Archive for May, 2013

Did you just hear that millions is wasted on ineffective training?

Posted on May 14th, 2013 by Victoria Kossoff

In the past fortnight, CIPD released their Learning and Talent dev2elopment Survey 2013. The survey results show that 74% of organisations in the UK currently use eLearning, but only 15% report that it is one of the most effective training methods available to them. I suspect the numbers are similar around the globe.

So how much of an organisation’s training budget is spent on the dev2elopment of eLearning? Recent IBIS research shows that $26 billion is spent globally on eLearning or 13% of all training expenditure. Why are so many organisations continuing to invest in eLearning modules if it is not the most effective way to train their people? The same CIPD study also found that only 31% of organisations reported that most employees completed an eLearning course. Immediately the true cost of that “cost-effective” eLearning module exploded. How can the ROI be justified to any CEO or CFO?

Before I continue, I want to articulate my definition of eLearning. Over the years, I have found this word to mean many things to different people. My definition is:

eLearning is electronic learning, in which the learner uses a computer to learn a task, skill, or process.

eLearning is asynchronous – this means the training occurs remotely, where learners partake in a course according to their own time frame or schedule as it fits into their work commitments. An example of this method would be self-study, self-paced classes, conducted and studied online or with the use of a computer-based training CD or DVD.”

eLearning has been available for about 20 years. During this time organisations found eLearning offered several benefits including reduced overall cost in comparison to face-to-face training, proof of learner completion/certification and consistent delivery. Organisations immediately saw eLearning as a great way to meet their corporate compliance obligations.

However the last measure of success of an eLearning module must be in the uptake or the engagement of the module by the workforce and more importantly its effectiveness at improving performance. With only 31% of organisations reporting that employees completed an eLearning course, the numbers tell us engagement with this type of training is low.

In terms of effectiveness, let’s look further at the numbers. Traditionally eLearning has ranked highly for compliance training. As an example, companies saw a quick eLearning module as the silver bullet to reduce workplace issues related to bullying and harassment. With the passing of time and with so many employees completing their mandatory eLearning module, we would then expect the claims related to bullying and harassment to decline, correct? Interestingly around the globe, claims have sky rocketed! In Australia, claims of bullying and harassment have blown out dramatically. In the UK, bullying in the public sector has increased, with 6 out of 10 public sector workers being bullied. Do you hear more warning bells ringing??

As educators, we know people learn in different ways. We know that active learners tend to retain and understand information best by doing something active with it – discussing or applying it or explaining it to others. Reflective learners prefer to think about it quietly first.

If face-to-face training is expensive and time-consuming and eLearning is not showing to be effective at the behavioural level, there has to be a better way. It is now time to see how improvements in technology and Web 2.0 can be capitalised upon.

Enter the New World of Virtual Training

Improvements in technology and the Internet have opened up new ways for organisations to reap huge benefits.

We can all now access the new world of online, synchronous* training where specially designed training programs are delivered over the web by a live trainer. This new method is called Virtual Training.

Bersin by Deloitte defines the virtual classroom as “a tool for delivering live online learning. It is often called “synchronous learning.” The interface mimics the face-to-face classroom in many ways with a roster, hand-raising icon and an instructor leading the group. The primary difference between the face-to-face classroom training and virtual classroom training is that the latter is used to deliver content live, over the Internet to people who are geographically dispersed.”

Imagine your teams, partners or channel simply logging into a training session from the comfort of their home or office. They can meet online with others in a group, are asked questions, broken up into virtual rooms to prepare presentations or case studies, answer quizzes and watch videos all whilst being guided by a live trainer.

Virtual training sessions are designed by experts in virtual instructional design so everybody’s learning style can be catered for. Instantly feedback can be captured and an assessment can be made on the efficacy of the session. Immediately your ROI has improved.

Responding to a Culture of Speed

Senior leadership teams are now constantly focusing on the need for speed in new market entry, time-to-market, cycle-time reduction, and competitive advantage.

With virtual training you can deliver effective training live without spending a dollar on travel, venue hire, printing or catering.

The possibilities are endless. Here are a few:

  • Drive product adoption by offering your customers easy access to web-based training
  • Educate your channel partners and field reps regularly, so they always have current information
  • Train global employees to advance their skills, or push revenue-generating initiatives to market faster

Imagine the revenue opportunities that you could capitalise on by embracing virtual training. Improve the skills of your people with live, online training delivered without the high costs associated with face-to-face training.

