Most people think of leadership as an occupation or a person who is formally in charge of others, but leadership is really the mechanism that enables a group to perform better. Specifically, leadership is a process of influence that enables a group of people to function as a team to achieve more than an individual or a badly led group. Leadership, then, is a resource for the group, and the critical issue is not what the leaders look like but how they influence the group.

The good news for those hoping to automate leadership is that its scientific study is well-established. Indeed, 100 years of academic research have enabled us to identify the key ingredients of leadership, so it is now possible to predict with a relatively high degree of accuracy whether someone will become a leader and how effectively they will lead if they get there. And once we are able to decode a phenomenon to break it down into its core components, then it is feasible to automate it. As Norbert Wiener, the father of cybernetics and a pioneer in robotics, noted: “If we can do anything in a clear and intelligible way, we can do it by machine.”

Unlike human leaders, a well-programmed robot would be selflessly focused on advancing the interest of its team

For example, a crucial component of effective leadership is technical expertise. Unsurprisingly, leaders make better decisions than their subordinates when they have higher levels of domain-specific knowledge and sometimes higher general intelligence than them. To the degree that this knowledge can be reduced to a fixed set of rules and facts, it would be hard for even the most experienced leader to compete with a machine.

Furthermore, while the logical and reasoning capabilities of humans tend to peak by the age of 30, intelligent machines can continue to learn and get smarter and faster as they process more data. Of course, a robot leader will not be able to replicate human intuition, but there is no real evidence that intuition – feelings about facts – makes leaders more effective. On the contrary, when intuition is not grounded on data it can produce toxic ideas and undesirable behaviors, such as prejudice, unconscious bias and discrimination.

Another key component of effective leadership is integrity, which involves putting the team ahead of the leader and displaying consistency between one’s words and actions. There are two main reasons for the importance of integrity in leadership. First, integrity is linked to trustworthiness and unless groups trust their leaders they will not be able (or willing) to perform well. Second, when leaders lack integrity they could engage in a range of unethical and counterproductive behaviours that harm their teams.

Given the frequency with which these toxic and destructive behaviours are displayed in leaders, including highly qualified and talented individuals at the top of successful and global organisations, it appears that the honesty bar is fairly low, so it should not be difficult to design robot leaders that outperform most of their human counterparts on this score.

Needless to say, unlike human leaders, a well-programmed robot would be selflessly focused on advancing the interest of its team – that would be its only agenda. In contrast, even when people lead effectively they tend to be driven by selfish and narcissistic desires (eg the need for status, recognition and power), which explains why they often derail. Indeed, one study estimates that up to 67%  of managers can be expected to fail.

A third critical element for effective leadership is strategic self-awareness or the capacity to understand how one impacts on others. Self-aware leaders are able to examine themselves from other people’s perspective. They are alert to feedback and able the gauge how their acts and intentions may be interpreted by others, which enables them to proactively manage their reputation.

Although self-awareness might appear to be a human characteristic, it can be modelled in robots. Indeed, most AI systems comprise a feedback loop that enables them to adjust their decisions on the basis of environmental inputs (eg thermostats, chatbots and wearables). Meanwhile the technologies for identifying human emotions from audiovisual content are advancing rapidly. And again, it is not that this ability is particularly refined in leaders, which is why billions of pounds are devoted each year to executive coaching designed to help leaders increase their self-awareness.

A final key ingredient for effective leadership concerns good people-skills, often referred to as emotional intelligence (EQ). Leaders with higher EQ are able to stay calm and composed, even in stressful circumstances. They can read other people like a book and are capable of predicting and influencing the behaviour of others.

Although affective computing – the creation of emotionally intelligent systems - is still in its infancy, it is important to note that robots do not need to be able to feel in order to act in an emotionally intelligent manner. In fact, contrary to what people think, even in humans high EQ is associated with lower rather than higher emotionality: it is about controlling one’s impulses and inhibiting strong emotions in order to act rationally and minimise emotional interference.

EQ scores range from very low – with key characteristics being neurotic, hotheaded and emotionally hypersensitive – to very high, phlegmatic, impassive and unexcited, so the real challenge would be to create robots with low rather than high EQ.

Though the idea of a computer-generated manager may seem far-fetched at the moment, robot leaders could start entering the working environment and begin to outperform bad (or even average) human leaders within the next few decades.

By Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

-About the Author

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is professor of business psychology at University College London, visiting professor at Columbia University and the CEO of Hogan Assessment Systems. He is co-founder of metaprofiling.com and author of Confidence: The Surprising Truth About How Much You Need and How to Get It.

