Learning /

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Workplace productivity can be greatly influenced by the level of training and development that employees receive. Here are some ways that training and development can impact productivity:

Improves Skills and Knowledge: When employees receive training and development, they acquire new skills and knowledge that can help them perform their jobs more effectively. As they become more skilled, they can work more efficiently and with greater accuracy, leading to increased productivity.

Enhances Motivation: Employees who receive training and development opportunities are more likely to feel valued by their employers, which can increase their motivation to work harder and be more productive. Additionally, employees who are given the opportunity to learn and grow in their jobs are often more engaged and committed to their work.

Increases Confidence: Training and development can increase an employee’s confidence in their abilities, which can lead to a greater sense of empowerment and a willingness to take on new challenges. Confident employees are more likely to take initiative and be proactive, which can lead to increased productivity.

Reduces Errors and Mistakes: When employees receive training and development on best practices and standard operating procedures, they are less likely to make errors and mistakes on the job. This can reduce the need for rework and corrections, leading to increased productivity.

Supports Innovation: Training and development can also foster a culture of innovation within an organization. Employees who are encouraged to think creatively and come up with new ideas are more likely to generate new solutions that can improve efficiency and productivity.

Overall, investing in employee training and development can lead to a more skilled, motivated, and engaged workforce, which can ultimately result in higher productivity levels for an organization.

What’s the Right Workplace? 

A decent workplace is one where employees feel respected, supported, and valued, and where they have the resources and tools they need to do their jobs effectively. Here are some signs that you have a decent workplace:

Positive work culture: A decent workplace has a positive work culture where employees feel supported and valued. This can be indicated by open communication, constructive feedback, and a sense of community among colleagues.

Fair compensation and benefits: A decent workplace provides fair compensation and benefits to employees, which can include competitive salaries, health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks.

Opportunities for growth and development: A decent workplace offers opportunities for employees to learn and grow, such as training and development programs, career advancement opportunities, and mentoring.

Work-life balance: A decent workplace recognizes the importance of work-life balance and provides flexibility in terms of work schedules, time off, and other accommodations to help employees balance work and personal responsibilities.

Safe and comfortable work environment: A decent workplace provides a safe and comfortable work environment that is conducive to productivity and well-being. This can include ergonomic workspaces, adequate lighting and ventilation, and a commitment to health and safety protocols.

High employee retention: A decent workplace has high employee retention rates, indicating that employees are satisfied with their jobs and feel motivated to stay with the company over the long term.

In summary, a decent workplace is characterized by a positive work culture, fair compensation and benefits, opportunities for growth and development, work-life balance, a safe and comfortable work environment, and high employee retention rates. By creating a decent workplace, employers can promote productivity, engagement, and well-being among their employees.

How Using Technology Supports Your Workforce

Using technology can provide numerous benefits and support to a workforce. Here are some ways in which technology can support your workforce:

Increased efficiency: Technology can automate and streamline many tasks, freeing up employees to focus on more complex and high-value work. For example, project management software can help employees collaborate on projects, share information, and track progress in real-time.

Improved communication and collaboration: Technology can support better communication and collaboration among team members, regardless of their physical location. Video conferencing tools, collaboration software, and instant messaging platforms can help employees stay connected and work together more effectively.

Enhanced flexibility and remote work: Technology can provide employees with the flexibility to work from anywhere, which can be particularly useful during times of crisis or when there are business disruptions. Cloud-based applications and virtual private networks (VPNs) can allow employees to access work-related data and applications from anywhere.

Access to real-time data: Technology can provide employees with real-time data and insights, allowing them to make better decisions and act more quickly. Business intelligence tools, analytics software, and dashboards can provide employees with access to up-to-date data, which can support better decision-making.

We are all aware of the additional costs involved in getting people back to work and technology can be used very efficiently and cost effectively to support your work force. This can be achieved through basic means, such as email, VC or via an instant messaging app or platform. Some companies may also choose to use project management software which also makes communication more effective. 

