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6 Reasons To Localize Your Global Training Program

 Digitization has resulted in a rising number of global marketplace where the company is no longer limited to a single geographical location but spans several cities, countries and even continents. This has led many organisations to conduct virtual training programs as a means to minimize cost and have a greater outreach.

 However, the assumption of one training content being sufficient for the global workforce is incorrect. For the training to be successful and effective, it must generate learner engagement and retention. This is impossible if the learners don’t connect or feel involved with the training program. Hence, it becomes imperative to localize the training process. Localization can be defined as the process of customizing the training content to a specific locale or market. There are many benefits of doing this.

     Given below are the 6 reasons to localize your global training program:

     1) Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Workspace-

 With digitization, an organization has better scope to diversify their workforce and advance globally. However, this can only be done if their workspace is inclusive to people and their cultural backgrounds and languages. Hence, it is essential that the training programs cater to this diversity by welcoming people from all over the world and imparting content that is not just informative but relevant to their social space and work culture. Translating the training program into the required language can also help people connect better with the course content.

 2)  Improving Engagement-

The training program is successful when it effectively engages people in the course content. However, if the program is not localized, there is a disconnect between the learner and the course material, as they do not understand and feel involved with the process, or feel the information to be irrelevant to their cultural context. In the absence of effective engagement, content retention is not possible.Therefore, global training programs should be localized so that the learners feel valued and invested in their own training process.

3) Cultural and contextual understanding-

Global training programs must take into account the culture and social systems while creating their course content. Using culture appropriate avatars or avoiding the use of images with people is essential in creating a program that connects with the learners.

 Certain colours and numbers are also viewed in a negative context, for instance, in Brazil and Thailand, the colour purple is associated with mourning. Likewise, the number 4 is considered unlucky and a symbol of death in China.

It is important that to achieve maximum results out of the training program, the course should be created with the cultural and contextual understanding of a demographic location. 

4) Achieving Performance Goals-

Localization is not just about translating but also about adapting the training course to a particular cultural context. This includes adapting their units of measurements, currency, idioms or expressions, tone of voice, images and symbols, etc. When the training doesn’t take these into account, it alienates the learners whereby they lose interest quickly. It can at times also cause dissatisfaction where they feel unwelcome or undervalued by the organization which can greatly affect their productivity. It is therefore necessary that the company localize its global training program to achieve their performance goals and develop their business at a steady rate.

5) Accuracy and Standardization of Content-

Localization is needed to maintain the accuracy and standardization of content. For instance, if the content is regarding Body Language for Sales training, simply having an image of two people shaking hands in greeting is insufficient, as this gesture may seem foreign to the native people of Japan who greet others by bowing. Thus the message may not be delivered accurately or at times can even be misinterpreted. 

Similarly, the ability to make the best decisions in regards to profit will only be possible if the learners understand cost, which can vary according to the country and their currencies. Localization trains the employees in these matters which can also help the organization standardize their global information and data. 

6) Complying with Law-

Lastly, some countries make it mandatory to have their business transitions in their native language along with English. Localization allows the companies to comply with the local law and conduct their training program in a smooth and effective manner. 

Localization is thus, one of the best practices with regards to global training programs because there can be no true global learning experience without localized training. It also effectively eliminates cultural differences and not only improves knowledge acquisition but also increases learner engagement and content retention.

4 Micro-Learning Strategies For Employee- Engagement

Micro-learning is a skill-based approach to learning that delivers information in small ‘bite-sized’ chunks. In today’s modern economy which greatly prioritizes speed, this is especially effective in generating greater knowledge absorption and better content retention. In recent years, micro-learning, with its emphasis on application and self-learning, has supplemented the traditional methodology which was time-consuming and primarily focused on theory. This transition has improved the learners engagement with the program and has produced effective and measurable results.

Employee engagement is an essential aspect of any learning program. In today’s fast-paced world, it has become difficult to focus on lengthy content for a long period of time. Micro-learning strategies, here, prove useful in delivering the relevant content at the required time in a quick and easy manner, using technology channels that are favoured by the employees.

Let us look at 4 Micro-learning strategies for employee-engagement :

1) Gamifying Learning Content-

Micro-learning strategies can be used to create gamified, scenario-based learning content which is not only visually appealing, but also interactive and engaging. Employee engagement is essential for the success of any training program because without effective engagement, content retention or recollection is not possible. Gamifying the learning content with compelling narratives and characters makes it interesting for the learners and hence they can better understand and remember it. Incorporating gaming mechanics like badges, awards,points and leaderboards can also bring out healthy competition among colleagues and peers, making the entire training process more engaging and effective.

