Digital adoption, which includes the use of new technology to improve a business, is a common term in today’s corporate world. Everyone knows that digital technology has become vital to streamlining processes, improving customer relations, creating additional revenue, and much more.
It is no wonder that business models are focusing more and more on technology in order to embrace change and get ahead of the competition. Changes in how businesses run are happening faster and faster. These range from how businesses interact with customers to how remote work is organized and managed. Central to these changes and new goals is technology and digital adoption.
With digital adoption comes training and new company goals. The traditional training methods of the past often don’t meet the needs of businesses today as they don’t do a great job of helping employees retain knowledge or keep pace with the rate of change. New digital tools are needed in order to train new workers and bring a company up to speed on process changes, which happen faster and faster all the time.
But all digital adoption has its challenges, as company leaders know. Some of these challenges are more obvious than others, but all of these pieces must be met together and align with a company’s goals for such transformation to succeed. Only then can digital adoption reach its full potential and bring an entire business planned benefits.
Many companies miss the hidden challenges while focusing on the more straightforward ones, but once they are all addressed with the right tools, success is within reach.
The reasons for digital adoption
Many companies, no matter which industry they serve, are now using technology to learn from their customers and improve customer service. Others have used a digital adoption strategy to move their workforces to remote work in order to save on travel and training costs even before the pandemic. Still, others have embraced goal-oriented tools such as Salesforce with the hope of supercharging sales and increasing profits.
No matter what a company’s goals are, technology and changes will be needed to achieve them. Digital adoption is needed whether a company has taken a customer-centric approach, switched to remote work, or both. It’s also often needed to comply with new policies and to make some processes more efficient. However, no technology investment comes without challenges, and the least of those is often the upfront cost.
Well-know hurdles to digital adoption
Company leaders know that the most common hurdles to true digital adoption—the act of using new technology to its full potential—are the need for frequent training, fast onboarding, and the time necessary for that training.
Training has always been the most obvious hurdle to full digital adoption of any new tool. Learning curves always come with tools for a variety of reasons, ranging from limited knowledge retention to the fear of change among most workers. This is true when it comes to onboarding new hires, closing skills gaps for current employees, or training a company in a new process or policy.
What makes the need for constant training one of the most common digital adoption challenges is the fact that it takes time, and often a lot of it. Because workers have difficulty retaining big chunks of information at once, training sessions often have to be spaced apart. This means that when using traditional training methods, company leaders will need to take more time than necessary to bring a company up to speed.
Because innovation and digital tech are always advancing, taking more time than necessary to train workers in new processes and policies can cause a company to lose its competitive edge. Switching away from legacy systems also can cause steep learning curves and worker discomfort, which can only add to the time needed for full digital adoption.
An often missed challenge
Almost everyone focuses on learning curves and training time when thinking about the challenges that come with digital adoption. But many trainers and managers miss another equally important challenge that must also be met: real-time reinforcement.
Reinforcement means that trainers and managers simply help instill the knowledge that employees have learned. This has often been through meetings, emails, answering questions, and help tickets.
Often, reinforcement also involves exiting a program or app to find a how-to answer elsewhere, such as in a wiki or help database. It may mean emailing a trainer or manager for an answer and waiting to hear back. Context switching such as this will mean lost time and employee frustration, as well as lost profits. It is this time component that makes reinforcement such a challenge.
Making this problem worse is the fact that many companies are switching to remote work. In fact, around 80% of company leaders say they’re going to let a good portion of their employees begin working from home at least some of the time.
On top of this, company leaders must also update processes and policies quite often, due to changing laws, technology, and the competitive landscape. This means that changes need to be communicated to an entire team and sometimes the company at once. Traditionally, this means meetings, webinars, and emails, which often aren’t seen right away.
How well trainers meet these challenges can determine whether digital transformation succeeds or fails. In order to succeed, learning and reinforcement must be effective and must align with a company’s goals. However, a key to success exists. And that key is making both learning and reinforcement happen in real-time.
All challenges must be met or the tower crumbles
When it comes to learning new digital tools and connecting to customers in new ways, time has always been part of the process. This is true whether a company has embraced a goal-oriented enablement tool such as Salesforce or switched to remote work. But change now occurs faster than it ever did before, and now company leaders must train and reinforce learning in real-time to beat the competition.
As a result, companies must train faster and faster in order to stay competitive. On top of this, leaders must also focus on meeting company goals and customer expectations as they meet the challenges that constant training brings. A long-term learning strategy is needed to do this, and this strategy will determine whether any new technology is worth the investment.
Companies can increase their value by up to 21% by embracing all challenges to digital adoption and meeting its goals. If some hurdles to full digital adoption are ignored, then digital transformation can fail, and companies will also fall short of their goals.
Aligning all the pieces
Lightweight, contextual learning platforms can meet the growing need for constant training and reinforcement. They can also help companies meet sales, customer service, and compliance goals.
Such learning software focuses on deeper learning and aids greatly in successful digital adoption and transformation. The good news is that this type of learning is also immediate, appearing directly in applications and programs that are often used for the work process. Trainers are able to insert training right into the flow of work so that employees don’t have to leave their workflow to seek answers to specific questions they may have. Eliminating this type of context switching saves time and boosts productivity.
