.

Step 1

Empathize with learners to understand their experiences and motivations. Leaders need to put themselves in the shoes of employees and figure out what motivates them. Tools to help with this can be surveys and interviews of employees, to get a thorough picture of different learner profiles. This is different from a Training Needs Analysis, since it focuses a lot more on behavior, likes, dislikes, motivations, and challenges in their daily life.

Step 2

Define the problem you want to solve. Very often learning outcomes falter because the learner and organization do not agree on the intended outcome of the learning. Defined problems will yield much clearer solutions.

Step 3

Ideate with all relevant stakeholders. Creating a multi-functional team that can contribute to this can help to introduce more perspectives and ideas into the mix. This team should know the learner, understand the problem you are trying to solve and brainstorm possible solutions. Approaching this as an open-ended discussion can help bring out as many solutions as possible before you start converging on one for the next step.

Step 4

Prototype a potential solution. Often the response to arriving at a potential solution is to select one and jump right into implementing it. This is exactly what the design thinking process tells us to avoid. The next step is to produce a scaled-down, inexpensive prototype of the most favored solutions, such as a tech platform or digital content. These are then shared within the design team and with a small group of people outside the team. The aim of prototyping is to identify the best possible solution for the problems identified in Step 2. These are investigated, accepted, improved, accepted or rejected based on the learners’ experience.

Step 5

Test the product using the best solutions identified in the prototyping step. While this is the final step in this 5-stage process, design thinking is an iterative process and testing phase results often indicate that you need to go back to the prototyping or ideation phase to get things right. If new insights present themselves about your learners or market realities have changed, then this may need a new set of solutions.

The process outlined above may seem linear and structured, but in reality, these steps are followed in quick succession and in a non-linear fashion, to ensure that speed is achieved. Design teams can delineate themselves to do parts of the process.

By Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-Founder at QuoDeck

This article was first published on elearningindustry