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BLENDING UP LEARNING | 16 How to Pick the Right Ingredients

THE CLASSROOM OF THE FUTURE| 28 It’s Not All About the Learner

SUPPORTING SOCIAL LEARNING | 40 Reaping the Rewards and Benefits

BUSINESS

PERSPECTIVES

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MANAGING

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TRAINING


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PERSPECTIVES - KE N TAY LO R

THINKING OF LEARNING AS EXPERIENCES INSTEAD OF COURSES FORCES US TO THINK DIFFERENTLY ABOUT WHAT FORM THE TRAINING TAKES.

This edition of our magazine explores a menu of delivery approaches that can improve the impact of many learning and development programs. There is never any confusion around the office at Training Industry that content is king, but how that content gets delivered can have a significant impact on whether learning actually happens. The great news is that there are new approaches that can help us impact the development of new and critical skills, and technology is truly becoming an enabler for corporate learning. In this issue, we will cover the importance of using data visualization techniques, virtual and social learning and even the evolution of the classroom experience all with a focus on how skill development in the corporate context involves learning experiences. It’s exciting that we can now create learning experiences that match the nature of the learning that we seek. From knowledge transfer to true skill building, the delivery options available to us make the potential for learning even stronger. Thinking of learning as experiences instead of courses forces us to think differently about what form the training takes. We need to consider what the learners’ experience is during the delivery of the training: What are they feeling? Where are they? Do they want to control the pace? Do they want to pick their

instructors or coach? Do they want to practice on their own or in groups? The answer to these questions begin to help us develop the nature of the experience we want to create to support our learning programs. Not to overemphasize this, but there are reasons why companies like Amazon focus so much on the user experience – they want you back! I think the same degree of focus on the learning experience can have similar impact on the frequency in which learners return to take more training. With the average tenure of employees reducing every year, anything we can do to accelerate skill development, and ultimately improve performance, will have a significant impact on the bottom line. I believe that challenging our teams to focus on the experience we want the learner to have and how the training is delivered will result in a new level of innovation when it comes to program development. This will open new opportunities to change the way our employees view the training function. As always, we would love to hear your thoughts about the point of views shared in the magazine and any topics you would like us to tackle in future editions. Ken Taylor is editor in chief of Training Industry Magazine and president of Training Industry, Inc.. Email Ken.

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CO N T E N TS

TA B L E O F VOLUME 11

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ISSUE 5

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JULY/AUGUST 2018


FEATURES

16 THE LEARNING SMOOTHIE

28 CLASSROOM OF THE FUTURE

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THE LEARNING SMOOTHIE

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GREAT COACHING IS COUNTER-INTUITIVE

40 SUPPORTING SOCIAL LEARNING

By Brad Mayo

Create a personalized, blended learning experience for learners by picking the right methods.

By Andrea Grodnitzky

Create a coaching culture to increase sales success and improve employee performance.

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REIMAGINING THE WORLD OF CORPORATE LEARNING IN A VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT

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BRINGING THE CLASSROOM INTO THE FUTURE: IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE LEARNER By Stephan Pineau

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3 SIMPLE DATA VISUALIZATION TRICKS THAT TURN YOUR NUMBERS INTO NARRATIVES

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THEATER AS A MEDIUM FOR SOFT SKILLS TRAINING

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By Elizabeth Greene

Construct a new world for learners that enhances experiences with augmented and virtual reality.

Reduce costs and improve efficiency by bringing instructor-led training into the future.

By Janine Kurnoff

Drive decision-making by strategically presenting data as a visually appealing story.

By Ranjana Mittal

Increase engagement and ROI with experiential learning in the form of theater-based training.

WHY BUSINESSES FAIL TO SUPPORT SOCIAL LEARNING By Lars Hyland

Encourage social learning amongst employees to accelerate skill and knowledge growth.

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I N THIS I S S U E

THOUGHT LEADERS

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PERSPECTIVES

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GUEST EDITOR

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By Ken Taylor

Drive innovation by delivering more learner-focused training.

By Jeff Morgan

Improve engagement and retention rates by using storytelling in training.

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BUILDING LEADERS By Sam Shriver and Marshall Goldsmith Progressively disrupt the status quo by using a variety of tools in the toolbox.

SECRETS OF SOURCING By Doug Harward

Leverage technology and tools to improve the learning process to improve skills.

SCIENCE OF LEARNING By Srini Pillay, M.D.

The right tools and approach can help deliver engaging learning experiences.

PERFORMANCE MATTERS By Julie Winkle Giulioni

Reimagine learning by looking past the common sequence of training events.

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LEARNER MINDSET By Michelle Eggleston

Learning must be relevant to the learner and the business to impact change.

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WHAT’S NEXT IN TECH

54

CLOSING DEALS

55

COMPANY NEWS

By Eric Sharp

Key tools and a strategic approach to learning can result in a more skilled workforce.

INFO EXCHANGE

44

CASEBOOK

46

MEASURING IMPACT

MetLife improved talent development in sales trainees with relatable and engaging training.

Customer satisfaction measurements should take retention, advocacy and trends into account.

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The data around digital credentials can support talent and learning development.

Keep up with the latest in the training industry by reading news from the last quarter.

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TrainingIndustry.com


A B O U T OUR TEAM

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CONNECTING


GUEST EDITOR JEFF MORGAN

STORYTELLING IN TRAINING From an early age, storytelling has played an important part in our personal development. Think back to your childhood. Many of the lessons you learned, or values you developed, were the result of stories shared with you by your parents or teachers. These stories helped us understand the lessons in a way we could relate and connect, and that connection is what made those lessons stick. The same concept is true of adult learners. To make your training programs more impactful and increase the retention of the message, find ways to weave storytelling into your delivery. BE PURPOSEFUL As you look to include storytelling, identify which topic will resonate best with your audience through a relatable story. Consider how you can impact the understanding of your audience by sharing a story in which they can relate, sympathize and connect. Think of real-life examples that you can share, which will reinforce what you want the audience to learn and take away. Keep in mind, it is very important that you make sure these stories are interesting and as succinct as possible. I recall being in a training session when the facilitator was discussing goal alignment. He launched into a story regarding his family, speaking about the wants of his wife and children. As he progressed, we learned about each of their lives, challenges, hobbies, clothing preferences, and more than I care to include here. By the time he got to the point, the entire audience was

confused and unsure as to the point of the story. Much of this rambling was due to lack of planning. The facilitator did not thoughtfully consider how to tell the story to ensure the message landed. Had the instructor taken time in advance to think the story through, minimize unnecessary details and practice, the impact would have been much more effective and better for the audience.

VULNERABILITY ALLOWS THE AUDIENCE TO CONNECT TO THE STORY. BE VULNERABLE The best stories you can share are those that you have personally experienced or witnessed. When you share, however, do not solely tell stories about what you have done correctly. Use too many of those examples and you will come across as a “know-it-all,” as opposed to an expert. In fact, the more you can share stories where you learned a lesson from a mistake or wrong decision, the better the audience will relate to you and the learning point you want to convey. Demonstrating vulnerability allows the audience to build an emotional connection to the story. That connection makes it more memorable and, as a result, more impactful. Leverage your facilitation tools, such

as voice inflection and modulation, to help make this emotional connection even stronger. FACILITATE PARTICIPANT STORIES Depending on the size of your audience, look for opportunities to leverage the experiences of your group. Have them share their experiences as it relates to the topic. Doing so will require very active listening on your part to ensure that the story stays on point. While you do not want to shut someone down completely, you may need to redirect them or help draw them toward a conclusion. Although this may test your facilitation skills, the value of peer stories to reinforce learning is immense. Look for and leverage this opportunity whenever it presents itself. You will likely be asking others to share at first, but as the class continues, participants will become more willing to volunteer a story themselves. The best training classes are those that are memorable and impactful. To maximize your participants’ experience, leverage every tool in your training delivery toolbox. Include storytelling as a regular part of your plan. When you plan and deliver effectively, your audience will be more engaged with the overall content and more likely to retain those key learning points. Jeff Morgan is director of learning and development at Bridgestone Retail Operations (BSRO), a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas. Email Jeff.

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SCIENCE OF LEARNING SRINI PILLAY, M.D.

TOOLS AND APPROACHES TO DELIVER LEARNING:

THE LEARNING CRISIS REVISITED

Learning professionals are facing a crisis that is not being addressed sufficiently. Workplaces are all too frequently toxic, and as a result, the learner is not prepared to learn much of anything. No matter how fancy the delivery, how interesting the material, or how essential the new skills are, you can’t learn if you are not engaged. And engagement at work is only 13 percent worldwide. That is, more than eight out of 10 people are not involved, enthusiastic, or committed to their work or workplace. In this context, how can you learn? How can the brain hold onto anything? In order to learn, we have to fix the engagement problem. And it is going to take more than entertaining tricks to do this. At the core, the workforce is facing immense challenges: stress, burnout, and depression are rife. This puts the brain in “low-engagement mode.” Unless we step out of our denial and do something about these variables first, learning will go nowhere, fast.

YOU CAN’T LEARN IF YOU’RE NOT ENGAGED.

If you are in charge of learning in your organization, approach the CEO with this suggestion. Ask how learning can become part of your engagement strategy. Explain that the brain that executes best on strategy, is one that is engaged by new learning.

program through your employee assistance program. Form a partnership with a local hospital for telephone support if necessary. Providing support will enhance employee commitment and engagement and through that route, also impact learning.

2. UNDERSTAND BURNOUT

4. TARGET LEARNING

Rather than denying burnout by talking about resilience to disengaged employees, try to understand if burnout is affecting your organization. Nobody likes to admit to being burned out, and it can impact the morale of the organization. However, since engagement is tied to burnout, it is likely impacting the company’s productivity and learning. A burned-out brain is one that has metaphorically blown its learning fuses. That’s why you need to attend to this.

Learning should be targeted according to a learner’s needs where possible. To be motivated to learn, learners must find the learning material to be relevant and congruent with who they are. Learning management systems should strive to make this a dynamic part of the learning effort.

Use a tool to measure burnout and implement interventions continuously. Maslach and Leiter have a burnout inventory, and there are various companies that offer burnout tools. When you have a sense of what is causing your burnout, you can target this with specific interventions. 3. ADDRESS DEPRESSION

1. LEARNING NEEDS TO BE A DEDICATED FUNCTION The chief learning officer should work closely with the CEO to align the learning and business goals. Too often, learning is sheltered under some irrelevant umbrella as an “expense” item. It is ignored. But when you ignore mental stimulation, you’re not doing much for engagement or productivity.

Depression is a largely unaddressed problem within organizations but is one of the top three workplace problems and impact learning. When people are depressed, their brains are impacted so that they can’t sleep or concentrate, and they have no energy. Learning will flail in this context. Offer mental health screening and support, and have a de-stigmatization

Work with program designers to elicit who might want to learn about a topic, as well as why they should learn about this. By using technology that ties workplace engagement with learning, learners can also feel like their learning needs are being met. New tools and approaches will fail if we do not prepare learners’ brains to absorb and remember information. In lieu of the current crisis in workplace engagement, learning professionals should not deliver learning in a vacuum. It matters where your learning lands. Caring about that, will ensure that investments in learning are more worthwhile. Dr. Srini Pillay is the CEO of NeuroBusiness Group. He is also assistant professor (parttime) at Harvard Medical School and teaches in the executive education programs at Harvard Business School and Duke CE. Email Srini.

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PERFORMANCE MATTERS JULIE WINKLE GIULIONI

TURN OF EVENTS

“Space” is no longer a barrier for learning and development (L&D) departments as they develop and implement creative solutions designed to meet the needs of remote and highly distributed workforces. So, perhaps the new frontier is “time” – or, more accurately stated, perhaps the new frontier involves confronting our long-held temporallyordered approach to learning. Temporal order refers to the arrangement of events over time. It also refers to the way many training programs are designed to anchor learning to a central event. This creates a “before, during and after” sequence with some introductory information as the before, the main event as the during, and some follow-up and reinforcement as the after. It’s a comfortable learning “three-step” process that’s played out for decades in organizations. The challenge with temporally ordering learning is that it creates an artificial and linear approach that doesn’t accommodate the cadence of the workplace, which requires more fluid, flexible and non-sequential support; fails to optimize the natural human learning process; and contributes to a “checkthe-box” mentality because typically completing the main event is prioritized and other activities are relegated to second-class citizen status. So maybe it’s time to rethink time and how it relates to training. Maybe it’s time to evolve our unconscious mental models to better align with how learning is increasingly occurring in the workplace.