Such a tool also provides the frequent training needed in today’s changing world and in real-time, eliminating the days, weeks, and months often wasted on the dreaded learning curve. Lightweight, contextual learning software also provides helpful information and specific training in small doses, so that all employees are more willing to embrace change.
This type of training can integrate with many different apps and programs, such as Salesforce, that normally have a steep learning curve. If a company’s digital transformation process involves changes to customer service or compliance, such software can help a business meet these goals.
Lightweight, contextual training software can meet the need for constant reinforcement of learned material. It can also handle frequent changes to work processes and policies if configured correctly. The good news is that this type of learning program can meet both of these often overlooked needs.
Instead of calling long meetings and sending emails, trainers and leaders can now use these tools to communicate process changes to an entire company at once. These messages, like the training, appear right in every employee’s workflow and get attention right away. Trainers can easily insert new and contextual training on the go as well. This allows for the rapid change needed to meet business goals in a digital world.
Despite so many changes happening so quickly, learning for workers is still instant. Reinforcement to the new learning material appears in-app, greatly reducing the learning curve.
With lightweight learning tools, it is possible to embrace change and meet company goals at the fast pace needed in today’s world.
Tackling your digital adoption challenges today
Meeting company goals in the age of digital transformation is much more likely to happen if every challenge to full digital adoption is met. To succeed, a company must have a plan to tackle all challenges to adoption as they relate to meeting company goals. Lightweight, contextual learning is an excellent way to align the learning process with new goals, and it can do so at the pace needed to compete in today’s modern competitive environments. If you’re ready to tackle the challenges of digital adoption, chat with us today.
Learn how the world’s best companies are rethinking digital adoption to empower their teams
Digital Adoption and Enablement: Definitions and Differences
In the age of cloud computing, remote work, and constant change, it’s common to hear about the concept of digital transformation. The term seems to be everywhere and has many components to it.
Digital transformation is the process through which a company integrates with technology to create a new way of conducting business. This can mean new ways of interacting with customers, prospects, other businesses, and their employees. It can also mean new operational processes and compliance policies.
Digital transformation is necessary in today’s corporate world. Without it, companies will fail to innovate and move with the times, and they may even fail completely. It’s so important that most businesses are putting digital transformation at the forefront of their plans.
This type of change can look simple on the surface. However, there are many factors affecting whether digital transformation will be successful. The two main components are digital adoption and digital enablement.
The two terms may sound similar, but they are two distinct concepts. Both are vital to successful digital transformation. When taken together, any changes made are more likely to improve the customer, potential customer and employee experience. Most of all, these changes can generate a positive return on investment for an entire organization.
Digital Adoption and Enablement: Two sides of the same coin
Digital adoption and digital enablement may be similar concepts, but they have some differences that must be taken into account. Digital transformation can be thought of as a coin. When it’s made correctly, it has two sides and has value.
If one side is missing, then the coin is useless. It will get a business nothing back if used. In fact, the coin might get set aside at the factory before it can even go out into the world.
One side of that coin is digital adoption. The other side is digital enablement. One needs the other in order for digital transformation to be successful.
Digital adoption is the use of new technology to perform new processes, boost productivity, improve customer and potential customer relations, and ensure legal compliance. More importantly, it is the ability of a company to use new digital tools to the fullest extent.
In true digital adoption, workers and leaders use new technology to the fullest extent for the most benefit that they can. When this happens, a positive return on investment can follow. Full adoption paves the way for a boost in profits, workflow efficiency, and employee and external relations.
Digital adoption is the “heads” of the coin that is digital transformation, and the part that people see first.
However, the corporate world is far from perfect, and there are always barriers to real technology adoption. These same barriers can stop employees from being productive and can lead to worse outcomes.
Resistance to change is always a problem, and so is the need for constant training to use new software applications. The cost of that training can quickly spiral out of control if a digital adoption solution is not found. This leads to frustration for all and no return on investment.
With the right learning system, however, it’s possible to overcome these barriers. Lightweight, contextual learning management solutions are able to help any company achieve full digital adoption of new tools and processes. Once this happens, improved profits, customer relations, and other benefits can follow. This is where digital enablement comes in.
Digital enablement is vital to the success of digital adoption, and by extension, to the success of digital transformation. It can be seen as the “tails” of the coin.
Digital enablement is the method used to achieve full digital adoption. In other words, it is the way employees and company leaders will learn how to use new technology and take full advantage of it. Basically, it includes all the tools needed to onboard new employees and train workers in new processes and policies.
Contextual learning solutions that are part of larger digital adoption and enablement platforms provide a way to better train employees. They can help an entire organization create new digital services, experiences, and connections. These platforms can also help employees learn how to use new software, perform new processes, and comply with new policies. Ultimately, they help companies take full advantage of digital adoption initiatives, including associated shifts in technology.
But digital enablement includes more than training and the solution used to onboard new employees. An effective digital enablement strategy should also include lightweight, contextual learning in order to help workers learn how to fully use new technology with the greatest ease possible.
