Five Reasons Why You Should Go Digital for Compliance Training

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In the modern-day workplace learning, there is nothing trickier than dealing with sensitive subject matter. This subject matter could range from topics like sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination, cultural competence, to, information breach and security. These topics come under the compliance training mandate in most industries.

Traditional classroom sessions are often insufficient to deal with such topics, and do not necessarily convey the required information in the best possible way. Digital learning has an edge over classroom sessions when it comes to presenting sensitive topics as a compliance mandate. Here is why:

  • Standardized Format

It is very important that sensitive compliance training matter conveys exactly what it is intended to, to all learners alike. Traditional training largely misses this significant requirement. Since traditional training involves different instructors, the style and essence of the delivered content varies depending on the instructor. It could even be hampered by an instructor’s mood and surrounding factors.

Digital learning removes all the above mentioned roadblocks. The content is built in a way the management intends to, and is delivered alike to all learners. This standardized content and delivery ensures the absence of any personal bias that an instructor might induce in a classroom session.

  • More Controlled

There are instances when an organization consults specific subject matter experts to develop/make amends to the training content. Such situations demand compliance training programs to be easily customizable and in control of the organization. In traditional classroom sessions, it is up to the instructor to make note and accept the amendments coming from the subject matter experts.

Digital learning ensures that the amendments are in place before the content reaches the learners. Things are more in-control of the organization and easily customizable when it comes to digital learning.

  • Cost Effective

Certain industries like aviation and healthcare demand that compliance training content be updated very frequently, based on the changing industry regulations. In traditional training, these updates are an expensive affair since an instructor needs to be hired frequently to make changes to the content. It could also have some repercussions in terms of timely delivery since an instructor might not be available when you need them.

If digital learning is used, then the organization’s in-house team or their digital training supplier can easily make updates to the content as and when required, without incurring additional costs. You also do away with any kind of time dependencies since all can be done at the organization have will.

  • Quantitative Evaluation

In traditional learning, it is difficult to gauge the accurate knowledge levels of employees. You can have scored assessments in place after the classroom sessions, but only those might not give the actual idea of what the employee has learnt. These assessments are not even capable of giving immediate feedback to learners, when required.

Digital learning ensures that assessments and evaluation of learner’s knowledge levels is more quantitative.  Since you can track data through a Learning Management System (LMS), you have the accurate insights into every employee’s knowledge levels and can guide them further accordingly. You could even reinforce content and provide immediate feedback whenever required.

  • More Flexible

Traditional learning is quite rigid in terms of delivery. It is quite overwhelming for a learner to sit through long hours of a compliance training course, delivered by an instructor over couple of days.

But the same course, when delivered digitally, gives learners the flexibility and freedom to complete it at their own pace. The learners feel more in-control of the learning, and can also revisit the course whenever required.

 

Now that you know how sensitive topics can be broached more effectively through digital learning, you may want to make way for it in your organization.  Employ the right mix of classroom sessions and digital learning in your training. This would help your employees feel both comfortable and confident in their understanding of the rules. We shall shortly do a blog incorporating tips on effectively delivering sensitive subject matter through digital learning. Stay tuned!

Can Flipped eLearning be Effective for Continuing Medical Education?

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Are you a Continuing Medical Education (CME) provider constantly on the lookout for ways to create value for medical practitioners through your education programs? Since these are already practicing physicians with long and unpredictable working hours, it is quite challenging to cater to their learning requirements. In this blog, we shall look at the flipped eLearning model as a potential way to make the CME experience more appealing for the medical community. This model is being effectively used by some of our customers for quite some time now. It prioritizes assessments over content unlike the typical eLearning model where content comes before assessments. Since these providers are dealing with learners who are practicing physicians and already know their stuff, the idea is to focus on reinforcement and not introducing new content. Hence the flipped eLearning model could help.

