Employee engagement is cited as being one of the critical factors for business success. It helps improve the customer experience, helps retain top talent and knowledge within the organisation, and makes for happier employees.
Learning and development is an important part of achieving a high level of employee engagement. So what are the key elements of making learning and development more effective?
1. How Is Just as Important as What or Who
Most of us have, at some point, attended a talk by an expert in our field and yawned our way through the session because it’s one long boring monologue. No matter how high the level of expertise of the person, if it isn’t presented in an interesting and easy to understand manner, few people will retain what they hear.
While many organisations recognise that getting the delivery right is important and trainers should be engaging, they don’t always consider how much information they are expecting participants to learn and retain in one go.
This is particularly relevant when it comes to onboarding. New employees are often bombarded with reams of information on their first day and expected to retain all of it as they go about their work. Even for someone with a photographic memory, it’s a tall order.
However, if information is presented in bite-sized chunks and people are then given the opportunity to apply it, the chances of retaining that knowledge are significantly improved.
2. The Role of Coaching to Improve Retention
In an ideal world, participants attend training and go off and apply the learning in their daily tasks, but in reality, this rarely happens. As humans, we are creatures of habit and it’s too easy to slip back into old ways of doing things even if shown they aren’t very effective. This is where follow-up and coaching play a vital role.
By coaching, we can help to reinforce the learning experience, helping employees to apply it in their daily roles. Take learning soft skills training in a contact centre, for example: When there’s an angry customer on the line, it can be daunting; however, with a manager coaching the agent through the call and guiding them in how to respond to the customer, they can learn how to handle such customers without the fear of messing up.
A guided learning approach like this, which focuses on improving just one or two small things at a time, empowers the employee and helps them retain what they have learned.
3. Use Technology to Test Knowledge
Testing knowledge manually is time consuming for managers. It’s also difficult to maintain consistency because it’s subjective. Technology, however, can provide the tools for managers not only to test knowledge on an ongoing basis but also to help identify knowledge gaps and future training needs.
Learning management systems are helping to facilitate more consistent training and greater learning retention. Because they can be customised to an organisation’s needs, they can be set up to align with specific learning objectives. But perhaps the biggest benefit is how learning management systems can help improve learning retention, which in turn delivers a much better return on training investment.
Ember Real Results have developed an online learning platform created specifically for contact centres to help facilitate learning and development. It delivers bite-sized chunks of learning materials to participants and then tests their knowledge on a daily basis via an email quiz.
This little-bit-of-learning approach helps agents to learn while working without it being a major disruption in their day. They get access to information to work through at their own pace and can consistently test their knowledge. It empowers employees and makes them more engaged, creating a culture of consistent learning in the company.
For managers, it provides an automated tool that delivers learning materials and tests knowledge on a regular basis. Analytics can be extracted from the system at the click of a button and will give an overview of the knowledge levels of all the team members, as well as their participation levels.
Plus, the bonus is that the learning and testing process is automated, so it doesn’t take up a huge amount of time – which for managers is always a precious commodity.
This online learning platform is called ERROL and its most effective feature is in the knowledge retention, which is where the real ROI lies. ERROL follows up on training received by sending team members a daily email with a quiz question and then records their response.
The platform is fun and interactive and is designed to make the learning retention process easy. It works for employees because vast amounts of information aren’t being presented all at once, so the material is easier to learn. The daily quizzes further help reinforce learning and knowledge retention.
Here is more on how it works:
To request a free demo, visit www.emberrealresults.com/meet-errol-owl.
To find out more about Ember Services, visit: www.emberservices.com