Avoiding the LMS Overkill

“The world is full of people who will help you manufacture tornados in order to blow out a match”
Shaun Hick, Author

What LMS Overkill Is And Ways To Avoid It?

In a fast-changing world, organizations need to keep their teams up to speed with the latest trends and methods for each industry. This requirement for learning has spawned the multi-billion-dollar Learning Management System (LMS) industry. And, today, there are hundreds of LMSs to choose from, with a mind-boggling array of features. Which brings me to the all-important question: As a company looking to implement an LMS, how does one choose the most appropriate one?

Well, most LMSs would provide core features – User Management, Course Creation, and Basic Progress Analytics. What distinguishes one LMS from the other are the shiny advanced features they offer.

So, why not just go for the one with the largest number of features, or the one with the coolest features, or the one that the leader in your industry is using?

Because you might just end up with a system that is nightmarish to implement and, altogether, too complex for your audience to use. This is the concept of the LMS overkill, and most LMS providers, including us, have been guilty of it at some point or the other.

The truth is that given the size of the target base, experience with learning systems and the complexity of training to be administered, enterprises have different learning requirements at different points in time.

This is called the Enterprise Learning Life Cycle, which broadly maps into 5 stages:

Enterprise_Learning

The selection of the most appropriate LMS should ideally depend on where the company is in the Enterprise Learning Life Cycle.

1. Solo Stage Requirements

In the Solo Stage, a senior leader or trainer acts as a Subject Matter Expert and trains a select set of learners in the subject. The content is mostly from existing knowledge built over the years of practicing their trade. The onus of learning is on the learner with little focus on assessments or pushing adoption.

Stage Indicators

 Learning System Requirements

Learning_System_Requirements _LMS_QuoDeck

In the Solo Stage, there is no real need for a formal learning system unless the Subject Matter Expert is planning to translate his knowledge into something more permanent. In such a case, the only requirements they would have is a repository to store the learning content and a way to share the content.

Instead of an LMS, you should consider using Google Drive, OneDrive, DropBox or a similar file sharing service at this stage. Alternatively, you could create a course on a MOOC like Coursera or Udemy to host and share your content.

2. Startup Learning Team Requirements

In the Startup Stage, the organization relies on its managers to train their own teams. This is typically the case when the organization is in the startup stage or is composed of small teams. The main learning objective for the learners is to get familiar with the company’s products and sales pitches. A lot of the learning happens on-the-job, and the quality of training depends on the quality of the managers.

Stage Indicators

Learning System Requirements

Learning_system_requirements_lms_QuoDeck

In the Startup Stage, the requirement is for a low-cost system that can be handled by the manager himself. Most of the content that needs to be disseminated is already available as sales pitches and planning documents. The requirements, in this case, are a repository to store the content, a way to share it, a system to check whether the learners have viewed the content, a way to make the whole experience more engaging, some basic assessments and above all, a method to prevent download or onward-sharing of the often-proprietary content. In case the team operates in the field, you might also require mobile learning functionalities.

For this stage, you should try out a lite LMS like QuoDeck ExpressTalentLMS or ProProfs.

3. Standard Learning Team Requirements

In the Standard Stage, the organization takes on the responsibility to scale up all its employees. The organization typically has a dedicated HR team, who explore need gaps and plan and conduct learning sessions to plug them. Leading with classroom sessions, most organizations typically look to add in eLearning to standardize the content and dissemination approach as well as reduce costs.

Stage Indicators

Learning System Requirements

System_requirements_lms

The Standard Stage is when the company is most susceptible to LMS overkill. Given the mandate to acquire a new enterprise system, it is but natural for the team to go for the “best” instead of the “most appropriate”. LMSs tend to get evaluated on the number of features they offer, rather than what is really required by the organization.

Ideally, the focus should ideally be on creating high-quality interactive content on tools like Articulate and Captivate. The LMS is required largely for structured dissemination.

At this stage, it is preferable to go for a cloud-based mobile learning system with a lower technical learning curve. Ideal candidates for this are LMSs like CanvasDocebo, and Litmos.

4. Seasoned Learning Team Requirements

In the Seasoned Stage, the organization starts a decentralization process due to the increase in its scale of operations. Each team has dedicated HR managers who take on the responsibility to scale up the employees in their team. There is a central, dedicated learning team, who oversee and authorize learning activities.

