Everyone Hates Setting Goals. Here’s How Google Makes It Easier for Its Employees

Posted on February 12th, 2018 by The Learning Factor

It’s that time of year–leaders everywhere are charging employees with the task of establishing goals for 2018. If you’ve never been through a structured process, this exercise can be daunting, and frankly, feel like a big waste of time. I can assure you, it’s not. 


Setting goals is critical. Goals provide direction, help you focus, prioritize your time and energy, and ensure that you can objectively prove you’ve advanced the company’s agenda.


But just any goal won’t do. Research shows that goals are not only important but also that the level of specificity and difficulty matters. Goals that are both clear and challenging drive higher levels of performance.


To set their teams up for success, many organizations use SMART goals. Google leaders use something a little different–“Objectives and Key Results” (OKRs). On Google’s re:Work site, a resource that shares the company’s perspective on people operations, Google explains the concept.

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If a goal doesn’t challenge you, then it won’t change you.

How Long Should Your eLearning​ Module Be?

Posted on February 12th, 2018 by The Learning Factor

How long should an eLearning module be? What is the ideal length? Can people concentrate for longer than their shoe size in minutes? What is the average attention span?

Attention span is the amount of concentrated time a person can spend on a task without becoming distracted. Common estimates for sustained attention to a freely chosen task range from about five minutes for a two-year-old child, to a maximum of around 20 minutes in older children and adults. (

Recently I had to sit through 2 hours of on-line Contractor Induction which we had developed for a client. The reason was this – we were developing a video to include in another Induction for Ship Captains for an LNG production facility, and I was part of the video crew from our company in charge of the droning video.

Initially, I was like, “OMG, do I really have to go through this?” But after realising it was mandatory, I chose to do it as soon as possible. I have to be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed this experience as it was broken into smaller sections: facility, safety, ecosystem, wildlife responsibilities etc. These together with the various interactivity made it engaging.

So how do you decide the ideal eLearning length?

1.    Learn from a favourite TV Series

Think of a TV Series you love to watch. It’s made up of Seasons, Episodes and Acts. Every Season has about 12 Episodes and every Episode has 5 or 6 Acts. Each Act lasts about 10 minutes. Why are there Acts every 10 minutes? The screenwriters understand human behaviour and that we lose attention after 10 minutes.

They know the way we restore attention is by taking a rest, doing a different kind of activity, changing mental focus, or deliberately choosing to re-focus on the first topic.

One large financial client we have is now developing 5-8 minutes eLearning modules and every employee goes to work and watches one module per day.

2.    Know how essential this training is

I like to think of ‘essential’ like a set of traffic lights.

  • Red, is ‘mandatory’. This could be a longer module broken up into smaller segments. eg Induction
  • Amber, is ‘important but not mandatory’. This needs to be at a length that people will see as a win/win. Long enough to get the message and training without it encroaching on all my other pressures and responsibilities. This should be 10 -15 minutes maximum.
  • Green, is ‘good to know’. It needs to be short, sharp or if longer requires gamification or great interactivity. This is generally 2-5 minutes or could be longer if it’s engaging.

One of our clients is a Pharma company. We have been developed many 2-3 minute eLearning modules for their channel to watch, explaining the different products and their benefits to the consumer.

3.    How engaging can you make it?

People are generally capable of a longer attention span when they are doing something that they find enjoyable or intrinsically motivating. In eLearning, we achieve this through interactive, reality-based scenarios, quizzes and gamification. These engage people and therefore their attention span.

Introducing a video can also help to hold attention as it introduces emotion. The video could involve: people at work, actors, drone footage, 360-degree exploration or animation.

With different personalities, different learning styles and different ages the question ‘How long should your eLearning module be?’ is always going to be a challenging one. Over the past 5 years, we have gone from eLearning modules being hours long to being minutes long. However, at the end of the day what is probably the most important goal is meeting your Learning Objectives.

If you are still unsure then learn from some of the largest companies today. Most companies are aiming for 8-14 minutes and if there is a subject that requires more then they break it into segments. A bit like a TV series really 🙂

Chris Gaborit is managing director of The Learning Factor, an eLearning company who loves technology linked to learning. Follow him here on Linkedin, on Twitter @droneservicesAU and Instagram @idronefoto

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How long should an eLearning module be? What is the ideal length? Can people concentrate for longer than their shoe size in minutes? What is the average attention span?

Our Obsession With Working Hard Is Ruining Our Productivity

Posted on February 9th, 2018 by The Learning Factor

What do you really need to get ahead at work?


I get asked this all the time. The answer varies depending on the person, their goals, and my mood, but there’s one answer I’ll never give: “Work hard.” That’s not an oversight or a misstep. It’s very intentional.


Whenever I hear some public speaker or Silicon Valley personality talk about how it just takes hard work to really succeed, I can’t help but roll my eyes a little. I’m sick of hearing people talk about working hard, keeping busy, putting their head down, etc. We’ve become too preoccupied with “the grind,” and it’s actually bringing us down.

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Hard work is important to success, but it’s dangerous to see it as the most important thing.

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