Much like everything else, the learning and development initiatives of enterprises across the globe have experienced a major shift owing to technological change. eLearning and mLearning have cemented their place in the enterprise of today. To determine the advantages of your eLearning program, adopters quote ease of learning, better learning outcomes, better knowledge retention, and consequent application and cost-effectiveness as some of the benefits. The eLearning market is growing steadily and, according to a report by Global Market Insights, is expected to exceed USD 200 billion by 2024.

All this is the good news. But, the industry despite its growth trajectory has a certain cause for concern. While we see reports of this upwards trend, other reports suggest that the average completion rate for MOOC’s averages out to a low 15%. The dropout rates for online learning also stand at 70% as against 15% of classroom training. Engagement rates are also perilously low, standing at 2 to 3%, in most cases.  These numbers make eLearning seem like an expensive distraction for enterprises. And yet, the market continues to grow.

To my mind, what this suggests is that while having an eLearning program and an LMS is a great mechanism to enable learning, to determine the advantages of your eLearning program is even more important. Here are a couple of things, I feel, organizations should pay close attention to when evaluating the success and effectiveness of their eLearning initiatives.

So, how do you determine the advantages of your eLearning program?

Engagement Rates

Measure what matters, and in this context, measuring engagement rates matters the most. Organizations need to evaluate the number of users signing up for the program, assess if the users are completing the training programs and identify the number of people who are dropping out. It is also crucial to identify at what point in their learning journey they are dropping off. Using detailed, data-backed insights helps in identifying these areas, assessing the learning gaps, and the user pain-points to take the measurable steps necessary to bridge this gap.

Assessment

While all eLearning modules have user assessment metrics in place, I suggest that when measuring the success of the program, evaluating the user activity versus performance is essential. User activity means considering all activities that are related to a user’s participation – the engagement metrics, the completion rates etc.

Performance measurement gauges the impact of the learning module and focuses on the users’ knowledge gain. Conducting regular assessments, having evaluations at the end of every module and having both low-level and high-level evaluation to capture the user’s reaction to the course helps in assessing the success level of eLearning programs. Using scenario-based tests that evaluate how an employee will apply the knowledge in the real world, and defining performance goals to measure learner success rates are also great ways to assess the degree of learning that has actually taken place.

For eg., employing the Kirkpatrick’s Model for post-training evaluation may be a good place to start to assess the effectiveness of an eLearning program. This method uses feedback, evaluation strategies, behavior changes, and data and analytics to judge the effectiveness of an eLearning program.

Behavioural Change

Is the shift from application to practice happening? Are the workers able to apply the knowledge they have gained during the training program in their real-world work environment? Are they being able to achieve the desired outcomes on completion of the program? Or is it that the workers feel obliged to take the course and they don’t really want to take the course? Do the learners feel satisfied with the knowledge acquired by them?

The objective of an eLearning program is to align learning outcomes with the business objectives. The program can be considered successful if the learners are able to achieve these objectives. Organizations should also have a defined timeline that they use to assess if the training has resulted in a direct impact on work; thus determining the benefits of eLearning. For example, after undergoing a sales training, the salespeople should be able to increase the number of closures. Retail training for customer service should translate into higher customer satisfaction. You get the idea.

ROI of eLearning

ROI of eLearning is also a metric that has to be considered when measuring the effectiveness of eLearning programs. The ROI of eLearning can be calculated by converting business gains to a monetary value and measuring that against the cost taken to develop the course and all other associated costs, including the time of the employees.  Did the course have an attributable impact on the bottom line? Did it improve business results? Has the performance of the participants improved? Is it showing a tangible productivity impact? If the eLearning module has been able to show a Return on Expectations, then it will demonstrate a Return on Investment.  However, for this, it is very important to clearly define the expectations of the stakeholders to ensure that the desired outcomes are achieved.

Finally, the users of the eLearning program are its best critics when determining the benefits of eLearning. Taking regular feedback, implementing changes to the program proactively to improve it, and identifying and implementing aspects that will make the program more meaningful to the learners is critical. And once a program delivers meaning to the learner, the outcomes will automatically show a positive trend, in this case, determine the advantages of your eLearning program and show the ROI of eLearning.

If you are looking to develop an eLearning program that is top in quality, makes a difference, and adds values to your learner’s path of developing important skills,drop us a mail at contactus@enyotalearning.com or click here to fill out a form and one of our experts will get in touch with you immediately. Let us help you determine the advantages of your eLearning program.