Improved customer service: Technology can support better customer service by enabling employees to respond to customer inquiries quickly and efficiently. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems, chatbots, and other tools can help employees manage customer interactions more effectively.

Increased job satisfaction: By providing employees with access to the latest technology and tools, employers can improve job satisfaction and engagement. This can lead to increased motivation, productivity, and overall job performance.

So, technology can provide numerous benefits and support to a workforce, including increased efficiency, improved communication and collaboration, enhanced flexibility and remote work, access to real-time data, improved customer service, and increased job satisfaction. By leveraging technology, employers can create a more productive, engaged, and motivated workforce.

Reference: https://www.thehrdirector.com/


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AUTHOR: JOSHBERSIN 

In today’s skills-based economy, people want to learn faster than ever. More than $200 billion is now spent on various forms of workplace training and the volume of content is massive. There are tens of thousands of videos, courses, articles, and tools dedicated to helping people learn. And more and more of it is designed to be “in the flow of work,” so you can learn where you are, when you have time, and when you need the help.In this mad flurry to put more and more content online (YouTube now has 23 million channels and gathers more than 5 billion views per day), we seem to have left something out. The most powerful and memorable learning actually occurs when we talk with other people.

Take a look at the research done on the Ebbinghouse Forgetting Curve, which essentially shows how quickly we forget what we learn. When you study alone, you typically remember 28% of what you learned after two days. When you repeat the material, you remember 46%.

But when you use it, answer questions about it, and interact with others, you remember 69%. The reason?  Actually conceptualizing, recalling, and using information is what creates the “memory pathways” that stick in your mind.

Why do you think we have homework assignments and work in groups in school?  Why do teachers give lectures and then ask students questions to discuss in a group?  It is a well-known fact that collaborative, cohort-based learning is the most valuable, useful, and memorable way to learn.

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And we must remember that the “teacher” is always a vital part of the learning process. This person may be a subject-matter expert, a renowned researcher, a lecturer or instructor, or a course facilitator. Through the process of asking questions, providing advice, giving context, and explaining specific examples and solutions, the teacher “brings learning to life” for each individual in their own important way.

Learning Platforms: How This Has Been Lost

The learning technology market is a fast-moving, somewhat fad-driven space. Whenever a new technology is invented, L&D professionals rush to see how it could be used for learning.

As I like to remember, in the early 1980s when the first PC’s came to market, one of the sexiest ideas was to use them for training – so technologists hooked up laser disk players and developed video learning programs that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to build.

Since then we have “experimented” with social interactions in many forms of learning, and I have to say most of them have been somewhat limited, unimaginative, and more or less “bolted on” to content. In other words, what we’ve been doing is building lots of self-study content which has “some collaborative features,” but mostly focused on comments by learners.

I recently participated in a large online masterclass which I authored through a series of videos. The students loved the content but the interactions were limited because we did not group people into small groups and did not use a platform that truly facilitated group learning. I’m here to help you figure out how to fix this.

(When done well the results can be amazing. Hive Learning, a provider which focuses on designed collaborative learning, has proven through A/B testing a 50% increase in retention through their environment when compared with traditional classroom training. Nomadic Learning, who I discuss below, regularly achieves over 90% completion rate regularly in their cohort-based programs.)

Since building a collaboration platform is expensive, most vendors have lashed together off the shelf tools. The market has essentially evolved as follows, and in many ways, this represents an industry-wide exploration and learning journey we’ve all gone through together.

 

Learning platform vendors, of course, fall into various traps. They develop a platform that facilitates a certain type of activity (ie. The LXP vendors focus on the discovery of content, not the content experience itself), and then they sell their products as horizontal solutions. We as L&D and HR professionals have to buy these platforms and more or less “stitch them together” to build a total solution.

In particular, if you want to drive change, alignment, innovation, and relationships through your programs (as we do in the Josh Bersin Academy, for example), then you have to design your programs for group activity. And one could argue that this is also true for pure technical skills: coding academies and most technical certificate programs require group projects, design sessions, and “studios” that bring people together in small groups.