Today, it’s more of a journey or trajectory (with lots of equally valuable stops along the way). It’s a collection of resources or a playlist specially curated “just for me.” Learning is more of a puzzle, mosaic or patchwork quilt in which each of the pieces (learning assets) are required to complete the picture.

that have historically carried more weight. Elevate each element all to the same level. You can even make it a game by writing each learning asset or component on its own index card, shuffle them up, and lay them out in different configurations to shake up your traditional thinking.

Thinking about learning in this less eventful fashion allows for tremendous synergy among instructional elements. Rather than “lesser” resources rotating around the “sun” of the main event, a less linear approach allows elements to reinforce each other in more flexible, unique and learner-centered ways. And this contributes to the long-term adoption of new skills and behaviors.

CHANGING OUR WORDS CAN CHANGE OUR MINDSET.

Lifting our temporally-constrained (before, during and after or main event) thinking allows for many benefits such as enhanced creativity, flexibility, usage and results. The traditional main event model met the needs of a less dynamic workplace when employees might have been able to wait a quarter or longer to attend a course. But today’s workers can rarely afford that kind of lag. Allowing for a less sequential approach to learning ensures that skills development can keep pace with the speed of business.

2. Watch your language. Changing our words can change our mindset. So, eliminate “before, during and after” from your lexicon. It only reinforces that the main event is the main event. Instead, begin talking about “suites of resources” or “complementary content components.” 3. Hold all elements to the same standard. Force previously thought of pre- and post-learning components to work just as hard as the traditional main event. Make sure each is valuable in and of itself. Build in reflection and application planning so every element actively drives learning.

Want to break through the temporal or event-focused barrier? Try these three steps.

Overcoming our temporal default means recasting learning and de-emphasizing the main event… which could be an eventful transition for L&D and the organizations they serve.

1. Adopt an egalitarian outlook. Look at each element or asset with fresh eyes. Challenge yourself to think differently about those main events

Julie Winkle Giulioni has 25 years of experience working with organizations worldwide to improve performance through learning. Email Julie.

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BE AN EXPERT Training Industry research analysts seek insights that benefit you—the training leader. From understanding the unique process capabilities that differentiate Great Training Organizations™ to exploring the components of the Modern Learning System, gain greater understanding of the training industry through our vast research library.

This research explores questions and insights about the popular 70-20-10 model and how it relates to today’s corporate realities.

This report examines leadership training practices across genders, offering recommendations for learning and development to help shrink the gender gap in leadership.

Summarizing two years of research, this report examines the importance of efficient, well-designed processes in building high-performing training organizations.

We do the work, you gain the expertise. www.TrainingIndustry.com/research


BUILDING LEADERS SAM SHRIVER & MARSHALL GOLDSMITH

TRAINING TOOLS AND PROGRESSIVE DISRUPTION

If the phrase “important training tools” was ever offered to contestants for consideration on the TV game show “Family Feud,” we imagine when it came time for the host to utter the familiar line, “Survey says…” responses would be dominated by “things.” Because when people think of tools, they have long been conditioned to think of devices or equipment -- the tangible things you can employ to accomplish a task. If the task in question is learning, there is an ever-increasing number of things (objects, instruments and mechanisms) dedicated to the process imbedded in the task. Flip charts, workbooks and job aids have been joined by apps, platforms and online libraries to exponentially increase the capability of trainers worldwide to help trainees learn, change behavior and deliver results. Of course, in reality, the tool itself is only as functional as the person on the other end of it. For example, if something breaks in either one of our homes, we do not run to the garage, lift the latch on a meticulously organized toolbox and select a device we can expertly wield in a timely manner to solve the problem. Actually, quite the opposite! You see, both of us have repeatedly been discouraged over the years by members of our immediate families from doing anything other than calling someone who knows what they are doing in those circumstances. Evidently (in the opinions of our loved ones based on extensive direct observation), we can only serve to make whatever the problem is worse (in some cases, far worse!).

Unfortunately, we have a tough time defending ourselves on this matter. When it comes to home repair, neither one of us has ever consistently demonstrated anything remotely resembling skill. Beyond that (and truly at the heart of this discussion),

THE FUNCTIONALITY OF A TOOL DEPENDS UPON THE PERSON WHO HAS THE OPTION TO USE IT. neither one of us has ever been even casually motivated to develop that set of proficiencies. We suppose you could say that almost regardless of the expertly designed tools that are readily available to help us respond to almost any home maintenance emergency at a moment’s notice, the value of figuring all that out in no way approaches the value of maintaining the status quo and outsourcing responsibility for resolution of these periodic (but inevitable) problems. Perhaps, oddly, this realization on a personal level leads us to a point in the context of the theme for this issue to offer up a blinding flash of the obvious: The functionality of a tool depends almost entirely upon the person who has the option to use it. In the universe of all that is training, consider the notion that there is

absolutely nothing of inherent value in any tool of any kind: • Flip charts and dry erase boards take up space in an instructor-led training setting until a trainer with a compelling message uses these “blank canvases” to capture relevant thoughts and drive engaging discussion. • Workbooks and job aids sit on bookshelves and in desk drawers unless learners perceive benefit in reviewing their contents in preparation for a coaching discussion. • Electronic and mobile resources (basically, technology of any form or fashion) containing an almost unending spectrum of games, microlearning potential, or “chat-room, peer-to-peer, post-training connectivity,” remain unopened and unused if access and operation aren’t tied to something valued by the learner. So, what is the most important tool in training? Influencing your training professionals and the learners they serve to actually use the growing number of tools in their toolboxes in a collective effort to progressively disrupt the status quo. Marshall Goldsmith is the world authority in helping successful leaders get even better. Sam Shriver is the senior vice president of commercial operations and product development at The Center for Leadership Studies. Email Marshall and Sam.

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I’ve always reached for a glass of orange juice (OJ) in the morning, but through the years I found I needed a little bit more than my daily dose of “Florida Sunshine.” I’ve blended in various fruits and other juices to add some variety to my morning routine. Some items I found around the house, and others I purchased specifically for my mad scientist blends. I created combinations that were good, and others were never to be repeated. I included strawberries, kiwis, blueberries, almond milk, protein powder and unusual items like dragon fruit, star fruit or Asian pears.

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By Brad Mayo, PMP, CPTM

What does this have to do with the learning world, aside from the knowledge that a quality breakfast sets you up for a great day? This example illustrates a blended approach. One size does not fit all for our own tastes or nutritional needs, so why would a onesize-fits-all approach make sense for your learning department? Instructor-led training (ILT) has long been the go-to method for disseminating information, just like orange juice is a staple in a smoothie. But, that doesn’t mean OJ is always the best ingredient, nor does it mean you MUST use it. If the situation calls for a different approach, dig into your learning cabinet and see if a workshop, a small group session, or interactive e-learning might benefit your learners more than traditional ILT. Blended learning is a great approach that combines digital and in-person learning to create learning programs that are impactful and interactive. Blended learning is flexible, customizable and

can appeal to all learning styles and needs. We know people learn and retain information differently, and if learners are learning in their own way, they have a greater chance of truly remembering, and applying, what they have learned.

time and keep you from missing out on important daily tasks.

Creating a Blended Approach

The best approach is to work with what you have.

Blended learning is proving to be very effective, but it’s not always the easiest approach. A glass of OJ in the morning is simple. Shake, open and pour. You’re done! Blending does take more thought and effort. Do I have everything I want in the house? Do I need to shop? Will it taste like I want it to? A training organization with a staff of trainers can add or remove classes to and from a training calendar with much less effort than a full blended solution.

chance of absorbing new information in a way that makes sense for them. Plus, it fits in with tight schedules! Taking a whole day to sit in an eight-hour ILT class can be disruptive. But taking four or five one-hour e-learning courses throughout the week can help you manage your

Creating a blended solution will take an analysis of budgets, resources, talent, risks, sponsors, technology, and more. Which modalities do you choose? Will they be embraced by the learners? Will the training provide the results desired? It can be a daunting task and can mean a complete change to your department’s business plan. However, the results of a

Allowing for several different styles, types and modes of learning, learning managers will give staff members a better

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fully scoped blended learning solution can be extremely beneficial for your organization. Sales increase. Employee morale is boosted. Customer satisfaction goes up.

Customizing the Blend Once you have a good handle on what types of trainings you can offer, what you may already have and what you may need to ‘shop’ for, you can get started. A blended approach with many different learning ingredients ensures that you are giving employees a choice to make themselves a learning smoothie that works best for them. Some people learn best through a directed learning program and others learn best building their own. A personalized, blended learning program may include digital learning, social learning, mentoring or lectures. Just as some people like pineapple juice better than orange juice in their morning smoothies, each learning choice is going to be unique. When you offer diverse and easily accessible learning options, learners can wake up and make themselves the smoothie they need from the various ingredients provided them. In some cases, you may not have enough of one ingredient and may have no choice but to blend in something else. Maybe you wake up one morning and only want a glass of orange juice. You reach for the OJ only to find there isn’t enough in the carton to have a full glass

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of juice, so you have no choice but to blend in other ingredients. This applies to learning departments, too. Smaller departments or organizations may not have an in-house, fulltime instructor, nor the budget to contract out. But, they may have a great staff that can design quick reference guides, monitor group study sessions, or host interactive workshops where everyone contributes. What if you work for a larger company and need to deliver a new system training to your staff, scattered around the country? What if you think ILT is the only way to go? Are you confident you can stay in budget and reach all types of learners with just instructor-led classes? That may not be the right approach...for your team, or your wallet. If you don’t have enough staff to deliver the training, other work would have to stop, costing bottom line dollars. If there isn’t enough budget to hire a contingent workforce, then you can’t send trainers to every location. Plus, you may be working around vacations, holidays or other events that may keep some of your staff from attending the classes. It’s time to blend in other modalities to make it happen. The best approach is to work with what you have and create a customized learning smoothie. ILT should be used where it makes sense, like at your headquarters where most, if not all, of your staff sits. Virtual

instructor-led training (VILT) can be added to accommodate remote staff and cut down on travel expenses. VILT can even be used on-site to train a large group of attendees who may not fit in one conference room or auditorium. And don’t forget, e-learning can be created from original presentations to provide training for those who were on summer vacation, or those who may join the company at a later date.

Certain Situations Call for Certain Ingredients I’ve often equated creating the perfect breakfast smoothie to learning challenges that are shared from our clients. The standard in the past was to go for ILT – the orange juice – but through the years we’ve made learning smoothies with computer-based training, simulations, graphic novels, gamification, and more. There are times now when the orange juice never even makes it to the blender. With technology constantly evolving, I wonder what the next ingredient will be that we can add to the smoothie. Whatever it is, we will be eager to give it a try.

Brad Mayo, PMP, CPTM, is the director, PMO at AXIOM Learning Solutions, where he oversees AXIOM’s professional services, focusing on global and domestic projects, providing customer strategies and best practices, and enabling globally utilized solutions. Email Brad.


If the situation calls for a different approach, dig into your learning cabinet.

Picking the Right Mix of Ingredients If you want a smoothie with high antioxidants, add berries. If you want high protein, add peanut butter! Each smoothie is as unique as the person making it. It’s the same with your training program. If you want to reach remote attendees, try e-learning; if you have a new hire, try mentoring programs! If you want a group to learn a new system, maybe ILT is the way to go. Just

like you pick bananas, kale or flax seeds for your smoothie, for your learning program, go ahead and get creative. You can pick your audience, your training method and your mode of delivery to create a customized plan. Choose a “who,” a “what” and a “how,” and blend away.

WHO

WHAT

HOW

Remote staff

E-learning

In person

Management

ILT

Over the phone

New hires

QRCs

On WebEx

Technical teams

VILT

In small groups

Sales staff

Mentoring

In large groups

Financial services

At-the-elbow support

With tablets

Human resources

AR/VR

On your smartphone

Part-time workers

Smart PDFs

One-on-one

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When it comes to revolutionizing your safety training…

Think big. Go small. Eye Safety

Slips & Trips

Stress

Management

Strains & Sprains

Lockout/ Tagout

Back Safety

GHS Device Distractions

Falls Ladders

Microlearning from DuPont Sustainable Solutions.

Make a big impact on your employees’ safety awareness with video-rich microlearning courses that provide just the information employees need to know, right when they need it… in five minutes or less. Choose from 40 new e-learning courses covering key safety topics such as back safety, device distractions and handwashing. Call 800-861-7668 or visit www.training.dupont.com/microlearning to learn more.

LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT


G N I H E C V I A T O I ky C z U t i n T T N A I Grod E a e r R R G U N T E By A n d IS CO 30.50

Sales coaching is the key to sales success and improving the performance of the sales organization. It is the most important job a sales manager has. Here, we explore how sales and learning leaders can drive sustained performance and growth through a pervasive coaching culture. A team goal simply can’t be achieved by one single sales manager. Yet, we often see sales managers making Herculean efforts and resorting to hero tactics to win deals for their team members. Many times, they are putting in the longest hours — more than their direct reports. They put themselves in front of the customer when the stakes are high.

