Category Archives: Employee-Training

Monotonous to Fascinating: Changing Employee Training Module

Training used to mean boring, but what if you play a game and get trained on a particular niche! Technology has revolutionized our daily lives and so the training. Now with the help of engaging contents, you can provide training to your employees or learn a new technology.

QuoDeck developed a game-based platform to train employees in a fun manner. We spoke to Arijit Lahiri, Co-Founder, QuoDeck Technologies to understand their vision and how it can be helpful for enterprises.

What’s the idea and How you began this journey?

When we started off in 2013, we were looking for a bunch of potential learning games but there was no software. So, we plan to create an engine which will allow us to develop games, specifically for learning. We wanted to pick up this space because most of the learning is fairly boring in the Enterprises, even today. As we have worked in that environment for our careers in Enterprises, we found that learning is very monotonous. We thought that games would make it interesting.

We thought to build a software microservice architecture and over the course of time, we developed a platform kind of web version like Netflix, Amazon kind of approach. Instead of having like one Central Core, we decided to have multiple small services which kind of aggregate the entire API level. So microservices on the API and micro apps on packages on the front-end side, where we are using just for context for backend.

Some of the backends will be on Ruby on Rails, so basically, some of rails APIs are actually Phoenix and Alex API. Also, some backend parts are on PostgreSQL and some are on MongoDB.

For the front end, we earlier used jQuery and all without using the frontend framework. Later on, we migrated most of it to React. Apart from that anything which is created on the QuoDeck framework can also be consumed through Augmented reality apps like Euphoria, Unity or Virtual Reality which is unity based, so it connects to the API.

What sort of API integration has been done?

This is cloud-hosted, some of the microservices can actually iterate what we call Omprem, behind the firewall. So, let’s say there is end number of services which are there in the app. So, they adapted in the firewall which communicates with the client systems with the clouds.

What kind of mechanism you have designed?

We have done a bit of inspiration from On the TV shows Silicon Valley. They had this concept of they were talking about this concept of mobile internet, so what we realize that lot of the calculation, a lot of the analytic which have been done on the server, doesn’t need to be done on the server so.

What we have done! Let’s say there are hundred thousand learners in a particular company he if I aggregate all the data on the server and calculate, it becomes a fairly complex affair. Instead of what that R code does the whole set of calculation and caching and storing at the mobile level.

What is aggregated needs to who goes to the server now again this is not on one single server, we have a set of app servers, which are serving out to do shading calculation by the Mongo app. Basically, we shed out the Analytics so that it allows us to do the whole bunch of real-time otherwise it would take like three days to calculate.

Why would enterprise adopt your solution?

Either they are looking for something which is free, very simple, low maintenance and can deploy easily for Speed. Because it’s a microservices app architecture the entire thing is very modular. You can launch the customized app as we have just launched QuoDeck Express. It is a variant which is built it on the context of speed. What would otherwise it will take maybe like two or three months to setup up and deploy, that can effectively now be done in just 10 minutes. That’s the hyper-speed version of the QuoDeck.

Everything is like merging Google Drive with all the powers of the learning management system. So, ability to start with a very fast system & and scale it up to a very powerful system is what really works for the Enterprises, and it works for most of the companies.

People don’t likely to come out to buy tech, they come out to solve a problem. So, when we try and cater to that this express kind of offering as You take it and get ready and go. Once that is done then are saying like OK this is interesting can we do a little bit more of this. And then you say ok so how this you can scale up the system till you can go to. Its largest we have a deployment which is a group company level deployment which has about 15 companies within it and each, so there is one common app and somebody comes in, they get to see their own branding.

At the most powerful level, there is mobility, there is engagement which is all the game-based learning techniques, and the third is fairly deep and complex analytics. Learning should be measurable, it should be treated more like a Marketing activity and not just as a charity activity for people in-house.

By Ashok Pandey, author at CioL

This article was first published on CioL

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Will it be a good year for HR Tech and Startups in 2019?

How will the year 2019 be for startups in the HR tech space in India when it comes to adoption and expectations? Read on to find out.

“It was a good year.” That’s what most of the HR Tech startups we spoke to opined when they looked back at 2018. From the degree of adoption to the amount of funds flowing in, the startup space generally saw 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.

