Gamification and workplace training: a match made in heaven

Gamification has become an integral part of the corporate world. Many businesses have adopted this innovative approach to workplace training due to all the benefits the method brings to the table. It’s become a well-established productivity tool, and employees who use gamification in learning new skills find the strategy quite engaging.

But what exactly makes gamification one of the best job training solutions, and how can you apply it in your company? Let’s get into the nuts and bolts of this important motivational tool.

What is gamification in corporate training?

Gamification can be defined as an approach to employee skill development that incorporates gaming elements in non-gaming situations. In a corporate environment, managers employ gamification to increase their staff’s motivation, ensure a fun learning environment, enhance engagement, and help the employees learn much-needed skills more efficiently.

Effective gamification strategies offer high completion rates and improved retention. The method can also help business owners complement their learning experience platform (LXP) to provide more engaging entertainment during learning and development initiatives.

What are the benefits of gamification?

Whether gamification is used in insurance training or teaching employees how to present new products, statistics show you’re bound to see improved performance. Here’s how gamification can help your workforce:

1. Gamification increases motivation

A learning environment that revolves around gamification requires acceptance from participants to ensure effectiveness. Thankfully, many elements can help you achieve this goal, such as points and badges. More than 80% of employees who take part in gamification activities feel motivated to learn.

They are driven to study voluntarily, whether out of fun, competitive spirit, or perfectionism. As the team is eager to learn, their knowledge retention increases accordingly.

2. It is conducive to great learning habits

When the gaming elements are designed correctly, they can give rise to behaviours that facilitate learning. For instance, you can improve your learners’ knowledge retention by giving them badges for going back to refresh their learning using previous tests. While such initiatives require precise planning, the results you can obtain can be extremely useful.

3. Valuable feedback

Gamification allows learners to understand their strengths and shortcomings. For example, you can give them a badge for managing their time efficiently and withhold a badge due to low accuracy. The employees can use these performance indicators to determine the areas they need to improve upon.

Besides, the feedback lets managers and executives gain insight into the weaknesses of their employees. This way, they can structure gamification sessions to address the biggest weaknesses their workers face and help the participants overcome them.

4. Gamification is engaging

Another huge advantage of using gamification in learning is that it engages the employees. The participants recognize the meaning they draw from gamification activities, which makes them eager to join in. In turn, they are more productive and more likely to stay with your company.

How should you structure gamification activities?

To reap all the benefits of gamification in the workplace, there are several principles you need to follow:

1. Provide autonomy

Gamification programs shouldn’t force employees to study. Instead, the atmosphere should convey the message that they are in charge. In this manner, peoples’ motivation skyrockets and their learning is enhanced.

2. Offer value

No matter how many badges and leaderboards you include, gamification activities won’t be appealing to your team members if they feel the exercises lack substance. The learning needs to provide meaningful results fast, and the employees should be able to apply this experience in real life.

The ideal way to offer value is to set up bite-sized materials that deal with certain work-related problems. Your workers can refer to them when they want to find out how to perform specific tasks and immediately implement their skills.

3. Reinforce learning

The better your team is at specific activities, the more likely they are to revisit them. As a result, gamification is a great way to reinforce learning. But the content needs to be diverse and include interactive quizzes, various rewards, and leaderboards to boost the team’s competitive spirit.

Examples of gamification in the workplace

Gamification leaves you with a lot of room to improvise and develop games that suit your company. Here are a few examples you can use as a starting point of your gamified corporate learning activities:

1. Partial gamification – Quizzes

At the entry-level, you can apply gamification as quizzes or assessment as part of a conventional e-learning course. You can also use it as a challenge in microlearning settings. 

For instance, your quiz can require the participants to make their way through roadblocks. When they reach a roadblock, they need to answer a question or complete a challenge to proceed. With each successful completion, the employees earn bonuses that provide a sense of achievement.

2. Game-based Learning

Another great idea is to turn the learning path into a fun game with badges, scores, and leaderboards. This is especially useful if you want to set up a compliance training session and help new team members learn about official regulations and your company’s code of conduct.

This way, you’ll save your employees from hours of skimming through, for example, extensive anti-bribery and sexual harassment laws. With gamification in the picture, even the most complex topics can be engaging if presented in a fun fashion. Just remember to keep the activities brief and concise so that they contain all the key points without going into unnecessary details.

3. Sales training

Gamification is also perfect for conducting workplace competition in the BFSI sector. By adding gamification elements, such as rewards for completing challenges, your sales agents are encouraged to take a proactive approach to their job and engage in positive initiatives (e.g., professional development and team-building events). Gamification rewards are also not as costly as investing in new employees or raising commissions. For instance, Learnsure’s gamification features allow the participants to connect with the learning material on a deeper level. This is because all the materials are directly related to their trade, ensuring high engagement. Using our platform, you can set up sales competitions that will prepare your workers for real-life challenges. As a result, both individual and overall performance within your company will be boosted. 

Gamification is the way of the future

While traditional workplace training methods can be useful, taking a modern approach like gamification is better suited for today’s corporate world. Much of your staff may consist of millennials, who likely prefer fun and tech-based training methods. That’s why gamification in learning should be your top priority when you want to engage your team and make them motivated to acquire new skills in a fun way.