Most training today has flaws. Learning tends to come in the form of spaced training sessions, and as a consequence, employees often need a lot of time to learn how to fully use new tools and technology. These time gaps in digital enablement can equate to a company struggling to keep up with a changing market.
This is why the right type of digital enablement is important. This aspect of digital transformation should not be ignored. The good news is that contextual, lightweight learning can go a long way towards success. It does this by tackling the flaws present in traditional training.
Employees need to have help and training available right where they need it and right when they need it, too. Only then can digital enablement help workers and company leaders realize the promise of a digital adoption strategy and plan.
In order to understand how such lightweight, flexible learning can help, it’s important to know the type of obstacles that often stand in the way of success.
Overcoming the obstacles
Of course, there are always obstacles to change, and therefore digital transformation. Many people are resistant to change, often due to the difficulty and the discomfort involved. This means most organizations will take some time to accomplish digital adoption plans. Resistance to change is a large problem many company leaders face today.
Retaining large blocks of new information at once is also difficult for most people. After standard training sessions, employees can lose up to 70% of what was learned in just a few days. Making this problem worse is the fact that with digital innovation and transformation, the need for constant training is always present. This can lead to not one, but many learning curves at once, along with employee frustration.
The rise of remote work can also make employee training and reinforcement of that training difficult. This can add a relatively new hurdle when it comes to true digital transformation, and handling both sides of the coin.
Using contextual, lightweight learning for success
However, contextual, lightweight learning management solutions are capable of overcoming many of these obstacles. It can also fill the digital adoption platform gaps that arise with standard types of training. These solutions lead to effective digital enablement, which in turn leads to full digital adoption.
It allows trainers to insert training directly where needed, across a variety of applications that employees use daily. Training can even be inserted into typical mission-critical tools for sales enablement, such as Salesforce, that helps drive faster revenue production. When this happens, employees no longer have to switch in and out of programs to find the help that they need. This elimination of “context switching” lets teams and organizations as a whole move faster.
Using lightweight, contextual learning for digital enablement can cut down on the time and cost needed to onboard new employees. New hires can start working right away with help, training, and reinforcement appearing right in the applications they’re using. This help can apply directly to a specific situation such as how to approach a new sales situation in a given industry, eliminating the need for time-wasting internal support.
New and senior employees alike can also use this same software to learn changing digital processes on the go. This means that the need for meetings and costly training sessions is reduced. Lightweight, contextual training, along with the larger digital adoption and enablement platform it is typically a part of, should be easy to implement and maintain. It should also be versatile, adapting to new transformation and enablement needs.
The benefits of true digital transformation are countless. The right type of enablement can lead to quicker and easier digital adoption. These benefits include better customer relations and increased profits by as much as 34%. With the right strategy, plan and platform, employee comfort with new changes can improve, and resistance to change can drop.
Employees can benefit greatly from this type of digital enablement. This is because it is given in small, digestible bits rather than in large blocks that are hard to remember. Training appears right where employees need it, in the flow of work. Leaders can also send notifications to an entire company or workgroup at once about process changes and other important events.
As a result, skill gaps can be addressed. A company that can learn how to use new processes and platforms effectively can improve both profits and external relations. Employee satisfaction can also improve, especially when they are given the chance to play a meaningful role in true digital transformation.
Embracing digital transformation today
The first step to being successful with digital transformation is to understand its two main parts: digital adoption and digital enablement. True digital adoption can only happen when new platforms and processes are fully implemented. Then, revenue will increase, customers will be happier, and employees will find more satisfaction with their jobs. This allows for a maximum return on investment from your digital transformation plans.
If you’re ready for digital transformation success, chat with us today.
Learn how the world’s best companies are rethinking digital adoption to empower their teams
Working with the different elements of change management
Markets change, companies reorganize, and new compliance policies are enacted all the time. And anyone managing a company or training new employees knows that embracing that change, which is only picking up in pace, can mean the difference between staying competitive and becoming irrelevant. Failure to innovate can even end companies altogether, and it’s a major worry among CEOs.
Companies must therefore change policies, workflows, management models, and their very structures sometimes. Making these large shifts can bring great benefits such as becoming more competitive, improving customer service, and increasing profits, but there are many elements that go into making change successful.
It can be easy to talk about making the tough changes needed to stay relevant, but putting that plan into action can be more difficult. Most people are resistant to change. But taking action to overcome this hurdle is vital. True organizational change management results from action and involves each and every individual in an organization.
Tools and techniques exist that can ease resistance from all teams and help sweep a company into any change that’s needed. Among those tools is lightweight, contextual learning software, which can guide all levels of an organization through important shifts, at every stage of the process.
What is change management?
Change management is basically a “recipe” for a new company structure or process. With any recipe, there are ingredients or elements. When following a recipe, the chef must go through three phases.
Preparation might involve studying the recipe, checking for what the chef already has on hand, and gathering the tools and ingredients necessary to make the dish. Most vital of all, of course, is asking the recipients of the meal whether they have any food allergies or preferences. Disaster can be avoided by involving those who will be eating the meal from the start.
Implementation involves putting the recipe into use: mixing ingredients, turning the oven to the right temperature, and so on. And at last, following through could mean asking how much the recipients like the meal, and whether anything could be improved.
