Smart Training Starts with Video Games

Smart training is more than just training your employees to be smarter, it is about training them in ways that connect to them more effectively. We know that practical, on-the-job training has better results compared to nontraditional training methods, but one area that is beginning to emerge is the use of video games. According to research by the Electronic Software Association, more than 70% of major businesses use interactive computer training that may include video games.

Gartner Analysts start with a simple explanation: “Accelerated feedback cycles. In the real world, feedback loops are slow (e.g., annual performance appraisals) with long periods between milestones. Gamification increases the velocity of feedback loops to maintain engagement.”

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Here are several reasons why incorporating video games can lead into smarter training:

1. Knowledge retention can be improved

Traci Sitzmann, PhD, assistant professor of management at the University of Colarado Business School, conducted a study that covered aspects of video games in training. Sitzmann found that among its 6000+ trainees using video games in training, that 11% had higher factual knowledge, 14% had higher skill-based knowledge, and 9% had higher retention rates that those in the control group.

2. It can help simulate difficult situations which helps with practical learning

There are scenarios in certain fields that are simply too difficult or complex to simulate in a practical setting. One example of this is disaster simulations.

The U.S. Department of Defense uses computer games to simulate disasters and provide a safe environment to train soldiers, sailors, Marines and local emergency departments. These simulations offer many advantages over other forms of learning. Depending on the budget and complexity of the game, it can have very realistic physics engine that would be impossible to replicate in real life. It is also a safer environment to learn from, and gives trainees an opportunity to apply what they have learned from other lessons.

Gartner Analysts refer to this as: “A compelling narrative. While real-world activities are rarely compelling, gamification builds a narrative that engages players to participate and achieve the goals of the activity.”

3. Games can improve employee motivation

One silent killer of traditional training methods is that most employees go through the motions when part of training activities. They see it as a task they have to complete as a part of the job and nothing more.

However, once you add video games to the mix, training becomes more fun. Video games give a sense of accomplishment whenever you complete a task, which is a positive reinforcement. It rewards proper knowledge, critical thinking, and problem solving. Even though the end result is the same as traditional training methods, the path taken there is dramatically different. One example includes the Cold Stone Creamery scooping simulation for employees, where the purpose is to race against the clock without over-portioning ice cream. Employees end up having more fun and better experiences ultimately lead to more productivity.

4. Video game based training methods are cost-effective

Developing games that tie into training can actually cost a fraction of what traditional training methods to. A survey conducted by the ESA showed that respondents found a reduction in costs to training. Games can be made in-house or outsourced to another studio. Even quiz-like games with simple graphics and sound can be effective.

While games should not replace traditional training methods like classes and videos, they can be implemented in a smooth fashion. WalkMe provides the opportunity and tools to do just that. Their services seek to achieve all the same goals that video games have proven to be able to do. In fact, their platform can be used as a gamified add-on to improve employee efficiency, productivity, and overall contentment.

Video: Social Media at Work

Technological growth of social media has a paradoxical nature. On one hand, it is quick to be adopted by the average consumers. But on the other hand, organizations are unwilling to integrate them.

Red Sky Vision illustrates this disconnect between workplaces and social media and how it is currently being reconciled. Organizations are usually risk-averse. They place barriers in the way of social media, either citing labor costs, capital costs, or generally scoffing at the nature of new technologies. 52% of global internal communicators suggest that they do not have a social media policy in place.

However, there is currently a shift in this old-fashioned view of social media. There is a greater emphasis on social content on intranets, which are private networks in the organization. These networks transform the technology from a lifeless data machine into a living, breathing community to share ideas.

 
 

 

April Fool’s Day: The Things That Drive Any Training Manager CRAZY!

On this April Fool’s Day, I thought it’d be best to turn some of the most annoying reoccurring experiences that any training manager goes through into amusing GIFs.  From the infamous “I know we learned it, but I forgot” to when you realize you just spent 70% of the training time teaching how to operate software, and have no time left for teaching the business – here is the (almost) full list.

