Article: Leveraging digital learning

#TechHR'17

Leveraging digital learning

The second session of day one at the Virtual Tech HR Conference by People Matters talks about 'leveraging digital learning to boost workforce productivity.'
Leveraging digital learning

The book Alice in Wonderland has provided immense reading pleasure to millions of children all over the world, through the decades.  But if you read between the lines of this very popular story, there are a lot of life lessons to be learnt from its underlying messages.  “Running very fast in order to be able to stay in the same place” draws an analogy to personal growth and lifelong learning in today’s rapidly changing and technologically challenging world.  When Lewis Carroll wrote this fairy tale, he could very easily have been talking about keeping pace with digital learning that helps a worker do a job better and faster.  

In today’s world there is barely enough time to upscale employees.  To make things even more challenging, skills required to deliver high performances are continuously increasing.  While most companies offer specific, targeted and role-based professional development to their employees, there is a critical lack of digital skills training.  

Kartik Mohila, Founder of InspireOne Technologies and Marina Delic, a senior consultant from the GI Group, who were the main speakers at this seminar, share their experiences of working with firms who leverage their digital learnings to upscale their workforce.  

An interesting introspection in shaping learning cultures in organizations is that 10 to 15 minutes a day are spent in idle time and each period lasts from 2 to 3 minutes long.  This is a window of opportunity that organizations can use, to help their employees with learning content, that is relevant to the job at hand.      

Method of learning

Digital Learning does not necessarily mean learning on smart devices alone.  It also refers to 

  • Content that is engaging, conceptualized and personalized.

  • A multidisciplinary and sustainable learning approach which fundamentally alters the learning experience, by introducing an addictive game design.

  • A gaming addiction, where the learner wants to play a game often and experience the learning content that is attached to it.  

Giving a real-life example of how her company helped to create a contemporary learning experience, Marina talks about the Strauss Group, a global FMCG company, active in 20 countries, producing and distributing water, coffee, chocolates and much more.  The company was aware of the digital requirements of their firm and of their buying customers as well.  They were looking for a digital outlook along with a fun and byte sized learning experience and energizing their workforce as well.

Karthik gave an example of the hospitality industry where building a consistency in the guest experience across all their properties in India was the requirement from this client.  They were looking for digital learning solutions to help their staff adapt to a novel and uniform approach in interacting with guests.  Staff meant all departments, right from the bell boy to housekeeping, to the concierge and even to the dining area.

Sustaining the learning experience

Sustaining the learning experience is not only about the learner alone, but also about the stakeholders – the manager, the peers, the business sponsors, the friends and sometimes the end customer as well.  By building the right levels of learning engagement with the right stakeholders, it was possible for Telenor’s learners, a Norwegian Telecommunications Firm, to build small habits of learning on a regular basis.  There was an incredible increase of 98% in the employee engagement and digital learning space.  The use of different tools and strategies for various stakeholders was the trick used to achieve this amazing result.  

Telenor launched monthly learning campaigns to constantly keep participants active and motivated about the same topics over a long period of time. The program was practical and modular and learners learned one micro skill at a time.  Learners were able to completely explore an area of expertise and not get drawn by the whole package.  

Showcasing the learning effectiveness

Retention of learning over a period of time is the best approach to showcase the effectiveness of a learning program.  For example, for a research skill for 2,800 Relationship Managers of a leading bank, 1 million data points were found, which were measurable.  This study happened over a 6-month period.  

The second measure of learning effectiveness is the agility of being able to unlearn and relearn new skills and concepts.  This becomes a key insight for organizations to draw on, to increase productivity, to fill up the gaps in learning and to develop and design training and development programs better. This is also linked to their recruiting programs where they can attract faster learners.  Karthik’s company had an organization’s talent mapped to different regions in India and data found helped the firm to understand the concepts of skill learning of their employees.

The third measure of learning effectiveness is to personalize content for learners on a one-to-one basis.  This increases learner effectiveness and engagement.  Depending on the learners’ area of improvement, content can be made more attractive and interesting and help them to perform better in their jobs. 

Topics: TechHR 2017, Performance Management, Learning & Development

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