These three phases also apply to change management, according to the Harvard Business School. Organizational change management works much like a recipe, and there’s one major element in common that the two have. The human element is present in both and is the most important factor in success or failure. Recipes perform based on how they affect people, and corporate change management is the same way.
No matter the type of organizational change, the most important factor is the same. And a considerate chef is much like lightweight learning software. Both can make those affected more comfortable with, and willing to try, something new.
Besides the human factor, there are also five main elements to successful change, according to the ADKAR model: awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement. And the right tools can aid the transition through all of them.
The single most important element
The single most important element to true organizational change is the human side. Organizations are made up of people, and it’s the people who ultimately will determine whether leadership is effectively managing that shift. These people range from executive teams to the newest employees.
Any type of change can be intimidating to people, so it’s important to not only focus on the design and implementation of any major (or minor) company shift. When reviewing every other element of putting the change into progress, how people will react to that process and action must be considered first and foremost.
Shaking up management processes can have great benefits and keep a company competitive in a rapidly changing market, but getting there is often the greatest issue. Employees and leadership teams alike can be the biggest barrier to that action being effective, or they can help that positive change sweep through an entire organization.
The ease of that change will make or break any great plan. The great news is that the intimidation that change can bring can be greatly reduced with the right tools.
Lightweight, contextual learning offers training for employees directly in-app and can cut down on the learning curve. This aids not only with the adoption of new processes but with the organizational change that involves shifts to remote and flexible work. It can also help with the adoption of new software and policies.
This contextual learning is often wrapped up into larger digital adoption and enablement platforms that can also help with every other element of organizational change management, beginning with the elements of preparation and ending with the follow-through.
The elements of preparing for change
Before change can be implemented across a company, it’s important to start with the elements of the preparation phase. And the first element, of course, is having awareness of what type of change is needed, and why. This will likely be an important shift that can keep a company competitive.
Standing back and viewing the situation through an objective lens is the first step to taking action. Perhaps customer service needs to be improved, day-to-day processes need to be streamlined, or a shift to flexible work locations is needed to retain employees. There could be skills gaps contributing to these issues and a more flexible, lightweight learning management tool is needed to address the status quo.
Once the awareness that change is needed has been established, the desire for that change must follow. This is when assessing the cultural side of change management is vital. Knowing how receptive an organization will be to change can go a long way towards determining what to do next, and when.
Who in the organizational structure will be involved first? Identifying the management teams and the followers will help to determine how to roll out any new processes or programs. Using digital adoption and enablement platforms can allow the assigning of project teams who will get involved early and help to ease the rest of the company into the change.
After this assessment, knowledge on how to bring about real change is the logical next step. It is necessary to make a case for this shift, to prepare the rest of the organization for what is to come. Here, the benefits can be outlined, and a structured approach can be laid out to make that change happen. Introducing lightweight, contextual learning tools (and associated larger platforms) at this time can make the idea of change less intimidating to an entire organization and can show how easily this shift can happen.
Implementing change: How the right tools can help
When it comes to the actual change itself, it’s important to have the ability to bring it about. This typically means training employees and leaders alike in new processes and policies, and likely new programs in areas such as sales enablement. Learning management that is flexible and lightweight is not only good for project management, it can help to turn an idea into meaningful action.
Typically, trainers and managers are the first to adopt change and will set examples for the rest of the company to follow. This approach can work well with the use of digital adoption and enablement platforms, regardless of leadership style. By demonstrating how easy a new process is to learn, leaders can convince the majority to follow.
All key stakeholders should be able to participate in change from the beginning, and since contextual learning can help train employees as they work, it’s easy to take action right away.
Following through with the help of lightweight learning management
Once a change has been implemented, reinforcement is important for keeping the momentum going. This is true for process changes, shifts to remote work, and changes in compliance policies.
Lightweight, contextual learning management isn’t just for employees to train for their specific duties in-app. Trainers and managers can use these tools to reinforce what has been learned as well. Digital adoption and enablement platforms that often house lightweight, contextual learning allows leaders to communicate easily with all employees at once, as they work, and also allow leaders to monitor employee performance and identify any areas where skills or compliance is lacking.
This ability makes it simple to ensure that change is smooth for an entire organization. Setting project objectives becomes much easier with such smooth communication. Lightweight, contextual learning will also be valuable with any further changes in the future, giving a company the ability to shift with the market.
Embracing change with lightweight, contextual learning tools
The right tools and plan can make positive change happen, so long as you assess the situation carefully, have the desire for change, know how to make that change happen, have the ability to bring it about, and reinforce that change.
Proper change management makes any transitions easier on leadership and employees. Employee morale can improve, especially if there is a reduced learning curve and employees at all levels feel as if they are truly part of that change. Lightweight, contextual learning can help to meet that business goal.
Money can be saved by using this type of learning to adopt new tools, programs, and processes as well. Adopting new programs and processes often costs a company money, and sometimes employee uptake of new things is limited. With in-app learning and no matter where an employee is working, the barrier to employees embracing change comes down. Easy learning can feel like an opportunity, not a burden.