On this note, what does the year 2019 bode for HR Tech? What are some of the trends that will shape this space in the coming year? 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 to understand which way the wind will blow.

Here’s what they had to say.

HR tech to move up the value chain

Continuing from the momentum of 2018, in 2019, HR tech is predicted to move up the value chain to help improve Productivity, Team and Work management from the current state of Integration and Engagement.

Quodeck’s co-founder Kamalika Bhattacharya says that the major thrust among businesses will be towards driving adoption of corporate learning through technology among their employees and partners.

“Early adopters of HR Tech now have large data sets about their employees and will leverage on analytics to drive productivity and improve employee engagement,” she says.

There will be an increase in the use of AI and Technology enabled methods of screening, assessing and hiring talent and emphasis on developing personalized career paths for their employees using tech to reduce attrition while improving employee wellness and output.

Employee engagement and productivity still the focus area for employers

Further 2019 will continue to see employers everywhere focusing on employee engagement and productivity. 

Guilherme Mota, Head of Operations, India, SalaryFits says, “With the innovative HRTech solutions available across borders, HR Heads have a big portfolio of different tools to keep their talent happy and engaged. In this sense, employee’s wellbeing, ranging from focus on health and wellness to focus on productivity, purpose, and financial health, will play a big part as an engagement and retention tool. HRs cannot afford to neglect the effects that financial worries can cause on their employees and their productivity.”

From employer first to employee first

Right now all HR Tech is built employer first. However Ashutosh Dabral, Co-founder & CEO, Hush believes that eventually, the trend will move to employee first as the millennial employee doesn’t stay in a company for a very long time. 

Employee first Tech platforms that can provide value to employees even when they switch companies will have more value.

He adds that when you add the new gig economy workforce then employers will have to engage workers who are not really “employees”. So new kind of platforms will come up that cater to these users also.

More experiments, more AI, more Blockchain

That 2019 will be an interesting year and will present a greater opportunity for HR Tech Startups as organizations grow and more investments come in startups and growth companies, is also reiterated by Sudev Das, co-founder, Vyre. He adds that organizations will be open to experimenting and experiencing new HR Tech products, to enable quick and efficient growth. 

AI & Analytics enriched products would be very attractive to cut on processing time. But it will also lead to expectation mismatches as there are no quick fixes with AI till it matures

The year will also see growth in the adoption of video for hiring, learning, and engagement. Similarly, the use of  Blockchain in assessments, skill certification, and educational qualifications will start appearing in some HR Tech products,  which will be very useful in verification and validation of candidate details. Also, predictive analytics with respect to culture, engagement, skills will see significant uptake. 

The same is seconded by Kumar Mayank, co-founder of Zimyo who believes that 2019 will see the adoption of cloud/ SaaS not only by corporates but SMEs, along with increased adoption of AI-based HR Applications.

Kunal Kapoor CTO, Monjin adds that intelligent process automation is coming into play, which includes AI and related new technology advances, which can help deliver consistent people processes – something that has eluded many HR ops teams given the dynamic nature of the requests they receive. Cost savings also materialize through deploying such technologies as robotic process automation, machine learning, deep learning, and cognitive agents. 

 “The year 2019 will also witness the development of quality-based talent pipelines which will further improve hiring accuracy,” he adds.

The use of AI and predictive analysis can further simplify the hiring process, by picking candidates with skillsets and achievements that match the given requirement.

HR Tech will need to continuously create value

While it is a given that most of the transactional interactions involving HR will slowly and gradually move to technology and companies have already started working on moving some of the regular queries on to chatbots, HR tech companies will continuously need to work on creating value for the user through their platforms, says Sanjay Lakhotia, Co-Founder, Noble House Consulting Pte.

The next year will also see some consolidation in the HR tech market due to a sudden spurt in the number of tools out in the market, he adds. The tools will either get merged or there would be models of collaboration that will emerge between different tools.

From generalization to specialization

2019 may also see a spurt in more specialized HR Tech as per Bhavin Turakhia, co-founder of Zeta. He says, “Right now a large number of HR Tech companies in India are core HR Tech. But very soon we will start seeing specialized companies-some will focus just on planning, some will focus only on performance review and appraisals. If you think about it, talent acquisition is already segregated out. There will a plethora of segregated tools which will fulfill a specific function.”