We’ve given you a few examples of how to implement gamification, but the story doesn’t end there. If you want to see this strategy in its full swing, reach out to Learnsure. We offer polished training methods that will make your workers more productive. Book your demo now and check out our impressive services.

Breath new life into corporate training with microlearning

When microlearning for corporate training was first developed, there was a lot of scepticism surrounding the method. Many people believed it was nothing more than a fad and wouldn’t provide good outcomes in the long run. However, the doubters have been proved wrong, and microlearning is now a staple practice yielding terrific results in many companies. 

The main reason why business leaders apply this approach is to ensure maximum knowledge retention during their programs. There’s a wide variety of microlearning courses specifically designed to enhance employee training. They all achieve the same goal – greater productivity in the workplace. 

But what makes microlearning so effective and conducive to skills improvement, and how exactly can you implement it in a business environment? You’re about to find out!

What Is Microlearning?

Microlearning is a method of delivering polished learning content through small information chunks as part of stand-alone modules. The modules are up to 10 minutes long, and each addresses a single learning objective. 

Why Is Microlearning One of the Best Training Solutions? 

The reason why microlearning is successful is simple. The method is based on the way our brain retains new information. More specifically, we memorize details better when they are presented in brief bursts with a set objective that’s easy to remember. As opposed to conventional modules that rely on a bunch of pages of tedious text, microlearning is an enjoyable, revolutionary learning experience and offers a ton of value to employee training programs. 

Here are the top five reasons why you should adopt microlearning in your business setting: 

1. Microlearning Improves Learner Engagement 

Today’s learners are plagued by a short attention span. Many people can’t focus for longer periods on their tasks, meaning that extended practice sessions aren’t suitable. 

This is where microlearning modules come into play. They are short and allow the learner to zero in on the job at hand more easily and effectively. Moreover, they lead to high-quality learning.

Since humans have a limited ability to process new information, short learning improves retention by reducing cognitive load. In fact, using microlearning in the workplace makes learning transferring 17% more efficient. Therefore, if learning material is presented in information nuggets, workers’ brains are more likely to retain them and acquire new knowledge.

2 Mobile-friendly Modules

Over the past years, many companies have adopted mobile learning, increasing the importance of microlearning modules. Employees can easily access information with their tablets and smartphones, which makes this method the go-to option for organizations implementing mobile learning solutions.

3. High-quality Just-In-Time (JIT) learning

Just-In-Time learning refers to acquiring new skills or knowledge only when they are necessary. It’s also known as on-demand training and prepares employees for urgent situations that warrant fast solutions. This approach consists of quick and brief exercises that sometimes require workers to think on their feet. 

As a result, microlearning is the perfect tool for introducing JIT learning to your company. Again, they comprise short modules that allow you to organize JIT activities to improve your employees’ quick thinking. 

4. Microlearning for Corporate Training Offers Rapid Learning 

Providing your workers with an opportunity to use their available time effectively can be crucial to your company’s success. The nuggets included in microlearning modules can help your team members fill learning gaps quickly and efficiently. 

For instance, suppose your company manufactured Airsoft pistols, and one of your clients in Germany requires a presentation about a recent modification made to the sight system. However, your sales rep has been snowed under with work and hasn’t been fully familiarized with recent changes. To close this learning gap, they can use a ready-made microlearning module to bring them up to speed with the main features your client needs to understand. This way, they arrive at the meeting prepared and equipped with all the necessary knowledge. 

5. Bite-sized Learning Promotes Learning Reinforcement 

One of the key takeaways from the Forgetting Curve, a concept developed by Hermann Ebbinghaus, about 90% of the things people learn are forgotten within a single week. For this reason, you should find a way to reinforce your employees’ learning during this period. 

One of the most effective strategies is to use microlearning activities. A bite-sized module is an ideal match for reinforcement since the knowledge incorporated can be memorized with less strain.

How Do You Develop Bite-sized Training Programs? 

To address your workers’ learning needs and improve their performance, take the following steps to create bite-sized training modules: 

Set Clear Intentions 

Establishing easy-to-understand goals is key to formulating your microlearning strategies. For example, if you were training your team members on handling customer inquiries, you could set up a scenario-based activity. It would put your employees in situations where they learn by making decisions or performing tasks, which hones their critical-thinking abilities. 

Conversely, if you want to include information nuggets based on technology that trains your technicians, you can opt for short lessons with videos or other activities that involve pieces of technology.

Organize and Analyze Your Learning Content 

You also need to collect relevant learning materials and come up with a detailed outline that determines the number of bite-sized modules. Make sure to reduce the content to an appropriate amount so that it conveys the message effectively. For example, you can replace the lengthy text with engaging images. 

Use Various Design Options 

Design variations are a powerful asset in training your employees. Considering that many people learn through visual representations, you need to come up with a program that allows them to pick up new skills and knowledge faster. Include different colours, graphs, shapes, and videos to encourage participants during the training experience. 

Using multiple design tools, your learners have a lot to gain from your training program. They get to have fun and learn at their own pace. 