Stage Indicators

Learning System Requirements

Learning_requirements_lms

The Seasoned Stage is where the organization should look to acquire a full-fledged LMS. However, the key at this stage goes beyond the LMS features themselves. The ongoing learning management for the organization requires many offline processes which are the mainstay of the learning team.

Mapping of the organization, arranging them into cohorts and setting up aspects like escalation matrices, social networks, etc. require close coordination between the learning team, IT, and business units. Tracking of offline activities requires strong processes driving such activities and social learning requires tight moderation.

At this stage, it is advisable to go for a full-featured LMS like MoodleSabaBlackboard, QuoDeck Enterprise, CornerStone On Demand, etc.

5. Scaled Learning Team Requirements

In the Scaled Stage, the organization has learning as a business function. Beyond training its own employees, the learning team of the organization takes on the responsibility of training the employees of its company’s ecosystem (vendors, partners, distributors) and its consumers too.

Stage Indicators

Learning System Requirements

Requirements_lms_QuoDeck

In the Scaled Stage, the organization extends its enterprise LMS with multiple microlearning platforms. These platforms get deployed for differing purposes and are managed by the business teams once set up.

Advanced analytics become a significant component of learning management in this stage. Being a business function, learning at this stage becomes strongly MIS driven, with roll-up reports and integration with Business Intelligence systems.

This stage typically requires an on-premise deployment of a full-featured LMS as in the Seasoned Stage and multiple cloud-based micro-platforms as in the Startup Stage.

Conclusion

Given the hundreds of choices available when picking an LMS, it is undoubtedly difficult to be sure of the one you choose. Be careful that you do not end up investing in a system that is more expensive than what you need to afford, and one that offers features that sound impressive but in reality, add little tangible value to your specific needs. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and start simple.

And remember; ultimately, the LMS is just the technology. Your learning architecture, Instructional Design, content quality, and adoption drives are equally important in proving the difference between a successful implementation and an LMS overkill.

By Arijit Lahiri, Co-Founder of QuoDeck

This article was first published at eLearning Industry.com.

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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.

EnterpriseGaming_MobileLearning_CEO_QuoDeck_2018.jpg

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

What do Indian women want freedom from?

As India celebrates its 72nd Independence Day, Yahoo Lifestyle reached out to seven women to ask them what freedoms Indian women are still fighting for today.

Kamalika Bhattacharya, the CEO of QuoDeck believes women are more than a single dimension. She recently talked to Yahoo about why Indian women need freedom from being stereotyped

5 Benefits of a Learning Management System for Businesses

With a growing need to foster effective learning and cater to the training needs of a global workforce, organizations across the world are implementing learning management systems for corporate training.

A learning management system (LMS) is a software application that can deliver course material to learners, administer assignments and tests, track the performance of participants, manage records, and offer continuous support.

When your business’s corporate training requirements start to become more complex, an LMS is likely to be the best solution that can meet your needs. With that in mind, here are five benefits of a learning management system for businesses:

1. All the eLearning content is accessible from one location

With a cloud-based LMS, your organization’s eLearning content is not stored on different offline hard drives or devices. Instead, its securely saved on the cloud which allows your employees to access eLearning courses wherever and whenever they want. This also greatly reduces the risk of losing data, since all the information is saved on a secured remote server.

The easy accessibility of an online LMS makes it the right fit for organizations that have a global or a remote workforce and it also ends up saving time for your employees.

2. Mobile readiness

Over 99% of the mobile users believe that mobile learning has enhanced their overall learning experience. That is why, with mobile-ready learning management systems, you are able to offer a great user experience to your employees and in turn get increased overall productivity.

Your employees are no longer required to stay at their desk to access and complete online courses. Instead, they can log into the LMS app on their mobile phones and view eLearning content while they are on the move. This is one of the main reasons why 67% of the organizations are already implementing mobile learning in some form or the other.

3. A more engaging learning experience

There was a time when corporate training was all about spending hours listening to an instructor in a conference room. But today, learning is more personalized with LMSes that offer interactive lessons, fun quizzes and games, video conferencing, and forums to discuss the courses.