 

Published in Top Stories

We are now embracing an era when both enterprise and personal technology options are improving almost by the day. So several important considerations must be taken into account to help decide how our organizations will respond and benefit from new HR and learning technologies. Among them: how overall strategy, corporate culture and existing technology will play into future plans.

STRATEGY:

Strategy is both a key component when it comes to a technology environment and a significant opportunity; for instance, more than 40 percent of organizations are looking at improving or developing a new enterprise HR systems strategy this year. This is a key issue for most organizations.

For large organizations (more than 10,000 employees), the goal is most often to transform the technology environment, creating a more modern architecture that can support new user experiences, mobile access, and full-data analysis requirements. Research has shown that organizations are taking multiple pathways forward and are leveraging this opportunity to rethink their enterprise view of HR technology.

Among mid-market (2,500 to 10,000 employees) and small businesses, HR technology adoption has become a key to success. Organizations with higher-than-average HR technology adoption in these categories saw almost double the revenue per employee, and a 12 percent increase in their overall HR, talent and business outcome metrics. These organizations also are 75 percent more likely to be viewed as strategic partners by their business leaders, and they are 10 times more likely to be in the top 10 percent of organizations when it comes to social responsibility initiatives.

CULTURE:

Three specific HR outcome models — talent-driven, data-driven, and topperforming organizations — can alter decisions. In a world of constant digital change, organizations need to completely rethink their perception of technology investments. In today’s Cloud-based environments, organizations have shown that continuous change management models improve decisionmaking across the entire organization.

Cloud-based technologies also allow organizations to develop more valuable relationships with their workforces, clearly defining their expectations and the employee value proposition in a tailored employee experience.

TECHNOLOGY:

Now that there has been a shift both from vendors and buyers toward Cloud/SaaS HR solutions, foundational technology questions are refocusing. This year’s survey shows a 25 percent increase in organizations evaluating Cloud solutions for non-HR technology, and an increase in large organization initiatives to integrate both HR and non-HR technologies. The key questions for many organizations come down to cost, security and long-term value propositions for a full Cloud solution.

The new non-negotiables are focused on user experience, roadmap strategies, and tailored relationships. For instance, there has been a 40 percent increase to 66 percent of organizations that identify “poor user experience” as their primary reason for giving vendors a low satisfaction rating.

The next generation of technology is meant to be invisible and ubiquitous in our lives, and it’s expected to perform as an intelligent system. More than 5 percent of organizations are already using some form of machine learning, wearables and sentiment analysis tools as strategic parts of their HR systems strategies.

Now for some specific facts and figures, based on Sierra-Cedar’s most recent research:

SPENDING PATTERNS

This year, just 42 percent of organizations believe their spending will increase in 2016–2017, while 7 percent feel their spending will decrease. That represents a slight slowdown in spending plans from last year, but it’s still very healthy when compared with 2013’s spending plans following the recent recession.

Small organizations are the fastest growing segment of “new” HR technology buyers, so vendors will need come to the table with a compelling reason for them to increase spending next year; 57 percent of small organizations are on target to simply maintain their existing HR technology spending. However, each year, smaller and smaller organizations invest in HR technology.

HR SYSTEM EXPENDITURES

On average, total HR technology costs can range from $100 to $500 per employee annually. These numbers change dramatically based on the number of systems implemented, amount of internal resources versus outsourced resources, global scope of an organization, and the complexity of an organization’s service and support needs. These global numbers are generally helpful only as a ballpark figure, but do provide us with a lens through which to review year-over-year annual expenditures per employee — and it might be surprising to note that the total overall HR technology costs have seen a slight decline over the last few years.

HR TECHNOLOGY RESOURCING STRATEGIES

Knowing that spending doesn’t provide the only indicator of what an organization can accomplish when it comes to its enterprise HR systems strategy, a new question was added concerning an organization’s plans to increase or decrease certain roles across their HR function over the next year. Immediately, corporate learning and development initiatives claimed the top position for increased hiring plans for 37 percent of the organizations that responded to the survey — and only 5 percent plan to decrease these initiatives.

Following just behind L&D was 33 percent of organizations planning to invest in hiring HR data analytics personnel. Twenty-nine percent of organizations also plan to increase talent management headcount this year.

IMPLEMENTATION PLANS, TIMELINES, MODULES

Fewer organizations (17 percent) are planning to make solution changes in the next 12 months as compared to previous years, but more are planning movement over the next 24 months. Organizations with low user experience scores are four times more likely to have near-term plans to replace their current vendor.

