microlearning app

Sheepish Decisions

microlearning app

Sheepish Decisions

Trends attract people. Like an industry or location-contained virus, they work their way through a certain cohort of individuals, infiltrating their minds and influencing their decisions for better or worse. Whether it’s wearing sneakers with your tailored suit, using a standing desk at the office or playing Pokemon Go, its sheer presence forces us to at least consider hopping on the bandwagon. The same holds true for trends in the world of business.

In recent years, there has been a magnifying glass placed on the approach businesses take to corporate learning. The tool that has stolen the spotlight and the attention of many L&D departments is known as the “LMS” or Learning Management System. If you’re 73% of companies today, you know what I’m talking about because you’re already using one. Well, your company has at least paid for one, whether you use it on a daily basis is another conversation entirely.

The reality is that these systems, while immensely popular, remain slow, lack the tools to increase employee capability and are not very user friendly. With all the wasted learning that is taking place due to the LMS, it begs the question: Is this really the best tool to help our business move the needle in the right direction?

To give an informed response to these questions, you’ve got to look at the demographic and issue that the LMS was initially created to solve.

The LMS was created as an online learning portal that University’s leveraged as a solution to provide distance education to students and a more immersive virtual classroom experience. As a solution for students whose primary concern was to stay on top of their studies and devoted most of their time to learning, the LMS made sense.

But the world of business is quite different from the world of academics. Employees don’t have multiple hours in the day to spend on an LMS reading massive documents and completing compliance training, they have other responsibilities. Moreover, an employee’s tenure with a company typically outlasts that of a student’s 4 month semester. There is no definitive start and finish to corporate learning; business requirements change, learning priority’s shift and employees must keep on top of this to have the knowledge they need to perform at their best.

Simply put, the LMS was built for higher education, not business. That’s why it doesn’t work in a corporate setting. Don’t spend money trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole.

Before making a decision to overhaul your organization’s approach to learning, consider the 3 fundamental Flaws with Learning Management Systems that will cause you to rethink the LMS.

Flaw #1: The LMS assumes that learning ends after a module is completed

Most companies use the LMS to push out large volumes of information to workers, similar to how schools push out classroom resources to students. The LMS (in an academic model) assumes that learning “ends”, while in real life people forget what they’ve learned and require continued reinforcement and support. Employees can’t just be expected to read something and remember it forever, the brain doesn’t work like that. The reality is that employees need ongoing reinforcement of that training to remember what they learn.

Flaw #2: The LMS doesn’t measure thing business leaders find valuable

Logins, course completions, time-spent and test scores/grades. These are the typical things that your LMS will measure. But are these metrics really an indication of how well your employees are functioning within their roles? Just because an employee has a passing grade on a test, does that tell their manger that they can effectively communicate the features and benefits of their products 6 months down the road? Business leaders need a tool that provides higher order measurements so they can track things like knowledge improvement and retention, allowing them to correlate the metrics with safety incidents, customer satisfaction or sales levels.

Flaw #3: The LMS isn’t really mobile

While virtually all LMS’s are available on a mobile device, they were not built to be used that way. Imagine spending two hours on your phone clicking through slides, followed by a long video, and finally a quiz. This is a traditional classroom experience, jammed onto a mobile device. Sure, learners can access their LMS anywhere and anytime, but why would they want to? Employees today need to be very effective at managing their time, and scrolling through a training module on their phone for 90+ minutes each day just isn’t feasible.

It’s quite easy to get caught up in the hoopla of trends that are occurring in today’s fast paced world. But it never hurts to stop for a moment and think “Am I making the best decision, or the popular one?”. That simple consideration might just help stop you from jumping on a bandwagon you’ve got no business being on. Stay ahead of the market, don’t follow the herd.

For the full write up and helpful resources around this subject matter, check out the Blog on Axonify.com: 3 biggest flaws with the LMS and why it doesn’t make your employees better on-the-job performers

Corporate Learning Solutions

Corporate Learning Solutions

As a customer, consumer, or whatever other noun you use to describe being on the receiving end of a sale, it can often be tough to distinguish between what you want and what you need, as well as what sounds like the answer and what actually is. This especially holds true in the world of business.

As a business leader, there are a variety of solutions out there which claim to be able to solve your business issue, each one with a sales team behind them making their product sound as appetizing as the next.

Unbiased insight on where to turn for your business solution is hard to come by these days, so it’s always refreshing when you come across someone who knows what their talking about while having no angle whatsoever.

I stumbled upon such advice recently while browsing tools to enhance learning in the workplace. Joe Ganci, an eLearning consultant who has been in the industry for 33 years and counting, published an article last week which focused on how to keep up with the ever-adjusting trends of corporate learning.