The new learner-centered approach has not only led to a more engaging experience during the learning process but also helped achieve better results at the end of the course.

Since the LMS is already accessible online, it is possible to integrate social learning into your eLearning strategy. You can create eLearning exercises that are centered around peer collaboration and even add online forums where your workforce can discuss and help each other.

Games augmented reality, and virtual reality can also be leveraged to incorporate interactive simulations and scenarios that can easily explain and highlight complex tasks or processes.

4. Reduced time and costs

With an LMS, you no longer have to worry about instructor costs, printing course material, or setting up a conference room for training sessions. Your employees can carry out all the training online and your business is able to save a sizable sum on your learning and development budget.

Since LMS gives online learners only the information that they need in a more direct and organized manner, you are also able to reduce training time. Instead of sitting through a 3-hour seminar, your employees can just access the online modules on the LMS that they need to learn. With the flexibility that LMS provides, your employees are able to take these courses according to their own time, which doesn’t disrupt their important everyday work as well.

5. Driving compliances is easier

Compliance rules and regulations get regularly modified, but updating your traditional offline course to reflect these changes can be a rather time-consuming task.

With an LMS, it becomes possible to update your learning content according to the new compliance standards in just a matter of a few minutes. This is in stark contrast to the traditional courses where you would have to send the updated courses to every employee separately and different versions of the same course could create even more confusion.

LMS can ensure that all of your employees are on the same page about the company policies and the compliances are always followed.

In conclusion

A learning management system clearly has numerous benefits. You are able to create a more skilled, productive, and engaging workforce in your organization while saving time and costs. It’s also possible to track the training progress of all of your employees and generate reports in real-time.

That is why it is no surprise that more and more organizations are implementing LMSes for their workforce. When are you incorporating an LMS in your organization?

Discomfort is the Route to Entrepreneurial Success

So why is Discomfort so essential for entrepreneurial success and how to embrace it?

Entrepreneurship has always been about seeking out the new, in uncharted waters. Across ages, be it explorers or individuals, who have made a mark in their chosen fields or Entrepreneurs who have sought to change the world, have stepped out of their comfort zones. In an age when comfort is the buzzword for consumers, Discomfort is the mantra with which Entrepreneurs need to live by. Discomfort is not about putting oneself in a tough spot. It is stepping out from what you know, to the unknown. Exploring new opportunities, new areas of interest and nurturing a vision. An Entrepreneur seeks of problems and makes solutions for those problems while tackling the new-world questions which arise with these solutions. And that is where discomfort stems from. From seeking the unknown, from seeing problems in a new lens and attempting new paths. So why is Discomfort so essential for entrepreneurial success and how to embrace it?

Embracing Change

Discomfort comes from a change in what you have been doing. Change requires moving forward by going beyond what is holding you. Be it a safety net of certainty, an appraisal plan or just comfort with your work. To make yourself the next success, you need to embrace change as an integral part of your life. Start small but stay steady. A little change, one day at a time can bring success your way.

Say Goodbye to the Comfort Zone

Comfort zones are places which we are used to. We know how they will behave in any given situation. Coming out of this comfort zone is very important for an individual, especially for entrepreneurial successes because that is the only time when your mind is open to new opportunities and solutions where none existed. Discomfort is not just a punchline here, it is a way of life.

Nurture the Unconventional

Great ideas come from unconventional thoughts. The first wheel came because someone wanted to break the convention of walking. Discomfort makes you explore ideas and solutions which are unconventional and gives you the ability to experiment with varied combinations. It is the one thing which makes you think beyond what you think are your limits.

Calculated Risks

Risk taking is second nature to an Entrepreneur. But that doesn’t mean that you dive head straight into it. Study the problem, understand it, appreciate its presence and then find the solutions. Its okay not to have the perfect solution in the first go. Every failed attempt brings you one step closer to success. You may not have all the cards in your favour but a calculated risk towards your goals can get you there a lot faster, along with all the learnings.

Growing with Discomfort

There is only one thing for you to do- Get Up, Get Out & Get Moving. This is what will let you grow, explore opportunities and get a closer understanding of the world around you. You will start seeing things, you never did before. Go ahead to seek the new, forge your tools, mark your own paths and try your hands at everything that you can. It is Discomfort which will test you to the limits and will give you the experience to set on the right path.

By Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-Founder at QuoDeck


This article was first published on Entrepreneur India


Fun and games to upgrade your skills

Arijit Lahiri and Kamalika Bhattacharya, who spent over a decade in organisations like ABN Amro Bank and Intellecap, saw learning department heads begging, bullying and even bribing their learners to stick to their learning agenda.
So they put on their marketing hats to understand what would catch learners’ attention. “Game-based learning pretty much screamed itself up,” says Bhattacharya. Games allow for more engaging learning experiences while also making the learner behaviour more measurable and analysable. Today, their company, QuoDeck (earlier Ptotem), uses board games, murder mysteries and treasure hunts as learning methods, and these have been used by organisations like PepsiCo, Unilever, Aditya Birla Group and Tata Group.

To read the full article, click here

5 ways to leverage AR and VR for training your employees

According to IDC, the estimated market opportunity of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) solutions by 2020 will be $143 billion. Companies of all sizes are increasingly using AR and VR for corporate training and to acclimatize their new employees to the work environment.

In fact, according to STRIVR, learning retention rates with AR/VR can be as high as 75 percent as compared to just 10 percent retention rate through reading or lecture. Whether its management, customer services, or seasonal situations, businesses are successfully using AR and VR for numerous purposes.

For your company, that means if you are still not incorporating AR and VR in corporate training, then you are missing out on a lot. Here are some of the ways you can take advantage of AR and VR for training your employees.

1- VR workplace tours for new employees

With a virtual tour of the workplace, your new employees can familiarise with their new work environment, even before actually coming to the office. For you, it means your employees will be ready to get started with their work right from the first day since their learning curve will reduce greatly.

They would already know the breakrooms, bulletin boards, their team leader’s office, and their own cubicle when they arrive. You could also design the entire onboarding training module for new employees as a VR tour to make it more engaging and interactive.

2- Emergency drills

Emergency drills are a necessity for every company, and they have to make sure those drills are being conducted from time to time. But just getting a safety expert to explain the different scenarios to your employees is not enough. Most people find emergency drills boring as it interrupts their work, and they often don’t even pay attention to it.

However, you can create emergency drills using AR/VR technologies to check if the employees can handle stress and identify the correct security protocols through simulations. The biggest advantage of this is that employees can take these courses according to their own time.

VR_AR_BestPractics_QuoDeck

3- Task walkthroughs

To help your employees get a better understanding of the tasks that they need to perform on a daily basis, you can create online training simulations which would allow them to learn in a virtual environment.

With these simulations, they can determine the skills and steps they need to follow to complete a task, and it would also give them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes without any consequences.

Bear in mind, it’s important to make sure that the simulations are as realistic as possible to provide your employees with a fully immersive experience that they can implement in the real world.

4- Compliance training

For companies, compliance training is one of the most important and mandatory processes, and they have to make sure their employees are well accustomed to it. But handing out a large document to every employee and hoping that they would read every line of it is not enough and it may not even help your organisation in the long run.

Instead, you can use AR/VR to create virtual workplace environments where employees can get a better idea about the compliances they need to adhere to through online simulations. You can also create game-based lessons where employees are given different situations to see how they would respond to it, whether its accepting gifts from a client or a workplace injury.

5 – Virtual case studies

There is no better way to understand the business and skills, than by going through previous case studies which had successful results. But most case studies are text-based and they aren’t as engaging. With AR/VR technology, your employees can understand these case studies in a more interactive way, as they will be able to see those examples in action.

By adding simulations, activities, and fun quizzes, the otherwise boring case studies become more life-like and allow your employees to retain more knowledge.

Getting the most out of AR/VR training

By implementing VR and AR technologies, you are also able to measure the performance of your employees accurately. Heat maps make it possible to see exactly where users look during their 360-degree experience and the instructors can monitor trainees in real-time. You can create VR/AR applications that can be easily integrated with your Learning Management Systems (LMS) as well.

In conclusion

Augmented and virtual reality training provides an innovative and new way to increase employee engagement, improve productivity, and save costs while offering a cutting-edge learning experience. With the latest advancements that have happened in the AR and VR technologies, the barriers are quickly fading away making it a viable option for immersive training for any industry.