Get ready to smash your competition. Start now!

* Synchronous training comprises the traditional method of a number of learners grouped together, learning the content material at the same time, or in synch with each other.

Leadership lessons from a bowl of porridge

Posted on May 9th, 2013 by Chris Gaborit

Let’s face it, change is a pain. My wife loves to cook and decided she wanted a Thermomix for her birthday.  Although there is no appliance she doesn’t already own, a Thermomix was what she wanted. If you are novice like me, buying a Thermomix is like buying a BMW for the kitchen (almost as expensive), however we gave her what she wanted.  “Happy wife, happy life” has been a long held motto of mine after I learnt it from our local Italian deli owner.

Since then we have been experiencing amazing quality cooking like I have never had before. BUT (and there is always a but), I didn’t understand this German technology at all. There it sits on the kitchen bench all shiny and proud, but to me scary as hell. Like a loyal blue heeler cattle dog, who loves its owner but bites any stranger who approaches it.

Just after it’s arrival my wife, a born and bred teacher, attempted to show me how to make scrambled eggs. There were more keystrokes to remember than attempting to join two photos together using Adobe Photoshop! In the end I promptly made a mental note – “avoid the blue heeler”.

The other day I set a new goal; start eating a healthier breakfast.  Was that me deciding that or my doctor? Hmmm. Anyhow I decided I wanted to cook some porridge. I have been cooking porridge since Adam was a boy, the old fashioned way: cup of porridge, cup of water, cup of milk, place in pot on top of stove, turn on heat.

Watching like a hawk as I entered the ‘training zone’ of the kitchen, my wife thought it was time to teach me how to make porridge using “The Beast”.

My wife was giving instructions like Captain Kirk sitting in the Bridge of the Enterprise under attack from the Klingons. I was madly fumbling about struggled to find the correct buttons on the dashboard. The end result: a hot creamy, exceptional tasting bowl of oats, a hundred times better than what I’ve ever made before. But could I repeat this performance without her?

I immediately took a photo of the directions she had written out for me and stored it in my Evernote App.

It’s weeks later and today was porridge day again. I, a mere mortal man without my Captain Kirk was about to tackle the Kitchen BMW; The Beast; the Photoshop of Cooking Utensils to make my porridge.

I turned The Beast on, which in itself is a challenge as the button is nowhere any “on” button has ever been before. I then found and pressed the scale button once to weigh the porridge, pressed it again to weigh the water, pressed it three times to weigh the milk and then put on the lid(s). Timer adjusted. Check. Temperature button pressed. Check. Speed button regulated. Check.

For a moment I had become the Captain Kirk of the Thermomix. Nine minutes later I had my masterpiece, Voila! Perfect porridge.

So now I reflect on this experience. Change is a pain.

I prefer the tried and true old ways. The old familiar ways are established, painless, yes they take longer but I am used to that. Like an old T-shirt, they are comfortable, familiar and smell good. Plus with change there is more time required. Learning takes time and brainpower. I am an impatient man, I want to learn fast but I can’t.

There is the unfamiliarity and frustration of the new way. Added with the exasperation that comes when the new way initially has challenges or doesn’t work as well because I don’t know it well enough yet. It’s not in my subconscious mind.

But when I do persist and breakthrough a miracle occurs. There is an exhilaration of success when the new way does work, and better still, it works easier, it works better and it will continue working because I have mastered a new and effective process.

Thank God for change – it brings reward!

How many times in our business life do we find the same thing?

  • People resisting change because they are comfortable with the old process
  • People rejecting performance improvement because its hard to learn, takes effort and energy
  • People frustrated with the new software, PM methodology etc. because initially it is taking longer to work with

However the lesson learned from my Thermomix experience is that as humans if  we persist and breakthrough we often discover many more rewards for ourselves.  As leaders our job is to inspire and show our teams the vision of what they could be after they embrace change!! Hmmm, something to ponder over as I eat another bowl of porridge.

Author: Chris Gaborit – Director, The Learning Factor



Solving Mike’s Business Problems in 2 Minutes

Posted on May 3rd, 2013 by Chris Gaborit

Finding innovative ways to transfer knowledge and skills is a generational issue and an economic challenge critical to a company’s survival. See how Mike solves a business challenge he has.

We have just launched Bare Brilliance – a division that delivers engaging, interactive wed-based training – all with a live trainer. See how you can smash your competition.