He writes about Canadian Software Company Axonify, who offers an employee knowledge platform that he says is easy to use, a sophisticated and unique platform which provides a solution that stands out from its competitors.

Using infographics and screenshots of the platform to help guide his review of Axonify, Ganci does a full walkthrough of the platform providing an overview that is both informative and easy to follow.

The main verticals in which Axonify is currently applied are discussed, along with additional industries that the eLearning veteran believes could also reap huge benefits from Axonify. If you’re interested in exploring what this Learning and Development tool can offer your business, take some advice from a man who’s not earning a cent of commission on what he’s preaching.

Toolkit: Axonify Revealed

Visit Axonify website

Axonify Holiday Roundup

Axonify Holiday Roundup

The Axonify Marketing team has taken a slight hiatus from their usual weekly Roundup, a summary of all things Axonify that have been going on each particular week. Content of these Roundups range from recent customer success stories, to marketing news, internal product developments, and much more.

Last week they came back with a fully loaded edition of the Round up, cataloging every major and exciting Axonify development over the past 6 weeks.

While the Round up contained several exciting headlines, product updates, and Axonify developments, a choice few stood out as the must sees (or clicks) of the lengthy post. Here are the highlights of Axonify’s Holiday Roundup:

  1. Customer News

Customer Story of the Week: At Home Uses Axonify for Compliance Training

At Home, is a home decor retailer, that has been using Axonify since 2014. They’ve achieved steady participation levels average between 90-95%, and have acknowledged that Axonify is a big part of their corporate culture. At Home recently conducted their PCI compliance training (a requirement for all retailers) using Axonify.

They shared with us that within 2 weeks of pushing out their PCI certification training that 78% of their 3200 associates had completed it. According to their business leaders this is an amazing turnaround

  1. In the News

Axonify ranks top 10 in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50™ companies and 84th Fastest Growing Company in North America on Deloitte’s 2016 Technology Fast 500™

Axonify ranked top 10 in the Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 companies list, and 84th on the North American Fast 500 list. The release helped generate 8 unique articles, with over 41 total articles (including syndication) with a reach of over 6.8 million. Check out the release here.

  1. In the News

Is Adaptive Learning the Way of the Future? Axonify Thinks So.

Axonify CEO, Carol Lehman spoke with TrainingIndustry.com about the benefits of Adaptive Learning and how a one size fits all approach is not the best way to train employees.

Visit Axonify website

Axonify learning management system new zealand

3 Reasons To Observe Learning On The Job

3 Reasons to observe learning on the job

Less training, more impact – the central focus of most L&D professionals. With most organisations addressing the ‘modern learner’ buzz-creating bite-sized, just-in-time and just-for-me training; it is crucial now more than ever, that L&D professionals focus training on high impact learning to get the right business results.  One way to focus training is to track learning that is and isn’t being applied to determine specific behavior changes you would like to see in your employees that will sway your business results. Here are 3 reason why it matters

1. Creates a lasting behavior change
While most organizations reward for completion of training and scores earning; going beyond to reward employee on displaying or applying the learning creates a fundamental behavioral shift in the individual and the team. For example, rewarding an employee for providing great customer service such as greeting, listening to the customer, asking the right questions etc, not only recognizes the individual for the right behaviours, but sends a strong message to the team on expected standard of customer service, impacting the overall team performance.

2. Reduce cost of learning and learning waste
Learning that is delivered but not applied is a waste … of time and a lot of money (sometimes up to $40,000 for just one training plan, as Bersin by Deloitte points out). Many organizations don’t monitor the concept of wasted learning. CEB (Inside Learning Technology, 2014) found that 45% of learning is not applied on the job and is a problem every L&D function needs to address.  Observing the learning that is applied on the job helps focus on learning that matter to business, reduces wasted learning and the cost of learning initiatives.

3. Effective coaching conversations by manager
Analyzing the application of learning provides accurate information to managers to have effective coaching conversations focused on business critical behaviours that make a difference. Positive behaviours observed are recognized and behaviours that require improvement are based on accurate observations made by managers, enabling various coaching methods such as action-based learning, mentoring, formal training etc. 

Behaviour Observations is built just for that. By following these simple steps you can demonstrate how learning contributes to behaviour change that drives business results.

If you’re curious about how this could work in your business or hear our client stories, get in touch with us.


The Modern Learner

The Modern Learner

We’ve been thinking a lot about the modern leaner and how to adapt learning solutions. Bersin by Delloite has identified the following traits of the modern learner.

As a learning advocate, how are you keeping your modern leaner engaged? Here are a few questions for you to think about to help you think 

– Distractions /interruptions often lead to errors and leaders are having to address this issue increasingly. Do you have measures in place to track error rates?