However, he still feels that the real growth spurt in HR Tech is still a few years away. Larger enterprises are paying more attention to people but smaller companies in non-tech industries will take longer, he opines. Bhavin aptly sums up succinctly the state of HR Tech in 2019 when he says,

“There is a certain level of maturity that organizations have to go through in India before you get to a point where HR Tech becomes a priority.”

By Shweta Modgil, Feature Writer with People Matters

This article was first published on People Matters

Why is measuring training effectiveness important to team leaders?

Be it a well-established company or a start-up, investments in training employees is something one cannot afford to skip as it helps the organization grow and remain competitive. However, there is no one-size fit training program that suits all. Hence, it is important to consider various factors like the company objectives, size of the investment, type of audience, etc. to design a training program. But it does not end at designing a training program and executing it. It is important to understand the effects of the program and analyzing them to look up if the program was successful, isn’t it?

Let’s assume all companies in the world conduct training programs – online or offline and procure analytics in some form or shape. However, these analytics are at a broad level across organizations. To achieve the expected objectives, it is important to deep dive into the real problems. All of us have heard that learners must be pushed to take up the training programs at all points in time. And, hence companies are now catering to e-learning, micro-learning, game-based learning, AR, VR, interactivity, and engagement. These fancy mechanisms are new age developments and have cropped out of millennial generation problems.

However, pushing your learners is only going to take you so far. So, what is the real problem?

The real problem is the belief a learner has a training program and the value it adds to his career or personal growth whatsoever. You as a team lead can help your teams believe in the value-add of the training program. How will you do that?

In all companies, training programs are run and executed by team leads across their respective teams at a grassroots level. It hence becomes important for team leads to measure the ROI on these programs. Well, the investment here can be considered in time and efforts.

How do you measure the ROI of a training program?

We will look at the elements a team lead should look at while measuring the effectiveness of a training program.

The reaction of the employees As a team lead, it is important for you to understand the responses of your learners to the program. It helps you find out if the course content was easy and relevant to understand, identify and discuss strengths and weakness, view on the key takeaways and if the program was successful in matching the learners’ perception and expectations –

Have your learners learned It is crucial to identify if your learners have learned from the program which is one of the key objectives you have for the training program. You can analyse this by looking at test scores and course completion percentages, etc. These numbers help you identify the gaps in your learners’ understanding giving you a holistic picture of required improvements in your program –

Behavioral Patterns You can easily identify if your learners are using the knowledge, they have gained looking at their performance and attitude at work. Also, surveys and feedback from peers, supervisors, reporting managers of your learners will give you concrete data on your learners

These outcomes help you capture the results of your training program and answer the question of “Why a training program?” with actual data and facts. The results can include: Increased employee retention Increased productivity Higher employee engagement

Understanding the roadblock in the training programs your learners must go through is your responsibility as a team lead. Once you identify the roadblocks, you will be able to conduct your training program effectively and efficiently. This helps you line up with your business objectives with the program enabling you to achieve your goals and KRAs with a more logical approach.

By Shruti Shinde, Head- Enterprise Origination at QuoDeck

4 Essential Apps for Onboarding your New Employees

As we are stepping towards the future, the trend of paperwork is becoming a thing of the past and onboarding apps are getting popular for each step

Recruitment is the most important process for any business as it brings in people who shape the future of a company. Human Resource employees are responsible to help onboard the new employees, which is a crucial step for a new employee’s growth in the company.

So, the onboarding process should be taken seriously and most importantly, it should be efficient. The paperwork and formalities before an employee is inducted should be done in a timely fashion. There are multiple steps in the onboarding process.

And as we are stepping towards the future, the trend of paperwork is becoming a thing of the past and onboarding apps are getting popular for each step of onboarding.

So, here are 4 apps for onboarding your employees:

WorkBright: For the administrative processing

WorkBright offers a platform where a human resource personnel can speed up the process of documentation. It allows the new joinees to upload their documents directly to the app even before their first day at work. It also checks whether the uploaded documents are clear enough or not, and helps you send a prompt to the employee if it’s not clear. This can help an organization save a lot of money as they don’t need to hire a dedicated person for this job.

