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Webinars & Podcasts

In this #makelearninghappen webinar, Dr.Shridhar Shukla, co-founder of kPoint Technologies and Ajay Javdekar, co-founder of Vowel Learning Solutions, discuss how businesses can address some of the corporate training challenges.  With vast experience in leadership positions and hands-on product development experience in the field of learning technology, Dr.Shridhar talks about the various challenges he saw, approaches he introduced and how pull learning is more effective than push learning. He also talks about how he as a leader learns and emphasizes the need for creating a conducive environment for learning. 

Read on to watch the webinar recording. 

How high is the cost of an unproductive employee? 

What do you think?

If an employee in your office is unproductive for 3 months, it can cost you a lot, including their lost work hours, loss of efficiency due to the burden put on other employees and loss of brand value & customer satisfaction which an untrained employee can cause. While this cost varies for different companies, the amount is still almost always more than or equal to the average salary of the employee.

No organization wishes to have unproductive employees. To upskill your existing employees, you need quality training material, which also costs money. Thus, to help you develop content in a cost-effective manner, we have explained some amazing tips below. Dive in and understand the methods which can help you upskill your workforce.

DIY - Curate rather than create

You don’t always have to go and seek help from the traditional methods of content creation which are both, time-consuming & costly. While this is something we recommend for training specific to the organisation, you can optimise this investment for more generic topics.

Today the problem for training material on general topics is not that there is not enough content. In-fact there is too much of it. The internet is a vast ocean with multiple free content resources. Utilize it, gather content bits, make a repository of important content, and share it with your employees. Youtube, TedTalks, Wikipedia, Slideshare are just some of the open sources that have great content. 

Curate content from open sources to create a relevant content repository for employees. It’s that simple. If you do not have an LMS yet, you could start with compiling these resources in a Document & sharing it or put up the content links on your Intranet. In the long run, getting an LMS that helps you curate, deliver and track usage is the way to go. 

While this approach may not be suitable for every training need, it can be very effective for generic topics for which relevant content is available online. 

Quizzes as training material

One of the cost-effective methods of post-training engagement is quizzes. If you have an LMS already, creating small Multiple Choice quizzes where you give feedback on right & wrong answers is a great way to educate & assess at the same time. If you do not have an LMS yet, you can also use google forms and online survey tools to drive this till you get a proper platform. 

The internet is full of blogs & discussions on sites like Quora which is a good source for finding questions on generic topics. Of course, do validate this content before you use it.  Users will take these quizzes, evaluate the results, and even revisit the content to fill gaps in their learning or to re-evaluate an answer. 

Repurpose Existing Material

Every time, you start preparing content for a new training course, always look back on the courses you have already delivered. If you have books or assignments related to the topics, check if you can repurpose it to create new content. You can also look at utilising content already used for Classroom training like Powerpoints and PDF handouts as trackable learning material in an LMS. Most of the times, it is possible to repurpose the old content and put it in LMS for online access or eLearning. This can help you save a lot on your learning and development budget. 

Discussions & Social Learning

Always try to calibrate your training and discussions. Once you make the content live for your employees, fix a time to discuss the same. In this case, your employees are naturally expected to read or understand the training material before the discussion. In the follow-up discussion, you can improve productivity and understanding of the training material. If your LMS supports Social learning features, these discussions can take place online in the LMS itself and can happen asynchronously. 

User-Generated Content

Empower the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in your existing team to generate learning content. An LMS can let you provide limited authoring access to select users. This can be a great way to create content inhouse. Not only can this be cost-effective, but it is also very effective as learning material as the training is designed by peers of users who will consume it. 

Create content using everyday tools like Google Docs, MS Office in formats like Word Files, PDFs or Powerpoints. While these lack interactivity, they are a great start to getting good content together. SMS's can generate this content without any learning curve. An LMS can also provide drag and drop tools to assist this. 

Learning Management System as a tool for cost optimisation

Learning management system is the best method for reducing costs of content development. Why?

An LMS provides an easy route to manage content and has in-built content authoring tools to create content. You can not only improve the accessibility of the training content through LMS but also enhance the way your employees interact with the training material. 

Better experience = enhanced learning.

Further, an LMS is the perfect platform to organize every training content of the organization in one place. Your employees can easily discover it without much hassle. Additionally, managing the content through LMS is easier because you can update old content and make it more relevant to your audience. All this reduces the cost of training content management. 

Ineffective Content is even more expensive than No Content 

Don't cut costs for the sake of it. Remember when you create training content & ask your employees to view it, you are committing expensive employee time. So whether you are creating engaging custom-built content, using high tech like AR/VR or curating or creating in house, never compromise on effectiveness. 

Conclusion 

One of the most important things in all these methods is to always aim for user engagement or employee engagement. If you are focused on engagement, you can easily utilize the above tips to create effective and quality content. Most importantly at the end of the day, ask yourself the most important question. Are you making Learning happen? If not, introspect, improve & repeat!