Keeping the costs of change under control is also a benefit from using a proper change management approach. Customer relations can improve and the need to rework some processes and changes in company structure can be eliminated.
Getting started with the right plan today
There are many elements to effective organizational change and the most important of them all, the human element, is also the most complex. But the right learning management tools can address the contextual learning needs of individuals and entire organizations alike. Easing resistance at every level can help to ensure that any large change can be successful. If you’re ready to embrace change and want the tools to take effective action, chat with us today.
Learn how the world’s best companies are rethinking change management to empower their teams
Are employee training platforms keeping up with the times?
Jobs and companies are diverse, with different corporate environments and cultures. But all companies have one thing in common: they need to train their employees.
Training programs are necessary for employees to learn new skills and ensure that they and the company they work for are following laws and regulations set up in their industry. Not only must new hires be onboarded, but continuing education is a must in many industries. Employees continually learn new skills as they interact with and build relations with customers, and the constant advancement of technology makes this fact more true than ever today.
In fact, almost 40% of employees consider the potential for growth a major factor in job satisfaction, as of 2019.
New applications and programs must often be adopted, and employees have increasingly adopted web-based tools to complete their tasks, regardless of industry. Companies have used several traditional learning approaches to onboard and train workers in digital adoption for both job completion and compliance. Traditional training methods all have some benefits and drawbacks and are not “one size fits all.”
However, with the recent growth of remote work and the changes happening in how the corporate world is organized, the drawbacks of these traditional employee training tools have only amplified. New solutions are needed.
Employee Training: A necessary expense
In today’s constantly changing corporate world, the need for employee training is greater than ever. Not only do new hires need to know how to use a myriad of online tools, but they also need to know how to apply those tools to specific situations, often in concert with their soft skills.
A heavier reliance on technology means that more knowledge and skills are necessary for workers. The average number of applications that companies and employees typically use to perform day-to-day tasks is only increasing. That technology, which can range from simple email systems to sales enablement software, must constantly evolve. This means that employee skills gaps will need to be addressed often through continued learning and development.
Managers must not only train employees to use an ever-growing variety of apps but also use up to date employee training tools and employee training methods to make sure that all workers meet compliance requirements for their industry or standards within their company. Compliance policies and laws vary by field⸺and regulations do change often⸺as do the ways companies do business. This means that employee training and development programs must continue to make sure that employees are up to date and can adapt to new standards.
To meet the business goals of companies, managers, and employees, training has typically taken on a few different forms. Some of these approaches worked well in the past, but the changing world of work is posing challenges for many traditional training methods.
Traditional types of employee training
In the past, managers and trainers used a few learning approaches to onboard new hires and train employees in new processes and policy changes. These learning experiences could vary by industry and by employee. One form of job training that works well for one person may not work well for the next, and all types of training have benefits and drawbacks.
Hands-on training happens “on the job” and is exactly as described: a new employee is trained, often by a senior employee, while working his or her first few days. This sort of learning is often contextual. New employees can apply their training to specific situations and learn quickly. However, this employee training system doesn’t work for everyone, as some find the constant oversight more stressful than helpful.
Social learning, a more recent method, ties well into on-the-job training. New hires and current employees learn from managers and co-workers by simply watching and imitating more experienced members of the company.
This is similar to how children learn life skills from the adults in their lives. Training can also be reinforced in this way, which aids with learning retention. This type of training, however, can be hard to put into action as there are so many factors in whether it can be successful.
For multiple workers or an entire company learning a new process or digital platform, classrooms are often used to deliver training. These learning programs often include presentations, slides, videos, or lectures. Classrooms can even be used to train employees on the use of new, complex digital tools.
The main downside of classroom-based training is how expensive it is, as a venue, food, supplies, and an instructor all cost money. Also, workers may find it difficult to retain much information after the training is over, making much of the learning short term only.
Trainers can also take a more interactive approach through the use of mock scenarios, tests, games, and more. In some situations, role plays can even be used to create a form of blended learning with other approaches. While this approach can be more fun and lead to better retention than others, it can be difficult and time-consuming to put into practice.
Of course, online training has become very popular in recent years. Most are familiar with employee learning tools such as webinars, videos, and online quizzes. This type of training often costs less than others and is less time-consuming, but often misses opportunities for contextual learning.
The rise of remote and flexible work
Remote work is growing at a fast pace, and many workers prefer to do remote work over commuting to another location to perform their jobs. As many as 42% of employees worked from home during 2020, and much of the stigma related to remote work is vanishing.
Remote work has many benefits too, and it’s no surprise that many companies are switching to having at least part of their workforce move to more flexible locations than the office. Travel expenses can be reduced and less space needs to be rented to accommodate company operations. Employees may also find a quieter environment more conducive to getting more work done than at the office.
Employee training, however, can become more difficult with so much of the workforce no longer gathering in one location. This means that traditional learning methods may not be able to keep up with this rapid organizational change, which is here to stay.
New employee training solutions are needed
With the exploding popularity of remote work, does traditional employee training software and other training programs meet the needs of companies and their teams? When employees work in flexible locations such as at home or while traveling, it’s obvious that some training approaches won’t work well, or at all, when it’s time to train workers in new process changes or new compliance policies. There will also be obvious issues when training new hires.