Once an organization has decided to either replace or upgrade an existing solution, the next focus becomes timelines and costs. Implementation timelines have been a constant challenge for organizations dealing with on-remise solutions, particularly for large global organizations. Two- to three-year implementation timelines for enterprise-wide HRMS environments were not uncommon for organizations, especially when these solutions were implemented alongside other enterprise-wide solutions.

In the last few years, we have seen a decrease in overall implementation timelines, particularly for licensed environments, but also for Cloud/SaaS solutions. Less customization, greater access to APIs, and pre-developed connectors for integration, along with more adequately trained implementation partners, have all led to a reduction in overall implementation timelines over the past three years.

At this point, there are fewer onpremise implementations than Cloud/ SaaS implementations, since very few organizations are aggressively selling their on-premise solutions.

LEARNING APPLICATIONS

Because of complex learning needs, large and medium organizations are much more likely to have high levels of learning application adoption over small organizations. Sierra-Cedar anticipates continued shake up in the learning space over the next few years as enterprise software packages continue to invest in their new learning solutions, and many niche learning players coming out of the consumer learning space (like Degreed) are trying the change the concept of who owns an employee’s learning record.

Although Cornerstone OnDemand focuses heavily on its talent management modules, it continues to be one of the largest providers in the learning space and holds the highest level of application adoption at 19 percent; for large and medium organizations, Cornerstone OnDemand sees an increase forecasted adoption in the next 12 months. Other companies that are expected to grow substantially are SuccessFactors Employee Central, Saba, Health Stream, Oracle HCM Cloud (which is being rolled out separately from the Oracle Taleo/Learn solutions). Moderate growth is likely to come to NetDimensions and SilkRoad.

SumTotal and Skillsoft — now combined organizations — continue to hold large adoption shares in learning across all organization sizes. It is likely that many organizations use Skillsoft as a secondary learning solution along with their primary learning management system (LMS), but decreases are projected in adoption rates for this vendor for both applications.

—Research for Sierra-Cedar conducted by Stacey Harris, vice president of Research & Analytics and research consultant Erin Spencer. The “Sierra-Cedar 2016-2017 HR Systems Survey White Paper, 19th Annual Edition” can be found at www.sierra-cedar.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2016/10/Sierra-Cedar_2016-2017_HRSystemsSurvey_WhitePaper.pdf

--By Jerry Roche

Published in Top Stories

 

The Consumer Electronics Show 2017 (CES), the world’s large consumer technology event happens this week, and serves the $287 billion U.S. consumer technology industry. Thousands of solutions and exhibitors are on display with the new and the next in consumer tech. But, which solutions will really move the needle for enterprise learning?

While many at CES are focused on autonomous cars and their intelligent systems architecture, there are some technologies to watch for enterprise learning on display. Let’s look at five interesting solutions that offer a mirror to the future…even some may redefine how learning is delivered.1.      

1. HTC Tracker Vive Turns on VR for Everything

htctrackerviveimage

HTC Vive has been called the most immersive VR experience to date. At CES, HTC showcased the VIVE Tracker, a new tracking peripheral that can be inserted into any product to make it work in the virtual world. Image adding the Tracker to your baseball bat to practice your swing in a VR game. Peacekeepers could use the tracker on equipment during fire simulations, police officers for standoffs, and the like. There are hundreds of potential learning applications.

The Tracker transforms any device into the virtual environment. This means any manufacturer can be a VR device manufacturer by embedding the tracker.

 

 

2. First Google Tango-enabled Augmented-reality Smartphone

googletangophoneimage2

At CES 2017, we see a trend of software being embedded in devices. We no longer must learn to code. ASUS ZenFone AR  Smartphone is the world’s first 5.7-inch smartphone with Tango and Daydream by Google. Tango's AR lets you see virtual objects and information on top of your surroundings. And, Daydream is Google’s virtual reality technology.

For enterprise learning applications, AR if great for on-boarding, technical and safety training. The faster these capabilities are pushed to the smartphone and adopted, the sooner users can generate training content to share their native expertise. Learn more at: https://www.asus.com/Phone/ZenFone-AR-ZS571KL/

At CES 2016, we learned the cost of sensing technology has dropped to pennies an axial, and text to voice is now 95% accurate.  No surprise, we see these technologies integrated into some smart devices for home and work.

 

3. Voice is Everywhere: LG, Alexa and Google Home

voiceiseverywhereimage

 

Like VR, manufacturers are integrating voice assistants within devices at home. NVidia plays with Google Home to create smart home devices. LG is using Alexa in refrigerators to track use by dates, groceries to buy and can place the online order via Amazon Pantry.