Spend More on Training and Make More Overall

More learning & development managers are coming to realize the huge benefits of investing more on training their employees.

Training is worth the investment, especially for new employees who need to get oriented in today’s competitive business environment. Getting off on the right foot is paramount, especially in large organizations where employees have to follow strict rules and regulations.

While many small companies provide only basic training that extends over a maximum period of one week, large corporations recognize the value of the new employee orientation, so they require several weeks or even months of consistent training in order to enable their employees to familiarize with the brand, the company’s culture, policies and even the competition.

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Training Facts & Statistics

In the US, staffing companies are doing an amazing job at matching people with available job opportunities. Over 3 million new people are employed by staffing companies every week. 90% of staffing firms provide free training to contract employees and temporary workers. However, most of this is just basic skill training.

When it comes to employee engagement, the statistics show that 29% of workforce is engaged, while a staggering 45% of employees are not engaged. This translates into huge benefits for corporations that invest in training. Those corporations with engaged employees outperform those without by more than 200%, according to a Gallup poll. Over 65% of employees declared that the quality of training they received influenced their engagement.

This proves that training and engagement go hand in hand. Taken further, we can conclude that the better the training and the more money you invest in training your employees, the higher the return on investment. The statement that says “Spend more on training and make more overall” is therefore true.

Top Benefits of Training

In a tough financial climate, your budget for employee might suffer. Regardless of business environment trends and threats, training should be an essential part of your business strategy. You will have much to look forward to.

  1. Better Results:

Your company is only as good as your employees are. A good service or an innovative marketing strategy will not be able to take you far if you do not have the right people to get the job done. Good training allows your employees to do their jobs more efficiently by learning about the services you have to offer, direct and indirect competition, threats & opportunities on the market, costs and marketing techniques. Even though proper training costs more money up front, your return on investment will exceed all expectations.

  1. Employee Retention:

A huge problem many companies have to deal with is employee retention. They are unable to keep their employees, because they either mistreat them or they do not care about their needs & concerns. Training, on the other hand, is a very effective way to retain your employees and make them love working for you. Training can stimulate your employees to find new opportunities, which will keep them enthusiastic and challenged.

The Bottom Line

Gartner Analysts know that good training starts from the top: “provide training to the managers so they can make some improvements, then have the managers report back to their direct reports what they learned and what addition changes they will work on making.”

Investing in top-quality and interactive regular training sessions is like investing in marketing, but with a higher return on investment. Instead of investing in attracting new customers, why not invest more in keeping your employees and transforming them into assets for your company? Upgrade your employees’ skills and transform them into your best allies in order to see a return on investment and thrive in your niche.

 

3 Effective Training Methods You Must Try

There is no doubt that effective training methods are one of the most important components of any personnel training program. Not only do these methods need to be effective at teaching and training personnel, they also need to serve the long term needs of both the organization and its personnel. So if you’re presently in the process of setting up an employee training program for your company then here are three effective training methods that you should try.

3 Effective Training Methods You Must Try

Customized E-Learning

Customized E-Learning is basically e-learning that’s designed to cater to your company’s specific needs. The reality of today’s workforce is that employees have to travel around more than ever before, and this is the reason why e-learning was developed. By helping personnel to learn new information remotely, using electronic devices and other similar tools, organizations and businesses will be able to sustain an effective work environment without disrupting the day to day processes of its personnel.

The important point to remember here is sustainability. With customized e-learning courses, organizations can modify various components of their e-learning employee training strategy flexibly, thus adapting their personnel training goals with their budget and personnel needs. Furthermore, thanks to the wide use of electronic tools, customized e-learning also allows trainees to learn new skills and qualifications at a pace that they’re comfortable with. By removing lecture room-related constraints, a customized e-learning system allows personnel to learn their lessons remotely, using whatever tools, sites or resources they need to do it.

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What Kind of Organizations Need This?