When a portion of a company is working remotely, it may be difficult and very expensive to bring all employees to a classroom for a session of training, especially when some employees may be working hundreds of miles away. This means that travel expenses alone may lead to a negative return on an investment after paying for such training as well as airfare. And with the low learning retention that workers experience after classroom training, frustration can build when returning to their jobs in their remote locations.
Performing mock scenarios in person or even over the phone may be too time-consuming as well. Also, social learning becomes almost impossible with remote employees, since a good deal of this type of learning relies on both verbal and nonverbal cues.
Because of these challenges, employee training software can be used to onboard new employees as well as train current workers in new processes and programs. But all workers are different with varied learning styles.
Standard online training is often not very contextual as well and doesn’t touch on specific and unique situations that employees may encounter. Once training is finished, accessing help may mean searching through files, watching videos, or doing database searches. Asking coworkers for help is difficult in a remote setting. This can increase context switching, or going between apps to find how-to answers, which wastes time and frustrates employees and managers alike.
Contextual, lightweight learning is the future
Clearly, current learning management systems aren’t keeping up with the changing world of work. A new training plan is needed for developing employees and to prevent compliance issues.
Time is a major barrier to compliance training. It’s also a factor in employee onboarding, technology training, and communicating process changes. The need for contextual learning that happens in real-time is growing at a rapid pace. Employees need to learn their duties quickly, often while working away from an office or other traditional job setting.
Contextual, lightweight training meets that need and can lead to long-term job satisfaction. With this new type of learning experience, employees can find training directly in-app, right where and when they need it to perform their tasks. No longer do employees have to spend valuable time switching between programs in order to find answers about how to do their job.
Now, workers can have the convenience of finding answers that apply to their specific situation directly in the software they’re using. This can occur in the form of a sidebar directly in-app or even as an inserted pop-up or link somewhere else in the tool they’re using. Information is given in small, easy-to-digest bits rather than in large blocks, and a hands-on experience helps employees to learn new skills more quickly than ever before.
Managers and trainers are able to easily install and integrate contextual training across a variety of applications. Training and learning reinforcement can be easily inserted in areas where skills gaps are present. Trainers and managers can also easily communicate process changes to all employees at once, rather than calling a time-consuming meeting.
Making the leap to contextual, lightweight learning
Are remote employees satisfied with their current web-based training tools? The answer is that there are likely issues with learning retention and context switching. Interviewing your remote employees and those who work in flexible locations may shed light on how much beginning to use lightweight, contextual learning will save in employee and management time.
It may also pay to adopt a more lightweight, contextual employee training platform. In a more systematic, widespread use case that software can enable, productivity will see a boost, and the need for expensive classroom training sessions will be reduced.
Contextual learning can also help flatten the forgetting curve when an entire company is adopting new software, such as CRM software. This can improve customer relations, enable faster revenue production and help retain valuable employees.
Getting started today
Employee training and development doesn’t have to stick to the outdated methods of the past. Today, these can cause more frustration and loss of productivity than ever before. There are solutions for the unique issues caused by the rise of remote work. A new training approach can make a difference for your company. You can start by chatting with us today.
Learn how the world’s best companies are rethinking learning management to empower their teams
The Evolution of Learning Management Systems
In recent years, more and more employees have been working not only online but also at home. This is especially true in 2020 and beyond when millions of people have made the switch to remote work.
Many companies have reported benefits from having workers switch to performing their duties remotely. Nearly half of company executives plan to let employees work from home full time. The majority agree that remote work using web-based tools will continue.
Employees are jumping onto the remote work bandwagon as well. Around a quarter of all workers state, they will take a slight pay cut for the ability to do remote work.
The combination of remote work and advancing technology means employees are learning more new processes and increasing the use of digital tools. With any new digital platform comes a learning curve. In the past, this often meant asking fellow co-workers and supervisors for advice or attending in-person training sessions with the rest of the office.
However, remote systems rarely allow for instant and simple ways to contact coworkers for help should a question arise. This aspect of remote work can mean lost productivity and a drop in employee satisfaction. No one wants to struggle to find answers on how to apply new tools to their specific situation.
The good news is that learning management systems and employee training are evolving to become more comprehensive adoption and enablement solutions tackle these issues.
What are Learning Management Systems?
Learning management systems (or LMS’s for short) are applications that allow a company to manage and deliver learning content to employees. Learning management software also allows companies to track employee progress with training. Companies can set learning goals for their teams, provide instructions for new processes, and make sure all employees complete their training in a timely manner.
These systems also include tools to onboard new employees and identify areas where skills need work. Companies can also communicate any changes in processes to employees and edit that information as needed.
Remote work, however, is presenting new challenges to this type of onboarding and continued training, which can have a negative impact on productivity and employee satisfaction. It is vital that learning management platforms evolve to meet the growing needs of remote work, which has its own considerations.
A brief history of Learning Management
To understand the evolution of learning management tools and how they relate to today, it’s important to understand how they worked in the past.
Decades ago, training a new employee usually involved him or her shadowing a more experienced worker to “learn the ropes.” New hires may have read handbooks, studied training manuals, and done quizzes at the end of the training.
