You may have heard the term micorolearning being tossed around the learning and development world for the last couple years, and for good reason. Microlearning is essentially a method of teaching and delivering content in small, specific doses. In this type of learning, the learner is in better control of when and what they are learning.
The Benefits of Microlearning
In our high-tech society, it has been said that the attention spans of most people are dwindling. However, as an organization, learning is still so important for the growth and development of your employees, your business and your customer service. Learning providers face the challenge of delivering learning in a way that is accessible, digestible and most importantly translatable to a real-world environment.
Some of the benefits of microlearning include:
- Shorter lessons are easier for learner to complete with busy schedules
- Succinct content makes the information more digestible
- Reduced amount of time spent on training
- Increased retention because the learner isn’t getting too much information too fast
- Accessible content when and where it’s convenient, on any device
Is Microlearning Right for my Organization?
With busy schedules it’s getting harder and harder to take people off of the job for in person learning, not to mention the added cost and travel time. People want their learning content when and where it is convenient for them. Microlearning adds the element of time convenience in a high-tech, yet interactive environment that so many people desire.
By utilizing eLearning, your organization can provide a clear and consistent message to all employees across the organization. This can offer a high impact way to align your culture and messaging internally.
Global Engagement Solutions offers microlearning solutions utilizing our Layered Learning approach. Click here to learn more about our learning solutions and see them for yourself in action.
Your organization can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on training and developing your employees, but if you don’t put that learning into action, then your efforts will be in vain.
It is critically important that 10x the amount of time, energy and resources is spent following up and reinforcing learning and development, as is spent designing and delivering it.
What is Action Planning in Learning?
Action Planning is an application focused exercise for you to implement and discuss during your leadership meetings. Upon completing a learning session, the learner would develop an action plan on how to implement that learning in their workplace. The action plan would be sent to their direct supervisor and they would work together to create a plan and methods of accountability to put that plan into action.
How to Activate Change with Your Learning Program
Action planning is important to the development process because It creates momentum and motivation to put the learning into action. It creates accountability for both the learner and their supervisor because it’s a guide to how to implement the learning in your organization.
To successfully transfer learning from the learning environment to a real-life scenario, your focus must be on repetition and reinforcement.
Your learners must fully understand the content and competencies they have learned by repeating the content, practicing, drilling and rehearsing it in a safe environment.
We believe the key to great learning is retrieval. Being able to retrieve the content or the competency when you need it to make a difference with a colleague or a customer.
Once your learner is confident in their ability to retain and retrieve the content and competencies they have learned, create an action plan of how to implement that learning in the organization. It’s important for the supervisor to be directly involved with the action planning step. This gives the learner someone to be accountable to, while also making the supervisor accountable for putting the learning into action.
Here is an example of an action oriented microlearning program:
As you can see from the design above, each learning suite is developed to create repetition, follow up and reinforcement as well as accountability, tracking and measurement.
If you would like to learn more about how to implement a microlearning program in your organization with a focus on action planning, get in touch here.
Talent today aren’t going to stick around your organization and give you their discretionary energy and loyalty unless they feel they are being engaged, empowered and enabled in their role.
Most employees don’t want to just put in x number of hours a day in the same monotonous job. They want skills that make them more marketable NOW and in the future. They want to feel like they are learning and growing in their current role, and they want to feel like they have the skills and competencies to do a good job with their colleagues and customers.
We have observed that the new work order has changed, and talent is no longer trading job security for job loyalty. However, when you give them skills and development now and opportunities for growth in the future, they feel visible and valued, which translates into giving their discretionary energy and loyalty. Plus, when you develop your employees they are better enabled to serve both your internal and external customers and provide a better experience which can translate into more productivity and profits for your organization.
Millennials and Learning
Millennials especially are known for moving from job to job in order to expand their growth, salary and opportunities in their careers. A recent Gallup poll found that, “Millennials are more likely than both Gen Xers and baby boomers to say a job that accelerates their professional or career development is “very important” to them (45% of millennials vs. 31% of Gen Xers and 18% of baby boomers).” (Gallup, 2017).