These solutions are launching at rates faster than enterprises can adopt them. Enterprises are using machine learning and AI to drive business decisions today. We could drive this intelligence to voice commands at the enterprise creating the perfect assistant.

 

4. Concept: Razer’s Project Ariana

razerariana

 

We have heard of Microsoft’s HoloLens and Star Trek’s Holodeck. Now we have seen Razer’s new concept projector, called Project Ariana. Ariana can bring projection mapping to the masses. The system is a giant screen that blends seamlessly when projected across your wall, furniture and tables. Under development, expect to see this projection system engulf an entire room with visuals that simulate being there. Imagine a Super Bowl broadcast that fills the room with you immersed in the sound and visuals. For enterprises, use of live immersive projections like Project Ariana would be great for CEO meet and greets and group wide or global team meetings. See it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX3sz0S5PA0

 

5. Cool Tools for the Office

toolsforoffice

 

CES is not CES unless you come back with cool tools you want to take home. Here are two our editors loved.

First, Tickle Sensor is a tool to convert your PC to touch screen. Neonode Airbar is sold for $189 and clips to the screen easily. Learn more at: http://www.neonode.com/

Second, the travel keyboard that folds up to fit in a pocket is a must have. The Kanex Keyboard has a 2-day battery life.  It is Bluetooth enabled and the magnetic case keeps it closed. Cost is less than $100.

Next up from Elearning! Magazine: Key trends and consumer technology market growth reports from CES. Follow us at @2elearning or visit: 2elearning.com.

 

 

 

Published in Latest News

As the year comes to a close we’re already looking forward to what’s coming in 2017 for the e-learning industry. However, 2016 was an interesting time for learning and development and we’re excited to recount some of the most notable trends of the year. Industry professionals predicted that 2016 would deliver interesting advancements in the e-learning space, including:

MICRO-LEARNING

This year, micro-learning catapulted to the top of industry blogs as bite-sized learning became more popular with companies such as Uber Technologies and Gap Inc. reportedly making the shift to harnessing micro-learning training options. In addition, with the last of millennials entering the workforce, we saw more content providers offering a series of courses in shorter segments to cater to the new demands of the learning market.

GAMIFICATION

Although gamification’s interactive format has already shaped e-learning, in 2016 we saw gamification manifest in customer-facing products such as Nike’s Nike+ and Starbucks’ rewards program. Over the past year these programs grew in popularity and became a creative way to boost customer loyalty. In the corporate learning space, we saw companies like Deloitte continuing to utilize gamified learning methods in addition to companies seeing rising engagement rates with gamified courses.

AUGMENTED AND VIRTUAL REALITY (AR/VR)

2016 was the year of Oculus Rift’s consumer products and OpenSesame has been experimenting with AR/VR to explore ways to make enterprise training even more valuable for learners. While gamification allows learners to interact and “level up” in courses, AR/VR provides an immersive environment where learners directly interact with content. This year we saw several industries using virtual reality with companies such as General Motors (GM) using VR to train employees. As e-learning courses are created in AR/VR environments, we expect to see notable changes in the industry.

THE “OPEN LEARNING EXPERIENCE”

Josh Bersin, founder and principal of Deloitte, noted that 2016 was a year where the notion of an “open learning experience” began to thrive. In an article with SHRM he describes how open learning experience companies “help employees discover and publish any content they want (including materials they author)...” In 2016 we saw the growing popularity of custom learning paths and “recommended” courses available to learners. In addition we saw training extend into social learning spaces offered through an LMS, making the learning experience catered to the learner.

BIG DATA

Throughout the year speculators predicted that the prominence of big data in e-learning would change the way companies think about learning and development. In 2016 we saw LMS and e-learning companies amp up e-learning analytics, collecting data ranging from time learners spent on courses to testing reality-based scenarios against text-based problem solving. This has been an exciting year as new trends technologies are providing better user experiences. Courses are gradually becoming shorter, more immersive, and more interactive with data for companies to track. Although data surrounding 2016 e-learning trends are still being collected, with the emergence and growing adoption of AR/ VR and other technologies, we’re anticipating an exciting 2017.