Customized E-Learning is the ideal training method for organizations which require their personnel to travel around or work at irregular hours. It’s also the kind of method that’s great for organizations or staff members who make extensive use of gadgets and electronic devices. Customized e-Learning programs are conducive for companies which deal with constantly changing strategic parameters and unpredictable markets. Also, because of such features, this method of employee training is most suitable for companies which cater to highly dynamic markets.

Workshops

Workshops, or classroom workshops as they’re sometimes called, refers to a strategy which relies on traditional learning methods, but with a certain twist. It involves hiring qualified experts to teach their specialized skills to their audience using advanced adult learning techniques that help to promote communication, but it also involves training personnel in the practical applications of such lessons in a conventional work environment.

So even though workshops share a lot of the same features as classroom training methods, it’s important to point out that it’s not all just lectures and theories. Workshops incorporate interactive hands-on participation as one of its key components, thus allowing trainees and personnel to obtain practical experience in a controlled learning environment.

It’s also worth mentioning that workshops measure participation performance through several factors, including

  • Skill Implementation
  • Trainee Satisfaction
  • Skills Verification
  • Achievement of Stated Learning Objectives

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that workshops are great for companies that have already invested large amounts of money in traditional lecture rooms. Since the workshop training method also uses these facilities, all the organization needs to do is to modify some of equipment and facilities, so that they can be refurnished to function as workshops.

What Kind of Organizations Need This?

Workshops are ideal for companies and businesses which rely on traditional classroom training methods, but for whatever reason, need to modernize their training methods. For example, teaching personnel how to operate equipment was a viable method in the past. Today, however, that is no longer true. In order to earn their qualifications, trainees are now required to successfully demonstrate that they possess the necessary skills in a secure learning environment. Workshops offer the ideal solution to these kinds of issues, because they are an improvement on traditional lecture room teaching strategies. They add a more practical dimension to learning, and more importantly, they allow trainees to do things the way they’re meant to be done. This removes the guess work from practical activity, and therefore helps to bridge the gap between theory and practical activity.

Mentorship

This particular training method may be considered as a form of highly developed internship program, in the sense that it focuses on a more one on one approach. Mentorship programs pair new or entry level personnel with their more experienced counterparts in order to carry out complicated tasks. A good example of this is fieldwork, like event coordination or community outreach. Due to the complex social nature of these kinds of tasks, trainees will need more than just ordinary lectures from instructors in order to fully comprehend how to carry out these tasks effectively. They will also need a more hands-on approach, and they will need careful supervision of experienced personnel while learning.

Mentorship programs are a lot like internships, but with an added emphasis on learning specific skill sets. Furthermore, because of its one on one approach, mentorship programs can also be integrated with other effective training methods employed within a particular company. The challenge, however, is convincing senior or incumbent personnel to act as teachers or instructors to junior employees.

What Kind of Organizations Need This?

Mentorship programs are relatively rare, and how they are applied varies from organization to organization. Some use mentorship programs as extensions of other employee training systems, while others implement them as independent training systems. The reason behind this is that mentorship programs are only used for personnel who are being groomed to carry out specific, but critical job functions within the organization. Under such circumstances, part of their training is given to senior personnel, who are expected to pass on their skills to the trainee. This can involve a lot of work, especially if the senior employees do not wish to comply. However, if all parties are willing to participate then mentorship programs can be a very useful tool for improving each personnel’s skills and qualifications.

Conclusion

There are many strategies and methods for training personnel, but it’s up to each company to decide which strategies are most conducive to their long term training objectives. This is why effective training methods are critical to the success of any organization, and why each option should be considered carefully.

WalkMe at Learning Solutions 2015

The Learning Solutions 2015 conference and expo, taking place March 25-27 in Orlando, is one of the top conferences of the year for professionals responsible for designing, strategizing, implementing and monitoring employee training. Leading companies, learning technology vendors and the top thought leaders all “converge” in one place. Some of the topics to be examined in depth include instructional design, blended learning, data & measurement, gamification, mobile learning, performance support, and a whole lot more.