Read more about What Millennials Want in the Workplace here.
Enable your Employees with Learning and Development
Hire for personalization, then train for hard skills. There is lack of soft skills now in the workplace, and yet these skills are ones that help to create exceptional experiences for your customers. Often times the hard skills that an employee needs to execute their role are trainable. Soft skills that focus on creating personalized experiences for your employees and customers include: being authentic, hospitality, empathy, competency, commitment, friendliness and fun! If you hire your employees for these sort of skills, you can usually train them for the specific tasks they will need to know on the job.
Commit to your employee’s development and be accountable for their learning. Have a plan for developing your employees. Communicate and discuss with them openly about their opportunities for growth and commit to a plan of action. Ask yourself, what specific efforts have been made to improve my employee’s personal and professional skills? The best organizations, the ones who have high retention, high recruitment and employee loyalty, engage and enable their talent with learning and development throughout their careers.
For more information on how to implement a custom learning program in your organization click here.
You spend 2000+ hours at work every year, that’s 23% of your time, 3 full months or ¼ of a year! Whichever way you look at it, you spend a lot of your life ‘working’, so you might as well enjoy your experience! Most people would rather be great than ordinary. It is your job as a leader to develop your employees and engage them so that they will give you their discretionary energy and create exceptional experiences for their internal colleagues and your external customers.
Here are some of our top featured blogs to help you develop and engage your employees. Click below to read more!
A Guide to Being a Servant Leader
Don’t Be A Bosshole
Get Your People Geeked About Learning
Is Your Learning Program Like Drinking Through A Firehose?
Take Your Engagement Program from Meh to Hell Yah!
How To Get Your Customers To Love You
I hope these blogs are helpful for you to develop and engage your employees and yourself so that you will be energized, enabled and motivated to create exceptional experiences that make your customers stay longer, buy more, and positively refer others!
Follow these links to learn more about how to implement at Engagement or Learning program in your organization.
If you’re in the learning and development department, I bet a big part of your role is figuring out how to best disseminate information to your employees so that they can effectively use that information in real life scenarios and better serve your internal and external customers.
A huge part of creating this sort of effective learning that will make your employees feel connected to your organization’s goals and objectives, is finding the sweet spot of intersection between learning and engagement. Learning is one of the key drivers of employee engagement so it is important to capitalize on this with your employees and discuss where they are, where they want to be in the future and how learning bridges that gap.
Here are some ways you can get your employees engaged and geeked about learning:
1. Incent them to learn by recognizing them with rewards. It’s important to show your employees you are committed to learning by rolling their development into your engagement and recognition program. You can give employees an allotment of points for every lesson they complete or a larger sum upon completion. Or if monetary recognition isn’t your thing, you can use gamification and badging to set up leaderboards and start some friendly competition. Let’s face it, this gold star method has been working to encourage positive behavior since back in preschool.
2. Don’t give them too much information too fast. One of the top reasons why employees feel bored or overwhelmed with learning is that they get too much information, too fast. If you give them information in short, digestible doses, repeated and reinforced over time, they will be more likely to effectively process the information and feel encouraged to continue to pursue learning in the future.
3. Incent them to learn by providing opportunities for growth. Most people would rather be awesome than ordinary. Your employees want skills and competencies that will make them more marketable now while they are with you, and for where they want to go in the future. Not many employees want to stay stagnant in their careers. If you provide your employees with learning opportunities it shows that you care about their future at your organization. It is also important to create a culture where they can progress and grow into new and more senior roles. Have your employees shadow roles above them, and find opportunities for them to practice their leadership skills.