TRANSFORMING THE E-LEARNING INDUSTRY

OpenSesame allows you to support your learners, the way they want to learn. Whether you need mobile friendly, short format, long format, ebooks, or a mix, OpenSesame’s catalog has the right content. As the trusted provider of on-demand e-learning courses for midmarket and Global 2000 companies, OpenSesame delivers:

>> The most flexible buying options to maximize your budget

>> The broadest catalog with 20,000+ courses from the world’s leading publishers, updated constantly

>> Compatibility with every LMS

Leading organizations depend on OpenSesame to train millions of employees. An entirely new and better way—easier, more economical, with less risk—to access the best on-demand training. With thousands of business, safety, technology, and compliance courses, OpenSesame helps train organizations of any size.

—BY SIMONE SMITH

Sources: https://elearningindustry.com/5-amazing-elearning-trends-2016

https://www.docebo.com/landing/contactform/elearning-market-trends-and-forecast-2014-2016-docebo-report.pdf

http://www.ambientinsight.com/Resources/Documents/AmbientInsight_2015-2020_US_Self-paced-eLearning_Market_Abstract.pdf

https://elearningindustry.com/brandon-hall-group-elearning-market-trends-2016-learning-management-system

https://trainingmag.com/7-e-learning-trends-keep-eye-2016

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2016/01/05/three-trends-in-e-learning-that-can-help-businesses-craft-better-training-programs/

Published in Trends

Is your workforce prepared for tomorrow’s challenges? Maybe you’re thinking -”my workforce isn’t even prepared for today’s challenges, let alone future challenges.” Regardless, providing employees with the knowledge and skills they need has never been more important – or challenging. And the stakes couldn’t be higher… organizations who deliver the best, most engaging, effective employee training today are going to be tomorrow’s winners in the marketplace.

TODAY’S TRAINING CHALLENGES

The modern worker has changed. The average worker is checking their smartphone nine times an hour and are typically interrupted every 5 minutes on the job. Since the year 2000, the average attention span of a person has dropped from 12 to 8 seconds – 1/3 of the attention span of workers has completely disappeared (Time).

The modern workplace is also changing rapidly. We are running our organizations lean and mean… so managers often feel that they can’t afford to have their people “off-the-job” and training for long periods of time. Fitting in training is often viewed as a secondary objective.

Finally, the shelf life of knowledge and skills has shortened dramatically. Today the shelf life of knowledge is much, much shorter with technological changes and other factors. Experts believe our knowledge and skills must be updated roughly every 18 months or we risk extinction. It’s never been more important for workplaces to use technology to blend learning new skills into their employee’s jobs and create a culture of learning.

ENTER MICROLEARNING AND LEARNING TECHNOLOGY

Thanks to YouTube and other streaming video platforms we now understand that not only do employees desire to learn, but their preferred format for learning is video. We also know they prefer shorter videos to longer ones. Research shows the ideal length of an online training video is 6-7 minutes. This type of microlearning creates 50% more engagement than other training methods.

Microlearning also works well because the programs offered by many online training providers today are designed for any device and any size screen. This is important as many organizations and industries need training available in remote locations where a traditional computer setup is not available or feasible. Fortunately, most of us carry our little video players (aka smartphones) at all times. And since we’re checking them nine times an hour on average, training has never been more convenient!

LEARNING RETENTION AND SCIENCE

So you’ve found an online training partner with a large library of microlearning content and you’re working on a marketing initiative to roll it out to your employees. Great! Isn’t that all you need to create the behavior changes and performance improvements your organization expects to see? Unfortunately no, research by neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists tells us that no matter how great our training programs are, employees will forget about 70% of what they’ve learned within 24 hours of learning it.

Don’t throw your training plan out the window just yet, however. Let’s talk solutions – solutions based on what science tells us about learning and retention.

It turns out that testing knowledge isn’t just a way to measure how much your employees know, it’s also a great way to increase their learning, and their long-term learning retention. When the brain is asked to retrieve information, it tags it as important and is less likely to forget. In practice, asking employees a series of quiz questions and other memory “boosters” related to the training they have taken, spaced out over strategic intervals, can increase learning retention by as much as 300%!

THE RIGHT MIX

We certainly have challenges as HR and workplace learning professionals today. Combining a library of microlearning content that is curated and updated, and a post-training reinforcement plan is the perfect foundation for your training program. Get the mix right and your on your way to preparing your workforce for tomorrow.

--Dean Pichee, Founder and President of BizLibrary

Published in Insights

Current e-learning can be boring, ineffective and lacks motivation. Training may not be engaging enough with dropout rates of 70% for e-learning. This means companies could waste 3 out of every 4 dollars invested in online training- a disproportionate and unaffordable cost for any company.