WorkStyle: For profiling

WorkStyle helps all employees to create a work profile, which can help other teammates to get to know each other professionally. With the details filled in the WorkStyle profile, employees can understand each other’s working preferences, timings and approach. This can easily smoothen the process of new employees blending with their new teammates and understand the work culture beforehand.

QuoDeck: For onboard training

Once the paperwork is done and you have created profiles for your new employees to help them understand the work culture, it’s time for onboard training. QuoDeck helps to create gamified training modules for your new employees. This method can be used to train your employees for their specific role or a general overview, which totally depends on your training principles. As most of the company trainings and onboarding is somewhat forced, so it directly affects the impact and effectiveness of it. This is where QuoDeck makes it more efficient. The gaming experience when transposed in the onboarding process attracts the employees and increases their retention. So, employees are able to gain much more out of the experience than a normal boring training session.

iAppreciate: For recognition drive

The last step for onboarding an employee completely is to have them feel they are recognised for the work they are putting in. This is where iAppreciate is a powerful tool to utilize. Statistics show that recognizing an employee’s endeavors will result in increased productivity. iAppreciate allows you to create a platform where employees can be congratulated for their efforts and goals. As everybody will be on this platform, it is easy to boost the confidence of the new employees and reap better results from them.

The above-mentioned apps are a great way to onboard an employee as they cover each and every aspect of onboarding an employee. As the modern technology is advancing with each passing year, it can very well be understood that the era of paper and slow onboarding process is gone and more HR professionals are relying on such applications to make the process faster and more efficient than ever.

By DQIndia Online

This article was first released on DataQuest

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

What is Micro-learning?

Micro-learning is learning presented as short and focused nuggets of content. Content can be in multiple forms including text, images, videos, etc. Micro-learning presents only as much content as required for learners to achieve a specific learning outcome. With today’s workforce comprising of Generation Z and millennials, it is particularly valuable in corporate learning.

Micro-learning solves learning problems that plague today’s workforce

The training that your learners experience, whether in the form of workshops, ILTs or online courses on your LMS, are mostly long-form. As a result, learner gratification usually happens only once on course/workshop completion. Also, because the attention span of the audience you talk to is short, as little as 5 minutes, their interest in long online courses often wavers causing understanding and retention to suffer.

With the help of micro-learning nuggets, you can attack both these problems. These provide gratification in shorter intervals and prevent learner demotivation. Also, since their length is usually kept below 5 minutes, learner attention does not waver either.

Benefits offered by micro-learning

Apart from just solving problems for the learner community, micro-learning offers multiple benefits to individuals who own learning or training of teams.

a. Just-in-time learning

Micro-learning can be accessed on mobile phones, LMS permitting, without using up too much data. With content being available on their handiest device, your learners can access it on-demand. These micro-learning online courses can thus act as ready reckoners and prove helpful on the job.

b. Autonomy

Millennials needs more autonomy than any other generation. Allowing them to consume relevant content, as and when they choose to, drives motivation as well as interest. Additionally, this gives them the feeling that they can chart their own learning paths. Learners thus apply their learning in their daily lives and often look for content that they can consume. This reduces the pressure on learning managers as content does not need to be pushed as much as earlier.

c. Varied forms of learning

Micro-learning principles demand concise and to-the-point information nuggets with focused and compact objectives. Using various forms such as games, videos, infographics, eLearning and m-learning, it can help create specific content with effective training outputs. Along with this, micro-learning content also helps achieve content interactivity and learner engagement.

d. Advantageous for small teams

Micro-learning offers key advantages to small teams, groups or departments. Given their small size, setting up a micro-learning mobile app is easy and affordable. This can be used for achieving smaller but important milestones that a department may have set for itself.

When should you use micro-learning?

It is important to consider two aspects while applying micro-learning strategies – business aspect and learner needs.

Here are some things to consider while using micro-learning:

a. What technology will you use?

Micro-learning’s success largely depends on how easy it is to access. If a learner cannot easily and quickly find content that she is looking for, it is likely that they will not spend any effort to access it again. Not all LMSes handle micro-learning well. It is important that your LMS deploys these courses easily and tag the learners to help them find what they need. The LMS needs to be accessible on mobile as well.

b. Who are your learners?