WHY COACH? Accelerate Learning. Regardless of whether you manage new sellers or seasoned veterans, the world is constantly changing. Customers are constantly changing. The competitive environment is constantly changing. Everyone needs ways to overcome challenges and reach success faster.

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Achieve Behavior Change. Trying new skills and strategies can feel uncomfortable and risky. It’s easy to slip back into old habits quickly. To achieve permanent behavior change, team members need ongoing, consistent support and feedback. Improve Results. All businesses face pressure to increase goals and to achieve more with less. By accelerating learning and affecting permanent behavior change, you position your team members to achieve and exceed goals. Most managers tend to focus on results. They focus on the numbers. Here’s where there needs to be a shift in mindset. Coaching is not about numbers. Coaching is about learning and behavior change. If you accelerate learning and affect permanent behavior change, the numbers will come.

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DEMYSTIFYING GREAT COACHING Coaching has become the competitive differentiator for sales teams today. The leaders who exhibit stronger coaching skills help their teams do more. They help sales professionals leverage the full extent of their resources and increase win rates. However, for many leaders, great coaching is elusive. Few have seen what it looks like or understand why it is such an important part of the leadership role.

THE BARRIERS So, if the path to sales success is driven through the team and coaching is so critical, then why is it so hard to build a sustained coaching culture? In our work with thousands of front-line sales managers, we have heard every reason — not enough time, too many competing priorities, lack of trust in the team, etc. And yet, when you peel those reasons away, the problem persists. Let’s look closer.

Sales Managers Often Can’t See the Forest for The Trees Leading a sales team is about balancing the long- and short-term priorities to set the team up for sustained success. A sales manager needs a team of sellers who are accountable, engaged and independent; and yet, building that kind of team means taking a strategic approach to high performance. Most sales managers are primarily focused on numbers and often fall back to tactics and behaviors that might save the month but will prevent long-term, sustained growth. Many managers think they are effectively coaching when in fact, they are not — they are directing, telling, and often doing the work themselves. The problem with telling and fixing is: • It doesn’t help the team member to learn how to better problem-solve for himself. • It creates dependence on the manager rather than accelerating learning around how to independently prevent or fix issues in the future.

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• It helps to solve an immediate problem, but doesn’t build the team member’s competence to become more independent in the long-run. • It doesn’t create buy-in for the solution. • It takes ownership and accountability away from the team member and places it on the manager.

Sales coaching is the most important job a sales manager has. The manager gets stuck in a vicious cycle of doing the problem-solving and fixing for the team member in order to achieve the numbers, rather than focusing on accelerating learning and affecting behavior change.

Our Innate Propensity To “Tell” Sales managers are used to telling, and the propensity to tell is very strong because 1) Having the right answer makes them feel like the hero, and naturally, being a hero feels good; and 2) It can seem quicker and easier to tell someone what to do rather than to collaboratively assess and help someone self-discover. To be motivated to change their behavior, many managers must recognize that telling does not change behavior or help people become more self-reliant.

Even the best sales managers can fall victim to sellers on their teams who consciously or unconsciously encourage “telling.” In some cases, they are pressure testing a new manager, and in other cases, they are transferring ownership of the issue to the manager rather than taking ownership and accountability for it themselves.

Natural Defensiveness Because our brains see criticism as a threat to our safety and survival, receiving feedback has both a physical and mental effect on us. Negativity bias explains why unpleasant remarks and experiences stick with us much more than nice ones. Our brains process bad information more thoroughly than positive information. Over time, we build up a propensity to think the worst, which can put us on the defensive. It’s no wonder we struggle to give and receive feedback. But feedback is an integral part of growth and the learning process. We all have blind spots and can benefit from an outside perspective to make adjustments and remove obstacles.

Don’t Know What Great Coaching Looks Like It is tough to do something when you have never seen it done well. It’s even harder to do something well when we don’t understand it or when we have a false understanding of what good looks like. Given that we have the natural propensity to tell and make short-term decisions based on revenue pressures, it’s no wonder that there aren’t a lot of truly great coaches running around.

Lack of Precision Like any good diagnosis and prescription, the more specificity, the better. Yet, many managers are too vague or generic in their feedback. Have you ever given or received feedback that sounds like, “Next time, you need to be more prepared”? That feedback lacks the


KEY TAKEAWAYS • To become a better coach, you must understand what stands in the way. • Short-term fixes treat the symptoms, not the problem. • The urge to simply tell someone what to do is ineffective and diminishes buy-in and responsibility. • Natural defensiveness puts leaders and sales professionals on edge. • Effective coaching offers detailed feedback with specific direction. • Great coaches ask questions, listen, learn and offer perspective that leads to insights. • Coaching is personal and emotional and therefore trust must come first. • The goal should be to help sales professionals become stronger problem-solvers and independent.

clarity and specificity of exactly what the receiver should do differently the next time. Missing the opportunity to give precise feedback is like dropping the ball right before the goal.

A DIFFERENT APPROACH Making the transition to more effective coaching typically involves changing the conversation. It’s not about having more conversations. It’s about changing the dynamics of the conversation from telling and directing to collaborative problemsolving, where you help team members selfassess and self-discover ways to leverage strengths and improve performance.

• Salespeople should be involved and responsible for their own performance and development. • Every person has blind spots that cannot be seen clearly or completely. To see a full, sharp picture, everyone needs an outside perspective. • A successful coaching interaction opens perspective for both the salesperson and the sales manager. • The sales manager’s role as coach is to be a thought partner and resource, to ask questions, listen and learn. They also offer perspectives with the goal of helping the team member gain insight and inspiration to grow and strengthen performance. • Trust is essential. While the focus of the conversation is on the business issues, the essence of a coaching interaction can be deeply personal and emotional. The salesperson must trust that the sales manager’s intent is to help and support, not criticize, judge, or control.

Excellence in Developmental Sales Coaching: Guiding Principles The goal of developmental sales coaching is to create an environment where team members feel self- motivated to grow, excel and take greater responsibility for what they do. Ensure that the seller talks first, last and the most. Developmental sales coaching helps sellers move toward more selfmotivated behavior because it meets our inherent psychological needs for:

Excellence in Developmental Sales Coaching: Core Tenets

Autonomy: Asking questions to help sellers self-assess and self-discover ways to improve performance gives team members a better sense of control versus telling them what to do.

Let’s begin with the core tenets that underpin Richardson’s sales coaching methodology:

Relatedness: Creating a safe, nonjudgmental environment to learn and grow builds trust and strengthens relationships.

It is tough to do something when you have never seen it done well. Competence: Focusing on addressing performance needs helps the seller to feel mastery over their work environment and increases their confidence. Ask more than tell: The heart of the coaching conversation lies in the manager’s ability to engage in a collaborative process to help sellers selfassess and self-discover ways to leverage strengths and improve performance through effective problem-solving. Coaching by asking shows respect for the team member, opens conversations that reveal more and better information for both the manager and seller to accurately diagnose needs, increases seller ownership of and buy-in to the solution, and helps sellers become stronger problem-solvers and more independent by using the process itself to self-coach. Ensure the right issue gets solved. Diagnose before prescribing; behind every performance gap lies an underlying root issue that is the true blocker to improved performance. Identifying and agreeing on the performance gap or opportunity is only the starting point. A manager must take the next step to identify the root issue that is preventing the desired behavior before identifying a solution. Andrea Grodnitzky is the chief marketing officer at Richardson where she is responsible for demand generation and value creation through strategic marketing, brand awareness, digital optimization and market-facing thought leadership to drive growth. Email Andrea.

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REIMAGINING THE WORLD OF CORPORATE LEARNING

IN A VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT By ELIZABETH GREENE

Once upon a time, the corporate learning environment was bursting with boring presentations filled with too many words, occupying too many slides. Most of the instruction was lecture-style, delivered face-to-face in a classroom where the learners role was to sit still and listen. Fast forward to today, and learning and development (L&D) professionals now have a myriad of tricks up their sleeves to adapt to the ever-changing needs of both the learners and the environments they are training in. Through new studies around the neuroscience of learning, L&D professionals are now armed with data to prove that the old-school world of training delivery is not effective. With e-learning, video-based learning, microlearning, gamification, action learning, social learning, and a forever growing list of new trends,

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L&D professionals have now entered a new world with endless possibilities to engage learners. Although these new trends have opened the door for a diversified learning strategy, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in corporate learning has taken center stage in the immersive learning space. The road here has not been easy, but the road ahead will be much easier with data, information and technology guiding the way!

TRADITIONAL LEARNING The story begins with static learning delivery methods infesting most corporate learning environments. The true measure of success for a training program was a post-evaluation asking if the learners liked the class. If the class was full and people liked it, everyone was happy! With the move to new

ways of measuring learning outcomes, like Phillips ROI Methodology, the focus changed to knowledge transfer, behavior change and proving ROI. L&D professionals had to re-think not only delivery methods but how to measure beyond the smile sheet. Looking at the training process as a whole and determining if lecture-style training created knowledge transfer and behavior change, several studies came out from the world of education showing that it did not have the impact intended. In a study published in the “Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences� journal, researchers found an increase in examination scores for those participating in active learning versus those attending lectures. In the same vein, Terry Aladjem stated in Harvard Magazine that active learning


helps facilitate moving information from short-term to long-term memory.

THE DRIVING FORCE FOR CHANGE Research data has proved time and again that L&D is evolving. L&D professionals are now faced with new expectations around learning platforms, social integration and real-world scenariobased learning. Driving these new expectations is a new generation of workers. There are approximately 80 million millennials currently in the workforce, and by 2025, three out of every four workers will be millennials. According to the Journal of Organizational Learning and Leadership, millennials’ traits related to innovation and exploration are best enhanced through active learning. Millennials are playing a major role in the revamped learning strategies taking place in many organizations right now. There is no time to waste. Not being on top of emerging learning technologies and trends means a widened skills gap and unskilled workers taking the helm.

CONSTRUCTING A NEW WORLD As L&D professionals begin to grasp what the new world looks like, there are a couple of trends that are leading the charge. Augmented and virtual reality are popular terms in the gaming industry that are now popping up in the corporate learning space. Sometimes used interchangeably, AR and VR are quite different in their functioning and purpose. With AR technology, you are in your own real-world environment with added virtual elements such as graphics, labels, sounds, and even sensations. This allows for a layer of interaction between your world and the virtual world. For example, Agco, an agricultural equipment manufacturer, is using AR technology

as part of their on-the-job training program. Virtual elements are layered through the wearable headsets that enable workers to scan a serial number and see the operating manual, a photo, or even a video on that particular piece of equipment. This allows new hires to look at critical information through their wearable device, while training with new equipment. Through the use of wearable technology, Agco has reduced the learning curve for new hires by 50 percent. They are also using AR to improve team collaboration and efficiency of quality inspections.

RESEARCH DATA HAS PROVED TIME AND AGAIN THAT L&D IS EVOLVING. With VR technology, you are in a completely simulated environment and immersed into a 3D world. You can take a walk in the rainforest, hear the sounds of the animals and interact with your environment, without leaving the comfort of your living room. In a corporate training environment, Fidelity Investments is testing VR technology to provide empathy training for call center employees. Built on the Google Daydream headset, the employee is taken into the Fidelity customer’s home, where the customer appears stressed, with a large amount of bills on her counter and a pair of crutches by her side. “Throughout the training, the Fidelity employee is ‘transported’ between the call center and the customer’s living room to view the environment, facial expressions and personal perspective.” The employee is tasked with making decisions along the way, and with the help of branched outcomes built into the program (built with STRIVR), is able to see the immediate impact

on the customer. Empathy training in this type of immersive environment allows the trainee to visualize a customer’s situation and reaction, allowing for a greater mind-heart connection to the training.

BENEFITS With new industries testing AR and VR technology every few months, the benefits now range from meeting soft skills competencies, as tested by Fidelity Labs, to meeting complex skill requirements, as proven by Agco. Here are just a few potential benefits in putting trainees in a real-life immersive learning environment.

Minimizes risk of mistakes AR/VR allows trainees to practice highskilled complex tasks in a simulated environment with opportunities to make mistakes and receive realtime feedback during the training process, which reduces on-the-job mistakes. For example, Osso VR allows orthopedic surgeons to practice via surgical simulations in a highly realistic environment to supplement the limited ability to practice on cadavers.