How can we improve online learning completion rates? Discover these 4 strategies to solve this learning crisis:

1 OFFER QUALITY, PRACTICAL AND APPLICABLE CONTENT

Deliver your employee what they need in your training courses; quality, useful and applicable content. To ensure that your content is practical and useful for your employees, it is essential to turn it into a set of tools directly applicable to real life. Avoid the indiscriminate use of models, theories or definitions that only convey obviousness. If you want your employees to be engaged within your training, you must first convince them that the training is beneficial to them.

2 OFFER SAFE ENVIRONMENTS

If you want to motivate your employees to learn, you must first improve their self-confidence.

An employee who faces training with confidence is likely to become a motivated employee. Create a safe environment in which the participant can test the contents without risk, thus improving their confidence.

You can use gamification techniques, collaborative activities, business simulations or business games to create these safe environments. Make sure your training does not become an obstacle.

3 GIVE PERSONALIZED FEEDBACK

It’s important to give your employees the chance to observe the result of their decisions and receive immediate feedback about areas to improve. Feedback which is permanent, personalized and that allows adaptability and is scaleable. Be sure to leave enough time for the employee to internalize the improvements and to put them into practice again.

Feedback should be:

>> Clear and direct

>> Constructive

>> Given immediately

>> About facts, not about the person

>> Descriptive, not qualify or judge

>> Focused on behaviors that can be changed or improved.

4 TURN YOUR TRAINING INTO A GAME

What if you told your employees that they can train and develop their skills while playing and having fun? What do you think their answer would be?

The game has become the most effective learning tool, as shown by a study conducted by Traci Sitzmann. Her findings show games:

>> Improve learning retention by 90%,

>> Improves the conceptual knowledge of the student by 11%, and

>> Increases task completion by 300%.

And since we are playing, there is nothing better than a learning video game. This solution solves the learning completion challenge, as it:

>> Engages. Through the adventure, learning turns into something entertaining for students.

>> Builds confidence. Being a video game, the user relaxes and feels safe, increasing their self-confidence.

>> Improves performance. The game dynamics motivates students, increasing their effort.

>> It is based on practice. The content is fundamentally practical, allowing the user to learn and master the skill or the competence through experiential learning.

To discover how to add games to your training programs, contact gamelearn at www.game-learn.com.

Published in Ideas

Today’s competitive landscape requires workers who can learn and apply knowledge faster than ever. Spending on corporate training has grown to $70 billion in the U.S. and over $130 billion worldwide. Has this increased investment taught us the best way to teach today’s workforce? How do workers learn best? To answer these questions we usually start with the newest generation entering the workplace. We know that today’s workforce is in the midst of a generational shift:

>> More than one in three American workers today are millennials.

>> In 2015 millennials surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce, according to Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

What does this generational change mean for learning? It may not mean as much as we think. Focusing on the wants and needs of millennials seems like a good place to begin, but new research reveals the best way to learn doesn’t consistently rely on age or experience.

Age doesn’t dictate how each worker learns best. To teach today’s workforce it’s crucial to address the needs of modern learners. These learners are busy balancing work and home life, looking for ongoing self- and professional development as ways of keeping pace with constant change. Above all, modern workers are savvy consumers. When faced with an abundance of learning and development options, they expect the same level of relevance, quality and delivery flexibility they encounter daily in their customer transactions.

To attract and engage modern learners, learning must be personalized to the needs of each learner, sized to fit into open spaces of time and attention and embedded into daily experience.

1. MODERN LEARNING MUST BE LEARNER-CENTRIC

Learning must be personalized to enable learners to choose what, how and when they want to learn resulting in ‘one-size fits one’ experiences. Serving up related content on relevant topics, in learners’ preferred formats, helps create a unique journey aligned to each learner’s needs and preferences.

2. MODERN LEARNING MUST BE MICRO-SIZED AND MODULAR

Uninterrupted time is limited: providing short bursts of knowledge that can stand alone or serve as components of broader programs is key.

3. MODERN LEARNING MUST BE MOBILE

Learning must go with the learner. Modern learning considers the most appropriate mode for learning while on the go. Support the needs of today’s active workers with videos, e-books and audio books that can be consumed while walking, running, biking or driving.

While L&D professionals must learn to adapt some of their methods to better serve the modern learner, many basic principles of strong learning program design remain the same. Learners still want—and need—content presented in a variety of different modalities. Opportunities for reinforcement, practice and application on the job are still crucial for helping learning stick. Rethinking the types of multimodal content we provide and how we ensure learning is retained an applied ensures that learning keeps pace with the changing needs of today’s workforce.

Download new research from Skillsoft to learn how to meet the requirements of modern learners.

