Category Archives: L&D professionals

The Top 5 Ways to Transform Your Sales Team into a Sales-Enabled Organization

Wondering why your team is lagging behind in sales? Here are some tips to transform yours into a sales-enabled company!

The sales team of any organization is a crucial driving force for good business. While standard sales strategies are used by a majority of organizations, the sales aspects are often undermined with more focus on enhancing your brand identity and other peripheral aspects.

For a business, at the end of the day, sales stand to be the most important. Even if you’re a brand that believes in making an impact or looking at the larger picture, you really can’t keep your vision going without having the basic funds for it. Many businesses fall to their ends due to the lack of a prompt sales team.

But the question is – how to make your company a sales-enabled one at large? Here are the top 5 ways with which you can transform yours into a sales-enabled organization:

  1. Modernize with CRM and collaboration tools

As much as you’d think your sales reps can handle it all, making their lives easier with some modern sales elements is always a good idea. Sales-friendly CRM systems can help to manage quality leads and target relevant consumers. Interactive and collaboration tools for your sales team can also do wonders for an effectively managed sales funnel. 

  1. Automate administrative and mundane tasks

Do everything you can to ensure your reps are focusing on sales and not mundane paperwork or other administrative tasks that could be managed digitally. If you’re still doing things the old-fashioned pen-to-paper way, it’s time to upgrade. Incorporate apps and devices into your workspace for digital signatures, cross-platform networking, and centrally updated data. In fact, handling mundane things electronically ensures not only saved time but improved security, privacy, and authenticity of data! 

  1. Use gamification strategies to encourage competition amongst reps

The sales playing field has traditionally been a competitive one. Who can finish their targets first? Who can get that promotion? How about easing the pressure-based competition and gamifying the competition between reps. Quodeck is a one-of-a-kind SaaS tool that allows you to create a gamified interactive interface that can be the next big thing to keep your sales reps engaged and on their toes. 

  1. Invest more in sales training and enablement

The businesses that experience a dip at the earliest are those that don’t train their reps well. You can’t expect your employees to deliver if you don’t provide them with the best training and set of resources to close the most number of deals! It is high time to invest in more effective sales training strategies, new technologies, and sales-enablement platforms for your business. 

  1. Analyze data to optimize strategy

Last but not least, fine-tuning your strategy as per your prior performances will truly make an impact. Insights from performance data can greatly transform your sales team and fine-tune their responses for client conversions. Classify and recognize aspects that are working and figure out strategies that are not working. You’d be blown away by how much data can reveal about your organization’s performance! Employ effective data analytics tools to reap the benefits of this. 

Conclusion

A few steps in the right direction can change your existing team into one with a little more perspective on sales. Assess your organization and shortlist what would work for you to boost up the potential of your sales department. Jump into these top options and find out what works for your business!

One size fits all learning platforms are a thing of the past

When five fingers of our palm aren’t the same, then how can one can education style fit all learning platforms? Keep reading to know more about this! 

For many years now, education has been adhering to the “one size fits all” model. What everyone meant by this model was that students would be taught using the same styles of teaching and scored using the same evaluation methods, regardless of their interest or ability. 

But we all know that each student is different and has a different learning style. Each one of them has varying weaknesses and strengths. Besides, how many of us receive the same parental support back home? Does it make any sense to paint every student’s life with the same brush? The answer to all these questions is an echoing NO! 

Thus, when you select a learning platform, you must consider multiple aspects. These aspects include usability, ease of use, compatibility, and, most importantly, your needs. Honestly, go for a platform that implements a tailored solution that covers all your requirements.  

Have a read of this blog in its entirety to know how you can choose a learning platform that can be customized to fit your needs. 

Must be easy to use  

Any online learning platform you choose should never have a stiff learning curve. It must be easy to use for the administrators, students, and teachers alike. Meaningful options of support, precise controls, and intuitive systems must be a pivotal aspect of your selection norm.  

This is the reason Quodeck makes simple but powerful platforms that you can engage with. They go beyond the LMS and introduce gamified micro-learning platforms that help you understand a course better.  

You will only have to click on rich media like quizzes, videos, and animations to learn. And, clicking does not require any skill, does it?  

Must be compatible  

By compatibility, we mean how easily and seamlessly the platform integrates with other devices you use the application on. This means if you are a user, then your experience of using the app across all different devices must be the same; think laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.  

We recommend selecting a web platform that is accessible 24×7.  For instance, QuoDeck, with its template authoring system, authors mobile responsive content. All you have to do is upload the existing PPT or PDF content and make a micro-learning platform with the inbuilt authoring tool.  

Must be customizable  

The training platform you choose must allow customization. After all, branding is crucial. You must be able to reinforce the platform’s strength and credibility by maintaining the visual identity.  

QuoDeck lets you customize the branding, look and feel of a platform in a few easy steps. 