Increases engagement for remote learners With a dispersed workforce, flying trainees to one centralized training location can be expensive, but trying to train remotely can cause a disconnect with engagement from the remote trainees. AR/VR allows engagement with the learning to take place from anywhere in the world. For example, AGL Energy Limited uses VR for inducting new employees (from anywhere in the country) on “Welcome Day,” by immersing them into a standup meeting and viewing the company headquarters in Sydney, Australia. AGL’s future goals are to use VR technology for office learning and development, onsite safety training and communication.

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Increases efficiency and productivity Organizations are constantly trying to find quicker ways to get things done without sacrificing quality. Yet our training practices don’t often

MILLENNIALS ARE PLAYING A MAJOR ROLE IN REVAMPED LEARNING STRATEGIES. match these goals. Providing training opportunities outside of a trainee’s real environment can lead to inefficiencies in how the work ultimately gets done. Real-world, on-the-job training creates linkages for the learner and puts the information in context, while AR technology allows the reinforcement of the learning to happen as it is needed. For example, Boeing uses Microsoft

HoloLens to show engineers how to put pieces of equipment together using 3D models. Supplemental information appears in text form with a voice-over to guide the engineer along the way through the smart glasses. Boeing anticipates cutting training time by 75 percent per person using AR technology.

CHALLENGES Although several validated benefits exist to implementing AR/VR into a corporate learning landscape, there are a few challenges that serve as roadblocks to further adoption.

Cost of software and devices The price point for AR/VR devices can be upwards of $3000 per unit (HoloLens) to as low as $200 per unit (Oculus Go). Companies must also factor in the cost to produce the videos, pictures, sounds and models that make up AR/ VR experiences. Most companies do not have an in-house expert creating AR/

IMPLEMENTING VR/AR TRAINING SOLUTIONS By Logan Brade, software engineer and Ph.D., student at Grand Canyon University Research on VR and AR is still evolving, but there are some indications revealed by Sergo Martirosov and Pavel Kopecek that suggest the following factors can influence learning outcomes: • Sense of Presence: Defined as “the psychological sense of being in [a] virtual environment.” Training solutions that provide users with a high sense of presence can reduce social distances, improve skill acquisition, increase motivation and encourage knowledge transfer between learners. • Immersion: Engaging learners in a realistic training experience can increase knowledge retention and skills acquisition.

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• Feedback: Providing ample informational and haptic feedback can increase task completion, create a higher sense of presence, and increase user confidence in decision-making. • Relevance: Ensuring training programs are relevant and applicable to learners is crucial to increasing knowledge transfer and job performance.

VR experiences and need to hire a third party, with costs ranging from $50,000 to $1,000,000, depending on the complexity of the experience, features and design requests.

VR sickness VR devices may leave certain users nauseous, dizzy and disoriented, with some users getting headaches and feeling a general discomfort after using a device. The VR users affected use common cures for motion sickness to help with these side effects.

Enterprise buy-in With AR/VR being first known as a cool new gaming technology, overcoming that stigma to now being used as a corporate learning tool will not be an easy hill to climb. Although oil and gas, manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, legal services and health care have taken AR/VR technology and shown results from their use, other industries are more hesitant to invest in this type of technology without further studies and proof of the ROI and impact. Constructing a new world that includes AR/VR technology in every corporate learning strategy is right around the corner. What once was imagined as a futuristic idea has now become a tangible real-world option for delivering immersive, real-time, experiential learning experiences anytime, anywhere. In the new digital era, L&D professionals are better equipped to provide experiential learning experiences through advanced technology and learners are ready and waiting to experience it! Elizabeth Greene is the director of global learning and development at On Semiconductor with 15 years of experience in reinventing corporate learning programs. Email Elizabeth.


It’s Not All About the Learner BY STEPHAN PINEAU

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In the learning space, we often talk about innovation, but rarely is it in relation to the classroom. And yet classroom training represents roughly 70 percent of training budgets, according to ATD. Boring and unloved – is the classroom obsolete? On the contrary, instructor-led training (ILT) is still the most widely used and most effective training delivery method. For example, 56 percent of ILT modules are deemed highly effective against 21 percent for e-learning, according to a Brandon Hall Group study. But with a widening skills gap pushing for faster training and increasing pressure on budgets, it is increasingly hard to justify the costs. So what is innovative classroom training? Is it connected classrooms? Collaborative experiences? Personalized, blended curricula? Yes, but not only. Many companies are still missing the immersed part of the iceberg – the huge amount of back-office operational processes needed to plan, manage resources and report on classroom training. The reality is that much of these processes are still managed manually in spreadsheets, and there is much room for progress. Banks, for example, need operational savings of 15 to 20 percent to maintain viability, according to a PwC survey. Perhaps in no other industry is the need for more efficient training management more obvious (see Sidebar 1 on page 30). But the classroom of the future is not bound to be inefficient and opaque. In this article, we argue for an entirely new, impact-oriented approach to managing ILT, one that reduces costs and administrative workload while increasing flexibility and visibility.

FRONT-OFFICE VERSUS BACKOFFICE: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? While most innovations until now have been in the “front-office,” we advocate for innovating in the “back-office.” What’s the difference? We can think of learning technologies as a continuum between training professionals planning the learning strategy and delivery, and learners engaging with the content. Of course, this relationship goes both ways. Front-office: The front-office is relentlessly focused on the learner’s needs. This sets a high bar for intuitiveness, user-experience, flexibility, etc. Goals for these innovations can be better learner engagement, impact and retention. Examples of front-office classroom innovations include the flipped classroom model, connected tools, collaborative platforms or games. Back-office: The back-office is focused on the training professionals’ needs, who require advanced optimization and businessoriented features to facilitate their jobs. Backoffice innovations can improve efficiency by simplifying large-scale planning, optimizing resources and budgets and significantly reducing the administrative workload. These capabilities have been largely ignored, hence why these processes are often done in Excel or not at all. Note: Even as we implement experiencefocused initiatives, we rarely consider how it will affect operational processes. But this is a twoway street: connected classrooms, for example, mean new equipment and venues to manage; personalized learning journeys require flexibility and visibility for highly flexible scheduling, etc.

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WHY IS THE BACK-OFFICE STUCK IN THE STONE AGE? Currently, companies mostly use their learning management system (LMS) to manage ILT. But the LMS was never designed to manage ILT, which drives the use of additional tools such as spreadsheets or internally developed solutions, leading to a clunky architecture. Why exactly can’t an LMS properly manage ILT? ILT is fundamentally different from e-learning. It involves more complex back-office processes, a wider range of resources, and as a result, tends to be more costly. A successful ILT program hinges on the achievement of three core goals: 1. Streamlining logistics, scheduling and administration: Rationalizing back-office processes has a very tangible impact on efficiency – every rescheduled session and hour spent on low-value added tasks represents a cost and time loss you could avoid.

2. Managing resources: One reason why ILT tends to be costly is that the instructors’ time, travelling costs and classroom capacities are not properly managed. While resource utilization rates generally hover around 50 or 60 percent, efficient organizations should actually aim for 75 percent.

IT’S TIME TO ADDRESS THE CLASSROOM’S TRUE ACHILLE’S HEEL. 3. Optimizing the budget: Budget optimization is the #1 challenge when managing ILT because ILT involves a wider range of processes and resources than e-learning. Appropriate technology should help proactively track costs and align the budget with your strategy. The LMS was not designed to achieve these goals, it was built with the mission of delivering e-learning. E-learning’s

THE CRUCIAL NEED FOR AN EFFICIENT CLASSROOM • Common classroom use cases: ILT is most used in large companies (10,000+ employees), high-consequence industries and topics such as leadership and sales training. • Successful classroom investments: þþ Walmart’s 2015 Pathways program, including 200 training centers for a resulting $5 billion sales increase. þþ Deloitte’s 2011 Deloitte University campus, saving the firm $10 million per year and directly responsible for $175 million of revenue. þþ FM Global’s 2017 Learning Center, a state-of-the-art, eco-friendly facility featuring active learning classrooms. • Operational challenges: Inefficiencies (15-20 percent savings needed for banks) and lack of budget visibility (L&D spend typically 1.5-3x greater than forecasts for insurance).

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main strength is its low cost and flexibility, so why would LMSs develop optimization features? More technically, the LMS software uses the learner as a building block, not the session. This is not optimal for ILT, for which the business logic is driven by the training session. An example is cost distribution (i.e., an LMS consolidates cost per learner to define session costs). However, most ILT costs are fixed regardless of the number of learners (e.g., room reservation, instructor fee, etc.). This is why LMSs struggle to provide accurate cost tracking. It also means that LMSs have a hard time planning future investments for which learners are not yet identified by name.

THE LEAN CLASSROOM: HOW TO MANAGE ILT IN THE 21ST CENTURY Managing ILT in 2018 should be three things. First, cost-effective to compete with online solutions and respond to tight training budgets. Second, collaborative to improve efficiency and data consolidation. Third, transparent to enable reporting and decision-making. To this end, we propose a completely new way to think about ILT, resting on strategic planning, operational excellence and technology to maximize impact and minimize costs. 1. STRATEGIC DECISION-MAKING Unlike online training, ILT is inherently less flexible and scalable as it entails scarce resources and limited capacity. For this reason, planning is crucial and represents our first step. Plan global strategy: This entails forecasting enterprise-wide training needs for all populations, including external audiences such as customers and partners, non-desk workers who don’t have LMS portal access, and leadership programs. Then comes the


creation of a comprehensive long-term training plan based on these forecasted volumes. Lastly, transferring this forecast into your provisional budget will allow you to create a budget truly in line with your learning and development (L&D) strategy. Prioritize training investments: This entails consolidating complete training costs, including both variable costs such as catering and flights and fixed costs such as venues and instructor fees. A clear picture of costs will allow you to identify the highest return on investments and select only the most strategic training sessions. Lastly, simulating different budget scenarios will help you in making an optimal investment decision.

BEST PRACTICES FOR EFFICIENT ILT MANAGEMENT • Create a training plan and monitor progress: Use precise forecasts of training volume and costs to plan long-term and track KPI improvement. • Maximize resources: Have a clear repository of all resources and keep track of occupancy rates to optimize session efficiency. • Rationalize logistics: Plan steps that must happen before, during and after each training session, assign responsibilities and track task completion. • Track costs: Consolidate accurate data for budget optimization by tracking investments across different business units, countries and currencies. • Improve collaboration and data-sharing: Centralize data and encourage collaborative tools to ensure that logistics, scheduling and financial processes integrate seamlessly.

2. OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE After having decided on an optimal training plan and budget in line with your L&D strategy, the next step is operational excellence, which means managing ILT in the most efficient and flexible way to reduce costs (see Sidebar 2 for practical tips). Streamline logistics and administration: Two distinct capabilities are needed to improve efficiency. First, logistics capabilities such as instructor and resources curation, flexible course and resource scheduling, as well as occupancy rate monitoring and optimization. This can be done for example through enterprise resource planning systems. Secondly, an administrative capability that includes, for example, automated registrations and waitlists, electronic document management, and internal and external communication tools. Optimize budgets: Tracking and reducing training costs in real-time is probably one of the most difficult hurdles in classroom training management. It can entail anything from precise cost-

computations, including amortization of fixed assets, invoice management and currency-consolidation. Tracking costs in real-time then feeds into a higher-level

BUDGET OPTIMIZATION IS THE #1 CHALLENGE WHEN MANAGING ILT.

monitoring of the remaining budget, which can be benchmarked against your initial plan. This should ideally be done with custom indicators reflecting your priorities.

key performance indicators (KPIs) and reports, enabled by the consolidation created through operational excellence. Second, identify weaknesses and opportunities by benchmarking actual versus planned metrics. And lastly, make clear-sighted decisions based on your initial strategy and track improvements. For years, we’ve been driving innovation in learner experience. This makes sense in online learning, whose main strengths are cost and scalability but suffers from inferior engagement. Innovations in the classroom have been timid and mostly focused on learner experience. But this is not the most pressing fix. It’s time to address the classroom’s true Achille’s heel, reduce costs, improve back-office efficiency, and bring it into the future.

3. MONITORING Frequent reporting is key to make sure that your teams can remain lean in responding to falling performance, sudden change in training volumes, rising costs, or other unexpected challenges. This is a three-step process. First, access real-time shared data,

Stephan Pineau is CEO at Training Orchestra, a leader in training resource management system that provides an integrated, full web solution dedicated to the entire training ecosystem. Email Stephan.

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TAILORED LEARNING SOLUTIONS

UNDERSTANDING FIRST A strategic, consultative approach to learning is one that understands your key challenges—and delivers outcomes to support your critical objectives. This is what targeted, data-driven learning solutions are all about. This is how Raytheon Professional Services will impact the performance of your people and your business.

rps.com @RaytheonRPS Raytheon Professional Services

© 2018 Raytheon Company. All rights reserved.