I know in my own career these group learning activities have been far more memorable in the long run, but that doesn’t mean “micro-learning” is also important. Group and cohort-based learning often fall into the “macro learning” space, while self-study and reading fall into the “micro-learning space.”

How Platforms Are Changing

As you consider all these issues, let me point out how learning platforms are starting to address this problem, and I’m going to talk primarily about two I know well:  360Learning and Nomadic Learning (the company I’m partnering with for the Josh Bersin Academy). There are many others (Intrepid, NovoEd, Hive Learning), and I will try to compare them briefly at the end of the article.

In the case of 360Learning, the company was founded six years ago by a passionate and brilliant engineer (Nick Hernandez) who realized that the most important learning that takes place is driven by an expert.  Over the last decade, he has built an amazing platform that enables any expert in your company to “teach classes online” without the burden of “building complex content” or even hiring an instructional designer.

Underneath all the technology is a simple concept: a human (teacher, facilitator, expert) is at the foundation of great learning. And as 360Learning calls them, they are “learning champions.” (We are all learning champions at different times in our lives.)

In the early 2000s I wrote a lot about this idea, and we called it “SME-authored content.” (We called it “from e-learning to we-learning,” which was a cute idea.)

At that point in time products like Presedia, Breeze, Brainshark, Articulate, and other “Powerpoint to Flash” tools become hot, because they let people take their PowerPoint presentations and quickly turn them into instructional programs. Today many of these products are gone (or evolved), and we need a new system that facilitates this “expert-led” approach that is easy for experts to use.

I won’t get into great detail about how 360Learning does this, but it’s quite an amazing system and the company now has more than 500 large clients and is used by Safran Group (global aircraft engine manufacturer) where hundreds of experts teach others throughout the company.

Every single company needs a platform like this, and in my travels, I have never found a system that focuses so well on letting an expert (L&D or line leader) author content, share it, certify experts, and create an ongoing collaborative experience with employees. The company’s concept is “teaching experts to author and teach” in a highly scalable way.

I know this works because I’ve talked with some of their clients. Companies like Safran Group have almost 5% of the professionals authoring courses which are consumed by others. Imagine what this model could do to unlock expertise in your company.

Initially, the company positioned themselves as an LXP but they’re really much more. So position them into the “program management” category in my model and really are creating a new category for expert-authored, collaborative content. (LXP’s are primarily tools for content discovery and aggregation.)

When you think about the problem in this “human” way, you find new features become important. 360 Learning, for example, keeps track of all interactivity by learner and gives instructors lots of data about what content people are using, where they seem to need more help, and how “engaged” they are with the programs. This is exciting proprietary stuff, which really makes customers happy.

Nomadic Learning, the company I partner with for the Josh Bersin Academy, is even more interesting. Matt Burr and Tim Sarchet, the founders, built a business called “50 Lessons” which created video-based stories from the world’s greatest CEOs around the globe. (Similar to BigThink.) The videos were amazing (I watched many of them), but what Matt discovered is that nobody ever watched more than two videos in a row and most people stopped watching after 3-4 minutes. In other words, there was very little “depth of learning.”

The problem he discovered, which is even worse now, is that people just don’t have time to sit down and watch videos for an hour or more at a time. My research with LinkedIn shows that we waste almost a day a week on distracting emails and the biggest “challenge” people cite about their learning and career development is “I don’t have enough time.”

So Matt and Tim set out to build something new. I won’t give away the secrets, but the whole idea of Nomadic is to build a learning experience that “draws you in” and continuously gives you surprises, videos, exercises, ideas, and interactivity – in a way that makes it easy to stay engaged. Matt likes to call it “semi-synchronous,” because you can stop and restart at any time – but you do have a “time-bound” program to finish, so over a period of weeks you’re expected to stay on track.