At Vowel we recently onboarded one of India’s top NBFC (Non-Banking Financial Company) on the LMS. With over 2000 employees spread across several branches at several locations with different regional languages, one of the key challenges they were facing was making learning part of their organisation culture. They were keen to move towards a pull based learning strategy than having to resort to pushes all the time. 

Getting a person to learn is a challenge in itself. In a corporate situation this problem is compounded by the time & budget availability as well as geographical limitations. Transforming an entire organisation to realise that it needs to learn is an even bigger challenge. For this particular organisation, the lack of a central platform to centralise their learning activity and allow the various people in the L&D & HR Departments to coordinate their activities easily was an additional challenge. 

While the management could find vendors to provide a platform, none were equipped with the ability or willing to solve the real trouble of breaking the mental block and enable a learning culture. We decided to take on the challenge.

At Vowel we strongly believe in our tagline - make learning happen and that doesnt stop at just providing software!

Discovering the Problem

In order to come up with a comprehensive strategy we started with some deep dive calls with the client to understand the key challenges they face in the organisation with respect to learning. Time was also invested in profiling the audience to ensure that any solutions we came up with had a higher chance of success. We realised that breaking the mental block to learning among employees and igniting the need to learn were going to be key challenges that we needed to tackle. 

Centralising the learning initiative on Vowel

In addition to the softer aspects an interesting part of the discovery involved connecting with various departments to find out how they were currently conducting learning & training in their organisation. This forms a critical step of our implementation plan and allows us to configure the platform that is best suited to the customers requirements. The next steps involve designing the information architecture, the access control matrices and the overall user experience. But those are topics on their own which we will cover in depth in future blogs! 

Vowel’s ability as a platform to allow hosting On Demand Elearning, Scheduled Classroom training & Webinars as well as deliver blended learning meant that we had a head start to getting things together in one place. Plus integrating with their customized Single Sign on (SSO) solution & inhouse mobile app meant that the employees could have an integrated learning experience. 

Content is King

Content forms the core of any learning initiative. You can’t get much without it! Availability of contextual good quality content is one of the key challenges why many learning initiatives fail to get off the ground or loose steam post implementation process. 

We’ve tried to solve this problem in Vowel by allowing delivery and tracking of a wide variety of content formats ranging from YouTube videos to readily available document formats like Powerpoints and PDF’s. This allowed us to plan for an accelerated launch schedule. Vowel’s features to leverage YouTube content (with our own curated library pre fed into the platform) meant that they could hit the ground running with ready to use content. Plus we empowered them with additional micro learning videos from our partner video gallery further enriching the content offering. 

This along with their already available Powerpoints, inhouse videos & SCORM content meant that at launch we were starting with a decent amount of content which appeal to a large volume of their diverse audience. 

Delivering Learning but changing the context with Gamification

We’d taken on the challenge to make the launch of the LMS a big success and get maximum users to to sign up in the first 2 weeks and consume content. We knew from our discovery sessions with the client stakeholders that the general reception to a launch like this would be lukewarm. Vowel’s learning catalyst team decided to tackle this challenge by designing the Launch as a Sports themed gamification. 

A detailed game plan was put together on how the teams would be formed, how the scoring would work and what kind of internal marketing & promotion activities would be conducted along with rewards and penalties. The gamification was planned over a period of 4 weeks from launch with daily and weekly prizes. Vowel’s gamification and reporting engine made it easy to manage the competition via reports & leaderboards. 

The positioning of the launch as a Sports event coupled with a rewards and recognition system allowed us to break the learning barrier in the minds of the users. When they saw it as a game they enjoyed participating in it. The launch event was a great success with a 150% more engagement than expected by the client. 

At Vowel we love such challenges. They give us an on the ground real world insight and allowing us to rapidly iterate and build a platform that solves real challenges to makes learning happen! 

Have you faced challenges implementing an LMS at your organisation? Do share them and what you did to tackle them in the comments below!

When you are building a cloud product customer interaction and feedback play a vital role. In order to ensure that a product implementation be a success for our customers you need to invest a lot of time in understanding the customers challenges.

Plus if you are building a SAAS application, selling the product is just the start. Once on boarded you and the customer are partners in making sure it works. Or you can forget about renewals ! And frankly if the product doesn't solve the customers challenges, where is the fun ? Where is the satisfaction?

At Vowel challenges excite us. They drive us to innovate, think creatively and work with our customers to strive towards helping them adopt a learning culture and make learning effective.A lot of these challenges are common across industries and some are specific to some verticals. We are looking at sharing some of these challenges and some ideas on how they can be tackled in a series of blogs. Watch this space for it !

What are the biggest challenges you have faces as a HR / L&D professional in 'making learning happen' in your organisation ? Do share in the comments section !