Break the Material into Modules 

You should now divide your assembled content into bite-sized modules logically. Make sure each of the nuggets is a stand-alone unit that addresses one objective. Furthermore, your learners should be able to use the modules in whatever order they want and comprehend the material effectively.

Create the Modules and Present Them to Employees

The final step is the very development of the bite-sized programs. To do this, you need to decide on your microlearning platform. Make sure to use one that’s fully optimized and provides microlearning deployment rapidly. 

After developing the modules, you need to keep track of your learners to see if the bite-sized programs are effective. Monitor the engagement, participation, as well as completion rates to measure the effects of your course.

How Can Microlearning Facilitate Insurance Training?

One of the biggest components of running an insurance business is employee training. This industry changes frequently, and organizations invest lots of money and time to stay on top of the changes. You need to pay special attention to teaching many aspects, including the following: 

  • Dealing with customers
  • Selling various products
  • Risk management
  • Processes and regulations that need to be followed

What is more, when your experienced team members retire, the company is under tremendous pressure to train new staff as quickly as possible. The most efficient way to conduct employee training in the sphere of insurance is by applying microlearning for corporate training. The benefits of this methodology make it a much better choice than conventional learning techniques. 

Learners rarely enjoy taking courses that extend for hours, and this also goes for employees from the insurance industry. Traditional approaches take between half an hour and 60 minutes, making them difficult to upload to mobile devices. 

For instance, let’s take a look at compliance training programs. They are designed to familiarize the participants with the stringent regulations from the field of insurance. Given that organizations sometimes face severe consequences if violating these regulations, training team members on applicable rules is critical. But if the course on compliance lasts for an hour, learners wouldn’t be engaged, which is a massive risk for the entire company. 

On the other hand, incorporating microlearning in insurance training is a much better alternative that makes such content more accessible and increases retention. The bite-sized modules of microlearning courses convey the meaning quickly. Plus, the content is broken down into comprehensible nuggets that have just one learning goal. Due to these factors, your employees can retain knowledge for much longer and help your company adhere to the norms in the insurance sector.

Additionally, short microlearning modules are generally less expensive than long courses. Each module you develop can cover a specific topic, saving you the money you would spend on extended lessons. 

For instance, let’s say you want to teach data security in your course. In that case, you could divide the subject into several modules, where one would handle data classification, another would cover sensitive information, and so on. Creating individual modules is much easier than dumping all the details into a huge course. Updating these modules is also relatively easy, and more understandable to learners. 

How Can You Implement Microlearning in the Workplace?

Now we get to the gist of microlearning, which is providing examples of how you can integrate them with your business environment. Here are some of the most practical activities you can set up for your employees: 

Assessments and Quizzes 

The better managers know their team members, the better they can design their microlearning modules. Before teaching them new knowledge, a great idea is to determine what your employees already know. To do this, you can organize microlearning programs as quizzes whose purpose is to assess your learners’ existing knowledge. 

Quizzes are perfect for testing your staff’s knowledge. They can be a starting point for constructing personalized microlearning modules that would bridge the gap in their skills. But don’t forget to include them throughout your training initiatives to assess and refresh your employees’ knowledge. 

Microlearning Videos

You can’t do without videos, regardless of the outline of your learning module. Not only are they engaging, but they can also be more effective since many people retain information better through videos than text or sound. Accordingly, make sure that short videos are a regular part of your modules. They can demonstrate machine concepts, product features, step-by-step guides, or other informational content. 

Still, don’t go overboard with videos because some learners are more engaged with audio and text and learn more efficiently through these mediums. 

Infographics 

It’s no surprise that many microlearning programs contain infographics. They do a great job summarizing large paragraphs using visual representations, such as images, icons, charts, and graphs. Also, today’s cutting-edge technology allows you to create motion infographics and GIFs that positively influence your employees’ attention and improve their retention. The best way to use them is when teaching your team how to apply particular skills or knowledge. 

Interactive Documents 

Strange as it may sound, documents can be interactive, too. In particular, interactive PDFs are extremely useful when you can’t remove text altogether from your microlearning activities. Interactive documents can jazz things up and ensure higher engagement. 

You can use PDFs to link multiple resources for team members who want broader knowledge of some subjects. Of course, they can also contain links to infographics and videos to complement your materials. 

Gamified Courses 

If you haven’t heard about gamification, you’re missing out a lot in terms of high-quality, exhilarating learning content. You’ll find gamified courses in many successful corporations, and the reason is simple. Such courses combine learning with gaming mechanics, eliminating boredom and making learning a lot more fun. 

One of the most useful aspects of gamification is the rewards system. Whenever your employees complete microlearning courses, they earn badges they can proudly show off in front of their colleagues. As a result, the workplace becomes an environment with a healthy competition that drives your staff to keep using gamification and learn new knowledge. 

Take Your Employee Training to the Next Level

Using microlearning for corporate training allows your employees to use their skills regularly. They are also a terrific training strategy for you since they are time-efficient, and create ample opportunities for improving the performance of your staff. 

Best of all, you can incorporate this strategy into your company with minimal effort. Just reach out to Learnsure! We offer the finest microlearning courses used by the most renowned companies in the world. Our state-of-the-art microlearning app will engage your team and quickly teach them new knowledge, helping you achieve impressive results. 