 

The flipped eLearning model thrives on the belief that assessments are more reflective of what the physicians are doing in practice, and can incentivize them to learn new things. In this model, short assessment nuggets can be used as the first point to engage the practitioners. These nuggets that can typically be completed in 2-5 minutes can be aimed at assessing their knowledge on particular subjects. Once the practitioners attempt them, the nugget can then teach them the required lessons through feedback. This enables practitioners to be more receptive of the learning module. In case they have answered the assessment question correctly, they are keen to explore further on the subject. In case the answer is wrong, they are keen to know the right option. In both the cases, they are more receptive to learning. And since this learning doesn’t demand much time out of their busy schedules, they are happy to undertake it.

 

The use of assessments to gauge actual knowledge and then enhance it, also calls for using advanced methods to evaluate, rather than just multiple choice questions. Explorative and immersive assessments, simulated operations on virtual patients, allow for more in-depth exploration of the assessment questions. Automated scoring and tracking could make this flipped eLearning model more useful, since the providers can assess the physician progress from time to time and direct the learning modules as per individual needs.

 

What are your thoughts on using this flipped eLearning model? Do you think it could have a positive impact on their engagement and reception levels? We would love to hear from you.

Five Ways to Instill an Active Safety Behavior at Workplaces

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Dr. Heinrich, an American industrial safety pioneer from the 1930s, claimed that more than 90% of workplace injuries were caused by unsafe acts. In the current context, industry experts across the board are equivocal that workplace safety is imperative for a healthy and productive environment.

According to a concept known as behavior based safety, a major percentage of unsafe acts can be reduced by focusing on at-risk behaviors that can lead to injury. Going one step ahead, this behavior could be further segregated into active, neutral and passive categories. The focus of any organization should be inculcating an active safety behavior in employees. Employees need to know that the cost of not displaying an active safety behavior is as high as endangering their own and their co-workers’ lives.

Now, let’s look at how to go about inculcating this active safety behavior. Here are five simple, yet impactful strategies that could help:

•    Safety communication, everywhere, at all times
Visual safety communication is the most effective way to emphasize on the importance of safety to employees. Visual or digital signage displaying workplace safety content should be strategically deployed throughout your premises, specifically in corridors, cafeterias, common areas, lifts, bulletin boards, and meeting rooms. This ensures that safety constantly remains on top-of-mind for your employees at all times.

•    Recognition for doing the right thing
Recognition motivates employees to do more and better, for protecting them and their workplace’s safety. Leaders at every level in an organziation should promptly recognize employee contributions to incident prevention, and other process improvements that enhance workplace safety.  One of many ways could be, displaying videos and photos of individuals who have excelled at safety practices.

    Hire Safety Experts
You can onboard experienced workplace safety experts on your team. They can talk to employees on a varied range of topics, process improvements and identify training opportunities based on employee behavior pattern. Introduce these people to your employees and make them accessible. Being aware of this direct access can up the employees’ confidence and improve their safety behavior.

•    Impactful Safety Training
Impactful, and not more training, is what it takes to turn neutral or passive safety behavior into an active one. PowerPoints or page turner self-paced learning may be your go-to-medium to train employees on safety practices, but we should ensure that safety is just not about ticking a check box. Whether the training is in a classroom format, self-paced or blended, it should be about inculcating and reinforcing an active safety behavior. Not to forget, the millennials in today’s workforce appreciate training that is interactive and stimulating. This generation is smart, but they have shorter attention spans compared to others. Small bites of information work the best to train them.

Innovative instructional design is another important consideration to develop safety training that makes an impact. Make sure your training integrates videos, infographics, and scenarios that demonstrate safe work practices. Design common scenarios and help employee understand passive and active behaviors, allow the learners to experience scenarios tied with passive to active behavior indicators. Based on the learner’s response to specific scenarios, the indicators can display the learner’s current behavioral level. Immediate feedback can be provided for each scenario and partial or incorrect responses shall prompt the learner to review the safety rule and reattempt the scenario.