SIMPLE DATA VISUALIZATION TRICKS THAT TURN YOUR NUMBERS INTO NARRATIVES By Janine Kurnoff

ASK ANY EXECUTIVE WHAT THEIR BIGGEST FRUSTRATIONS ARE AND, INVARIABLY, THEY WILL ANSWER, “LONG-WINDED, UNFOCUSED PRESENTATIONS THAT PACK IN TOO MUCH DATA.” MODERN INSTITUTIONS, FROM MAJOR MANUFACTURERS TO GOVERNMENTS TO FINANCIAL SERVICES, HAVE A REAL DATA PROBLEM. BUT THE DATA ITSELF ISN’T TO BLAME. AFTER ALL, CHARTS ARE NOT INHERENTLY BAD OR EVIL. THE PROBLEM IS THAT WELL-MEANING DATA GATHERERS, WHO OFFER CHARTS AND TABLES GALORE, FAIL TO DISTILL THEIR NUMBERS INTO A CLEAR, DIGESTIBLE, MEANINGFUL MESSAGE.

And, unfortunately for hectic execs, it doesn’t look like our zeal for data display is slowing down anytime soon. On the contrary, smart, hard-working, capable people who have spent months gathering product performance numbers or quality assurance trends or financial projections, want to show the dazzling display of “knowledge” more than ever. But data with no clear message isn’t knowledge…it’s just data. And the truth is, executives aren’t looking for data, or often even generic knowledge, they’re looking for actionable insights. And they don’t want to have to work to get them. They think it’s your job (and it is!). Learning and development professionals need their ideas to be heard and are often challenged with proving training’s impact to business leaders. By understanding how to display data in a way that is not only visually appealing but tells a compelling story that engages audiences and drives key messages home, learning leaders are better positioned to demonstrate

business value and gain buy-in for their programs. But before we get to the amazing data visualization techniques, there are two critical steps that should always come first: You must clearly understand your presentation goals, and you must identify the key data points that will support your BIG idea. With that, you are ready to unleash clever visual techniques that will trigger lightning bolts of insight within your audience. Here are the three steps.

Step 1: Understand Your Data Presentation Goals Most data presenters skip a simple yet critical exercise. They don’t ask themselves, “What exactly am I trying to achieve with my data presentation? Who is my audience? Am I giving an update or status report? Am I presenting a forecast that will influence future decisions?” It’s only when you have truly nailed down your end goal that you can start to tease out the relevance, and the story, behind your numbers.

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Step 2: Highlight Data that will Support the Intended Goals

choosing which data to display that will further their narrative and drive their key message home.

With an established goal in place, you can then select the specific data that will strategically further that goal. Which data should be elevated? Which data should be subdued? Effective data presenters are always picky when

Step 3: Make Your Data Visual Many people don’t understand the difference between pretty slides and true data visualization. Color, shapes

and text are never used as just “eye candy.” Data visualization techniques are strategic triggers that draw the eye to a focal point in order to register specific information first with an audience. If you have completed Steps 1 and 2, you will know exactly which specific data points or trends that you want to visually isolate. There are many kinds of visual

Data with no clear message isn’t knowledge…it’s just data.

Smartphone owners

AFTER

BEFORE

Mobile trends in shopping

Mobile is changing the way people shop and buy

Online sales

Shop on smartphone Do not shop on smartphone

Online sales - Smartphone Online sales - All other

84%

of smartphone users shop on their phones

45%

of all online shopping purchases happen on a smartphone

Source: Fnamketer [Region, Year]

Figure 1

Figure 2 AFTER

BEFORE

e-Blast update

e-Blast investment delivers results

0.30

0.30 9.4%

0.25

18.3%

0.25

25.6%

Average click-through rate

0.20

0.20

0.15

6.6%

0.15

Average open rate 0.10

0.10 Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Source: Fnamketer [Region, Year]

Figure 3

Figure 4 AFTER

BEFORE

Millennials are mobile

Your new consumers are mobile natives

• Young adults, 18 to 24, send 2,022 texts per month on average - 67 texts on a daily basis • Millennials are not using traditional computing devices, 58% only access social media on their smartphones • Millennials complete many practical activities on their smartphones - 71% of millennials report reading news on their smartphones

58%

of millennials access social media on mobile only

2K/mo

average number of texts sent by 18 to 24 year olds

71%

of millennials read news via smartphone

Source: Fnamketer [Region, Year]

Figure 5

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Figure 6


elements to choose from, including photos, diagrams, charts/tables, text and video. Here are three clever data visualization techniques that will help turn your numbers into narratives.

DATA VISUALIZATION TECHNIQUES 1. Headlines One of the easiest ways to highlight key data is through slide headlines. The simple beauty of headlines is that every slide has its key message or takeaway blaring right from the top. What’s even better is that these loud banners are also part of the narrative structure of your entire presentation. Each headline serves to further the story even without the data. It should always culminate with a logical conclusion such as a call to action or a next steps recommendation. No more presenting data just for the sake of it. Every chart and every slide has a point, and more importantly, each display is part of the larger story. See Figures 1 and 2 for the before and after slides. In Figure 1, the headline “Mobile trends in shopping,” tells us generally what the slide is about, but it doesn’t advance the story at all. Figure 2 is much more active. In the headline, “Mobile is changing the way people shop and buy,” we are left with information that makes us want to know more. How is mobile changing the way we shop and buy? And the data below should, of course, support this question. Visually, the headline in Figure 2 is larger, so the eye goes to it immediately. The key data points of the story have been elevated, giving the audience a strong, distinct message. No one has to work hard to figure out why they should care about this data point. Also, this slide replaces the tired pie charts with the more modern ‘donuts’ that are consistent in size and style. Notice how color is introduced more sparingly in

Figure 2, but where it does come in, it makes a bigger splash.

2. Call Outs Today’s data visualization techniques can give us options from plain tables and graphs. But still, sometimes you just need a chart. In addition to creating the active headline that highlights the key takeaway from your data, the best way to draw the eye to your most crucial data is with color, size and/or shapes that literally calls out key data. Figure 3 shows a simple line chart that doesn’t supply a definitive message. The audience cannot immediately glean the significance of the data. Figure 4 has a strong, active headline AND uses color, shape (the circles) and size to call out precisely where the data supports the headline. In this case, we see at a glance, precisely how much e-Blast is positively influencing click-through rates.

The data won’t speak for itself. 3. Beating Back the Bullets In addition to executives rolling their eyes over the amount of data they are presented, they are also overwhelmed with line after line of bullets. For some reason, people have been trained to believe that adding the little dot to the beginning of each line breaks up crowded text and makes it easier to wade through (see Figure 5). Visually, it doesn’t help much at all. Notice below what a difference the oversized metrics in Figure 6 do to draw the eye to the key data points. Data isolated in this way truly supports your story because it becomes a visual focal point, rather than buried within the text.

Also, the photos in Figure 6 are much better contextualized with the data. Notice how keeping them uniform in size, style and alignment serves to humanize and enhance the data rather than muddle it. There are many visual elements, such as text, photos, even bullets, that should only be included to highlight key data points, not compete or obscure them.

DATA = DECISIONS Executives are decision machines looking for cues to what will make their job easier. Unfortunately, they are often frustrated because where they hope to find glaring signals coming from methodically-collected data, they are often left with a lot of noise. And they don’t have the time to slog through extraneous information to get to the insights. Now more than ever, data is critical in measuring ROI and demonstrating the success of training. But the data won’t speak for itself. As training professionals, we must hone our data storytelling skills in order to protect our budgets, secure additional training, win conversations, and ultimately cultivate a culture of continuous learning. Those of us who show the greatest value to our boss, team or customer have taken the time to fully understand the goal of our data presentation. From there, we’ve identified the data that specifically furthers our narrative. And finally, we’ve employed strategic data visualization techniques that will take our audience on a journey through valuable insights, thereby driving important conversations and decisions forward. Janine Kurnoff is co-founder and chief innovation officer of The Presentation Company, a business communications firm specializing in onsite and online corporate presentation training. Email Janine.

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ONE SIZE NEVER FITS ALL. Eighty-five percent of our Learning & Development solutions are customized to match each client’s specific training and business objectives. We dig deep to understand your organization’s unique learning goals and talent requirements to deliver solutions that reflect your brand and culture, engage learners, and enhance performance.  Talent  Strategy  Development  Delivery

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Theater

as a Medium for Soft Skills Training By Ranjana Mittal, Ph.D.

Soft skills, regardless of level in society, are key to effectiveness in life. From selfconfidence to communication skills and emotional intelligence, they all play a significant role in determining a person’s success and happiness. Although several effective tools and processes are used for soft skills training, none seem to be as effective as theater.

Every year, NTPC, a major power sector in India, hires a large number of engineer graduates who undergo four months of classroom training. A theaterbased training session was developed as a tool for communication training and to overcome stage fright. However, the

According to a study by Hamilton project, in the last 30 years, the impact of social skills on success has gone up by 15 percent. And as per World Economic Forum’s “Future of Jobs” report, emotional intelligence, creativity and people management will be the top skills required in 2020.

significant role in

However, soft skills training is always challenging  since it requires people to change their habits that have been developed over a lifetime. Hence, for any training to be effective in development of social skills, it has to allow for repeated practice and provide extensive feedback. Theater is one medium that has all these as built-in mechanisms.

stage performance. Year after year, on the day of the event, one can see the tears of joy running down their cheeks or the extra team huddle that they get into.

determining a person’s

Different trainers with varied experience in the field have been using so many tools for soft skills training, but the impact that this theater workshop shows is unparallel. It has shown the highest recall value and increased effectiveness in bringing long-term changes in personalities and behaviors.

outcomes were much wider. It turned out to be one of the best icebreaker and team building tools, aside from its impact on the expected communication and presentation skills. Now, a 15-day module is a permanent part of their induction training. A theater group works with them over two weeks to develop the scripts, train the cast, lead the rehearsal sessions, and help direct the play. The workshop culminates in a

Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage.” For this stage called life, drama is considered an all-inclusive medium. It embraces all types of topics and represents all kinds of people and situations. It is now emerging as a very powerful medium and is finding its way as a training tool at all levels from schools to corporate organizations. An increasing number of organizations (across sectors) and leading multinational corporations are using it and deriving both learning and happiness from it.

Soft skills play a

success and happiness.

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As per the testimonials shared by some corporations, it was mentioned that theater is an excellent method for icebreakers in new groups, resulting in increased camaraderie and a stronger bond between participants. At Microsoft, action-based theater was used for fast-track managers who learned to overcome inhibition, find their inner storyteller and build confidence to hold an audience and, most importantly, to listen. Skills Development As mentioned earlier, theaterbased training ensures application, engagement and brings changes in overall behavioral skills. The following skills are increasingly being honed using theater. Self-Confidence: Self-confidence is one of the secret tools behind one’s happiness in life. Theater helps to build self-confidence by encouraging participants to maintain eye contact while talking and to speak more clearly. Theater training is also being used to help females affected with home violence. Oral Communication: With structured and rehearsed processes, participants learn to speak more clearly, precisely and with more confidence, while learning how to vary their pitch and tone. They also learn the power of pause, the impact of body language, and how expressions play a prime role in communication. Listening Skills: Listening is a skill that is usually hard to teach through any other form of training, but by listening to others’ dialogues effectively, paying attention to body language and intentional pauses, theater can make a difference.

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Stage Fright: Theater-based training helps participants overcome their fear of talking and performing in front of others – helping them feel more comfortable in front of an audience. Teamwork: Theater brings people together and enables teamwork. This is one of the highest rated parameters (along with communication) by the participants. They understand and start valuing the contribution of each member, irrespective to their role, which is a very powerful realization about teamwork that is seldom felt while working in organizations. Some other aspects that are impacted include providing

Theater-based training is a new form of

experiential learning. support to others, understanding the concept of joint success, and enhancing coordination skills based on the needs of the situation and person. Creative Problem-Solving: In theater training, the group thinks and contributes toward scriptwriting, selecting and arranging props. Oftentimes, resources are limited, which brings out creativity in the form of improvisation. Self-Discipline: In drama, the participants must follow fixed allocated roles and adhere to the script word for word. Even rehearsals require participation by everyone. The experience creates a sense of discipline in them. Timeliness and Respect for Deadlines: For theater, deadlines are very important, and the entire team needs to value them for effective team performance. It teaches the significance of timekeeping

in an overall manner, while performing and delivering speeches. Organizing Skills: Theater performance is an event, and like every event there are multiple activities involved from stage performance to set production. Participants learn how to manage multiple tasks. Self-Discovery: As the group works together both formally and informally for days at a time, it helps them understand their potential, their strengths, weaknesses and impact on others. Self-Development: Through selfdiscovery, observation and learning from their mistakes, participants are more aware of their key development areas. This method encourages the support of others to overcome their fears and improve their abilities. They also stretch themselves based on assigned roles, thus discovering their undiscovered potential and talents. Accepting Authority as per Others’ Roles: The hierarchy is determined by each participant’s assigned role. Other designations are forgotten, and learners must embrace their new role. Emotional Intelligence: Theater helps in enhancing emotional intelligence. It puts people in touch with not only their own emotions, but also the emotions of others. It helps them to see their impact through various roles, enhancing their empathy and their capacity to handle emotions more effectively. Leadership Skills and Initiative: Participants are left to fend for themselves under different situations – from gruntled colleagues not getting the roles of their choice to limited resources and the pressure of performing. All these situations enable learners to use their leadership qualities.