Innovative Learning for the digital age.

Innovative thinking for the digital age

One of the most important investments that any business owner can make is in the employees. This doesn’t only refer to the basics such as salaries and benefits. There are more significant details for making your employees feel appreciated and nurtured.

To be successful, a company needs to provide its employees with the knowledge and tools necessary to become skillful contributors. The staff must also be incentivized to use their skills properly.

Over the years, corporations have become aware of the importance of employee training and skill development to their success. More and more companies are starting to invest in Chief Learning Officers well-versed in training people to thrive in the corporate environment.

These executives are experts in innovative learning strategies, which should be the focal point of any business in this digital age. By adopting innovative learning, companies can enhance business operations and maximize the chances of success.

Such a holistic approach has proven effective for all organizations. Every company should foster employee development with consistent educational tactics, whether self-driven or structured. But how exactly can a business encourage the staff to be more innovative and creative?

In this article, we’ll provide you with three main tactics you can use to develop innovative learning: design thinking, behaviorism, and experiential learning.

Design Thinking

Design thinking is a process of identifying different solutions and strategies that may not be readily visible. In the main, design thinking attempts to understand customers, challenges assumptions, and redefines problems.

At the center of this process lies an interest to understand your target customers. It enables you to observe them and empathize with them.

The process can also help you question many problems, assumptions, and the implications of business decisions. As such, design thinking is an effective strategy for addressing vague or unknown issues. It allows you to redefine them in ways that are learner-centered. It encourages you to organize brainstorming sessions and take a direct testing approach.

Design Thinking Stages

You can find multiple implementations of design thinking, which can contain anywhere from three to seven stages. Nonetheless, the process is very similar in that the stages epitomize the same principles.

To give you a brief depiction of how design thinking works, we’ll mention what the process includes in its five-stage form:

  • Empathize – Learning about the audience for which you’re designing
  • Define – Developing personas based on demographics, goals, and objectives
  • Ideate – Brainstorming ideas while suspending judgment and encouraging creativity
  • Prototype – Creating sketches or building 3D models
  • Test – Learning what works and what doesn’t

Bear in mind that the sequence isn’t inviolable. You shouldn’t consider this process as a hierarchy of the five steps. Instead, it’s just an overview of the actions contributing to innovative thinking and business projects.

What’s the Value of Design Thinking to Businesses?

Nowadays, businesses face countless challenges, from budgetary concerns to technological adoption. It’s no secret that companies have to go through frequent project failures. According to an IEEE Spectrum report, some of the most common reasons a project fails include:

  • Stakeholder politics
  • Poor customer and developer communication
  • Ill-defined requirements

Design thinking can help you overcome these obstacles in several ways. For instance, if your business has trouble retaining customers, design thinking can direct your staff to reexamine their efforts and develop new retention ideas and techniques. They’re also encouraged to collaborate with people of different viewpoints. This can lead to strategic innovation and the solving of major problems.

In your meetings, make sure to elicit as much participation as possible. According to Lawton Ursrey, now Chief Product Officer at UserIQ, getting ideas from everyone is paramount. It’s worth prolonging your sessions to hear your team members’ suggestions on numerous issues.

Since design thinking promotes the testing of ideas, it can lead to valuable feedback in the early stages. This is conducive to early breakthroughs and more efficient business practices. When inputs are received early, you may be able to avoid spending money on worthless solutions.

Additionally, design thinking can be a way out of many stressful and challenging situations. It can remind your team members that solutions are available. All you need is to focus your efforts on finding them. This strategy can foster an encouraging environment in your business.

Behaviourism

Applying behavioural psychology in the workplace can improve your business. To explain, we’ll go through B. F. Skinner’s reinforcement theory.

Unlike others, reinforced behaviours tend to be adopted. The gist of the theory is that you can condition people’s actions. This has direct implications for workplace training and development.

The main thing is to coach your team properly and provide appropriate reinforcement. You’ll help them develop preferred forms of behavior and dissuade the detrimental. In this regard, positive reinforcement is much more preferable to negative.

Positive reinforcement rewards desirable behaviors. If you want to promote any approved behavior, you’ll want to make sure to recognize or reward the team member who exhibits that behavior.

Doing this periodically is the best way to go. There’s no reason to condition your staff to always expect a reward for a job well done.

Additionally, the rewards should have inherent value for the staff. It can be a unique congratulatory note, an outing, or a dinner at their favorite restaurant.

This means that you should find out about your team member’s preferences beforehand, which you can accomplish with a survey. If you use the same reward for all, it can be tantamount to not recognizing an employee altogether if they don’t care for the reward.

Experiential Learning

Now we get to the final part of effective corporate training, which is experiential learning. As the name implies, this is learning through one’s experience, such as workplace exercises.

Some of the most common examples include group activities that focus on problem-solving (could be company-specific), job rotation, adventure learning, and shadowing programs.

With today’s cutting-edge technology, you can even set up e-learning and virtual simulations. Along with other methods, you can organize direct practice in controlled environments. Your team members can apply what they’ve learned in real business situations.

