The Gallup “State of the Global Workplace” report on employee engagement states that 87 percent employees are not engaged in their work. This significantly high percentage stands as a challenge for HR professionals as they need to build new and effective engagement programs to tackle motivational levels and improve employee engagement for business productivity. One way that HR professionals are trying to raise engagement levels is by implementing robust learning programs in the organization. This has given an impetus to the creation of Interactive Learning Management Systems (LMSs) that is not just focused on the delivery of learning content but also drives engagement in the workplace. Here are four components that make LMSs truly effective:
The accessibility that a smartphone or a tablet provides has helped make learning systems agile. Giving employees the option to have access to crisp and accurate content, anywhere anytime and by enabling a permanent and convenient learning environment, LMSs using mobile technology has made learning easier for employees. Mobile learning apps also provide a personal repository of training modules which contextualize learning according to each employee’s need. It also gives employees the freedom to make their own learning schedules, giving them more freedom over their development. It helps build the employee’s interest in learning and creates a space for the person to grow.
One of the recent developments in the field of LMS is the concept of “micro-learning”. It calls for the breaking up of learning content and courses into smaller lessons and shorter activities and assessments. An example of this kind of learning would be to take an hour long lesson and divide it into 12 smaller lessons of 5 minutes each. According to research by Software Advice, 58 percent of the total employees showed that they were more likely to continue with their learning programs and continue with LMSs if the course was broken into short bytes. There has also been a surge in the demand for training tools that break up content into short bytes.
The creation of discussion boards within LMS has made the process of learning within organizations more dynamic. Integrating concepts of social media with structured learning modules help LMS create a virtual classroom experience; only here employees of the entire organization become the people participating in the discussion. Benefits include increased participation, community building and the creation of peer-based discussion channels. It also helps in creating synergies within departments and across verticals within the organization. This has been further enabled due to the provision of integrated learning services which connects employees in the same learning program.
According to one estimate, only 10 percent of learners who start a course on MOOCs such as Coursera complete it. This is why companies are turning to gamification to make learning modules more engaging and fun. Using concepts like point systems, role playing, and badges help bring in a new dimension to the learning process vis-à-vis the usual lecture course work format.
"The idea is to use game mechanics and game design theories to make boring content into an engaging and interactive platform where employees can actually build their skill sets while benefitting from increased job satisfaction and personal achievements. This helps LMSs build the interest of employees into the working of the organization" says Sammir Inamdar, CEO, Enthralltech
Even as technology based disruptions like automation transform the kind of skills that employees need to possess, interactive learning management systems will play a key role in addressing the skills shortage that organizations are likely to face. And personalizing learning by understanding the needs of the employee and offering individual learners a choice will be critical. The new imperative for organizations is to build their learning systems which will meet learning objectives while making the process fun and engaging for employees.