We would like to invite you to meet with the WalkMe team and see for yourself how simple and easy it is to use guided navigation on key business software to accelerate training and boost employee productivity and performance. WalkMe is a new form of a simple and burden-free online user experience which companies can instantly implement for their business applications or websites, resulting in a dramatic shortening of employee training times, reduced errors and higher productivity and performance.

Where Can You Find Us? We’ll be demonstrating at Booth 218 – Come see WalkMe in action.

If you are at the conference and would like to meet with us, please email Ashleigh.f@walkme.com. You can also send an email if you wish to schedule a demo to learn more about WalkMe, at your convenience.

You might also be interested in downloading our new eBook for free, “Closing the Gap From Training To Proficiency”. If yes, please fill out the form below.
 


 
Why WalkMe? Remember the world before GPS technology? Imagine a beautiful online user experience in which everyone knew what to do next. No confusion, No errors, No frustration, No requests for assistance, No time wasted. Use WalkMe’s Just-in-Time Contextual Guidance and Engagement to:

  • Accelerate Training 
  • End User Confusion
  • Reduce Requests for Assistance
  • Streamline Change Management
  • Ensure Any Task or Action is Completed Successfully

How to Train Customer Service Agents Right and Help Efficiency

A key challenge facing customer service managers is as follows: how can you ensure that your central body for customer care, the contact center, is equipped with well-trained agents and the most effective technology to be efficient and proficient in resolving customer questions?

In the high pressure environment of a contact center, although more time is needed to ensure that new recruits aren’t overwhelmed, not all contact centers have this luxury. In such cases, simplifying the environment and/or using better technologies and techniques is required to do it in the same amount of time. The progression from raw recruit to experienced, high-performing agent cannot be pushed too quickly.

Research firm Gartner details some of the key challenges when it comes to contact center onboarding of agents, and how important a process it is.

  • The pressure to maintain appropriate staffing levels in contact centers often causes new recruits to be transitioned from initial training to full deployment before they’re fully acclimatized.
  • Agent churn for first-time agents is often its highest during the first 90 days of employment, and it usually results from being overwhelmed by the demands of the role, after being “thrown in at the deep end.”
  • Due to the increased diversity of systems, processes and channels now supported, the evolution from contact center to engagement center adds to the need for onboarding best practices.

Technology can of course play a key role in ensuring that training new agents, whether on an internal CRM software or in how to engage with customer or respond to support requests, are well-trained and equipped to do their jobs well. Effective training should have a clear impact on agent productivity and efficiency – and in the bigger picture, have a positive impact on contact center efficiency as well.

In order to discuss strategy and available solutions to overcoming some of these challenges, I encourage you to register for the upcoming webinar, “The Art of Contact Center Efficiency” which will take place on Thursday February 26 at 1:00 PM EST/ 6:00 PM GMT.

The webinar will examine how real-time and contextual guidance can help train and boost performance of customer service agents, particularly on key business software. It will look how such guidance can assist with onboarding, performance support, change management, and more. Most importantly, it will discuss how to help agents be able to focus on WHAT they need to successfully complete their tasks, not HOW to do it.

Register for the free webinar (and recording) by filling in the table below.

 

4 Management Development Training Methods to Know

It’s no secret that managers play a crucial role in any business so having a strong management development training program is essential. The managers are the glue that hold everything together. Having an efficient manager with excellent human resources skills and healthy interpersonal relationships to all involved can make or break a business.

It is shown that managers are actually the employees who encourage others to stay in their current job and are one of the main reasons that people leave their jobs. Managers exert massive amounts of power over a company. This can be both a good thing and it can be a disaster, depending on the caliber of the manager you choose.

This is why hiring the right manager is crucial. As the needs of the company expand and change, managers may need to improve their skills. Ongoing management development training can always help even the best of managers to be better and better. Management development pays specific attention to the organizational and personal skills needed by managers or prospective managers. There are array of management development training programs, courses and companies who specialize in this.

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4 Management Development Training Methods to Know

1. Simulation Exercises Management Development Training Method

This method can be used individually and does not necessarily involve the need for anyone else. A range of simulation devices can be used including simulated computerized environments. It can also include other people for role-playing exercises; otherwise there are computer generated role-playing exercises that an individual can perform, such as mock-up scenarios. This is a great way to start as it proves to be inexpensive and non-obtrusive and a manager or prospective manager can perform these in their own time.