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Millennials, the name given to the generation born between the 1980’s to the early 2000’s, are on the road to becoming the largest part of the workforce. It is estimated that by 2025, these millennials will constitute approximately 75% of the workforce. Born in the digital age, this set of people have a different set of motivations and different expectations, both from their life and their workplace. Millennials, I believe, have been a misunderstood lot. They are often called entitled, lazy, a bit too straightforward for comfort, spoilt – the list, though factually quite incorrect, is quite long and nothing more than a set of gross generalization that stops us from looking deeper at their inherent qualities.

I have often observed that these adjectives used to define millennials stem from a poor understanding of their psyche. It’s not that millennials are lazy or inefficient. They just want to do their work faster and better. This is the generation that believes that time on work is far more important than time at work. They will look for ways to do a job faster and better. They will object to things that were considered normal in the age of the baby boomers. In the days of the boomers, employee engagement and enablement did not feature on any organization’s priority list. That generation expected nothing different. The employee handbook was the onboarding experience and annual performance reviews sufficed for feedbacks.

The millennials, however, would object to these conditions and rightfully so. A workplace has to be motivating and inspiring. Given that a significant amount of time is spent at work, why should the expectation of an enriching experience be ‘too much to ask for’? Almost 60% of working millennials feel that opportunities to learn and grow on the job are essential for them. Only 40% of the baby boomers thought so. Gallup says, 9 out of 10 millennials believe development is important at work. A Fidelity survey discovered that millennials felt that the quality of life at work ranked higher than a fat salary.

In these changing times, how can employee enablement strategies remain the same?

The quest for instant productivity

With a different set of motivations, it is clear that enablement strategies of the past (even as they were) must get a makeover. This is because millennials want to hit the ground running. They want to feel capable and confident in their jobs from the word ‘go’ and want to start making an impact as soon as possible.

Skilled learners

They are also skilled at implementing their learning. Pitching the same old boring training routine to them is only going to be counter-productive. Training has to be pitched as a learning and development opportunity and must have a quantifiable outcome.

Mobile – this is where the action is

We also have to accept that we cannot take the mobile out of the life of the millennial. Being brought up in the age of technology, the mobile is actually a powerful and a very relevant tool that organizations must capitalize on to drive their enablement strategies. Mobile brings enablement closer to where the employee is…where the work really happens. Enabling onboarding experiences and making all training and learning opportunities mobile-friendly will drive better knowledge transfer and retention.

Quality trumps quantity

It’s not about the number of enablement strategies that you have but the quality of those enablement experiences that run this generation. For example, text heavy, long, and tedious training processes can easily be replaced with bite-sized content that reduces cognitive load. Video, gamification, storytelling, social connect etc. are aspects that can be leveraged to make training content more engaging as well as to facilitate knowledge retention. Personalization also comes in handy to improve the quality of enablement experiences and the data generated from them are a valuable information repository to proactively identify learning gaps and mitigate immediately.

Mapping opportunities for growth

The end of the year appraisal for performance feedback will soon be a relic of the past. Millennials want enablement to open up opportunities for growth. For this, feedback has to be proactive and action has to be immediate. This again ties into having a dynamic learning plan that accommodates the learning needs of this demographic and that can be disseminated with ease in a device agnostic manner.

Enablement has to lead to empowerment

Millennials will only commit to the growth of a company when they see enablement strategies targeted towards their empowerment. Organizations thus have to create dynamic learning initiatives that allow for proactive course correction when needed. This will give them the learning they will need to compete in real-world scenarios and give them the means to learn continuously. With more learning, they will feel more empowered to do their jobs better and hence will be more engaged at work. Given that the millennials are the best-educated generation in history, education and learning play a big role in their lives. Enablement thus has to be driven through education. It must help alleviate boredom at work and give them learning opportunities to pick up ‘what they want to learn’ versus training on ‘how to do your job’.

The millennials are coming, and organizations need to now learn to adapt to and attract this talent pool. This generation has a sense of ownership and is attracted to new learning opportunities. Enablement strategies thus need to accommodate this big change in thought and create a learning culture that is woven into the fabric of the organization. By doing so not only will organizations have a loyal workforce but will also be able to uncover latent talent.

Reach out to us at contactus@enyotalearning.com or click here for a free consultation call with one of our services experts. With +11 years of experience and +100 happy clients, we know exactly what your millennial workforce wants – to include some form of eLearning into their current mix, gradually turning the entire process of cost-intensive traditional training activities into a cost-effective eLearning program.

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According to a survey by Gallup, only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs. 67% of employees are distracted in the workplace according to Udemy and Harvard business review states that 58% of people trust strangers more than their own boss. Other global studies also reveal that 79% of people who leave their jobs do so not for financial reasons but because of a lack of appreciation. But companies have for long focused on employee engagement, so is there something more that we need to do? In 2018, do we not need a version 2.0 of employee engagement? I suggest that as organizations, we’d be better off if we focused more on employee enablement rather than on engagement.