According to a study conducted by ATD (Association for Talent Development) and the Institute for Corporate Productivity, top companies regularly invest in experiential learning initiatives. On top of that, high-performing companies organize experiential leadership activities created by in-house or outsourced instructional designers.

Best of all, this can be emulated at other companies, including yours. Make use of experiential learning if you want your company to blossom. Still not convinced?

Find out more about the intricacies of experiential learning:

Closely Resembles Reality

Experiential learning isn’t a straightforward activity, nor is it a 100% accurate depiction of real-life situations. The reason why it’s useful is that it falls right in the middle of these two extremes.

When you set up an experiential learning activity, participants have to solve real problems. These are problems designed to imitate workplace challenges and require participants to apply the skills that they use daily. This bridges the gap between practice and theory.

Unlike simulations, experiential learning exercises don’t replicate reality. Rather, they serve as themed scenarios and metaphors for the problems that workers face in their everyday work lives. They might not recognize the similarities at first, but they will soon understand the importance of the exercises and how to apply what’s learned.

Triggers Predictable Learning

Experiential learning isn’t accidental learning. The goal may be to teach the significance of planning or another practice, such as conducting a productive meeting. No matter the objective, the exercises instil a set of values in team members.

In other words, you don’t just initiate an experiential learning activity and wait to see the outcome. Instead, you design the exercise beforehand and incorporate all the principles you’d want your team members to adopt. And if these principles are relevant in the real world, your teams’ approach to the game will imitate what they need to succeed in the workplace.

Thanks to the predictable outcomes, you can be confident that your employees will come away with improved skills and knowledge.

Team Members Have to Be Involved

One of the most useful characteristics of experiential learning is its immersive nature. Staff members are engaged and encouraged to use a critical approach. This deep involvement allows them to retain new concepts much better. Furthermore, this evokes a greater desire to improve, both during learning and at work.

Innovation Is Key

If your team members are underperforming or not living up to their potential, your company needs change. Otherwise, you may fail to catch up to businesses that are already using modern workplace learning techniques.

The most important step is to adopt the three practices we mentioned above. They’ll help the entire staff focus on their work by practicing in a controlled environment and thinking about problems critically.

However, implementing these strategies can be challenging. Luckily, you can always turn to Learnsure for first-class workplace training solutions. We’ll share all our expertise to get your employees honing their skills and embracing how other high-performance businesses work.

Contact us now and don’t miss out on our innovative, sure-fire techniques.

The future of L&D will be learner-centric and data-driven

Data Driven Learning

The composition of the workforce across many industries is changing rapidly. Today, according to the World Leaders’ Summit in London study, freelancers would be half of the full-time global workforce by 2020. Not to mention, a big shift towards remote working. For instance, technology leaders like Microsoft, Accenture and Dell have already increased the strength of their remote workforce. They’re building a new workforce that is agile, adaptive and resilient to changes in the workplace environment.  

The insurance industry is not an exception. Today, they face the same challenges as others. In fact, they have a difficult transformation ahead of them. Building relationships is the key to thrive in the insurance industry. However, the current pandemic has shown that the traditional relationship-building no longer works. Hence, the insurance industry has to reinvent corporate learning and development. They have to ensure that their workforce adapts to the new environment and learns to build business relationships online.

We think that the future of insurance learning and development will be learner-centric and data-driven. We clearly see the immediate challenges. The remote workforce would be hard to manage and insurance companies will struggle with the efficiency. This will drive a greater need to learn more about their workforce and customised learning solutions. The patterns emerging out of learner data will help deliver professional training that is learner-centric and data-driven.

Learner-centric corporate learning and development

The current learning and development environment focuses on delivering programs based on classroom training methods. Typically, the workforce is in the audience and the trainer is at the centre of attention. The feedback is incidental and hardly contributes to the improvement of the training program.

We think that the learning spotlight should be on the employee. The insurance industry needs to look at the learning needs of the individual employee. They need to analyse the impact of learning on their performance. And develop a plan that contributes to their development.

By designing learning solutions based on learners’ needs and requirements, the insurance industry can create a learning experience that increases engagement, encourages participation and equip learners with ideas and skills to succeed professionally.

Data-Driven corporate learning and development

A couple of indicators to measure the impact of learning is not enough to drive modern learning and development programs. It needs granular data to fully understand the effectiveness of corporate learning and development programs.

The current learning and development environment lacks the ability to track and analyze the performance of every employee in the organization. With the emergence of newer and better digital learning platforms and mobile learning apps, the insurance industry can capture data to understand and influence the behaviour of their learners. They can create and analyse various data sets to pinpoint the problems, recognise learning patterns and map the competencies of their workforce more precisely than ever.  

We think learning data can not only give trainers and chief learning officers a 360-degree view of employee performance but also empower them to fundamentally reshape the learning and development philosophy.

Design Thinking – Unleash Teams’ Creative Potential

Design Thinking in Corporate Learning

What’s the biggest enemy of innovation?

Fear of failure.

One of the main problems lies in individual biases and learned behaviors. People get in their own way and stymy their creativity. They pre-judge themselves and think that ideas are unworthy. And that results in teams that struggle to apply new ideas.