Must be able to accept different formats  

Training platforms must be able to accept a variety of formats, especially video. We can present numerous reasons why nothing beats video training when it comes to tutoring your prominent people.

 

Must impart an enjoyable experience  

Choose a platform that gives you all that you are looking for. Make sure you select a learning platform where you can enjoy an intuitive and beautiful interface. You must be able to offer feedback, interact, and get certifications that you are proud of.  

Overall, the learning platform you choose must impart a fun experience and make you feel welcomed.  

Must have interactive features  

Add a game to anything, and that becomes super fun. How many of you remember only loving textbooks with big colorful pictures and hating books that only had text? Must be many of you, we believe! 

Similarly, when you select a management system of learning, make sure some features engage you. Opt for the one that educates you effectively by giving you the chance to answer Q&As, surveys, play challenges, and quizzes. 

QuoDeck creates stellar mobile experiences by offering a library of ready game structures that course designers can pick and use. You will be impressed by the way they design learning paths as stories. And, to harness your competitive spirit, they reward you with badges, certificates, and leaderboard positions after you finish a quiz. 

Conclusion  

You must also consider platform reliability and security besides the budget before you sign-up for an e-learning platform. See whether the software is stable. Check whether the customer support executives are responsive and look at how long the platform takes to fix the bugs. We hope that you will make an informed decision with great confidence with all these points in your mind

7 Ways to Maximize Learning in your Training Programs

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

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

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

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

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

1.   Clear your mindset:

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

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

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

2.   Finalize the pre-work:

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

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

3.   Determine the aim of training programs:

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

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

4.   Match your learning outcomes to your objectives:

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

5.   Focus on analysis:

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

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

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

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

6.   Attend follow-up meetings:

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

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

7.   Add ‘Social Learning’ to your training:

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

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

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

In conclusion

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

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

On-boarding for a Job Role STACK

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

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

Skills

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

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

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

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

Tools

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

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

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

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

Attitudes

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

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

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

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

Customers

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

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

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

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

Knowledge

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1) Gamifying Learning Content-

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

2) Using Interactive Training Tools-

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

3) Creating Instructional Videos and Podcasts-

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

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

4) Writing Blog Posts-

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

5) Creating Self-Assessment Tools-

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

6) Using Multimedia Resources-

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

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

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

How to motivate employees

The Outbreak of Covid19 has created social devastation and economic disruptions in the country. Pretty much all the workers across various sectors are in lockdown, and some are self-quarantined. The concept of Work from Home has therefore become an essential part of most organizations.

You need some proactive strategies and tools to create social bonds, connections and motivate employees that are working from home.  So here are some pointers on how to do this effectively:

  1. Set Clear Expectations: Flexibility in schedule is an advantage for working from home employees. But if you want your employees to be present and more responsive at a certain time, you need to communicate this to them in advance. Encourage employees to maintain a calendar to know their online and offline availability.
  2. Communicate and Stay Connected: Try and connect with your employees over phone or video/audio conference. Your voice and tone will typically communicate your thoughts much better than emails.
  3. Recognize: Recognize the efforts made by the employees and reward them with praise, whenever appropriate.
  4. Create a visual scoreboard: You can create a visual scoreboard for the week and ask employees to tick each and every pointer on the scoreboard. This will help the employee understand their goals, progress and potential on an ongoing basis.
  5. Convert Phone calls/Conference to Video conferences: Use technology to the utmost. Organize Video Conferences instead of phone calls to have a stronger connect with your employees. Agenda of what will be discussed in the meeting should be sent well in advance to allow the employees to prepare themselves. The call should always start with small talk by the Manager to make the employees feel connected.
  6. Use Gifs: While chatting or on a group chat, in order to praise and congratulate, you can use gifs to make employee feel more connected. After all, comfort of the employee is most important. Often having an informal conversation with employees can be constructive.
  7. Group Breaks while you work from home: Whenever you take a break, consider connecting over video conferencing with other employees to have an informal chat. Be as creative as much as you can with your team.
  8. Have a Development Plan: Make sure you have a development plan for each employee for one week. Have video conferences every day. Here are some points you can discuss as per the day:
  9. Monday: Cover the following stock-taking and planning points:
    1. Did we finish and meet the deadlines of the last week?
    1. What are the new tasks for each employee this week and how are they planned to be done?
    1. How can we help each other in the tasks?
    1. Who should improve and in what areas?
  10. Tuesday- Thursday: Have a conversation with each employee (if possible) or have a conference with small groups to help the team tackle the tasks and any problems they face. This would help in increasing coordination among the employees.
  11. Friday: Friday should always focus on Reflection. Here the manager should ask about how the team felt while doing tasks, what problems they faced, etc.

While there are many advantages to working from home, managing employees over the wire presents unique challenges. While the work environment has completely changed, the goals are no different from the traditional workspace because you require the same results as what you needed at the office workspace. Remember, a little planning, help and praise for hard work can go a long way in keeping your team motivated while working from home.

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

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