Flexibility: In theater, decisions are generally made impromptu based on people’s suggestions. The immediate impact of such decisions can be felt and that leads to enhanced acceptance and flexibility to different approaches. Reflection and Observation Skills: Through the entire process, after every step, theater involves reflection and sharing what went well and areas for improvement. This not only teaches learners the valuable skill of reflection but also builds the habit and skill. Conclusion Experiential training has always had a great impact besides increasing

engagement. Theater-based training is a new form of experiential learning that brings joy, engagement and a true return on investment.

Leadership Forum, theater-based training is “an antidote to workplace negativity.”

Based on our first-hand experience and decades of feedback from our various executive groups and other secondary research, applied theater can be a new concept and methodology for corporate training to enhance many business competencies, including leadership, communication, creativity, team building, and emotion management skills. As an art form and training format, it provides space for participants to explore aspects about themselves through reflection and observation. As very aptly put in an article of Forbes

Ranjana Mittal, Ph.D., is a senior corporate trainer and additional general manager with NTPC, India. In the training field for over two decades, she is a senior trainer and facilitator in the field of leadership, emotional intelligence and personal effectiveness. Email Ranjana.

Additional Resources Applied Theatre in Corporate Training Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal By Sheng‐Tao Fan This article concludes that applied theater can be a successful methodology for corporate training to enhance leadership, communication, creativity, team building and emotion management. Arts-Based Training in Management Development: The Use of Improvisational Theatre Journal of Management Development By Stephen Gibb This article describes the use of arts-based training with the use of improvisational theater for management and skill development.

‘Actup!’ Theatre as Education and Its Impact on Young People’s Learning By Nalita James This working paper presents a study exploring the role of theater as a learning environment for young people and their skill development. A New Approach to Communication Training in the Workplace By Heather Smigiel & Lorraine Merritt This article describes how theater and educational drama can help develop high levels of competency in workplace communication and vocational training. 3 Things to Remember in Soft Skills Training By MISB Bocconi This article examines how organizations can support lifelong learning by designing programs to be more like “learning partners” than just supplying courses.

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BY LARS HYLAND


Social learning remains one of the most misunderstood components of modern workplace learning strategy. Many managers are still stuck in the mindset that social learning means “wasting time on social media” – and while social learning can indeed take place on mainstream social platforms, it’s far from a time-wasting exercise. Social learning is really a natural part of an effective learning experience whether online or offline (around the water cooler, for instance). Encouraging social learning alongside and within formal learning activities, such as face-to-face training or structured e-learning courses, is now an essential aspect of a learning professional’s design thinking, as is integrating learning opportunities as a part of the natural collaboration and knowledge sharing that (should) exist within everyday workflow activity. Social learning is already enhancing the learning programs of businesses worldwide, and this article provides insight into how organizations can reap the rewards of a carefully considered social learning strategy.

1

Everyone learns socially, whether they say they do or not.

Social learning isn’t about reinventing the wheel. Everyone learns socially every single day. It’s a natural process, whether it’s asking a colleague for help with a complex computer system, emailing

a manager for guidance or asking a quick question in the office’s chat facility. Traditionally, it’s considered to be the 20 in the well-known 70:20:10 model, whereby people learn (roughly) 70 percent of what they need on-the-job, 20 percent via social means and 10 percent through formal training. In reality, it’s likely that social learning is threaded through everything from formal courses to on-the-job performance support. However, research shows that organizations tend to dedicate 80100 percent of their learning and development (L&D) budget to the 10 percent of formal learning, leaving the collaborative learning and onthe-job learning comprising the other 90 percent as an afterthought. The fact that everyone learns socially outside the workplace arguably makes it much easier to translate into the workplace than more formal methods. Very few people would seek out a formal e-learning course to learn how to put up a shelf.

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they might text a friend, watch a YouTube video or ask for tips on Facebook. This is social learning in action, and it stands to reason that people would want to apply the same approach to knowledge gathering and sharing in the workplace alongside their more structured, formally designed training.

Social learning isn’t about reinventing the wheel.

2

It’s cost-effective and learning effective.

Face-to-face training is notoriously expensive because it often entails spending money on a trainer, a venue, travel, subsistence and resources, as well as requiring people to spend time away from their regular roles in order to take the training. Social learning has no real upfront or budget attached to it, other than the tools you choose to facilitate it, which in turn, can be near free. As such, it can be thought of as cost-effective. But more importantly it is learning effective. By integrating interaction before, during and around formal learning activities, you can dramatically increase the effectiveness of the overall experience. You can ensure that learners focus on areas of personal need, you can identify training that can be removed from your curriculum, and you can replace training with performance support. Collectively, this has a significant effect over the business impact of your learning strategy. Here’s a simple example you could use to make an instant change within your own organization. A group of new starters attends a face-to-face onboarding

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session for their new seasonal retail role. The L&D team can create an online group for them to continue talking online after the session. This means that they can clarify points, ask questions and share tips and advice with their peers. This benefit would be lost without this group, as differing shift patterns could mean that the people with questions may not otherwise interact with the new starters with the answers. Managers and subject matter experts may also be invited to the group to answer questions and share important information, such as upcoming promotions or special offers, to the entire group at once, and they can then answer any questions in real time. Empowering learners to stay in touch and reinforce learning for no real extra cost helps the organization make the most of all learning opportunities.

3

It transcends silos.

Social learning is a great way to open up communication channels and puncture silos across the organization. If a company has several regional offices, and office A consistently exceeds its targets whereas office B tends to underperform, it doesn’t make sense to keep all of the expertise stuck in office A. That’s why shifting the conversation online can help redistribute knowledge and skills throughout the organization

to ensure consistency and improved performance across the board. Another often overlooked benefit is the value of “ambient information,” or working out loud. When conversations are held on lots of channels, such as instant messaging, email or over the phone, other people who aren’t privy to those channels may miss information that could be useful in their own roles. By supporting social learning online on a single shared platform, it enables everyone to follow conversations or groups they find interesting or useful. Just because the IT team doesn’t think the marketing team will find a certain thread useful, the marketing team can still see the conversation happening, and can be kept abreast of any useful developments that they may need to consider in the future. Working out loud is learning out loud – this has a powerful catalytic effect on how an organization remains culturally coherent and competitive in times of unprecedented rates of change.

4

It ensures rapid knowledge transfer.

Social learning plays an important role in performance support by ensuring rapid knowledge transfer. With traditional face-to-face training, employees could be waiting months for a session to teach them skills they could benefit from right now. Supporting social learning

CASE STUDY: MEDCAST

Medical e-learning company Medcast had a vision to combine formal learning practice and webinars with social learning for general practitioners and other health care professionals. They wanted learning to be presented to medical employees in a social environment and chose a social platform to connect seamlessly with their LMS for a fully integrated solution. In the social learning platform, relevant courses are flagged to health care workers. Learners are then encouraged to interact and contribute within these courses for a powerful blend of formal and informal learning. With a phased rollout and an engagement strategy comprising live webinars, e-learning modules and feedback exercises in the community forums, Medcast is already realizing the benefits of supporting social learning across the organization.


SOCIAL LEARNING PLATFORM VS. MAINSTREAM SOCIAL MEDIA SOCIAL LEARNING PLATFORM

MAINSTREAM SOCIAL MEDIA

Employees can keep work and personal life separate

There may be some crossover of work and personal social media activity

Organization has full control and visibility of employees’ data and posts

Privacy depends on the platform (and can be compromised)

Can be integrated into other learning systems, e.g., LMS or HR system

May connect with existing systems

A new system for everyone to learn, which may require some training or instructions

Some people may already use existing sites (though some may have specifically chosen not to)

Can be designed to match the organization’s branding, look and feel

Limited branding opportunities, usually just a logo and header image

is a great way to improve workflow in an organization through the sharing of knowledge and skills, and empowers learners to tap into the expertise of their peers much faster than would be possible through formal training initiatives. For instance, if a retail worker is looking to be promoted to store management level, they may need to gain a certain set of skills before they will be considered. There may not be a training course available for six months, so social learning enables them to go online and ask questions to help them get started immediately. This makes it particularly useful for proactive learners who want to do more than the bare minimum to improve their skill set and productivity, and helps prevent learners from being held back from any extra learning that will benefit them in their roles.

5

It cultivates a culture of success.

The value of success stories should never be underestimated. Hearing about others’ success can be a powerful motivator and help contextualize why something matters. Any learning professional will know that it’s not always easy to convince employees of the value of learning programs, so social learning

The value of success stories should never be underestimated. platforms can be used as a way to share achievements, demonstrate the results they’re getting from their learning and share tips and advice with others. Cultivating a culture of success can make a massive difference to morale across the organization. Too often, successes are buried under the things that go wrong, so it’s important to remind employees that success is something to be recognized and celebrated, especially when it comes from the learning opportunities they have access to through the organization. Whether it’s creating a forum specifically for success stories, getting your marketing team involved with internal marketing initiatives or simply encouraging people to share great feedback as status

updates, making people feel valued and recognized is a fantastic way to boost employee retention rates and motivation levels.

It’s the Future With 79 percent of organizations already using a learning management system (LMS) to deliver formal learning, many businesses are also looking for ways to better support social learning. In today’s businesses, where remote working, flexible working, freelancing and the gig economy are becoming increasingly common, it cannot be assumed that “water cooler chat” will be enough, or is even happening. The challenge going forward is facilitating productive, informative conversations across the business, allowing all employees to have a voice and share their expertise for accelerated growth in skills and knowledge for everyone. Lars Hyland is the chief learning officer at Totara Learning. He has pioneered the adoption of learning technologies across all industry sectors, and as a recognized thought leader, supports organizations in their efforts to build world-class learning experiences. Email Lars.

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CASEBOOK

INTEGRATING BLENDED LEARNING INTO A SALES ACADEMY BY STEPHANI MAGER

As millennials now represent more than 50 percent of the workforce and Generation Z begins to enter it, personal, engaging and relevant new hire onboarding programs are becoming increasingly more important. These tech-savvy generations are seeking blended learning, a combination of faceto-face and digital training, and access to advanced technologies in order to perform at the highest level in their job roles. MetLife, Inc., the number one provider of employee benefits in the U.S., is no stranger to training the technologically advanced generations. Each year, MetLife employees visit colleges and universities with business schools and sales programs to recruit college seniors nationwide. These students then apply to participate in MetLife’s 12-month sales training program, called Sales Academy. Anna Lavery, the assistant VP of learning solutions at MetLife, says the program is specifically focused on building product knowledge and refining an individual’s selling skills. Upon completion of the program, the individuals are then placed into their roles as either a sales account executive or a sales associate within one of MetLife’s U.S. locations. The Improvements In previous years, this sales training program consisted of product and

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market knowledge and leveraging role plays to practice speaking and positioning with benefits brokers and employers. Fresh out of college, MetLife’s sales trainees were still in an education mindset. As such, Lavery says they would take the textbook knowledge they received on a product, such as dental

USING TECHNOLOGY AND BLENDED LEARNING PROVIDES THE PERSONAL, ENGAGING AND RELATABLE TRAINING THAT MILLENNIALS CRAVE.

insurance, and instead of presenting it in a way the recipient could relate to, the trainees would tell whomever they were talking to everything they knew about dental insurance. With the breadth and complexity of the products it became apparent that a new approach was needed to enhance positioning and solution selling skills, says Lavery. The knowledge was there, but confidence needed to be improved on.