It is crucial that you know your learner profile before you design a micro-learning course. While micro-learning can be effective across all generations, younger learners or learners who are more technologically savvy may be more comfortable using these than those who do not use digital devices frequently.

To conclude, micro-learning is the best learning strategy for the Gen Z and millennial workforce. Not only can it be engaging and effective, with the right approach to creation, it can be entertaining too.

By Shruti Shinde, Head- Enterprise Origination at QuoDeck

Why training does not get consumed and what can you do about it?

If you’re putting out learning that doesn’t get consumed, it may be because you’re making some very common mistakes with your learning content. Knowing what these are can be half the battle won, as you drive for higher consumption and adoption of your learning.

Ask most learners, and they will say that they don’t consume eLearning because it is snooze-worthy. Most e-learning is boring, not because trainers set out to make it that way, but because it’s not really built to appeal. Today’s audience is more fussy, discerning and can see through almost every learning gimmick that is thrown their way. In such a scenario, how does one appeal to modern learners?

If you’re training a modern workforce, then they are comprised increasingly of Generation Z and millennials, groups that were born into a digital world. These consumers have a glut of digital content, and in as many formats as they want. Content, on a topic that excites their curiosity, is a few clicks or just a search away. There are even apps that serve up a constant stream of entertainment just to ensure consumers can entertain themselves in the few moments that they are ‘bored’.

Smartphone users spend an average of 4 hours a day on their devices, but not on your content To be able to address the problem, let’s try and understand your audience. Estimates put usage of mobile phones among modern audiences at an average of 4 hours per day (eMarketer Research). The challenge you have is stealing mindshare from apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest etc., where users spend close to 80-90% of their time, with the rest spent emailing, texting and using WhatsApp largely.

Your learners need a compelling reason to move away from these platforms and spend time on your online courses, even if these do benefit them ultimately.

So, what are some of the common mistakes that trainers make with eLearning content, that puts off their learners? How can you give learning a compelling reason to consume your content?

Long duration courses do not work anymore

The world has moved to consuming short-form content or microlearning content. Consumer research has shown that 55% internet users read a long-form post or content for less than 15 seconds.

Anything beyond 15 mins and your learner’s attention has wandered to thinking about the latest picture on Instagram or the latest post on Facebook.

Our suggestion: Break your existing content into short nuggets, more in the form of “Did you know?” or “7 ways to make a great sale” to make them appealing to your audience.

Zero to no interactivity puts off learners

Users today need interactivity to keep them engaged. If your content is not interactive and only requires your learner to click the ‘next’ button periodically, then you will lose them very quickly. Ensuring that at least 30% (or 1 in 3 screens) are interactive, is a start to keeping your learner engaged. Interspersing content with games and interactive titbits will not only keep learners talking to your content but will also increase retention.

Our suggestion: Insert a question format every third screen quizzing your learners on what they just learnt.

Absence of multi-media content

Consumers are being engaged across multiple senses today. With the advent of video, just text and visual content does not appeal as much. Therefore, your eLearning content must be peppered with multi-media formats, such as audio, videos, games, etc. Even simple podcasts with a static image will hold learner attention better than plain text. We know it’s expensive to create media-rich content, but there are a lot of tools out there that will allow you to do this for a fraction of eLearning content creation cost.

Our suggestion: YouTube has a lot of free content on various topics. Find short videos that can benefit your learner and include links to these videos in your eLearning content. You can even record 1-minute audio clips and upload them. These can improve your learner’s experience using these tips.

No learner contribution makes for a ‘switched-off’ learner

The world has become a lot more digitally social than before. Consumers engage most when they are asked to contribute to an experience. Reflect to when you obsessively checked your latest post to see the likes, shares and comments it generated. However, most trainers ‘talk at’ the learners rather than have a dialogue with them.

Our suggestion: Have a survey at the end of every course that takes feedback for things like process changes, the online course itself, organization survey, etc. This will provide your learners with a voice.


By Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-Founder 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

Why engagement is a critical ingredient in successful sales training?

Building a performing sales team is the holy grail that all organizations chase – and it’s definitely not an easy task. But building lasting engagement is a critical ingredient that can separate a good sales training program from a bad one.

Sales is the lifeblood of most organizations, and a performing sales team is worth its weight in gold.