--Kieran King, VP, Global Enablement, Customer Insight & Field Marketing

Kieran began her career in the talent field more than 20 years ago, participating in the evolution of the industry by consulting with organizations across a wide variety of sectors and geographies. She has designed enterprise learning programs, implemented learning and talent platforms, led strategy engagements, and advised on measuring impact on business outcomes. Kieran has authored several methodologies and white papers, she blogs regularly and she’s been featured in multiple magazines. Today, Kieran studies the composition of successful learning and talent partnerships throughout the world.

Published in Ideas

Learners forget 70% of what they learn over a 24-hour period, so organizations need to find ways to reinforce their training in order to realize a positive return on investment.

After budget concerns, “reinforcing training so that it sticks” is the greatest challenge faced by training and learning departments today. Indeed, “Burst and Boost” have become buzzwords in the industry, referring to best practices surrounding short-form content with heavy follow-up. This is a recognition on the part of the industry that, for training to be effective, there have to be ways to make it stick—otherwise, companies will never see a positive return on their investment.

The problem is built right into our brains: Research from Washington University in St. Louis and Harvard University found that the learning curve for just about any kind of information drops off exponentially, meaning that people will forget a full 70 percent of what they learn after a mere 24 hours have elapsed. This means that training programs that do not address retention are, at best, only 30 percent effective at behavioral change.

So how can L&D departments do better? There are many good psychological theories about what is conducive to remembering. In a nutshell, these theories agree that information is not so much “stored” and “retrieved” in the brain as it is connected, rehearsed, and reconstructed. Remembering information, then, is more a matter of engaging in the right sorts of activities to recall, use, and re-engage with information.

On a practical level, there are many ways to do this:

FOLLOWING UP WITH THE RIGHT “BOOST” CONTENT.

Summaries or recaps of critical pieces of information can prompt memory, helping employees recall what they have learned. It also refocuses their attention on what is important and helps them decipher their notes. Receiving reviews on a weekly or monthly basis can thus solidify what was learned, and can easily be done with a short “CliffsNotes” version of the training in the form of a one-to-two-minute video highlighting the main ideas.

PERIODIC QUESTIONS AND QUIZZES.

People are more likely to remember information that they must use to answer a question or figure out a problem. That kind of re-engagement is a great way to boost recall, especially when the questions require applying the information to a scenario the learner will see on the job. For example, periodic quizzes can be scheduled for two days, two weeks, and two months afterward, allowing for spaced learning— proven to be the best method for retaining information.

MOTIVATION THROUGH COMPETITION.

You don’t need a huge budget and a team of programmers to “gamify” your training experience. You can enhance training reinforcement simply by adding some elements of competition to motivate your employees. For example, you can add badges and leaderboards to your training program so that employees can have a public display of what they have done, adding to their overall sense of accomplishment. Quiz contests can work well too: After sending out your post-training quizzes, gather the results and offer small incentives for those who complete them with a better-than-passing grade.

WHAT DO THESE ACTIVITIES ACCOMPLISH?

The main aim of these methods is to reinforce what has been learned. During the process of reinforcement, short-term memories of the actual training event are slowly turned into long-term memories that can truly change behavior. This halts the forgetting curve and makes the learned information more easily accessible from memory. As a side benefit, employees feel more confident, engaged, and knowledgeable.

What’s more, training programs that succeed in doing this provide a positive return on investment over the long term. Training programs that do not take reinforcement seriously often falter as the forgetting curve kicks in.

–Ryan Eudy is CEO of ej4. Ej4 is a 2016 Best of Elearning! winner. Learn more at: www.ej4.com

Published in Ideas

5 Tips for Maximizing Your Learning Content Investment

Stuck in inflexible pages, much of today’s learning material remains trapped in traditional formal vehicles like elearning courses or presentations. As a result, learning content – and the time and effort that goes into it – is often poorly leveraged. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

STRIVE FOR SINGLE SOURCE, MULTI-PURPOSE CONTENT

Organizations are awaking to the importance content plays as a competitive differentiator and are now demanding tools and processes that allow them to gather, create, organize, disperse, and re-use learning content in multiple ways, across multiple learning vehicles.

Today’s learning content development tools need to support the creation of single-source, multi-purpose content for both formal and informal learning experiences. As you build out your learning content strategy, look for tools and processes that allow your organization to collaboratively create content that can be used at multiple times of need — from formal learning through to application on the job — and let you to measure its effectiveness.