The undeniable importance of employee engagement

Yes, by now it has been established that engaged employees are more productive at work. We truly believe that they have a positive mindset and are enterprising and passionate about their work. We also know that the cost of the disengaged employee can be high – Gallup estimates active disengagement costs anywhere between $450 billion to $550 billion annually. While the benefits of employee engagement are clear, I believe that engagement is a means to an end, and that end is employee enablement. If your engagement strategy does not drive towards employee enablement, then your employees are likely to remain disengaged over the long term. The logic is simple -enablement brings empowerment and empowerment inevitably leads to greater engagement.

Employee Engagement leads to Employee Enablement – Here’s why

The evolving nature of work

Today we are in the age of the millennials -the digital native. Dissolving geographical boundaries have ushered in the 24X7 economy. The ‘always- on’ environment demands greater transparency, more collaboration, and a workplace that promotes self-sufficiency. Organizations must be hyper-focused on identifying the barriers to employee productivity and efficiency. To get more out of their engagement initiatives, organizations thus have to think about putting their employees in a better position to succeed.  This can be achieved by first ensuring that the employees are in the right job roles and then by providing a supportive environment. This means ensuring that the workforce is equipped with the right tools, resources, and learning opportunities to remove all barriers to productivity.

Motivation is overrated – or are you measuring motivation the wrong way?

Engagement is something that is primarily motivational. Here performance is linked directly to the levels of motivation one has towards work. But what we need to evaluate is if motivation can just be an emotional response alone? There is a wide range of elements that impact motivation on the performance level too. A lack of engagement often results when enablement is undermined. Even the most highly motivated employee will stop trying to perform if he/she just can’t get the task done. Or if they don’t have the right learning opportunities in the organization, or if training, learning, and development opportunities are not optimized leveraging technology and training demands a huge time investment from them.

These people might be highly motivated but might not be able to deliver up to their potential owing to factors such as imperfect processes, lack of the right training and development strategies, and organizational red tape. For example, field employees will be less inclined to attend a classroom training session as they are more mobile and are usually time-crunched. They might want the training information to be disseminated to them when they are on the move. Give them the mLearning option with smart modules and bite-sized chunks of information that they can access while they are in transit and you will be pushing enablement closer to their work and helping them become more productive.

Information access is a business need

Today’s workforce needs the right processes in place that helps them become more successful at work. This means they need access to the right information, in context, and exactly when it can help them deliver. They need the right tools to help them become experts fast so that they can hit the ground running. They need access to customized and relevant information delivered to them in a device agnostic manner so that they can stay in step with the speed of business.

Knowledge is power

The business environment has become exceptionally dynamic. To drive timely response among your employees you have to recognize that enablement comes from education. A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach will not be recognized by a workforce that is used to personalized, consumer-grade experiences. Employees today need thoughtfully designed experiences, that are goal-oriented along with being personal purpose driven. Whether it is a complex new technology training or a simple onboarding or pre-boarding exercise, knowledge transfer and training programs must ensure greater personalization, easy information absorption, and the capability to push enablement closer to where it is needed. Learning experiences should become adaptive, curated, relevant, and engaging to drive development. When an organization invests in learning and development opportunities it shows its employees it is invested in their growth story. Enabling them through knowledge empowers them immensely, addresses performance gaps, and gives their performance a proactive nudge -not just at that end-of-year review.

A research conducted by Hay Group linking employee survey data to performance ratings showed “highly engaged employees are 10% more likely to exceed performance expectations. But highly engaged and enabled employees are 50% more likely to outperform expectations.” The math here is quite simple, do focus on employee engagement but focus more on driving opportunities for enablement. Because enablement today trumps engagement.

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To survive in today’s competitive and dynamic world, organizations must be performance driven. The Wall Street Journal reported that even one underperformer in a high performing team could drag down the overall team productivity by almost 40%. Poor employee performance clearly is a stumbling block that enterprises just cannot afford. We are all fond of saying that employees are the organization’s greatest assets. So, when those assets underperform, who is at fault? Does the responsibility of performance lie with the employee alone or is the management responsible too?

While it’s reasonable to expect employees to be self-motivated, I believe that the leadership team must shoulder a majority of the blame for employee underperformance. Author of Solving Employee Performance Problems, Anne Bruce says, “If an organization is plagued with poor performing employees, leadership needs to take a look in the mirror…The most high-performing, highly productive organizations in the world have leadership that sets the example, walks the talk and grows and nurtures talent.”