Building an effective sales training program is the holy grail that all sales trainers chase – and it’s definitely not an easy task. More often than not, what seems like an easy problem to solve, can be a multi-layered challenge within a changing business and technology environment.

It’s clear that there are no easy formulas that sales trainers can plug in to make their sales training programs effective. But it all starts with ensuring that sales people at least consume the learning. Without adoption, it is futile to worry about downstream metrics like effectiveness, retention and application.

Adoption has many layers, and is very similar to any modern marketing problem. If you think of learners as consumers or ‘app users’ in the modern mobile learning context, problems become a little more apparent.

Just like a consumer app faces uninstalls after an initial period of usage, most learning programs suffer because they focus on creating short-term engagement. A good onboarding course or a gamified learning program will create short-term engagement but will leave learners very little to come back to when they have finished consuming that piece of content.

Therefore, sales trainers typically see good initial usage of their programs, and very little engagement after that.

In a training context, even if this results in a good onboarding experience, it rarely results in ongoing consumption of sales training and communication, Therefore, after the initial onboarding program, when sales people are on the field and need to be trained on new product releases or to address problem areas, getting them back to the training app or platform is as big a problem as when you launch.

So, how can you keep them coming back again and again? Build engagement.

It may help to better understand the psyche of the modern learner to figure out how to create ongoing engagement. In the context of mobile learning, any training app is competing for mindshare with platforms such as Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. These are the apps that your users prefer to spend time on rather than consume learning. What is attractive about these apps, is that they serve up a constant stream of content for users to consume.

Learners will only flock to something which gives them equal engagement and freshness of content. Therefore, the chances of running a successful sales training program improve multi-fold by creating engagement and keeping up a high velocity of content. On average, putting out fresh content every day or alternate day is a good way to pique learner’s interest to see what you will come up next. If the overall quality of learning content you put out is interesting, you should see a upward trend in ongoing engagement levels among your users.

So, how does one do that without having to spent enormous amounts of money to create content? Here are a few tips.

Crowd source content

Most of the real wisdom on sales training comes from subject matter experts from within the organization. Leverage that by asking your internal subject matter experts to provide you with content that you can send out to your learners on a regular basis. A large kitty of content you can keep cycling through will ensure that your learners get to see something new every day or week. Use microlearning principles to nugget this content into bite-sized chunks and you can send out something every day. This will keep learners coming back for more. Ensure that your mobile app puts out push notifications so that learners know that fresh content is being populated every day.

Frequent quizzes and contests

Putting together an assessment is far easier than creating learning content from scratch. Create question banks that you can slice and dice into quick assessments. Create weekly contests and let learners visually see their performance through leader boards. The competitive element should naturally appeal to sales people. It does not matter if some questions are repeated from one quiz to the other. In fact, critical aspects or facts about your product should be repetitive to ensure retention, therefore, repeat those questions across multiple quizzes. These assessments can also help you identify gaps in knowledge and understanding.

Leverage social learning

Take a page out of the book of immensely successful social media such as Twitter and Facebook, and use social constructs to ensure content is always moving and fresh. Identify voices of authority among your sales team – for example, a veteran sales person respected by the team or an opinion leader. Ask them to put out micro-nuggets of content, such as an anecdote about their experience while selling. Ask them to post this content on the social learning section of your learning app. Drive engagement by boosting that post in the social network. This will encourage others to share more nuggets and drive repeat visits.

Use games and gaming

The planet spends around 30 billion hours a week playing games like Candy Crush and Angry Birds – this is natural behaviour. Play into this natural behaviour by giving them games to explore and play with. Having a ‘game arcade’ or library of games that they can try out just for ‘fun’ can be a great way to keep them coming back.

Quick authoring

This is the most obvious of them all. It is important to have your actual learning content out there, apart from the social and crowd-sourced aspects of this. Most learning platforms come with quick authoring and if yours doesn’t, you should find one. Quick authoring tools will allow you to create templatized micro-learning nuggets out of existing content. Ensuring that you have a constant pipeline of content being created will allow you to recycle over a period of time, once new learners enter the system.

Remember, learners should be treated more as app users, where the objective is to create engagement and pull, rather than use push methods to get them to consume learning. As soon as you see learning as a marketing problem, solutions start to appear more readily.

By Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-Founder at QuoDeck

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.

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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