4. Have an action plan and accountability so they feel connected to the success. It is important that your employees are accountable for what they have learned and are clear on their learning objectives. Give them an opportunity to practice, drill and rehearse their learning in a safe environment, so that they know exactly how they can apply it with a customer. Then, senior leaders should have one on one conversations with employees about how they will apply the learning in real life scenarios.
If you want to be a successful global organization you must understand, empathize and account for the diverse needs of your global workforce. When addressing their global employees, most companies have eLearning and recognition programs with one blanket solution for every employee in every country.
However, employees have told us that these programs leave them feeling unengaged. They reject these programs and consider them to be boring, long, and disrespectful since it has not been customized or made culturally relevant for them. Instead, companies with global employees need to create Learning content that is spoken in the native language, delivered with cultural sensitivity and relevance, without voice overs or subtitles.
When it comes to global recognition, employees have told us that they want their rewards delivered in country with culturally relevant rewards. Doing this also benefits your organization because there are no tariffs and taxes on your employees rewards — when rewards are shipped and points are redeemed, it happens in the country of choice.
Another consideration global organizations need to consider for their global workforce is accessibility. Mobile capabilities are so important in this age of global technology, because not every worker always has access to a desktop computer, especially when you look at the statistics globally. For example, with India, 4% of people have a computer, 95% have a tablet or a smartphone is key for global delivery.
In addition, employees and leaders are busy, and it’s costly to take them off the job for traditional training. Mobile learning and employee engagement gives employees easy access to their organizational engagement portal 24/7 so they can engage with the platform when it’s convenient for them! This also allows global organizations to deliver just-in-time training and education that can accelerate results.
Global organizations face unique challenges with learning and recognition, but when designed the right way, a personalized, in language, culturally relevant learning and recognition program can achieve significant results towards enabling your employees with skills and competencies in an accessible, understandable way, and engaging them with rewards and recognition that they value.
Since 2007, GES has served over 400,000 customers, in over 17 languages (Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and growing!), in 170+ Countries across the world. Find out more about our Global Learning and Global Engagement solutions and set up a complimentary consultation for your organization today.
Almost every senior global learning or organizational development executive encounters the same challenges of delivering effective global learning. Even with the billions of dollars invested over the last decade, most global eLearning is not effective, suffers from significant drop out rates and is either not engaging, too long or just plain boring.
Too many organizations focus on learning retention. However, I think the key to great learning is retrieval — being able to retrieve the content or the competency when you need it to make a difference with a colleague or a customer.
The mistakes that most multi-national and global companies make around the goal of creating engaging, effective and efficacious learning include:
Trying to give learners as much as they can, as fast as they can. I describe this as being analogous to drinking through a fire hose. Think of it this way, if you planted a bunch of seeds and wanted them to grow, would you water them with a fire hose? Probably not. If you did, you would probably get lots of flooding, a muddy mess and maybe some patches of growth here and there. But, it you used drip irrigation or a sprinkler to water your seeds consistently over time, you would have nice, even growth and you wouldn’t have to go back later and replace the seeds that were destroyed in the flood. This is similar to the traditional learning and training we see in many companies that takes employees off of the job for large chunks of time and tries to give them all of the information they can pack into a couple days. They often cannot retain all of this information so quickly and won’t be able to effectively put all of their learning into action.
Doing a poor job of converting their instructor led content to an eLearning or mobile learning environment. Almost no one, unless it is mandatory, will watch a boring eLearning module with a talking head for 40, 50, 60 minutes or more. Especially if this content is subtitled or voiced over. It is not because the content isn’t good or helpful. It is because it is delivered in a way that is guaranteed NOT to produce a sustainable change or result.
Spending too much time, energy and effort on designing and delivering the learning and not enough time is spent on following up, reinforcing and implementing the learning.
The key to inverting these challenges is a learning model that focuses on repetition, practice, and reinforcement with built in action planning and accountability to put the learning into action. This type of learning can be compared to a sprinkler or drip irrigation system, whereby you drip in the learning slowly, consistently and spread out over time.