Jeanne Liedtka published an article Why Design Thinking Works as featured in the Harvard Business Review a few years ago. In it, she talks about how design thinking works to “help the innovators themselves.” It’s a holistic approach to solution-finding that assists both clientsclient and team membersmember.

Implementing design thinking in corporate learning and development can unleash a torrent of creativity for your teams. But before you learn how, let’s talk about what design thinking means…

What Is Design Thinking?

Most companies look for employees who are great problem-solvers. They want employees who think outside the box. But design thinking goes a step beyond those coveted soft skills.

It’s a non-linear way to come up with solutions to challenging problems. It is methodical and focuses on “we-solutions” using collaborative methods.

Design thinking frameworks can vary from three to six steps. Generally, most training programs adhere to the five-stage model. The model was initially proposed by the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford.

These stages include:

Empathize

This stage is often labeled as the “understand” stage. It’s where team members learn about the people who have a particular challenge. You can think of it as an “identify” stage. You’re looking at the “who” of a particular scenario.

This is where empathy comes in.

It’s important to feel what it’s like to be them with this challenge, if possible. Empathy helps employees create more effective solutions because they feel personally invested.

Define

Once you do the research and feel empathy for the people involved, it helps you define the real problem. You’re able to do a deep dive past obvious solutions because you can look at it from different angles.

Ideate

Ideate or ideation is when you start creating possible solutions. Teams throw out ideas without worries of judgment or restrictions. More ideas generated means more potential solutions to the challenge.

Prototype

The hands-on exploration of a preliminary solution, this stage could mean anything from a series of sketches to a cardboard prototype. If the solution is an idea, you may even see teams use storyboards. It all depends on the industry and solution.

Test

The final stage is all about seeing if the prototype works. Teams may need to refine prototypes depending on a test response. Or, they may need to create an entirely new solution. But this is all part of the process.

In the design thinking process, each stage happens in a non-linear fashion. Some team members may work concurrently on more than one stage at a time. At the same time, teams may double back to other stages when they receive new information. Each stage is a different mode, but they don’t necessarily work sequentially.

Design thinking is applicable in an array of situations. Check out some examples of design thinking at work in the world today:

IDEO.org’s Clean Team in Ghana

Ghana had a major problem. Millions of Ghanaians didn’t have in-home toilets. They also had few options for sanitation. This was a very tough problem that needed a creative solution.

As such, Unilever and WSUP (Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor) got together with IDEO.org. Together they developed Clean Team, which works as a sanitation subscription service. They deliver and maintain toilets and Ghana has a new sanitation option.

Airbnb

A little over a decade ago, Airbnb was a failing startup. The company reached an earnings plateau of $200 per week. The three founders knew that something had to change or they weren’t going to survive.

They had to dig down deep and let go of the belief that everything they did “had to be scalable.”

Instead, they pivoted and gave themselves permission to dive into their creativity well. It was only after they embraced design thinking that they started seeing real changes.

How Do We Implement Design Thinking in Our Workplace?

In the job description, you can always request candidates who are familiar with design thinking. But it’s much more efficient to work with the talent that you have through learning and development or L&D.

With the rise in corporate training, L&D sectors are growing. More companies recognize the importance of reskilling or upskilling their employees. In 2019, a LinkedIn Report revealed that learning opportunities directly influenced employee retention. As many as 94% of employees said that they would stay longer if companies invested in their training.

So, it all comes down to your corporate training program.

You can implement design thinking into your workplace as a new business strategy. But it may be more advantageous to use design thinking in corporate training.

Generally, people learn about design thinking by attending workshops that address specific problems to give them real-world applications. That avenue may work for your company.

However, you can also incorporate design thinking strategies into corporate learning.

Here’s how it would work:

Imagine employees entering a sales training or insurance training program. In the training, they’re presented with a problem unique to the department. Rather than working individually, they’re encouraged to work within teams using design thinking steps.

In doing so, they rewrite old behavioral learning habits. Ideally, teams will learn to trust their own creativity. They let go of methods and ideologies that don’t work and embrace a new way of creating solutions.

The Biggest Challenges for Implementing Design Thinking in Corporate Training

Which skills do companies care about the most?

According to the 2020 LinkedIn Learning report, the answer is soft skills. Creative problem-solving & design thinking skills come in at 42% for many companies.

Despite the high demand, reskill or upskill learning has its challenges:

1. Getting Managers to Make Learning a Priority

Managers believe in learning soft skills for themselves. According to LinkedIn Learning data, they spend 30% more time learning these skills. Yet, it can be difficult to get managers on board with promoting a learning environment.

Without manager support, employees may hesitate to engage in training programs. They may question its legitimacy.

The problem isn’t entirely with managers, though.

As many as 83% of executives support employee learning, according to LinkedIn. However, that number drops to 27% for CEOs. The lack of support from the top can severely limit engagement and legitimacy.

2. Increasing Learner Engagement

Staying current with learning trends like micro-learning and gamification helps keep learners engaged. Micro-learning divides big subjects into bite-sized, manageable chunks. And since researchers found that people are more likely to engage and learn through mobile games, many learning platforms incorporated gamification.

You can also find companies like Learnsure that create customized learning programs with micro-learning and gamification principles.