•    Leadership Support
Jackie Stewart said, ‘It takes leadership to improve safety’, and that’s totally true. The leadership at all levels in an organization should clearly lay out the expectations from employees. It not only helps highlight the importance of safety; but also strengthens employees’ relationship with the company.

What strategies do you employ at your workplace for instilling an active behavior towards safety and what results have you seen? We would love to know.

From Instructional Design to Experience Design – The Corporate Learning Paradigm Shift

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The evolution of technology in corporate learning has been rapid yet transformative, giving more power to learners at each step. Today, organizations aim at bringing learning to where employees are. It could be on their smartphones, their tablets, laptops, and even on their smart watches. Giving a learner exactly what they want, and where they want, is the only way to win in this disruptive digital landscape. All this calls for solutions that are employee centric. To design such solutions, the focus needs to shift from instructional design to user experience design on a whole.

If you are thinking about what would constitute impactful user experience design, well, for starters, learning and information support systems should be extremely easy and intuitive to use. We are already so accustomed to the Google and YouTube experience in our lives. Say you are seeking a quick tutorial on how to apply an appliqué patch on your denims. Without even wanting to check with the person sitting next to you, you just type in your query on the Google toolbar or the YouTube app on your phone, and there are thousands of results available in a second. There are videos, infographics, articles, and much more. You choose to view based on your reading and watching preference. And if you don’t like what you see, you quickly move to the other results. So quick and easy, Right?

Consider another case, you need a cab, all you need to do is press a search button on your Uber app, and the app shares information on all cabs available nearby, with the estimated wait time as well. Who could have thought of such a technology sorted life, a decade back! Today, all information is available at your fingertips, and the user experience is constantly improving.

We need to design the same experience for corporate learning. But there is a small catch. The corporate learning experience, because of its formal nature, needs to be a lot more controlled; a lot more guided, whilst appearing as independent as it regularly is. Since there is an explosion of video and instructional content over the internet, it is really difficult to filter out the right information for your employees.

Here are some ideas on how to achieve this:

  • Personalize the experience

They key here is to track employees’ digital footprints at the workplace and based on them, guide the employee into an appropriate and personalized learning flow. Every employee’s learning needs and learning style varies from others. Automated systems powered by artificial intelligence can be used to detect what is best suited for an employee. They can be used to act as gatekeepers to filter the right information from the internet to the company intranet.

  • Categorize content

For easy searching, content can be categorized into multiple types   Informative Instructional, Advanced, Compliance Related, etc. These categories may totally depend on the workplace requirement and make it easier for employees to locate the right module or video depending upon their requirement. Uncategorized content will only lead to more confusion and less learning.

  • Specify learning format

Learning formats could be segregated into two types: Macro-learning and Micro-learning.

Micro-learning is just in time, delivered in small, very specific bursts. Two minute videos could be micro-learning. A short game could be micro-learning. Even a small eBook that takes ten minutes to read through could be micro-learning. We, as users, consume this kind of material all day. This could prove handy when an employee wants to learn a quick thing, or read up on a quick policy, Content curated distinctly as micro-learning lets a user know what to expect.

Macro-learning, on the other hand, is something that covers detailed information related to a topic. It comes in handy when an employee wants to learn an entirely new process or function. For instance, it could be all about social media marketing, or automation testing. Macro-learning can be instructor led, or a series of videos and podcasts, or an entire interactive eBook.

  • Enable ratings

When there is abundant information available to be consumed within an organization, it makes sense to learn from other’s experience too. Courses, videos, or other learning objects need to have a provision where employees can rate them. It makes more sense to view a video course with 5 stars on ‘Retargeting’ than a 1 star video. An ‘Effective Sales Strategy’ podcast liked by 50 employees stands a higher chance of being heard than a similar one liked by only 12.

  • Add pre-assessments

Assessments added prior to an important course or module make learning much more controlled and better guided. Such exercises can give a sense of what the employee already knows and what s(he) still needs to learn.