In the case of Nomadic, the platform, content, and collaboration are integrated in a designed way. Since Nomadic is a custom content and video storytelling company, the programs feel like carefully designed integrated experiences, and you keep “wanting to come back” whenever you can. In the case of cohort-based learning, Nomadic has learned that by arranging people into small groups (20-50 people) the learning experience is personal, collaborative, and innovative. So the “programs” in the Josh Bersin Academy are designed to take place in groups, and each exercise brings people together in innovative and novel ways.

What I’ve experienced so far is that Nomadic’s platform (and 360 Learning’s platform) are much more than “learning” platforms. Just like face to face events, they bring people together, let people share their challenges and ideas, and create alignment toward strategic solutions.  And Nomadic includes its own built-in LXP, so there are hundreds of curated resources available for micro-learning at any time. One of our clients, Medidata, is using the Josh Bersin Academy to drive their entire digital transformation. And this is the type of thing that 360 learning could do also.

What To Consider: Many Platforms Abound

There are many learning platforms and content providers on the market, and they are built by smart, innovative entrepreneurs. My point in this article is not to try to cover them all, but rather help you think through the importance of “group-based learning” and make sure you focus your energies on “what is being used for macro learning” and “what is being used for micro-learning” as you build your solution.

Remember To Focus On Culture

Finally, let me mention the importance of building a learning culture. Regardless of your efforts to build great content and hire the best instructors, the culture of learning always prevails.

Do people have time to learn? Do they feel a sense of empowerment and belonging in the program? Does the experience “meet them where they are?” And is there an expert, teacher, or facilitator to make sure employees can really get what he or she needs as they push themselves to the next level?

Nothing creates a learning culture more than groups of people activated to learn together.

New ideas, conversations, and talking about solutions create memorable skills we all carry for a lifetime. As you select your tools and build your strategy, make sure the focus on human supported, group-based learning remains at the core. You’ll be glad you did.

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Are you wondering what you can expect from making the switch from face to face to online learning courses? All businesses are having to quickly learn how to harness digital power for training and development more broadly than before. 

Can online learning replace face-to-face? What are the pros and cons of deploying an online training strategy? How can you make this transition a sustainable success? Read on to answer these questions and find out the next steps in your own move from face to face to online learning.

What is online learning? 

Online training is the process of imparting knowledge virtually. When it comes to online training vs face to face learning, the main difference is where the training takes place. The term ‘online learning’ encompasses all learning that is conducted virtually, in an online setting. It’s basically any type of training that employees can do via a laptop, tablet or smartphone. 

What is face to face learning? 

Face to face learning is training that is provided in person, whether that’s a one-on-one session or in a group setting. This type of training is generally less flexible than online training, as it’s usually at a set time and place and cannot be accessed on-demand. 

 

Employees are keen to learn 

Most employees in recent times have been adapting to cope with the fast pace of modern working life. They are often busy and overwhelmed but still keen to learn; they value high quality content that’s personalized and relevant to their needs; and they are getting increasingly impatient and turned off by content and experiences that aren’t high value, relevant, and available when they want it.  

Never has this been more important than now. Modern working life for many has become even more fast-paced and overwhelming. With most of the workforce working from home and companies quickly reskilling and reshuffling roles, it is imperative that your online learning stacks up to expectations and ensures productivity. 

 

Online learning vs face to face learning in the workplace 
 

The biggest differences between online and face to face learning have always been in the realm of fostering connection and collaboration between learners. The loss that Learning and Development Professionals experienced with this abrupt stop of face to face learning delivery is this positive social impact. This is a valid concern. The importance of face-to-face interaction in education, for example, is vital. In-person social interaction has a richness that might feel hard to replicate in the digital world – but, when it comes to the corporate world, it’s not impossible.