2) Utilizing Multimedia Resources-

Utilizing multimedia resources can be a great way to enliven a technical or lengthy content. Micro-learning principles can be used to effectively condense information into various multimedia platforms like slide-shows and infographics which provides a variety in the learning experience. Online slide-shows and presentations can effectively deliver information in a short period of time and in a manner that the employees can easily absorb and understand.

Similarly, infographics are a great learning tool as they provide an overview of the content in a visually appealing manner with the help of texts and graphics. They are an ideal reference material and can easily cater to the short-attention span of the learners, thus, creating better content engagement and retention.

3) Creating Instructional Videos and Podcasts-

Micro-learning videos are one of the most effective ways to engage the employees as they do not require any expensive set-ups and are highly flexible in terms of time and place and can be shared across a variety of platforms like the company’s website and Youtube. They are tailored to deliver a specific set of information and hence are not only brief but also relevant. Videos create an immersive learning experience and hence are effective in employee engagement and retention ability.

Similarly, micro-learning strategies can be used in developing educational podcasts that can deliver information to the learners that can be easily assessed anywhere, without taking up too much of their time, especially during work hours. This makes the process more learner-centric as the employees have control over their learning and can set their own pace for receiving the required information.

4) Creating Blog Posts and Interactive eBooks-

Blog posts are an effective way of providing information in an engaging manner as they do not take much time to read and a large chunk of information can be condensed in the form of bullet points that make it easier for the employees to recollect and remember. They are also easily accessible from any device and can be published in various platforms which makes it handy for the employees to access them as and when required. 

Interactive ebooks with their appealing visuals and user-friendly navigation is another great micro-learning strategy to enhance employee engagement. They can also be made compatible with various formats like pdf, epub, etc., and across various platforms and devices which makes for a very convenient learning experience. These ebooks can also be complemented by worksheets, checklists, quick tips and other interactive exercises that make the training program more immersive and engaging. 

Thus, micro-learning strategies can be employed to deliver content that is appealing, concise and highly interactive. It is ,therefore, an effective way to engage the employees in their training programs which in turn can positively impact the overall progress and productivity of the organisation.

M-LEARNING TRENDS TO ADOPT IN 2021

The emerging technological innovations have certainly revolutionized the way learning is traditionally conducted. With the introduction of elearning and now, mobile learning, new trends are emerging in the market that can positively impact both young and adult learners.

Mobile learning or M-Learning refers to learning and accessing content in a variety of formats across multiple devices. It is quickly gaining popularity as it is cost effective,portable and allows for greater immersion and  interaction with the content.

Given below are some of the m-learning trends to adopt in 2021 –

1. Corporate Training:

Digitization of training within the corporate sector has become popular, especially in the current pandemic situation, with more people opting to work from home. M-Learning is highly effective in consolidating the content in a simple, clear and interactive manner which makes it easier for the information to be retained. It also allows flexibility, where the learners can set their own pace and choose the module they would like to complete first. Hence, a large percentage of companies are now utilizing mobile learning to train their employees and are seeing greater engagement, greater reviewing of completed courses and better completion results.

2. Collaborative Learning:

Learning is no longer an isolated activity. Most m-learning platforms are integrated to an app which is connected to different social media, where people can form groups and communities to enhance their learning experience. There are also open forums, where they can post their queries, share their experience and provide feedback on the course. This method of social learning positively impacts the learner as it allows them greater interaction with others and broadens their perspective on a particular content

3. Interactive Learning: 

M-learning provides an interactive and immersive learning experience using various strategies like gamified learning, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), etc. Instructional videos are also a popular feature of interactive learning modules. These techniques are especially used in fields of education, travel, real estate, fitness, healthcare ,etc. to provide for a tangible, rich sensory learning experience. Many learners prefer the gamified version of a content as it engages them, enables higher participation and retention and also allows for instant feedback

4. Personalization of learning experience:

Psychology proves that every individual assimilates knowledge in a different way and at a different pace. While traditional learning could not cater to this aspect, mobile learning allows for a personalization of the learning experience. Modules can now be created according to the proficiency and interests of the learner and they can set their own pace and choose their own learning path. It also allows people to utilize push notifications and update their app content easily. 

5. Microlearning:

Microlearning or small ‘bit-sized chunks’ of learning is gaining popularity among people. In our current, fast-paced reality, it becomes difficult to digest lengthy written content. Microlearning tailors that into smaller sections and utilizes videos, podcasts, infographics and other such media to convey it in a more appealing and interactive manner. Mobile learning leverages microlearning to enhance the learner’s experience by curating content and also allowing space for reinforcing the learning. 

6. Soft-Skills training:

People are recognising that formal, instructional training is not enough when it comes to the overall personality development of an individual. More organizations are acknowledging the importance of giving soft-skills training on communication, leadership, collaboration etc to their employees. Mobile learning is a great tool to enhance the learner’s  performance and bring about a behavioural change in them. It especially encourages self-directed learning which can greatly benefit the individual by informing, challenging and changing their perspective on a particular content.