A more expensive approach may have been to send employees to classrooms for in-person training and development sessions, especially for continued education. Classrooms and other educational institutions were often used to train workers in new policies and processes. These sessions, which often happened outside of work hours or required a company to pause services for a day or two, would also train workers on how to use digital tools.
As technology progressed and the corporate world switched to more web-based tools, learning environments changed. Webinars and online courses became popular ways to train employees to use these tools. Online training could onboard new hires and guide employees through new process changes.
For employees, single training sessions meant being presented with large chunks of information at once. Unfortunately, this meant forgetting around 75% of the course content after just a few days. As a result, employees faced a steep learning experience. This meant looking up answers on how to apply this new knowledge to a specific situation or asking management for help. Leaving one application to find answers elsewhere is called context switching, which cuts into productivity and lowers employee morale. Often, search bars and help databases were inefficient at best.
Reinforcement of learned material often meant support tickets, emails, and context switching. Employees could still access help entries and how-to videos, though these approaches required time and searching. Smarter search bars could help somewhat, but rarely satisfied the need for contextual learning and reinforcement.
What do companies and employees want next?
Now that the corporate world is rapidly changing and shifting to remote work, learning management must once again adapt. The need for leaner, more contextual training is rapidly growing and will continue to do so as the world of remote work takes off.
Though most employees now prefer online training over traveling for the in-person type, the technology must continue to change to work with the growth of remote work. Many employees are no longer working in offices where supervisors and co-workers are available to answer questions.
This leaves workers to find answers on their own via context switching. Lost time comes from searching through large databases, Powerpoint presentations, or long videos. Connecting that information to a specific process can take even more time and lead to a poor user experience.
In addition, employees everywhere report frustration due to frequently switching between apps and dealing with too much information at once. When working at home, this frustration can grow without the support system an office can provide. Emails asking for help might sit for some time, and tech support can find themselves overwhelmed with requests for help.
Clearly, learning management must adapt to survive in this new environment.
Training time must reduce, costs need to come down, and productivity should increase. But learning management often becomes stretched and difficult to apply to the changing landscape. Processes also change frequently, and the need for training is always present. A learning management system⸺or better yet at comprehensive adoption and enablement solution⸺is a must to address these issues.
Employees working at home sometimes deal with distractions not related to work. Having to context switch only adds more frustration. They need to have the right information at their fingertips at the right time. Clearly, a new, leaner learning management platform should address these issues and scale smoothly to a growing, remote workforce.
Companies need consistency and good tracking with onboarding and other training, as well as easy integration with various apps. Cutting down on context switching and adding real-time contextual learning are newer concepts. But they hold great promise for companies, employees, and technology alike.
The new evolution of Learning Management Systems
Tomorrow’s learning management tools (inclusive of broader adoption and enablement) are being created today to meet the needs of companies who employ growing numbers of remote workers. Just like in natural evolution, these systems are losing unneeded traits while gaining new ones that will adapt to remote work.
Lightweight training in the flow of work integrates deeply with a wide range of programs used daily by remote workers. These systems are simple to install, with no technical knowledge required. Management can use them to create custom training and reinforce it right where it’s needed, directly in-app.
Legacy LMSs can even integrate with sales adoption and enablement software. Such tools are powerful and flexible, meaning that management can insert learning content in a variety of places.
For employees, large, inconvenient training manuals and searchable content databases are being replaced with these more lightweight learning tools. Training can happen in-app and is contextual rather than in a classroom separate from the work environment. That means that employees can take a hands-on approach as they learn how to use apps for their specific duties.
An employee unsure how to insert a function into a spreadsheet may see a help tab right in the program. This tab will contain the specific information needed to complete this process. Another employee unsure of how to approach follow-up can hover over an industry field label for instructions. Learning also gets reinforced as employees complete their work duties.
Other features include the ability to easily communicate process changes and other announcements to the right team of employees all at once. This cuts the need to call meetings and reduces the need for distracting emails. Rather than calling for a meeting, all employees can receive valuable updates at once, while they are working.
Management can also easily monitor the training progress and skillsets of all employees in one central place. This helps to identify any areas where skill improvements are needed.
The benefits of in-app training and reinforcement
Company leaders can find many benefits when they switch to more lightweight adoption and enablement software, and these benefits can be immediate. Installation is much easier than with learning programs of the past, which often required a professional to install.
The need for employee travel can be reduced by using a lightweight, comprehensive adoption and enablement solution over a dated learning management system. Employees will experience more satisfaction and less stress when working remotely. Employees will also not need to travel to classrooms and companies will save money on training dozens or hundreds of employees. This means a greater return on investment (ROI) on employee training as well.
Companies can save time and boost productivity by switching to more lightweight digital adoption and enablement software as well. By focusing on contextual training, gone are the days where companies managed courses by training employees in single long sessions. Also gone are the days when employees were expected to retain large blocks of information at once. More evolved vs. traditional LMS systems deliver small, easily digestible bits of information and help flatten the learning curve.
Lean learning management can also satisfy employees’ needs for continuing education while providing a smoother user experience. Since lack of competency as business needs change leads to greater employee turnover, continued training is a must. Workers at all career stages value opportunities for growth as a major factor in whether they will accept and stay in a job.