The above steps can ensure that employees can find the information they need wherever they are. Such a design replicates the massive YouTube or Google like learning experience into your corporate learning. The key is to step into the user’s shoes and focus on the user experience design.

Thoughts?

 

Note: This blog has been drafted based on inputs from the following members of Harbinger’s Industrial Advisory Board:

  • Patti Evanosky, Director of Training, Chicken Salad Chick
  • Paul Meek, Director, Solutions Training and Advisory Limited
  • Jayant Kulkarni, Chief of Sales, Harbinger Interactive Learning

Between Minds – A Creative Approach to Building Stories

 How often have you experienced a challenging situation or dilemma where you were thinking hard and eventually just wanted to bang your head against the wall? How did you deal with the situation?

Maybe you brainstormed, without even realizing it. Brainstorming is a relaxed, informal approach to problem solving that promotes lateral thinking. We, at Harbinger, run a program called ‘Between Minds’ based on the brainstorming approach. This is a cross-functional meeting that brings together the Instructional and Graphics Design teams with the core objective of promoting design thinking. Random cross-functional groups are formed for each session, and every time a session is conducted, we get to deal with a unique challenge and come out with a new perspective of looking at things.

In a recent Between Minds session, each group was given a phrase and the expectation was to build a story in the next thirty minutes. Colors and papers were provided, and all the teams used drawing as their tool for weaving their stories. The ultimate objective of this activity was to get the team members work on a critical timeline and come up with a solution, by using their lateral thinking and problem-solving capabilities, along with acknowledging difference of opinions.

Listed below are some stories that the groups came up with:

  • Phrase: Dr. Spark Invents Time Machine

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This is the story of a scientist who invents the time machine post which he assumes any invention would be a cake walk for him. Hence, he further embarks on a journey of inventing telephone. Unfortunately, that turns out to be the biggest mistake of his life as he lands into an era where telephone was invented but not electricity. Thus, there is no power source to which he could connect his time machine and come back to the present. This strengthened the fact that we must keep things simple rather than complicating our journeys. The story also emphasizes on the importance of paying attention to details.

  •  Phrase: Age is Just a Number

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Another interesting story that came from one team was about an old man and his little grandson. The grandfather, despite being old, is no less than the grandson when it comes to being mischievous and having fun. Both steal ice-cream, fight for the video-game, and love to play scrabble. This story highlighted the fact that if you are willing to do something, then age is just a number. It also beautified how two people separated by a huge age difference were so alike. This story had a sense of simplicity and an essence of nostalgia which took the audience back into the memory lanes of their childhood. It also taught us how simple things could make a big impact at times.

  • Phrase: A Dark and Stormy Night

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Another interesting story was about a dark stormy night when a group of friends lose their way into the woods. They are wet and homeless, and upon finding a shelter, they enter it only to be confronted with spooky sounds. They hear the crying of a cat, squeaks of a baby and some smoke emerging from another room. Flashbacks of all the ghost stories read at leisure strike back indicating a definite possibility of a similar encounter. With a heavy heart and the possibility of coming across an evil spirit, they enter the other room to see a lady cooking food, in a corner of the room. Her baby is playing in the crib and a pet cat is crying in another corner. The story teaches us a lesson of not giving up on situations, and building presumptions about them, until you encounter them.

This session encouraged the teams to come up with the thoughts that, at first, seemed a bit crazy and quirky, but were then developed to build a story that went on to be appreciated by all present. The objective was not to reward or criticize ideas, as judgment stunts lateral thinking and also limits creativity. In a nutshell, it was a rejuvenating activity that pulled everyone out of their daily routine, and yet gave us some good problem-solving lessons, and a deeper insight into collaborating and working as a team to accomplish a common goal.

Do you also participate in any such sessions or activities? What are your favorite approaches to problem-solving? We would love to know your thoughts. Leave your comments below.