For example, GES’s Layered Learning solutions take the learner only 15- to 20-minutes per week and has built in reinforcement and tracking. The layered learning model is ideal for any organization that has a hard time taking employees off the job for large chunks of time.
The cumulative effect of layering in skills over time is significant, but what our customers have told us is that the process was not cumbersome or burdensome and a whole new set of tools showed up in their tool box almost seamlessly.
Each module structure is identical and contains the following sections:
The simple elegance of the layered learning model and the use of repetition, reinforcement and action planning are the key contributors to the documented ROI it has helped produced worldwide for our clients. And of course, the fact that each module is produced with every spoken and written word delivered in the learner’s local language with cultural personalization.
Find out more about our Layered Learning Solutions here or schedule a free consultation today.
Most millennial workers are approaching their careers with high expectations. They want to find a role and organization that fit their life and give them a sense of contributing to something bigger than themselves. They are very interested in doing work that feels meaningful and purposeful to them. And they want to be able to use their talents to do their best work and are consistently looking for opportunities to get better through learning and development.
Now when it comes to engaging your talent, millennials are no different from every other worker in every organization – one size does not fit all. Every generation of talent want to be treated how they want to be treated. As a leader, this means uniquely enabling each worker with the personalized skills, competencies, rewards and recognition that they want, when they want it.
Many argue that workers of the non-millennial generations tend to stay longer in their jobs, so that makes them more worth investing in. However, with the new work economy moving so fast and continuously changing, even so-called loyal employees will move on if they are offered a better opportunity to learn and grow with an organization.
As a generation that is growing in the workplace and swiftly moving into more management and leadership positions, learning is consistently rated as a top driver of employee engagement and attraction among millennials. Gallup found that, “Millennials are more likely than both Gen Xers and baby boomers to say a job that accelerates their professional or career development is “very important” to them (45% of millennials vs. 31% of Gen Xers and 18% of baby boomers).” (Gallup, 2017).
A key takeaway for leaders from the vast amounts of research focusing on millennials is that they are speaking up and letting their employers know what they want and their passion for growth and learning is playing a huge role in driving workplace change.
As a leader, the key areas you should focus on when it comes to attracting, engaging and retaining your millennial talent are learning, development, work-life/family balance and flexibility. As a leader your primary role should be listening to your talent and removing obstacles that get in the way of successfully delivering these things to your workforce.
Although there are small variations in the levels of engagement, and desired perks and benefits for the millennial, GenX and Baby Boomer generations, a lot of the larger picture findings were very similar. All generations of talent consistently report that they want to feel acknowledged, they want to be enabled with learning and development, and they want to be rewarded (with personalized perks and benefits) for their good performance.
For more information about how you can develop your talent with learning opportunities get in touch for a 15-minute demo of our global, mobile learning solutions.
Last year I released a book called The 7 Personalization Principles, which profiled 7 outstanding organizations that aligned their company mission and values to create exceptional, personalized experiences for both their employees and customers. Through that research, I noticed many patterns in the perks that these top companies were offering their employees to engage them. Gallup also recently released The State of the American Workplace, which reported many of these same perks through their data.
Based on that research, here are the top 6 company perks to consider implementing in your organization to engage your talent in meaningful ways:
- Flex-Time. Netflix was one of the companies that stood out most in this category. They have an extremely flexible work environment where they set high performance expectations. With this they offer their employees a lot of flexibility when it comes to their hours worked. Additionally, they have unlimited vacation time and unlimited maternity/paternity leave during the first year of a child’s birth.
- Remote work. Gallup found that 39% of employees work remotely in some capacity (Gallup, 2017). Allowing your employees to work remotely either full time or part time can be beneficial for both the employee and employer. For example, employees can be flexible with their time, reduce their commuting hours, and have a quite space to concentrate on more demanding projects without interruption from their colleagues. For employers, remote work can reduce real estate overhead costs, serve as a motivator and form of engagement, and show your employees that you give them autonomy and trust.