A year ago, this training program went through a curriculum change to include an on-demand social learning and coaching platform from Advantexe Learning Solutions. The platform is cloud-based, making it easily accessible on a computer, mobile phone or tablet. This integration allowed for MetLife trainees nationwide to communicate, practice together, give feedback and grow with one another. The platform appealed to MetLife because “the ability to practice remotely and get feedback socially fit for this cohort of learners,” says Lavery. “They’re comfortable with technology and with recording themselves.” Knowing where the gap in the curriculum was from previous years, MetLife wanted to make sure that whatever platform they picked would provide the right solution to help their trainees. The program provides blended learning for their nationally dispersed sales force. This includes webcasts with subject matter experts, e-learning programs, on-the-job exercises and in-person learning labs – a face-to-face classroom experience held every six to eight weeks. Out of the more than 1,700 college seniors who apply to attend the training program, 18 are selected each year. After graduating from college, Lavery says that these 18 individuals begin the 12-month onboarding program, starting


with orientation where they spend the first six to eight weeks on the job gaining knowledge on group benefits and learning how the marketplace works. Lavery says the remainder of the program is focused primarily on products, breaking it into six to eight week increments for dental, disability, voluntary benefits, etc. The program also works to strengthen relationship building and presentation skills. The Benefits Lavery says an important benefit that has come out of this program is the feedback. “Understanding how to give and receive feedback early on in one’s career is so valuable.” For example, she says the trainees can utilize the platform to record themselves pitching a product, practicing and recording as many times as they want to. They can then share that video to receive feedback from their nationally dispersed peers, product experts and sales leadership within the company. “There’s more opportunity for them to refine, synthesize, incorporate feedback than existed in any other scenario,” says Lavery. Recording videos of sales positioning drills assigned to trainees throughout the program. “The first time [the trainees] did a drill, they recorded themselves an average of 18 times before sending it out,” Lavery says. “The last time they did

the drill, they recorded themselves five times.” The more an individual would record a pitch, the more confident and comfortable they became when speaking about the product(s). This was a visible improvement that was seen throughout the program’s duration.

UNDERSTANDING HOW TO GIVE AND RECEIVE FEEDBACK EARLY ON IN ONE’S CAREER IS SO VALUABLE.”

Drills like this one can not only help build confidence and refine skills during training, they can also help trainees even after the training program ends. Adopting the habit of recording sales positioning and sending the videos to peers and leadership for feedback can help sales professionals prep before client or internal meetings. For example, “if you’re going into a large sales meeting, you can record some of your key points and get feedback from experts and leadership,” says Lavery. This is a valuable tool for sales professionals of all levels, and one that these trainees can utilize in their new positions.

The Results In the 12 months it ran, the new ondemand social learning curriculum showed improvements in the chosen 18 individuals, providing them with knowledge and skills they can take into their respective job roles at MetLife after training. As for results, Lavery says, “We saw a significant increase in the relevance of what they said, the confidence that they had in speaking, their product knowledge and their presence.” These are all important qualities for a sales professional to have. “It’s important to MetLife that our salespeople provide strategic solutions and connected expertise to employers and employees,” says Lavery. The new platform helped in ensuring this objective. “We found a tool that allows us to refine the skills of our sales force, no matter where they are in the country, and to help them better serve employers and employees,” says Lavery. The company was able to find a way to use technology and blended learning to provide the personal, engaging and relatable training that millennials crave, while also benefiting their employees and the company in the long run.

Stephani Mager is the associate editor at Training Industry, Inc. Email Stephani.

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MEASURING I M P A C T

WHY CUSTOMER SATISFACTION ISN’T ENOUGH BY DUANE SPARKS

Companies invest a lot of time and money measuring customer satisfaction. These measures usually assume the form of a survey that is supposed to take the customer’s current temperature following a conversation or transaction with the company. For a number of reasons, I think these measures are a waste of time.

WHAT EVERY COMPANY REALLY WANTS FROM CUSTOMERS IS LOYALTY.

We’ve all participated in these surveys. Maybe it’s just one question that amounts to, “Would you hire the person you just spoke to?” Or, maybe it’s, “Rank your satisfaction with (product or service): a) Beyond My Expectations; b) Met My Expectations; c) Below My Expectations; d) I HATE Your Company.” These surveys basically just tell us whether the customer has a current complaint. Either the person is upset about something or they point a finger at a rep who had to give them some bad news (i.e., “I’m sorry, but it will cost $3,500 to repair your equipment”). It’s

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not surprising that many customers want to “shoot the messenger,” even though the messenger may have delivered the news properly. Customer satisfaction measurements show us a moment in time. They do not tell us if we have a committed customer who will resist the lure of a competitor’s promise of a better deal. Another reason why I think customer satisfaction isn’t enough is because satisfied customers defect at an alarming rate. And, companies that rely on satisfaction measures seem deeply confused about why they leave. Here’s some of the research we’ve compiled: • 75 percent of customers who leave a company were satisfied or even “very satisfied” when they left. • Only 25 percent of customers leave due to price – but most company executives think price is the most common reason why they defect. • In truth, 80 percent of customers leave a supplier due to the lack of a solid business relationship – but only 20 percent tell you that’s why they left. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) surveys, no matter how well-designed, measure a short-term condition that doesn’t appear to have much to do with customer retention. Yet, companies see CSAT as a key performance indicator and

continue to measure the heck out of it. Why is that? Well… • Statistics tell us that it costs five to seven times more to generate business from new customers than business from current customers. • There is a five-fold payback for retention (a 1 percent improvement in retention equals a 5 percent increase in profit). So, we know the enormous value of customer retention. But, here’s the blunder I think we are making: We mistakenly think that if we monitor CSAT and respond to issues that crop up, somehow it will translate to our bottom line. The research doesn’t correlate with this assumption. I think that what every company really wants from customers is loyalty. In my view, loyalty and customer satisfaction aren’t the same. CSAT measures a moment in time and doesn’t prevent defections. What we want are customers who will resist the onslaught of our competitors’ offers. What is loyalty anyhow? I’m told there are few words harder to explain. But, when it comes to loyal customers, my definition is simple: Loyal customers are ones who have stopped shopping. They are deaf to your competitors’ appeals. Their business relationship with you is so valuable to them that it would


be extremely difficult for some other supplier to lure them away. Have you ever felt so loyal to a supplier that you stopped shopping? What made you feel that way? My B2B experience tells me that it was because of a person associated with your favored supplier, not because of a program or a policy. But, here we go again: Many companies

75%

of customers who leave a company were satisfied when they left.

25% 80%

of customers leave due to price.

20

tell you that’s why they left.

%

of customers leave a supplier due to the lack of a solid business relationship. But only...

invest tons of money in fancy loyalty programs. I don’t believe that true loyalty attaches to a program or, in fact, to a corporate entity. People become loyal only to other people. The kind of person who forges loyalty acts as a consultant, an orchestrator of resources and, above all, a relationship builder.

People who are skilled at generating loyalty understand that loyalty must be earned. A workforce full of such people would rule any industry. But such employees are rare. The vast majority of working people don’t act as loyalty generators. They don’t understand that the underlying purpose of every client conversation should be to create loyalty by strengthening their personal relationship with the client. And, even if such an idea makes sense to them, they don’t know how to do it.

employees in functions with names like customer support, tech support and customer service. These are people who probably have far more contact with customers than your formal sales teams.

Remember the quote from Peter Drucker, the great proponent of management by objectives: “What gets measured gets done.” If we’re measuring CSAT, that becomes the objective. That’s what your employees will strive for. But customer satisfaction isn’t enough!

If you agree, then you’ll need to rewrite your definition of what a successful customer interaction looks like. It isn’t one in which the customer appears to be satisfied with the dialogue or the solution. Instead, a successful interaction is one in which the relationship between employee and customer is moving the customer toward a decision to stop shopping for alternatives.

Suppose we raise our sights above CSAT measurement and rewrite our definition of success? What we really need is a solid business relationship, not just the satisfaction that may come from an acceptable transaction. When we are successful at building that relationship with our customers, we’re in a strong position to create loyalty. Without a growing and valuable relationship, all bets are off. It’s time for a different goal and a different measuring stick. I’d even take this one step further: It’s time to rewrite the job responsibilities of your customer-contact teams—all of those

Labels like service, support or specialist won’t give these people the message that what you really want is stronger relationships that result in loyalty. I’d suggest replacing these job titles with something else: Customer Relationship Professional.

If we follow Peter Drucker’s philosophy about measuring the right things, we should be measuring retention, advocacy and purchasing trends— not CSAT. When we do this, we’ll be sending the right message to our team of customer relationship professionals. And, we’ll be creating loyalty. Duane Sparks is Chairman of The Sales Board and author of “Masters of Loyalty: How to Turn Your Work Force Into a Loyalty Force.” Email Duane.

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SECRETS OF SOURCING DOUG HARWARD

LEVERAGING TOOLS TO IMPROVE THE

LEARNING PROCESS

The tools available in a training professional’s toolbox are constantly evolving. Trying to understand better ways to use these tools reminds me of how a master craftsman’s tools have evolved over the years. Craftsmen are tasked with efficiently building a home that conforms to the design of the architect and the needs of the owner. Master carpenters traditionally used tools such as hammers, rulers, straight edges and saws. As technologies have advanced, the carpenter’s tools are now power saws, pneumatic nail guns, and electronic rulers.

HOW WE USE TOOLS TO ENHANCE THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE IS OF INCREDIBLE ECONOMIC VALUE. In the early days of training, our tools were rather simple with the classroom, chalkboards, paper and pencils. But the advancement of technology now has us using tools such as video instruction, virtual classrooms, simulation platforms, virtual reality, adaptive tools, reinforcement apps, and much more. Even with all the advancement in technology, why we use tools to assist us in the learning experience remains constant. Our purpose is to help

learners perform better on the job and technologies help make that process more efficient and effective. Very much the same as the carpenter using new tools. They build the houses relatively the same, but they are faster, more efficient, and the homes are sturdier. So why all the fascination with new tools? Why is it that each time a new technology is introduced, there is a stream of interest in understanding how to use it, and whether that tool will work in our environment? Is there an expectation that we should always use the latest and greatest tools? Or is it that we are truly looking for a more inexpensive way to get the job done? Or are we trying to find the Holy Grail that will help us demonstrate that learners are performing better because they can learn with new technologies? I believe all those reasons are at play depending on the situation. My concern is that with all the technologies available to us, as a profession we are still struggling with the fundamentals of developing learners to perform better, faster and at a lower cost. How can this be? It has a lot to do with how we use tools. Tools are great if they enhance the process by which learners consume information, practice the behavior they need to learn, or have better access to information at the time of need when on the job. The greatest use of technology is when we understand the best process for

a learner to gain proficiency in a skill, then we leverage tools to help improve the process. Fundamental techniques for improved performance still require a learner to practice the behavior they are trying to perform. And it requires a learner to have access to information that helps them when they need it. I think it’s important that we recognize that learning occurs over time, and not in one event. Learning is an experience, and how we use tools to enhance the experience is of incredible economic value. We’ve seen through research that tools such as adaptive platforms allow learners to focus their experience on the information they most need. Collaborative platforms allow learners access to coaches in real time. Simulation environments allow learners to practice skills for high-risk situations but in lowrisk environments. From where I sit, we can’t lose sight of the fundamentals of learning science. Learning occurs over time, through repetition, through feedback on when they perform well and when they do not, and with support and reinforcement from coaches and mentors. If used correctly, many of the innovative technologies we see today are in line with helping us achieve our primary objective. Doug Harward is CEO of Training Industry, Inc. and a former learning leader in the high-tech industry. Email Doug.

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Thank you to our attendees, speakers and sponsors who contributed to the success of our 2018 event! “This was an incredibly enjoyable conference and I learned a lot from the range of speakers. Very well done and I will be inviting other training professionals next year. Great experience overall!� - TICE 2018 Attendee

Be a part of our next TICE Virtual Conference! November 1, 2018 // Leadership Development and Performance Management


LEARNER MINDSET MICHELLE EGGLESTON

THE ROLE OF

RELEVANCY IN L&D

A whopping 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs. There are a multitude of reasons why employees are not engaged – from a lack of challenging work to conflicts with management to a lack of growth and development opportunities. Organizations are tasked with developing a plan of action to increase engagement levels. Because engagement matters. A workplace with high engagement levels retain employees longer and are more focused and productive to meet business goals. Every employee is unique and has their own set of expectations and goals for their career. Internal teams are made up of people will varying skill sets, weaknesses and passions. A diverse workforce requires diverse training options. Ensuring every employee receives the training they need to succeed is a complex undertaking for learning and development (L&D). But despite our best effort to develop and deploy engaging training experiences, knowledge retention and performance improvement ultimately rests on the learner. The learner must sign up and attend the training. The learner must come with an open mind. The learner must apply the new skills on the job. The learner must want to learn. L&D can create the greatest training program, but the information is useless unless applied by the learner.