6 must have apps for every HR professional

One of the most crucial functions in any organization is the Human Resources.

The HR function drives the organization, its culture, future growth possibilities and is also the first point of contact for prospective employees for the organization’s brand value.

It is interesting that HR teams witness an average 22 percent cost savings when they move to automated and digital solutions for process-jobs. There are other numbers which prove that an app backed HR function is much smoother, with transparent employee interactions.

To help with that, these are the six must have apps which every HR professional should have:

Workbright

One of the most primary functions for HR is the employee on-boarding process. Once the employee joins the organization, there is paperwork and one-to-one sessions required with the HR teams to help set the employee into the system & the job role. Workbright makes this process simpler by taking it online & doing it even before the employee has joined the organization. Workbright helps with all the process functions of the on-boarding journey and can also be made to have primary sessions for the employee-to-be on what to expect in the new role. Once joined, the employee already has an exposure to his role, saving up on time-costs for the HR team as well.

QuoDeck

Human Resources lead the Learning and Development functions for any organization. Very important everywhere, conventional learning mechanisms involve a set theory which needs to be read over and tested for a score. This has become a mundane process and generally, employees treat it as just another test which they forget about later. QuoDeck solves this problem by making games out of the tests required. Instead of repeating what was read, QuoDeck turns the entire session into a game where people win points, can compete within teams or outside of teams, etc. This helps take the learning process in the right spirit as the retention and participation levels are much higher.

LinkedIn

Hiring today is an online process and taking up the game notches is LinkedIn. A social media platform where professionals have well-crafted profiles detailing all their achievements is the perfect way for HR functions and recruiters to know more about prospective candidates. The chat & mail features also help both sides reach out to each other and have a meaningful conversation before they decide on functional meetings. For the HR functions, LinkedIn is an indispensable tool which helps them know a prospect better before they take the next steps. LinkedIn works better than so many other ‘job’ apps because it is about building meaningful careers with the right fitment and not just getting a job.

WorkStyle

Hiring is a very chance-based process. Despite all possible checks & attempts, there is a gut factor which comes into play. At times one lets go of great assets, or at times brings on-board undeserving candidates. In either case, it is a mistake which is realized late and costs the organization dear in terms of intra-relationships and any other means. WorkStyle helps the HR teams because it comes with testing an employee’s personality traits. Technical skill-sets help do a job, but personality traits make an employee gel with the teams and contribute for both personal & organization growth. WorkStyle comes here with a variety of models and tests helping the HR team to take an informed decision.

Zenefits

Human Resources work on two ends of the spectrum- the procedure-oriented and the emotional and human-oriented. The processes and formalities-based systems take up a lot of time, leaving them with limited scope to help employees with the ‘Human’ aspect of their profiles. Zenefits helps here by taking up all the roles of employee records, hierarchy structures, payroll management and any other function which can be done via a procedure. This leaves the HR team to devote time for better employee engagement, interactions and developing the general work culture of the organization.

Yammer

An organization is an ecosystem with its own sub-groups, job descriptions, work titles, assignments, line & cross-line reporting, etc. In such a world it is the HR’s responsibility that all communication channels are open for employees so that impromptu groupings can be made, everybody in a group knows about updates happening simultaneously and much more. Yammer makes it possible to engage in fruitful intra-office and inter-office conversations and coordinate for better personal relationships. For the HR team, Yammer is helpful as it comes with a dashboard with features for tracking, recording and maintaining effective communication channels.

This article was first published on Business Standard

Why Mobile Learning is the Future of Corporate Training?

According to a survey by Stat Counter in 2016, the number of mobile users surpassed the desktop users for the first time, with 51.3% mobile users and 48.7% desktop. It is no surprise that mobile has now become a preferred medium for people to access content. In fact, according to a report by Growth Engineering, 43% of people find learning from mobile devices very useful and essential.

Mobile learning is more than a way to learn through a mobile device. It allows people to learn on-demand, at their own pace, and in the form of bite-sized micro lessons.  

For companies, the question is no longer whether to consider mobile learning. The question is — How long will they wait to implement mobile learning in their organization?