2. Using Games as a Management Development Training Method

In any form of team-building or seminars, there are games. Not just to make these events more fun and break the ice, but because games is a great learning approach for businesses. This will require group participation of other managers. It can also be helpful to include the entire staff as to allow them to more fully understand the role of a manager and for the manager to more fully understand the needs of his/her staff. Teams are given an array of tasks to complete and these tasks make use of various management skill sets such as effective communication, following through with instructions, teamwork, leadership, working under pressure.

A popular example of a training game is when certain members of a team are blindfolded, and are then made to perform a simple task, such as assemble something, with the help of their fellow team member, who provides clear instructions for them.

This allows both parties to evaluate their ability to give and receive instructions and identify the areas of their communication skills that may be missing. After each game there will be a discussion, usually under the supervision of a mentor, where they will identify and evaluate the key areas in which they need to work.

3. In -basket Training (IBT) Management Development Training Method

In order to improve problem–solving abilities and decision making abilities, a trainee is presented with a basket of papers, all pertaining to their job, centered around day to day business situations. The trainee will be asked to discuss, under the supervision of their mentors, the priorities for dealing with the tasks pertained in the papers. They will give a detailed plan of action to be implanted for each.

These will include fax messages, memoranda, reports, and an array of the paperwork a manager would typically have to deal with on a daily basis. This is an opportunity to ask questions and to be guided as to more efficient ways of doing things. This involves better time management, better work flow management, and better interpersonal relationship techniques.

This is a great method as the management development techniques developed do not work in isolation, but specifically to the job at hand. It helps to fully understand every aspect of the business in very fine detail. Sometimes in training, not every aspect of the job is covered and an employee has to learn on the job.

4. Work shadowing Management Development Training Method

This method involves having the soon-to-be-manager shadow the existing manager for a certain period of time to understand exactly what it is that this manager does. It is an age-old practice and is still one of the most effective practices. There is no formal training required as the existing manager simply talks the trainee through everything and gives them a chance to learn and ask questions through observation.

There are many intricacies of a job that may not be able to be taught in a manual. The trainee not only learns generic management techniques but also the dynamics of the business.

Care needs to be taken that the trainee doesn’t get in the way of the existing manager and others being able to do their job.

Management Development Training Methods

  • Classroom Method: Many managers all attend a basic management seminar in which basic principles
  • Outward Bound Method: Trainees are put into certain environments where they are
  • Vestibule Training Method: This method is another simulation type method which involves having a production area that resembles that of the actual work environment in a different location
  • Apprenticeship Training Method: It is a method, similar to that of the shadow method but instead of just following a manager around, they are given very specific tasks under a supervisor
  • Job Rotation Method: This is a great method to involve rotating all of the employees so that people get a chance to the work of other employees. This helps everyone understand the complexity and dynamics of everyone else’s job and appreciate how they all work together. This has proven to generate less mis-communication a business and help staff generate more problem solutions and encourages teamwork.

Some other terms in the world of Management Development Training you may hear:

• Personal Coaching Method:

• Behavior Modelling Method

• Mentoring Method

• Large Scale Interactive Events (LSIE) Method

• Computer-Based Training (CBT) Method

Conclusion

Familiarizing yourself with these management development training methods will guarantee a positive impact on your employees.

9 Recurring Nightmares of Every Training Manager

Want to AVOID these 9 training nightmares? Read them below! 

Want a free training white paper? It includes all my personal success secrets and tips. Claim it by Filling in your details here:

The Complete Organizational Skills Training Guide

Having a proper organizational skills training can help to teach the employees to use their time more professionally. Also, through it, the overall workflow of the organization would be improved. As usual, employees that have good organizational skills will be expected to be excellent in their professional and personal life. One of the things that will affect the overall performance of the organization is the lack of organizational skills. Nevertheless, developing a training course in the organization to boost the skills of the employees can be of a great benefit. Even though every organization might vary, in terms of their structure, here are is a guide that an organization can follow to come up with a reliable training course.