How do we get learners more excited about developing new skills? How do we engage and motivate the uninspired? Relevancy is the key – for the learner and the training function. TRAINING RELEVANCY Before L&D can reach employees, the training function must be viewed as relevant to the success of the business. Learning professionals must obtain buy-in from senior business leaders who believe in the value that training brings the company. Buy-in from the C-suite provides the training function with budget and resources to develop learning opportunities for employees. When training is viewed as relevant to the business and core to longterm success, a culture shift begins to happen. A culture is formed that champions learning and advocates for employee development. Skills will continue to evolve, and the training function must be at the forefront of those changes to prepare employees for the future of their role. LEARNING RELEVANCY

lot on their plate and adding another to-do to that never-ending list can be overwhelming. When learners can see the big picture, they’re more likely to be invested in working toward that vision. Today’s employees want to grow and develop and providing training that is relevant to their job role will increase engagement and improve productivity. The more engaged learners are in the training the higher the likelihood that they will apply those skills back on the job.

LEARNING WITHOUT PURPOSE WILL NOT STICK. BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER Having a toolbox full of training methods to deliver learning is a wonderful thing but learning without purpose will not stick. Training must be anchored to the goals of the business and tailored to improve the efficiency and performance of the company’s employees in meeting those objectives.

If learning hinges on the learner, then L&D must clearly articulate the value of training to employees. Employees want to know what’s in it for them. They want to know if the training will lead to a potential promotion. They want to know how the training will impact their day-to-day work and how this training connects to overall business objectives.

Focusing on relevancy can help L&D professionals develop a more robust learning culture by advocating for the value of training and creating better training programs that target the skills learners need to excel in their role – now and in the future.

Regardless if this may seem a little selfinvolved, it’s true. Employees have a

Michelle Eggleston is the editorial director at Training Industry, Inc. Email Michelle.

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CPTM? When you become a Certified Professional in Training Management (CPTM™), you earn access to a credential that validates your standing as a training leader and affirms your ability to apply the tools to create business value through strategic alignment. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what CPTMs have to say, in their own words.

“CPTM is the best investment I’ve ever made on continuing education and professional development.” Latasha Moss, Ph.D., CPTM

Check out the CPTM testimonials video by visiting https://trainingindustry.com/cptm-testimonial

Want to learn more about becoming a CPTM™? Visit cptm.trainingindustry.com or call 866-298-4203.


WHAT’S NEXT IN TECH ERIC SHARP

WHAT THE CTO WISHES

THE CLO KNEW The future of work is already here, and it looks like this: 60- to 70-year careers, jobs that weren’t around 10 years ago, and a decreasing half-life of skills. These factors necessitate a change in how we manage both the tools and approaches to delivering learning to our employees. While many of us are struggling to keep up, and unsure of how to engage our employees, our workforce is pushing forward and finding the information on their own. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the workforce will wait for us. The following suggestions will put you in front of this change. For starters, a mindset change is needed. In software, when a code base is old and hasn’t grown with new technologies and approaches, we call it legacy software. Legacy software is brittle to support, not extensible (easily extended to support new features/changes) and can lead to dissatisfaction for those working with it. In some ways, we have been supporting a legacy learning paradigm that has been difficult to support, unadaptable to learning landscape changes and hampered with dissatisfaction from employees. It is time to move on from this legacy mindset. Supporting learning versus mandating training is the new paradigm. This is a new way of working for most L&D professionals, one that requires new tools. With an oversaturated sea of vendors and tech, how do you go about picking the right tools? Upgrading doesn’t need to be as painful as “rip and replace.”

Integrating an ecosystem of best-inclass solutions can be much more agile, more cost-efficient, and more effective than a monolithic, integrated, all-inone system. Building a short-list is simple. Few products will be checkmarks on your feature and function boxes on the RFP. But is that because we’re relying on old criteria, choosing next-gen solutions from last-gen requirements?

SUPPORTING LEARNING VERSUS MANDATING TRAINING IS THE NEW PARADIGM. We see our most sophisticated clients doing three crucial things differently: 1. Investing in adaptivity, not efficiency. 2. Focusing on value, not price. 3. Selecting an experienced partner, not software. It’s great that two-thirds of L&D leaders are looking to invest in new technologies to better meet the needs of their workers and their businesses. But systems are truly only part of the answer. When General Mills’ former talent development leader, Susie McNamara, evaluates new technologies for learning, she scrutinizes more than the technology itself: “I not only look at what the technology does and the experience that it’s creating, but

I also think about the entire package,” she told us. “What do I get when I buy this? Do I get a team of curators? Do I get a marketing team? Those answers have made my decisions for me in a lot of cases. I’m not just buying a technology or a product. I’m buying an entire team of people. I see them as an extension of my team,” she explained. Learning happens across different systems and devices, between people and in the real world. Weaving it all into a seamless learning experience takes some work. It takes L&D, HR and IT teams shifting their paradigms and working together. In many organizations, the tech team is seen as a barrier to implementing new technology. But the truth is, they can be one of your biggest assets. Technology teams are experienced in moving from legacy software/platforms to more cutting-edge technology. They can assist in aligning the detailed technology tasks with the L&D/HR strategy. As you set a clear view into the future of learning at your organization, you will find advocates across your business. While the future of work can be intimidating, with a few key tools and a strong, strategic approach to employee learning, it can be exciting, enabling and result in a more content, skilled workforce. Eric Sharp is the co-founder and chief technology officer at Degreed. Email Eric.

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CLOSING D E A L S

CREDLY ACQUIRES ACCLAIM

TO COMBINE DIGITAL CREDENTIAL BUSINESSES BY TARYN OESCH

Digital badges are a validated virtual representation of an individual’s successful development of a new skill or completion of a project or level of education. They’re becoming increasingly popular as companies offer badges as part of recognition programs, and employees use them to display their knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) to current and prospective employers. Reflecting this growing popularity, Credly, a digital credential creation and management company, has raised more than $7 million and recently acquired Pearson’s Acclaim badging business. Pearson is taking a minority equity stake in Credly as a result of the acquisition, which the press release described as creating “the most comprehensive solution suite for skill recognition, credential verification, and talent management.” Credly’s platform enables companies to create digital credentials with meta data; issue them to employees, customers or partners; and use analytics tools to inform training, marketing, talent management, partnerships, and other initiatives. For example, IBM issues digital badges to employees for a variety of skills, and because of the transparency provided by digital badges, Finkelstein says, the company has been able to partner with Northeastern University to accept those badges as credit toward a master’s degree program. Finkelstein believes digital badges will become an essential tool in the corporate learning toolbox. “The mindset that we see among organizations now is not if they should issue digital credentials,” he says, “but when and how.” Organizations now believe it’s important to “create a

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culture of recognition … that hands over portable evidence to people of the skills they’ve mastered and the knowledge they’ve attained.” Beyond culture, though, digital credentials can support talent development and management decisions. They help “create a common definition of the skills the organization values, empower and delegate different departments and teams to reward and acknowledge those skills in a consistent way across the organization, and then get a much better and more comprehensive picture across the organization,” Finkelstein says. This way, organizations can see everyone’s

RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY IS A TREND THAT’S NOT GOING AWAY KSAs and make sure they’re being acknowledged and used to the greatest benefit of both the organization and the employees. BEST PRACTICES FOR USING DIGITAL CREDENTIALS

“The key behind giving [the] credential and ensuring that credential has meaning,” says Finkelstein, “is to make sure that it’s backed up by data.” The metadata contained in a digital badge are the evidence that the credential is valid and the details the user’s employer needs in order to use the information for talent decisions. If you’re creating the badge, make sure you include details like what the KSA is, what the user did

to achieve it, and the competencies he or she now has. If you’re using a badge created by another organization to assess a current or potential employee, make sure the badge includes those data and was issued by a reliable source. “A really important best practice,” Finkelstein says, “is to think about your communication strategy when you introduce credentials.” Demonstrate the value of the credentials to learners and the organization, and explain the next steps for both employees and managers after a badge is earned and issued. WHAT’S NEXT?

Finkelstein says he’s seeing “a lot of growth in the kinds of assessments and authentic experiences that can [generate] evidence of achievement,” and new platforms and tools will soon be issuing digital credentials in real time, immediately after they are earned. He also believes that technology will enable better analysis; “in other words, what can we learn about the populations we serve by understanding how and where they put their credentials to use?” Blockchain may also start playing a role in credentialing. Partnering with Acclaim, Finkelstein says, will ensure that customers “can really tap into all parts of their life when it comes to sharing what they know and what they can do.” Whether your organization uses Acclaim and Credly or another issuer, what is clear is that recognition technology is a trend that’s not going away.

Taryn Oesch is an editor at Training Industry, Inc. Email Taryn.


C O M PA N Y N E W S

ACQ UI S I T I O N SAN DPA RTN E R SHIPS Degreed, the lifelong learning platform, announced it has acquired Pathgather, merging the two companies that invented the learning experience platform (LXP) category. Uniting these businesses is a big leap forward on Degreed’s mission to unlock opportunity by creating better ways to build, measure and communicate people’s skills. Grovo and Cornerstone OnDemand announced the addition of Grovo Create as an expansion of their existing strategic relationship. The availability of Grovo Create as an add-on to the Cornerstone OnDemand platform allows businesses to further benefit from the combination of Grovo’s customizable content library and Cornerstone’s content service. Showpad, the industry’s first integrated sales enablement platform, has acquired

LearnCore, the leading provider of sales training and coaching software, to supercharge the buyer and seller experience. With LearnCore, Showpad will deliver the first fully integrated platform for sales excellence that includes sales readiness, smart sales content, and powerful sales engagement capabilities. Learning Technologies Group confirmed the successful acquisition of PeopleFluent. PeopleFluent introduces an exciting new range of capabilities to LTG’s portfolio of specialist digital learning businesses. This new offering expands the opportunity for all Group companies to offer a strategic, resultsfocused offer in the broader context of capabilities required for the modern workforce.

TransForce, Inc., the leading workforce solutions provider to the transportation industry, has acquired SafetyServe, a software company and a provider of online safety training courses. The transaction further expands TransForce’s service offering as the leading workforce management firm serving the transportation industry, by adding technology-enabled training services. Seismic, the global leader in sales and marketing enablement, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire SAVO Group, combining two of the major global sales enablement brands. The acquisition extends Seismic’s position as the leading platform aligning sales and marketing teams to effectively engage buyers with the right information and content.

INDUSTRY NE WS VIDEO AND RECOGNITION & REWARDS

Saba Software announced the release of Saba Video, and advanced features in gamification, recognition and rewards. Saba Video enables talent leaders to deliver high-performance, integrated and secure video across every facet of their learning programs. Additional capabilities in recognition and rewards allow talent leaders to further elevate engagement and motivation for their employees across the entire development experience. BUILDING HIGH-PERFORMANCE CULTURES

Zugata, the performance management software company that helps organizations build high-performance cultures, announced the Zugata Partner Program to help its customers

design and implement strategic programs that drive employee and organizational performance. Zugata’s partner ecosystem will be an additional and invaluable resource for customers embarking on their journey to create high-performance cultures.

AI-POWERED ENGINE ELEVATES SALES COACHING AND READINESS

Brainshark, Inc. unveiled Machine Analysis, an artificial intelligence (AI)powered engine that improves sales coaching – augmenting coaches’ feedback and scoring to help sellers stay on-message and improve performance. These first-of-their-kind coaching capabilities offer automated, actionable insights that help ensure salespeople master critical messages before they get in front of a buyer.

ADVANCED ANALYTICS TO POWER BETTER BUSINESS DECISIONS

Inkling Systems, Inc., a mobile enablement platform for frontline employees, announced that it has significantly enhanced its Inkling Knowledge platform with the addition of advanced analytics capabilities built on Tableau. Inkling Knowledge is a modern content system that helps businesses train new hire employees, digitize standard operating procedures, and efficiently launch products.

INTERESTED IN SUBMITTING COMPANY NEWS? PLEASE SEND TO EDITOR@TRAININGINDUSTRY.COM

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11 Ways to Optimize Video-based Courses for Improved Learning Outcomes Micro-learning Design content experiences which are less than 10-minutes in length

Eliminate redundancy in content delivery modes Use cues and signals to focus attention to important visual and textual content

Explain diagrams with words presented through audio narration

Use diagrams to help learners build deeper understanding

Integrate explanatory text close to related visuals on screens to avoid split attention

Enable autonomous and self-directed learning

Provide performance aids as external memory supplements

Use scenarios and stories for better engagement / retention

Eliminate extraneous visuals, text and audio

Pare content down to essentials

Learn more about the new Skillsoft Leadership Development Program

Training Toolbox | July/August 2018  

Tools and approaches to deliver learning.

Training Toolbox | July/August 2018  

Tools and approaches to deliver learning.

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