- Autonomy. Autonomy treats employees to act like owners and make good decisions within a framework of the company values. This serves as a powerful motivator and engager, by enabling employees to do their jobs authentically the way they want to, without micromanagement. Nordstrom, for example, is one company that offers their employees a lot of autonomy to interact with customers how they see fit. They only have one rule in their employee handbook – to use their best judgement at all times.
- Learning and Training. Learning is one of the key drivers of employee engagement, so it is no surprise that your talent want opportunities to learn and grow in your organization. In fact, Gallup found that millennials especially want to be given these learning and professional development opportunities to accelerate their careers.
- Professional Development. Starbucks is an excellent example of a company who consistently emphasizes and encourages learning, training and professional development. They offer full tuition reimbursement to their partners and encourage them to continuously develop themselves. They also strongly encourage promoting talent from within the company, which gives partners incentives to continuously develop their skills.
- Monetary bonuses, rewards. It’s important not to underestimate the power of a bonus or allotment of recognition points to recognize high performance. In fact, 54% of employees said they would switch jobs for a company that offers monetary bonuses as a perk (Gallup, 2017).
There are also some perks that Gallup found employees expect and are considered “basic benefits” including: a retirement plan, health insurance, paid leave, paid vacation, insurance coverage other than health insurance (Gallup, 2017).
GES’s Global Learning and Engagement solutions can help you meaningfully engage your workforce and will check off many of the top perks listed here. To learn more about how you can implement these perks in your organization get in touch for a free 15-minute demo of our Employee Engagement Solution.
Let’s start by answering these few questions:
- How far away from you is your phone right now?
- How many times a day do you check your phone?
- How many minutes/hours a day do you spend using your phone for reading, accessing email, apps and other content?
The truth is, 94% of smartphone owners carry their phone with them frequently and 82% say they never or rarely turn their phones off. Plus, 59% of smartphone owners report they use apps on their phones at least several times a day and 27% saying they use them “continuously” (PewResearchCenter, 2015).
These stats don’t surprise me. In fact, excluding phone calls, 99% of my business interactions are done on my phone or tablet.
As a leader, it is critical that you acknowledge these behavior patterns that your employees are so clearly displaying!
When it comes to recognition, engagement and learning, your employees want what they want, when they want it. That means making your Employee Engagement and Learning programs completely mobile integrated.
Think about it, as a leader you would be able to reward and recognize your talent with a tap of the screen (maybe when you’re out grabbing a coffee or waiting for your conference call to begin). Plus, your administrators can access real time reporting and redemption information from anywhere! And finally, as an employee, having mobile integration means having access to their reward portal to redeem points, browse the peer-to-peer recognition feed to congratulate their colleagues, or accessing their learning modules when and where it’s convenient for them.
I talk a lot about leaders removing obstacles that get in the way of their employees doing their best work. Mobile learning and employee engagement gives employees easy access to their organizational engagement portal 24/7 so they can engage with the platform when it’s convenient for them!
In the engagement and incentive market, recognition happens in the moment. By having a truly mobile experience, this fills the gap of only being able to give incentives and recognition when you’re at your desktop. By having a flexible, multi-device platform that is both easy and intuitive to use, it increases utilization and engagement.
Additionally, mobile capabilities are so important for a global workforce, because not every worker always has access to a desktop computer, especially when you look at the statistics globally. Employees and leaders are busy, and it’s costly to take them off the job for traditional training. Having mobile integration increases ROI for global organizations because it will be accessible for even more employees. Plus, delivering layered learning through the convenience of a mobile app, companies will be able to provide just-in-time training and education to accelerate the results.
Think this is something you would like to integrate into your organization? Find out more about GES’s completely mobile integrated, global Employee Engagement and Learning Solutions. Plus, sign up for a free 15-minute demo to experience the platform for yourself!