FIND THE RIGHT TOOLS

There’s been a rush for authoring tool vendors to get on the responsive band-wagon. That’s great news for those wanting to develop content that can be accessed on multiple devices and used in multiple ways, but beware, not all responsive tools are created equal. Truly responsive content means developers can build rich learning experiences without worrying about specific devices or multiple versions of the same content.

Stay away from vendors that enforce a dumbed-down approach to learning content development. Templated, fill-inthe-blank, or block-based tools help get stuff out the door and satisfy the responsive checkbox, but they often don’t satisfy the learning need.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE POWER OF MANY

Today’s learning organizations must adjust to the rapidly changing content requirements of their audiences. Whether it’s evolving regulations, product updates, or changing business drivers, training departments must deliver content that is relevant and useful — with little or no delay. While there are still content developers that work alone, team-based development models have become the norm because they can leverage the collective skill and expertise of dispersed teams.

To make the most of the time and dollars spent on learning programs, all learning stakeholders (authors, subject matter experts, sponsors) need to easily engage in the development process. Explore integrated, collaborative development platforms that satisfy the needs of all your learning stakeholders.

LOOK TO THE FUTURE

Future organizational learning success means making the right tool and process decisions today. The history (and current state) of learning technologies is full of horror stories about costly investments in proprietary technologies that lock up content and make it unusable beyond its initial purpose. Eschew propriety technologies and focus on vendor neutral, standards-based platforms. You’ll own your own content and be able to re-use and repurpose it freely — both today and tomorrow.

DON’T SETTLE FOR LESS

Learning content developers need to make the best learning experiences possible — quickly and efficiently. Don’t settle for an uncompromised content development experience. Platforms and tools exist that offer both powerful features AND simpleto-use environments. Search out robust, scalable solutions that give you the power to create meaningful learning content, without the need for complicated interfaces or programing languages.

IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT CREATING GREAT LEARNING EXPERIENCES

How your organization gathers, creates, organizes and disperses content to support its business goals can mean the difference between market leadership and failure. Always keep in mind that it’s not about creating great eLearning, it’s about building and sharing great learning experiences — and then maximizing your content use and value.

-- Luke Hickey is CEO of dominKnow Learning Systems, a multiple winner of 2016 Best of Elearning! award. Learn more at: www.domiknow.com

Published in Ideas

What is 70:20:10? Most L&D professionals will describe this model or framework as:

>> 70% of learning is experiential learning: people learn and develop on the job through day to day tasks, challenges and practice

>> 20% of learning is social learning: people learn and develop through coaching, mentoring and interaction with peers

>> 10% of learning is formal learning: people learn and develop through structured events, which includes online courses and programs Simply put: this is a learning mix.

This is intuitive. “Practice makes perfect” is what we were told. It can be applied to anything … spelling words, riding a bike, learning to piano, you name it. If you don’t practice, you don’t make progress. You can’t learn to throw a curve ball by ONLY listening to a coach. You have to practice (this is the 70%), coaching on your form (the 20%), and a little bit of theory (10%).

The same applies to work. One cannot reach proficiency or even mastery without doing. Period. The more complex the skill, the more practice needed. For instance, you can’t become a really good negotiator by simply taking an e-learning course. The course can guide you. Only if you negotiate will you become an effective negotiator.

Bottom line? Formal training is important to lay some ground work and serve as a guide. Doing the job is where the development and progress happens.

“The 70:20:10 framework is fast becoming the preferred strategy to improve workplace performance. It is applicable across all sectors and organizations, regardless of size, because of its holistic and agile nature,” says Charles Jennings.

What are the benefits of doing this? “Organizations have reported up to a 75% reduction in training spend through introduction of the 70:20:10 framework,” according to the 70:20:10 Forum.

Significant results are being seen by organizations. Training and development budgets are getting a bigger return on their investment by the results of on the job development.

So how can an organization help their employees develop on the job? Here are two best practices to help learners make the transition from the formal e-learning space to on-the-job, moving you closer to achieving 70:20:10 in your learning mix.

1. Provide learners with an exercise to complete. Provide step-by-step instructions to guide the learner on a task or situation so nothing is left to chance. The 10%, although the smallest piece, is still critical for guidance and instruction.

2. Provide job aids to support the learner while completing the exercise on-the-job. The barriers come down and allow the learner to complete the exercise from start to finish. This builds confidence, and confidence leads to success.

To review all five best practices, download our 70:20:10 Guide – Structure the 70 from our website at: http://www.vadoinc.net/702010.

To see management development or employee business skill courses created to leverage the natural way a person develops, visit Vado’s website to request a demonstration: http://www.vadoinc.net/OurCoursesor telephone (952) 545-6698 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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