Talent management is incredibly important in every organization. Employees with higher engagement rates are 21% more productive according to Gallup. Gallup also says that engaged employees are 27% more likely to deliver excellent performance. Perhaps, it’s not fair to say that organizations are taking no initiative to increase employee engagement. However, quite a few of these initiatives are superficial in nature. They are transparently symbolic and convince no one that they hold any real value. What employees of today want is to see that an organization is interested in investing in their growth story. Employees need an enabling environment that helps them do their jobs better. They need growth opportunities. Learning opportunities. They crave the chance to give their best and make an impact. Otherwise, how can they stay engaged at their jobs? Without this, how can they stay relevant in their jobs?

Many factors contribute to underperformance. Unreasonable workloads and expectations, unclear communication, improper information…the list can go on. And then there’s the bane of micromanaging. I firmly believe that good leaders empower their employees. It is the bad ones who feel the need to micromanage. If you find yourself micromanaging all the time, it should come as a warning. Why do you need to micromanage all the time? Where are your employees lacking?

Underperformance also stems from the employee not being able to adapt at the speed of change. The market is dynamic, products are evolving, new products and technologies are making a transformational impact every day. Innovation is now commonplace. However, what we don’t perhaps factor in is that all of this is possible only when the employee is in tune with all the developments around him. In this light, continuously addressing the learning and development needs of each individual become critical to develop high-performing individuals and teams.

The end of the year annual performance review will be useless and a huge waste of time if this is the only time of the year when you are having a performance discussion. In fact, many organizations are doing away with the annual review format and making way for much more regular and ongoing performance conversations and discussions. The learning needs of an individual are exposed during the course of these discussions and, once uncovered, should be addressed on a proactive basis. Research shows that focusing feedback on employee weakness can cause performance to decline by 27%. Instead, why not take this feedback and turn it around to make it into a learning opportunity? When you give your employees opportunities to improve by addressing their development needs then you automatically drive the impression that you are invested in their growth story. It might seem like a mammoth task to conduct frequent learning and training programs. It might seem that too many training initiatives would result in employee downtime and consequently lower productivity, and high costs. But frankly, strategically addressing the learning needs of the employees, no matter how big or small, is the only way forward to have a high performing team.

These are common concerns. It’s also true that classroom training is also not a viable option in many cases. Classroom training for a large number of people, who have diverse needs can be complicated. Employee downtime is unacceptable these days. Also, long training programs can be boring. And anything boring will lead to low engagement and low retention. We also need to take into consideration the needs of the mobile workforce or those employees who are in geographically dispersed locations. How do we address them? And in the age of the mobile and personalization how can we enable the same in our training initiatives? The answer, as many of us have already figured out, lies in eLearning.

With a strategic and comprehensive eLearning program, L&D teams can unlock the real potential of their employees. These training programs can be device-agnostic, can be highly personalized, can offer the social connect to boost collaboration, can deliver content in easily consumable bite-size chunks, and they can give the employee the flexibility to learn anytime and anywhere. The outcomes can also be measured easily and on a proactive basis and any adjustments or course correction can be done almost real-time.

Let me end with this. Among the most important roles of company leadership is to nurture talent. While razzle-dazzle like snooker tables and fancy cafeterias etc. provide some cosmetic relief they don’t provide for sustainable employee engagement. This means that underperformance can be reversed only when organizations systematically leverage education as a tool for performance correction. And with the advent of the mLearning age along with the maturing of eLearning technologies, ensuring this is no longer a problem.

Contact us to better understand how we at eNyota Learning can help your employees perform better.
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I’m not sure everyone will agree with me, but I have this theory about our eLearning industry. My, entirely personal, view based on the completely unscientific sample of what I have seen and heard over the years is that we take to new technology just that shade suspiciously. Once the initial acceptance is in place, though we go about adopting it quite enthusiastically. A glance at the adoption curve of mLearning will probably substantiate what I mean. There is another technology trend that has been sweeping the world for a few years now but has only just started appearing more commonly – big data in eLearning.


In this article I will share a list of Learning Management System requirements that I think small and medium-size companies typically look for when choosing the right Learning Management System for them.


Late in September and early in October I made my way to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas NV along with 2800 other learning, eLearning and Training & development enthusiasts for the eLearning Guild’s DevLearn 2015. I have been to a few of these, but this year’s event was huge – everything right from the keynotes, the sessions, the pre-conference workshops, demo-fest, the expo et al. The buzz is this was the biggest DevLearn ever – I would not be surprised if that were true.