7. Data-Driven learning:

Today’s society is largely influenced by data and statistics, which is now being recognised as an important part of the learning and development industry. Understanding data and designing courses based on them enriches the content and meets the learner’s individual needs. Data can also be utilized to track the learning progress of an individual and to analyze if a particular innovation has enhanced the overall learning experience. It can also give a fair idea of the demography of the learners and can assist the designers in creating content accordingly.

Thus, these M-Learning trends help in creating a rich culture of continued learning experience and should definitely be adopted in 2021

5 reasons to leverage mobile for performance support

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

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

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

1. Portable and Versatile

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

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

2. Offline Storage

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

3. Multimedia Usage

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

4. Responsive design

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

5. Generating Feedback

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

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

5 Major Challenges With On-boarding During Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic drastically changed the working pattern all over the globe. With social distancing and lockdowns in place, a large number of organisations transitioned to telecommuting with some even increasing their hiring to meet the expanding business demands. This greatly affected their onboarding process, making the training and induction modalities rather complicated. 

Integrating new employees into the company isn’t easy. And when one is largely functioning on remote working, it makes it even more challenging.

Let us look at the 5 major challenges with the onboarding process during the pandemic-

1) Inability to personalise the process-

Induction helps in integrating a new employee into the company’s culture while instructing them about their own roles and responsibilities within the organisation’s structure and functioning. It facilitates in establishing personal connections and a great working relationship among colleagues. 

However, in the absence of a face-to-face interaction, it becomes difficult to personalise the onboarding process. Instead of meeting the team and getting to know them in an informal and relaxed setting, the new employees would have to contend with a video call or even in some cases, an email message. This proves challenging in building a strong lasting working relationship among peers. 

2) Ineffective Communication-

Effective onboarding is crucial for employee engagement, retention and for boosting the overall productivity of the organisation. With telecommuting, it may not be possible at times to know everyone in the team and the new employees may get confused about whom to approach for clarifying or obtaining certain information. They may also be unaware about the hierarchy within the organisation or may feel reluctant to ask questions.

On-site Induction allows the new members to get to know their colleagues and establish a cordial relation with them, which allows them to approach their peers for help or clarification regarding a particular situation. In the absence of this relationship, the employees may hesitate to reach out to others which leads to communication gaps.

Also, without facial expression, gestures or tone of a person’s voice as a guide, it is often easy to misinterpret a message as critical or curt when it comes through the email. This, further hampers effective communication, which in turn greatly affects the overall productivity of the organisation. 

3) Ineffective employee engagement-

Onboarding is crucial as it introduces the new employee to the company’s business culture and value systems. They also understand the code of conduct essential to every member and learn to build a good working rapport with their colleagues, other senior managers and the organisation’s leaders. 

This may be very difficult to communicate through a virtual induction program and may result in many employees feeling unwelcome or unable to identify and integrate themselves with the company’s culture. This greatly affects their participation and engagement with the organisation and leads to lower employee retention.

4) Inability to monitor employee performance-

Monitoring the employee’s performance and progress is an important step in integrating them into the company’s work ethics and culture. Feedback is important as it clarifies assumptions and expectations, helps people improve and learn from their mistakes and builds confidence. Constructive feedback also helps in reinforcing positive behaviour and generating a strong work culture. It is therefore essential that the new employee’s progress be monitored and reviewed. 

This however, becomes challenging in a remote working scenario. Not only is there a disadvantage of physical distance, but even the process for documenting and monitoring the employees’ performance may be unclear or not adequately defined. As a result, they may underperform or fail to achieve the targeted milestone. This would not only affect the individual’s growth but also the company’s progress at large.

5) Unavailability of essential equipment-

Digitization of modern business has made it impossible to function well without appropriate technology. Most new employees are provided with their own laptop and other essential software, tools and programs that are necessary for their work. This particularly becomes challenging during the pandemic, especially if the employee has to be trained to use a particular software or program. Some organisations may also find it difficult to reevaluate their employment benefit schemes to make it relevant to the current situation.

These are the 5 major challenges with onboarding during the pandemic. They can however, be overcome by making the necessary changes to the Induction program and leveraging mobile technology to make the process more engaging, interactive and effective. 

6 reasons to opt for mobile learning in corporate training

The changing trends in technology have generated a new and innovative way of learning through digital platforms. Mobile Learning or mLearning, is quickly becoming a popular way to access a variety of content and information through the use of multiple devices. 

Mobile Learning also provides an opportunity to engage the learner while boosting their overall productivity. Corporate organizations are recognizing the value of mLearning, especially as it enhances the learning environment, increases participation and creativity and improves the company’s revenues. 