In addition, the available enterprise training options also help increase learner engagement. It encourages self-directed learning with access to lessons at any time or place.

The training program also encourages engagement with other team members. It allows for an environment of shared learning and accountability. Both of those characteristics can help increase engagement in the long run.

Discover a New Solution with Design Thinking in Learning

You have a phenomenal team of star performers, but they aren’t performing as they should. They’re boxed in by old ways of problem-solving that works for them at the expense of innovation.

But you can take steps to change that way of thinking. For a start, try introducing a new solution-orientated model in their corporate training program. This subtle introduction can help ease employees into design thinking.

It’s a win-win.

Your team has a new way of finding solutions for clients. And clients will love the innovative solutions developed by your team.

Are you ready to unleash your teams’ potential? Contact Learnsure to book a demo.

Corporate Learning and Development

Corporate Learning and Development

As Benjamin Franklin once said “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”, and we think Mr Franklin got it to spot on. Corporate learning and development isn’t something that’s ‘nice’ to have in your organization. It’s a vital part of a company’s long-term investment and growth strategy. 

In today’s environment of economic instability, increasing calamities natural as well as man-made and empowered learning and development team improves employee retention.

The changing global dynamics help develop and implement learning strategies and programs that meet business needs. Learning and development commonly referred to as training and development, is a part of the HR structure. The objective of learning and development is to align employee goals and performance with that of the organizations.

Corporate learning and development aim to identify skill gaps among employees and teams so that they can develop and deliver training to bridge those gaps.

The Insurance sector can broadly be divided into two areas:
1. Insurers who protect the risk clients face.
2. Insurance broker who provide their expertise to ensure that their clients receive the best cover for the risks they face.

Every individual has their idea as to what makes a ‘good training program’. The truth is that there isn’t a unique model of what constitutes the ideal training program. 

Training and development are the key factors concerned with organizational activity aimed at bettering the performance of individuals as well as a group setting. It has been known by several names, including Human Resource Development, and learning and development.

However, some things remain the same in all good training programs; no matter what the industry, the employee size, the purpose of the program, the geography, and demography.

An individual is evaluated on the current job he/she holds based on the training procedure. 

When structuring training programs, ensure they are goal-oriented and the Key Performance Indicators are chosen to paint a holistic picture – time, cost, effectiveness, quality, and quantity of the program.

Also, a Manager’s involvement helps increase employee engagement in learning. A survey conducted by LinkedIn noted that 56% of employees would spend more time on their training if their manager directed, or recommended, them to a specific program that directly they believe will improve their skills.

Creative Workplace learning is evolving into a place where adding fun, bite-sized, and relevant activities to training are becoming increasingly popular to increase employee engagement.

Also Incorporating post-training follow-ups, such as short lessons or activities to review new concepts learned or face-to-face feedback sessions, can help ensure concepts are understood and actively practised.

The essential training area that falls under the insurance sector is primarily industry-specific which covers the insurance skill training industry as well as the technical training and regulatory industries, a board and senior management training is also set up to enhance their risk-based decision-making skills. The secondary essential training area is the generic one that covers: Sales and marketing, Business and people skills, Financial skills, Soft skills and Induction, and onboarding industries.

As mentioned earlier, while the Insurance needs continue to grow with an increase in population, infrastructure, and wealth, the Learning and Development teams in this sector have several challenges that need to be addressed.

The regulated industry mandates that the required pieces of training happen across the organization and within the stipulated time. It also requires that attestation of completion and records for the same are maintained meticulously.

The ongoing updates, similar to the Finance and Healthcare sector, the need to ensure that the updates reach all users is very high and of utmost importance. Not only does the learning strategy requires to have a provision for a speedy update, but it also requires to ensure that these reach the users and get applied on the job and are noticed in the work.

High volumes of information are to be safely kept as the insurer’s data and personal information which they have shared with the trust of not being leaked any further are of utmost priority.

The reasons why Learning and Development are important for organizations today and tomorrow is that the employees desire opportunities to Learn as, According to a 2016 Gallup report, 87% of millennials say learning and development in the workplace are important while 59% of millennials say having opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important when deciding whether to apply for a job.

Moreover, hiring is more expensive than employee retention as the actual difficulty is to understand the actual costs of employee turnover, however, it is an inherently understood thing that losing productive employees is not a favourable thing. In their 2018 Employee Retention Report, Work Institute reported that 1 in 4 employees tend to leave their job and nearly 77% of that turnover could be prevented by employers. Learning and Development not only help in boosting employee’s productivity, but it is incredibly important to boost employee confidence in themselves and trust in their employer.

Providing Training to Employees Improves the Bottom Line as a company’s greatest asset is its employees. Right? As learning & development focuses on filling in knowledge gaps and upskilling employees by focusing on the strengths of their employees, companies have reported anywhere between a 14%-29% increase in profit.

According to an IBM study, it was found that well-trained teams increased their productivity by 10%. Coaching and training employees is a great way to empower them to succeed as it would result in the success of the company as well as, Untrained Employees Result to be a Risk as it is the responsibility of the companies to ensure that their employees work in a safe and efficient office environment.