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The Complete Organizational Skills Training Guide

The entire course is meant to fix from the smallest of faults in an organization, to the most critical one. In the course, the employees, who are in the training, will know how they can streamline their daily roles, arrange their personal space, use the calendars effectively, and generally be efficient.

Aims Of The Course

As you come up with the course, the participants must have achieved something at the end of it. For that, here are the things that you must ensure the employees have achieved at the end of the course.

• Understand and point out the barriers to a successful organization.
• Establish an action plan, in order to reduce the careless faults.
• Be able to manage the voicemails, in order to limit the time taken to check the messages.
• Come up with SMART goals and describe the advantage of each goal.
• Be able to describe the pros and cons of different calendar systems in the organization.
• Describe strategies that can be applied to limit the mess in the organization.
• Comprehend the techniques that will limit the electronic and paper mail.
• They should also start to implement the goals that have been created in the entire course.

So as the course is in progress, these are the factors that must be put into consideration, in order to get the best out of it all.

The Training Outline

The organizational skills training course is not a quick, go-through course. Rather, it entails digging deep into the organization, and pointing out the minor clutters, which may lead to a reduced work flow. For that, this is a course outline that you will use to take the participants through the training.

1. Understanding The Clutter

You will need to understand why the organization fell apart in the first place. Here, the participants will need to point out the pitfalls of the organization. They will also understand the importance of being organized, and having self-respect, in order to embrace the new habits of the organization.

2. Cleaning Out Of The Personal Space

This will be targeting the employees, at a personal level. The participants will understand the methods of being tough in the organization and getting rid of the unwanted junk. All in all, it is all about getting rid of anything that doesn’t contribute to the efficient work flow of the organization.

3. The Virtual Mess Control

Now this will move from the physical personal space of the participant, which is mostly their desks, to the computer, which is the virtual or the unrecognizable clutter bank. There could be more than 10,000 emails that are in your inbox, which are not important. The trash of your mail box is also stuffed with unorganized stuff. The desktop is full of files, others are in the Documents folder, yet others are hanging around on a certain network. This will lead the computer to be slower, but it is all about the lack of arrangement of the files. This section should be able to train the employees how to manage and arrange files on their computers as expected.

4. Using The Right System At the Right Time

Here, the employees will need to understand how they can be up to date with the appointments, how they can track down their contacts and how they can manage their expenses. At this stage, the trainer will focus on finding the most ideal format, choosing the perfect size and setting up a versatile system. The system must also be user-friendly, and it must be reliable enough to the organization.

5. Spreading The News

This is not all about gossiping, rather, it is all about finding the right way to spread your news, whether through Snail Mail, Email or Voicemail. The participants should understand the right ways of handling different types of communication in the office. Here, the trainer will focus on the methods for managing the different types of communication in order to boost efficiency.

6. Setting the Smart Goals

It is required that the participants should set manageable and rational goals in order to get the best out of it. Here, training will get deeper into the aspects of Smart goals and it lets the employees to train on achieving both short and long-term goals.

7. Balancing The Work And Home

Sometimes, being at work tends to be more comfortable and soothing, especially if your home is stressful compared to your workplace. So in this section, the employees will get deeper into useful ways that can balance the workplace and home. They will also understand the methods for limiting the home chores and strategies to rationalize the activities.

8. Get Things Going

Now that the participants have got the real picture of what they should be doing, and where they should adjust, they will now need to get things going. Here, the participants are expected to come up with their personal action plan that will help them be organized throughout.

Conclusion

When the employees are taken through these stages, they would understand more about the training. They will also be able to understand their weaknesses and what is drawing them back. This training will target every area of the employee. It will target their personal life, in terms of helping them have an organized personal space at work. It will also help them establish their homes to be able to work freely from there. Above all, the organizational skills training will ensure that the employees have improved their efforts and capabilities in achieving better productivity.