With so many initiatives to focus on to ensure business success, employee development, and, the challenges it entails can become a huge stumbling block. The most common problems for such programs are aspects such as delivering consistent training, engaging the learner, tracking learning and post-learning assessment, adapting training programs to the learning needs of millennials and more. One key area that requires significant investments of time, money, and effort is updating and modifying the content. The same should be done in keeping with the changing business landscape while ensuring rapid implementation and distribution.
At the same time, it is essential to remember that while employee development might be an on-going commitment, it does pay in terms of short-term gains, such as enhanced employee engagement, loyalty, and retention, as well as improved productivity. However, before seeking the best solutions for employee learning and development, an organization should focus on the learning needs of today’s employee.
Learning Options are Blinkered to Learner Experience
Let’s start at the very top to see what the current learning opportunities lack in terms of efficacy. According to a recent Forbes article, almost 95% of “learning” organizations plan to increase their investment in leadership development. The reason for this, according to a McKinsey survey cited in the same article, is that most training programs fail because they focus on a “one size fits all” approach to corporate learning.
Other issues include lack of adequate context to reinforce workplace learning, cultural barriers that hinder receptivity to employee training, and an inherent rigidity to offer any flexibility to accommodate learner styles or pace. Somewhere down the line, the cumulative effect of such non-aligned efforts is that they do not easily translate into measurable gains.
In this day of end-to-end thinking and holistic approaches in employee training, what gets left out of the equation is rather difficult to measure, the learner experience (LX). Similarly, a good user experience (UX) can significantly enhance the appeal of the program itself and what it offers.
Then comes the learning habits of millennials, who make up the most significant percentage of today’s workforce. Millennials want personalized experiences and flexibility. Which means the ability to not just progress at one’s own pace but to choose content in the order they prefer, and the time of day they find most conducive to learning. It also means making training programs available across a variety of devices and operating systems.
Balancing the Learning Experience Equation
Research by Gallup has thrown up interesting facts. More engaged employees outperformed those who are not by 10% on customer ratings, 22% in profitability, and 21% in productivity, with the added benefits of lower employee turnover, absenteeism and safety incidents.
The solution to ensuring employee engagement has come with learning platforms driven by machine learning. Let’s take the online experience as a benchmark. Now imagine a dull corporate training session with an employee clicking on “Next to continue …” while dredging through pages of a web-based training program, hoping to earn a few credits or certification at the end. Suddenly a chat window opens, and the words, “Hello, how’s it going?” greet you. The intervention breaks the boredom spell, and soon, the bored employee is busy bouncing questions, asking for help and reminders and, conversationally, only too glad for the company.
Our bored employee has just found a high-engagement friend and coach in the form of artificial intelligence-powered learning facilitator chatbot, powered by machine learning, integrated into a learning experience platform, known as KEA. This AI learning facilitator can capture learners’ responses to predict the effectiveness of learning patterns and content. It uses AI-powered learning to simplify the learning process and provide relevant and trackable content, all the while keeping an eye on the learner’s engagement and, therefore, eventual learning outcomes.
Also, the platform offers customizability to the organization’s branding, giving the learning a complete brand experience, which fosters a sense of belongingness and loyalty. With machine learning, what is also possible is the ability to make content easily discoverable, since NLP is used to index and tag all types of content. Content can be made more interactive, with the addition of videos, gamification, quizzes, and more. Each learner can be tracked and assessments conducted. After all, there’s no point in deploying programs unless you can measure their effectiveness.
A critical area that benefits the organization is the ease and speed with which content can be created added, updated, modified, and distributed. So, while the learner’s experience is enhanced, the company gets cost and time savings.
As a recent Deloitte report puts it,
Talk to our experts to learn more about how KEA can be a perfect learning partner for your workforce.
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