There are 6 reasons to opt for mobile learning in corporate training-

1.  Flexibility

Mobile learning is flexible in the sense that it allows the learners the freedom to complete their training when they choose. It also gives them more control over their learning sessions and they have a choice over which modules to complete first and which ones later. Also, in the current fast-paced lifestyle, mLearning is ideal in corporate training, as the training time can be outside busy work hours and learners can opt for it during their regular commute or in the comfort of their home.

2. Higher Retention Rate

Mobile Learning is highly learner-centric, delivering the content in parts and is very different from the traditional way of giving information through books and lectures. The content that is presented is also simplified and made concise. It also offers the option of going back and engaging with it again, if the learner has any queries. Furthermore, each module is created in such a way that it doesn’t take long for the learners to go through them. As a result, the learner can quickly complete a course before moving on to the next one. 

3. Collaborative Learning

One of the important aspects of mLearning is that it facilitates learning in groups by establishing online communities where the learners can interact with one another. It can also easily integrate with apps and social media platforms to generate conversations about training and sharing experience and ideas, thereby creating a rich collaborative learning experience.

4. Higher engagement

Effective use of content design in mLearning ensures greater engagement of the learners. Puzzles, quizzes, interactive sessions and games make sure that the learner is able to not just learn, but enjoy the process of acquiring knowledge. This leads to greater retention of knowledge and the learner is able to recollect the modules easily. This is ideal for a corporate set-up, as most people are busy with their work, travel often and would be unable to go through pages of mere content. Also, the multi-device support available makes it easier for a person to access the courses through a variety of digital platforms such as PC, laptop, smartphone and tablet.

5. Tracking Progress

It is very easy to track a learner’s progress using mLearning platforms. They can also be assessed on the knowledge they have acquired and can access the course whenever it is needed. It thus becomes easier to provide feedback and compare a learner’s progress through the course as mobile learning allows the progress to be tracked. 

6. Ideal for Telecommuting

In the current pandemic situation, more people are preferring to work remotely and hence without a consolidated platform to provide training, it becomes difficult for an organization to function. Hence, it becomes essential to digitalize the training modules, so that people can easily access them from their homes and the company can continue to run smoothly. 

In conclusion, opting for mobile learning, especially in corporate training, not only removes formality from the learning process by making it more interactive, but also motivates and empowers individuals to develop the skills needed to increase their productivity, thereby contributing to the overall progress and development of the company. 

How to build an Induction Program

A new job comes with all new experience, roles, challenges, and environment. A new employee is full of excitement, and nervousness, while joining even if the employee has worked at other places. It is essential for the employee to get acquainted with the new workplace. 

The first impression has a long term effect on the employee. Therefore, the first few days are very important for the employee, as well as the employer. The employee needs to be felt as a part of the organization, and should not feel left out. A good Induction program bridges this gap by working two-way, and is essential for the employee as well as the employer.

Induction is a process which aims to familiarise new employees with the organisation and their job. A well planned induction program will include information about the organisation, safety rules, general conditions of employment and the duties in the section or department in which they are employed. The induction program also introduces the new employees to the culture and values of the organization for which they are working. The process helps to welcome new employees to the company as well as give refresher training to employees within the organisation so that they are aware of all the policies, regulations, dresscode of the organization.

Many things need to be considered while making a good Induction Program, as it is necessary that the induction process is successful and brings expected result. 

The program should cover basic information such as orientation in the building, health and safety information and employment terms and conditions.

The details regarding the period of the process should be clear. This includes the tasks to be given in the first week, third week, then the next month and so on.

As soon as an employee accepts an offer with the organization, the employer should connect over a phone call, involve the employee in social activities and ensure that all relevant administrative and IT arrangements are in place.

The employer can link the induction program to the organisation’s objectives and strategy. This may include social meetings wherein the employee is helped or assisted by other employees.

Planning a mini induction during the first 3 days with an immediate supervisor is also an alternative.  A more comprehensive induction training session may follow during the first 3 weeks and then a review meeting after 3 months to check everything is going according to what is planned.

The employer must ensure that all the details are stated clearly. This includes the aims and objectives of the organization, the roles and responsibilities. The employee must not feel that he is given a work which is out of his knowledge or is different.

With all the rules and regulations, the employer must take care that the employee feels as a part of the organization. This improves retention.

To build a successful induction program the employers must take feedback from the employees after a certain period. This helps to keep a check if things are on track and employees too feel valued.

Effective inductions are timely, organized and engaging, and give a good first impression of a company. The induction process doesn’t end after a certain period. It’s the responsibility as an employer to make sure that the employees   grow into their roles. Successful employee induction is a continuous process! 

Reference-

 HYPERLINK “https://belindasinduction.weebly.com/” https://belindasinduction.weebly.com/