– Is information about processes and learning materials available to employees, as and when they need them?

– What kind of training do you deliver (face-to-face, online etc) and how do you measure the ROI?

 – Is your training bite-sized to ensure they are engaged and learning is effective?

– To make interruptions/distractions and errors tangible, how do you observe behaviours and track employee or team improvements?

– How are you making learning part of their everyday to increase the ‘1% of time for training & development?

That’s a lot to think about!  In summary, the bones (i.e. the people) of your organisations are ever changing. How are you keeping up with your modern learner?

Microlearning platforms

Design Thinking

Design Thinking

I recently stumbled upon a good read titled ‘Innovation is a State of Mind’ by James O’Loghlin.

My takeaway so far is that innovators are not born a special DNA that makes them the avant-gard trendsetter we all look up to; they aren’t untouchables or a special breed. You don’t even to have to attend liberty arts college to be one.  Although most of us do innovate in some form or other at work, the difference with innovators is that they have a particular purpose in mind that feeds the wider customers’ needs.

We see the word ‘innovation’ used a lot in business culture and understand the role plays for businesses to hold its unique value in the market.  We also know that skill, knowledge and abilities of employees in a company, among other factors like culture, facilitate innovation.  Moreover, HR is responsible for creating the cultural environment where teams create and transform ideas and put them into practise.

Let the circle of innovation begin, you say … but how?  How do organisations train people to think like innovators?

As organisations increasingly focus on building innovation – we need to start with innovation capability –  coaching their staff to think like innovators. The methodologies vary for each organisation e.g. design thinking, Lean, business model canvas, Agile etc; there is no one prescribed pathway towards creating an innovative culture.

Design thinking is one methodology we apply at CGL to find the best-fit solution for all our services.

‘Design thinking’, is a user-centric, solution-focussed-thinking that starts with a goal of a better future rather than solving a specific problem.

Three things we love about design thinking is that

– It starts with a deep understanding of the customer therefore allowing us to build a valuable experience based on the customers’ need.

– It allows us to build innovation as part of our everyday work life

– It’s quick and repetitive process means we spend less time planning and more time doing.

– It allows us to see the world through our customers’ eyes, every day.

For more info, see Fast Company’s simple description of the four key elements of design thinking: http://www.fastcompany.com/919258/design-thinking-what

Also, check out this case study of how a kiwi manufacturing company used HR and learning practices to drive innovation. http://www.business.otago.ac.nz/mgmt/research/omgr/kohli1.pdf

A child finger painting.

Simple vs. Complex Problems

Simple vs. Complex Problems

Is best practice always a good thing?  Like a recipe for simple problems… but what about when the problem is more complex?

Featured in a paper on reform in the healthcare industry by Brenda Zimmerman of York University and Sholom Glouberman of the University of Toronto

Simple problems are ones like baking a cake from a mix. There is a recipe. Complicated problems are ones like sending a rocket to the moon. They can sometimes be broken down into a series of simple problems. But there is no straightforward recipe. Success frequently requires multiple people, often multiple teams, and specialized expertise. Unanticipated difficulties are frequent. Timing and coordination become serious concerns.

Complex problems are ones like raising a child. Once you learn how to send a rocket to the moon, you can repeat the process with other rockets and perfect it. One rocket is like another rocket. But not so with raising a child, the professors point out. Every child is unique. Although raising one child may provide experience, it does not guarantee success with the next child. Expertise is valuable but most certainly not sufficient. Indeed, the next child may require an entirely different approach from the previous one. And this brings up another feature of complex problems: their outcomes remain highly uncertain. Yet we all know that it is possible to raise a child well. It’s complex, that’s all.

Building a culture of learner accountability / learner independence

Building a culture of
learner accountability,
learner independence.

“How do we get our employees to take accountability for their learning?”  This is a question we are often asked by our clients.

One of the keys to building a culture of learning independence is to shift the focus away from workshop attendance to on “on the job” application of learning and being very systematic about this … design how “on the job learning” is going to work for learners and present this as the significant component of the learning event.  Even better, involve programme participants in the design of the “on the job learning” component of the programme.  This does not mean workshops stop being run … in fact they are critical to ensure you get the benefits of shared learning and sharing of experiences.  Rather, this shifts the focus and accountability of application of learning to the learner.  This also requires a shift away from one off learning events to longitudinal programmes where there are short workshops followed by big chunks of time to apply learning on the job, followed by another workshop, etc.  One up managers of learners also need to be engaged in this process and upskilled in coaching conversations, knowing when to step back  and their role in creating a learning oriented culture.  Next generation e-learning platforms like Axonify are great for supporting both learners and managers in taking a proactive role in their learning.