Here are some of the reasons why mobile learning is the future of corporate training:

International assignments and global mobility continue to rise

Talent mobility has become a norm for most organizations. In the last decade, international assignments have increased by 25 percent, and if it follows the same pattern, then we could see another 50% increase by 2020.

When your business is sending an employee to an unfamiliar and new location abroad, you need to make sure that your employees have all the training and information they need to make their assignment a success. After all, for any business, international assignments are already expensive, and lack of preparation can lead to decreased productivity and poor results.

That is why it is important for businesses to train their employees in advance so that they can deal with any type of challenge that they may experience when they are on the assignment. Though the employees may not have enough time to get their training before leaving or during work hours, with mobile learning. With mobile learning as part of your corporate training, it becomes possible for your team to learn on the go and make their international assignments a success.Millennialsusing_QuoDeck_2018.jpg

Millennials prefer short bursts of information

It is estimated that by 2020 nearly half of the workforce will comprise of millennials, which means companies have to change their corporate training programs as soon as possible to make sure it caters to the new generation and trains them in the most effective way.

Now, millennials are used to smartphones and tablets, and they are from the social media generation where they consume information in small bursts. Handing these millennials a 50-page manual or conducting a 2-hour seminar about a new technology that you are going to implement in your firm, may not help them retain as much information as you would want them to.

Instead, with mobile learning, your corporate training program can be converted into a scenario-based fun game that the millennials can play on the go and it can also help them retain more information leading to a more productive and an efficient workforce.

In-house training to make sure your team is constantly learning and evolving

With high competition, it has become crucial for companies to only have the best talent on their team. When you are hiring new talent for your company, you go above and beyond during the recruitment process to make sure the people you are selecting have all the necessary skills and knowledge.

But the business world is constantly changing, and without the right in-house training you might soon realise that you have an under-qualified staff. By implementing a mobile learning program, you can allow your team to gain new skill sets and always stay ahead of the competition by creating a corporate training program that everyone can partake in at their own speed, without affecting their work.

The rise in the remote workforce

Companies around the world are embracing mobile workforce. By allowing employees to work outside of office, according to their flexible timings, organizations are able to get better results and efficiency.

When your workforce is operating in different geographies, you also need to change your corporate training program to fit the new workforce. After all, you cannot expect the remote employees to cram all the information in a single instructor-led training event.

The employees won’t be able to understand or implement information accurately when they are taught everything in a small span of time. Instead, with a mobile learning application, your team can learn the new course and technology remotely, and at their own pace, which would make retaining and implementing information easier.

Enhanced collaboration and engagement

We live in a world where people prefer sharing their ideas online instead of doing it in person. By leveraging the social aspect of mobile learning in corporate training, you can generate more conversations among your employees and create a continous learning experience. This, in turn, increases collaboration, engagement, and motivation among your employees and makes training fun.

For instance, you could implement mobile-based gaming lessons for your team and keep the scores of the top ten people. You could also create a community page where employees could share what they learned from the game or ask questions about certain sections of the game which would encourage peer to peer learning.

In conclusion

With the flexibility and efficiency that mobile learning provides, there are no doubts that it is indeed the future of corporate training. If your organisation is yet to incorporate it into your training program, then its high time that you did.

Informal Learning For Startups: Preparing For Internal Social Collaboration

Classroom teaching has been debunked for newer forms of learning and engagement across organizations. Interestingly, startups seem to be the ones driving companies towards such learning. Read about it in detail here.

The Use Of Informal Learning For Startups

Working in any organization involves learning, and at different levels. The most common approach is a presentation and exemplifying, followed by learning and then repetition. However, this technique may not always yield appropriate results. Several startups in today’s business ecosystem have realized that one needs to make a framework in order to get a complete view of a learner’s overall needs.

There is no doubt that L&D plays a very important part in developing successful leaders amongst Millennials across organizations. With increase in competition, companies have started pursuing more efficient as well as effective methodologies of social learning. [1] As per an international survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, 82% respondents declared that they were making use of some form of internal social network. Since informal learning comes to 90% of total work-based learning, this is bound to happen.