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Author: Dr. Awele Ohaegbu Emerging technology refers to innovative ways of doing things with the potential to be more widely adopted in scope, practice, and solutions. Most often than not, emerging technologies are not novel, yet to be fully adopted or in a state of flux. The aim of these tools is to provide a digitally driven approach through the Internet of Things (IoT), which involves objects that can process, exchange data, enable experiential interfaces and interactions. Some of these technologies include Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mobile Learning (m-learning), Adaptive Learning, Live Streaming, Wearable Technologies, Immersive Classrooms, Games, Simulations, Open Education Resources (OER), and Robotics. These learning methods, though perceived as the same, are actually very different in their learning accessibility, flexibility, engagement, and content delivery. Despite the very broad options in digital learning technology, there are encompassing limitations to these mediums of knowledge transfer, such as connectivity, speed, non-compliance of user interfaces due to rapid technical innovation, poor instructional designs, and switching from traditional teaching practices. A major tenet for the increased acceptance of emergent technology in learning, despite infrastructural, environmental and cost implications, is to achieve Smart Learning. Smart Learning refers to a multi-adaptive set of “possible spaces’ for teaching and learning. Possible spaces include mediums of communication, sensors, data exchange platforms, as well as learning and non-learning variables that can be modified to aid learning. Furthermore, a given set in every possible space will take cognisance of every knowledge activity, enabling precise adaptive actions in response to perceived learning realities. Smart learning converts learners’ capacity through the assessment of their strengths and weaknesses depending on learning objectives. How do you ensure you achieve your learning objectives in this era of rapid technological change? How do you know which learning method is ideal for each objective? Too many options to choose from, right? Well, depending on the type of knowledge being sought, learning objectives and purpose of seeking knowledge, engaging a learning consultant is the best bet for individuals and organisations to fully benefit from digital learning technologies effectively. Here are reasons why you should engage a consultant:
  • It eliminates the waste of time and the cost of trying out digital options. It is noteworthy to state that regardless of how appealing a digital method may appear, it may not effectively serve your learning needs or purpose. Your consultant will help you do a thorough content and context evaluation.
  • Professional consultants deploy their experience from previous clients to your advantage.
  • They pay more attention to adapting details such as instructional designs and experiential interfaces where applicable.
  • They can do learning analytics for you! Consultants can help neutrally track learners’ behavioral data, identify and recommend further interventions to achieve learning objectives.
  • Continuously monitor digital trends and gradually diffuse them into existing learning systems to avoid technological shocks from abrupt switches.

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Author: Dr. Awele Ohaegbu

Digital learning is knowledge that is enabled, facilitated, or mediated through technology for enhanced skills, training, and development (CIPD, 2021). It can be classified into formal, informal, and blended learning. Formal digital learning refers to the delivery of formal courses, usually for a fee. Informal digital learning is linked to knowledge sharing to support informal learning. Blended or supported learning is a combination of both formal and informal methods.

The COVID-19 pandemic spiralled a sharp switch with quicker adaptation to digital learning, as well as new technologies to support digital content such as micro-learning, user-generated content, and curated content. Other driving factors for digital learning growth include technological advances such as virtual reality-based learning, increased learner familiarity, and improved access to high-speed broadband. The disruption and recession caused by the pandemic have led to resourcing considerations of cheaper, faster, and shorter development courses for employees.

Furthermore, a prevalent requirement for employees’ upskilling due to organisational and technological changes has contributed to digital learning growth. Digital learning can also be perceived as an enabler of self-paced study patterns, giving it an edge over traditional classroom methods. According to Malhotra (2021), factors influencing knowledge interactions such as expert-based trust, organisational culture maintenance, employee autonomy management, and adequate feedback must be fully considered in virtual learning settings.

In summary, effective digital learning can be achieved through two key parameters: meaningful learning and mindful learning. Mindful learning entails the balance between interpersonal collaboration and technological mediation, while meaningful learning includes creativity, immersive teaching, and impactful engagement.

References

CIPD. (2021). Digital learning in a post-Covid-19 economy: A literature review. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Malhotra, A. (2021). The post-pandemic future of work. Journal of Management, 47(5), 1091-1012. DOI: 10.1177/01492063211000435


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