Should you switch from a Learning Management System to a leaner Adoption and Enablement Solution?
Before making the switch to a more lean learning environment, your company should ask some important questions. How much could an in-app training tool help employees with their specific tasks, and what would be the larger business impact at scale?
It is important to observe employees carrying out day-to-day duties. Making a note of how much time employees need to find answers is also valuable. This amount of time affects productivity and employee satisfaction. This can also tell you where problem areas lie. You can then calculate how much productivity can be saved by switching to a more lightweight, evolved adoption and enablement solution over an LMS.
Asking employees where they’d like to see improvement in training is also vital. Identifying even a single hard-to-learn program can go a long way towards leaner, faster, and more satisfying training. New solutions can integrate deeply with many applications.
Getting started today
Evolution often means that less is more and learning technology is no exception. By adapting to remote work, the promise of new platforms over learning management systems is easy and satisfying onboarding, tracking, process changes, and communication. Get started by chatting with Spekit today.
Learn how the world’s best teams are rethinking learning management to empower their teams
40 Remote Work Stats You Need to Know in 2020
COVID-19 forced a global experiment in remote work. While we’re only now truly beginning to understand the impact this shift has had on productivity, morale and businesses as a whole, we wanted to share the top 40 recent statistics on remote work to help everyone understand both the challenges and opportunities.
We’re using more tools and spending more on them
- 52% of businesses are using 6+ applications daily (Spekit)
- Over half of employees (52%) said their employer needs to invest in better technology (Computer Weekly)
- US respondents say they have personally spent an average of $348 (USD) to upgrade or improve technology while working at home due to COVID-19 – roughly $70 higher than the global average ($273), and the second-highest among 10 markets surveyed (Lenovo Research)
- 60% of businesses spend at least $400 per month/per employee on these apps (Spekit)
- 78% of IT leaders believe digital employee experience is essential or a high priority today, compared to only half (49%) 12 months ago (BDaily)
Employees are working longer hours and feeling the impact
- Those working from home are racking up an extra 28 hours of monthly overtime since lockdown began. It equates to nearly four days’ work (LinkedIn)
- A full week of virtual meetings leaves 38% of employees feeling exhausted while 30% felt stressed (SAP)
- 23% of remote workers say they work longer hours than they would on-site (CoSo Cloud)
- 72% of technology executives say that team workloads have increased more and everyone is working harder (CNBC)
Businesses making changes more frequently than ever
- 44% are changing or updating tool processes at least every two weeks (Spekit)
More change is leading to more time spent training and more support for enablement teams & managers
- 88% of sales and enablement leaders spend up to 3 hours training on tool & process changes every month (Spekit)
- 43% of IT teams saw an increase in the number of support tickets from employees during the period of forced remote work (BDaily)
- 28% are spending 3-5 hours training on new enablement resources every month (Spekit)
- 46% are spending 3+ hours per week answering support questions (Spekit)
Employees are struggling to keep up
The shift to remote work has exacerbated training and enablement challenges
- 88% of employees are now waiting for responses to questions on Slack (Spekit)
- 55% identified not being able to communicate in person as one of their top three challenges (Fleishman Hillard)
- 41% indicated a higher gap in knowledge retention since moving to remote (Spekit)
- 37% said there is decreased productivity without being able to turn to a coworker for answers (Spekit)
- 35% believe there is a longer ramp time for new hires while remote (Spekit)
Teams are relying on webinars and emails to communicate changes – both of which suffer from low retention rates and fatigue:
We’re just starting to recognize the very real business impact
- 33% said it slows their ability to grow across the org (Spekit)
- Half of respondents who are telecommuting said they are experiencing burnout and overwork. Another 52% polled said they do not have plans for a break to decompress or take a vacation (TechRepublic)
- 29% said the longer it takes to train, the longer it takes to earn (Spekit)
- 24% believe frustration coming from employees is impacting their ability to learn new things (Spekit)
With the highest barrier to maintaining remote productivity being morale
- 74% are struggling to keep up morale (Spekit)
- 86% say they feel the need to prove to bosses they are working hard and deserve to keep their jobs (LinkedIn)
- More than half of remote employees say they feel disconnected from in-office employees (CoSo Cloud)
- 19% of remote employees report loneliness as their biggest challenge. (Buffer)
Employees are optimistic about a future of remote work – if improvements are made
- 64% of respondents very open to being remotely onboarded if the right resources and support is provided (World Economic Forum)
- 98% of people surveyed said they would like the option to work remotely for the rest of their careers (World Economic Forum)
- 85% of the respondents said they wanted more help from their employers as they adapt to WFH (Forbes)
- 19% of remote employees report loneliness as their biggest challenge. (Buffer)
How are the best companies reinventing themselves to combat these challenges?
Companies like Southwest Airlines, MURAL, OwnBackup and more turned to Spekit’s in-app digital adoption and enablement platform to power their remote teams with bite-sized training, resources, crucial updates and processes that surface right where their team is working.
Chat with us to learn how to drive the productivity of your remote team with in-app learning today!