Somehow it is presumed that proper workplace behaviour is something people inherently know; companies can be proactive in training employees to maintain a safe and inclusive workplace. Carrying out an effective ethics training program would help ensure employees work better and minimize the risk of lawsuits for failing to comply with industry standards in safety and workplace behaviour.

Learnsure provides insurance companies with innovative corporate learning and development solutions to increase productivity and improve the competencies of your workforce.

Microlearning: a new way of learning!

Learning is earning knowledge and skills, and in today’s world, everyone is running their separate race. To not lag, every person needs a source of constant learning which can be done by investing little time every day. Microlearning is a kind of e-learning which enables one to learn various skills and technicalities in small snippets of time, in a nutshell.

This can be a very beneficial asset for companies hiring temporary people regularly, individuals running behind on time, or even for those who just have an appetite for learning. Micro-learning is much more than just e-learning. In other words, it is the guide to go-through a night before exams.

The objectives of pieces of training of a single session are to the point. Micro-learning sessions are focused to teach a single skill, which is very unlikely of other e-learning platforms. The aim of micro-learning platforms is to provide knowledge in the least time investment, highly contrary to the traditional means of learning. Hence, it ensures that the content is crisp.

The content and sessions are not restricted to specific formats; hence this is entirely different from the conventional learning techniques. Micro-learning get’s quite interesting as it comes in varied structures, for instance, podcasts, infographics, animations, etc.

Micro-learning is a good tool to use when easy, and time-saving learning is required. Nonetheless, it is an effective program it does lose its effectiveness sometimes when it comes to lengthy and critical concepts. It is better to skip on in-depth training, as it is not feasible to teach hard-core concepts in an outline. Also, it is a task for a creator to make short descriptions easily understandable and interpretable for the learner.

This technique of easy and pocket-friendly learning is utilized worldwide, especially by corporations and establishments to train the staff skills without having to invest in expensive trainee workshops.

  • New staff can be provided workplace orientations through videos.
  • The company can update employees on amended compliance policies easily through animated videos, graphic texts, small videos.
  • Both soft-skill and hard-ware training can be provided through infographics and animated snippets.
  • Employee motivation through personal audio podcasts to keep staff engaged and productive.

From DuoLingo to TED-ED all of the big fishes are trying their hands at this indispensable way of learning. Moreover, it has been proved that visual learning experiences are more retainable than the ‘go-to’ methods of training. Micro-learning methods also are a proven means of rational and efficient skill development.

Micro-learning is significantly distinct from e-learning. While e-learning focuses on both knowledge and skills, micro-learning usually focuses on skill development alone.

Micro-learning seems to be an effective and engaging approach for learning and improving skills. Although it is subjective and it cannot be utilized as a ‘benchmark strategy’ for training and development by all institutions. Hence, it is something not for all.

A dig into the theory of social learning

Social theory of learning

The daily lives of humans are filled with innumerable experiences, the experience of good and bad; of success and failure; of happiness and sorrow. What one perceives of these experiences is subjective and forms diverse individual personalities. This is what the theory of social learning does, it draws an individual’s behaviour from their experiences. The environment and societal interactions tell a lot about an individual’s personality. Both of these factors have a vital role to decide, how a person would react to a situation?

It thus has a separate significance in the world of learning.

The conventional way of learning has a comparatively less retention rate than the modern developed ways. Social learning has a different impact and outcome in today’s scenario as with the developing and evolving nature humans tend to adapt things and traits which can be carried along easily because all their learning comes to test when they face actual problems in reality and when they are in a situation to decide upon. Social learning in today’s time is also about the ability to connect and stay together and have peace as the action is what the reaction is based upon. Observational learning is quite evident in these modern times where one has started to keenly observe and interpret things and situations they are surrounded with.

Bandura’s concept and the principle of social learning

The theory propounded by Bandura is about classical conditioning as well as operant conditioning wherein mediating process occurs between stimuli and responses. The theory given by Bandura further states that behaviour is learned from the environment through the process of observational learning. The key elements of his theory are:

  1. Attention – The extent to which we manifest behaviour that is further imitated.
  2. Retention – The ability to remember the behaviour noticed which is not always remembered which also prevents imitation.
  3. Reproduction – The ability to execute the behaviour that the model demonstrated. Ability plays a critical role in reproduction.
  4. Motivation – The reward and punishment that follow a behaviour that is considered by the observer.

This theory emphasizes the importance of observing and modelling the behaviour, attitudes and emotional reactions of others in our surrounding.

The changing world and the rapid growth of development have also resulted in the demand for socialization which also has a very strong impact on an individual’s behaviour wherein they are prepared for a social lifestyle.

Socialization has also enhanced the human outlook where they get to involve themselves, learn things to which they were never familiar with before and this aspect which is highly involved in this social learning is the cultural aspect and outlook.

Social learning is a concept where people learn by observing the behaviour of others, the outcomes of that behaviour are the end result be it good or bad as the good is being inculcated and the bad outcome is left behind.

At Learnsure, our learning programs use the principles of social learning to engage learners at a deeper level. Our Resurgent™ Performance Suite is designed to make social learning a tool to build confidence and improve the mental strength of the learner.