Though it is known that internal social networking is highly beneficial to any company, putting together a suitable network is easier said than done. Gartner’s estimate claims that about 90% initiatives for social collaboration fail due to the “provide-and-pray” approach- one which says that any new initiative does not necessarily require massive marketing and internal promotion.

Jacques Bughin at McKinsey states that if internal social networks need to be counted as success stories, at least 30-40% of staff must be utilizing in every day. If that does not happen, then the social learning initiative will gradually fade away and you will not get the expected results.

This is what Sylvia Vorhauser-Smith, Senior Vice President at PageUp, a well-known HR software company, said during her answer to L&D professionals’ questions on informal learning methods: [2]

Investment in informal learning is increasing as more and more organizations realize just how ‘sticky’ on-demand micro-content such as online blogs, podcasts, and videos are for engaging employees of all generations. With advancements in mobile learning technology, it’s now much easier for employees to share informal learning content with their peers, sending it viral across the organization. (…) People have always learnt informally, and formal education and training has supplemented that. Enterprises are now just leveraging what is a very natural and intuitive way of increasing their employees’ knowledge and skills.

3 Steps To Develop An Informal Learning Strategy

1. Engagement Strategy

Informal learning helps in attaining a massive amount of organizational knowledge, through a varied and exciting learning program which enables learners to make advancements in their careers. Only a clear engagement strategy can ensure that learners are motivated enough to participate in the very first instance. Rewards and recognition can be a good method to engage them. Make use of a game-based learning platform to create a meaningful program for them. This should be accessible through all devices, even mobiles.

2. On-The-Job Admin Team

It is natural that an elaborate learning module will require several moving parts. Every member of the L&D team should understand the aims of this initiative. If managers can become gung-ho about the new training initiatives, they will certainly become extensions of your own admin team. The organization’s culture of adapting it is what will help you move forward with the initiative.

3. Open Community

One of the major reasons for the success of any informal learning program is its nature of providing autonomy to the user. Though the user is empowered through the Learning Management System, it is also necessary to link needs of the user with those of the organization. When employees participate in open forum discussions, they get a sense of belonging with the company. At the same time, the LMS leads to better engagement levels for employees.

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Informal Learning In The Startup Environment

The changing landscape of business across India has seen the magnificent and unprecedented growth story of startups. And there is no reason why such learning cannot benefit these small organizations as well. In most cases, startups do not have the necessary funds in order to execute a full-fledged L&D program. They also do not possess requisite manpower for the same, which again brings informal training to the fore.

Adaptability And Flexibility

These are two key parameters that employees working at a startup always have to keep in mind. Well, the same goes for the learning program as well, and that’s the beauty of informal training. It has to be constantly adjusted and tweaked as per the needs of the startup. And yes, this is certainly the need of the hour since the startup is constantly evolving. By having a formal structure in place, it will no longer be possible to adjust.

Here is one of the reasons why informal learning programs can be most successful with startups. As mentioned above, learning is most effective when the user becomes autonomous. In other words, self-led learning has the potential for maximum rewards. Try to understand; who is the person who learns the most in the daily working of a startup? Well, you guessed it right – it is the average employee who is possibly engaging with clients on a daily basis. He or she is the person who will be facing the maximum number of doubts, and by being at the seat of the informal training program, he or she will also get the fastest answers. This will naturally lead to greater retention, as the employee will understand how the organization is committed towards his or her welfare.

New Vision For eLearning On A Global Scale

Today technology is advancing at a pace quicker than any one of us could have ever imagined. Eventually, there will come a time when our systems of pedagogy will be unable to handle the impact of global change. For this reason, a new vision needs to be drawn out, and informal learning is certainly a part of the same.

We are currently residing in societies which have the facilities to be able to network, collaborate and coordinate on an international scale. When we look at bringing about innovation to organizations, it becomes increasingly certain that those involved in such endeavours need to come up with a long-term vision on the future of eLearning, according to a universal global standard.

Startups can really help to take the above vision, and here’s why. They are the companies which get into territories that no one else does. They are the ones considered to be the harbingers of change in society. So if they drive forward the new eLearning vision, there is no reason why the world’s organizations will not follow.

 

This article was first published at eLearning Industry.com.

 

References: 

  1. Transforming the business through social tools
  2. Why informal learning is a worthwhile investment

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