How IBM Promotes On-job Training At Work

A few years ago, Pep Boys realized that their traditional way of educating employees about theft wasn’t really working. Until that point, they had relied on classes, meetings and posters to teach employees about theft. Soon after, they turned to a Canadian startup, Axonify to try a new approach, where the information was stripped down to the most basic ideas and presented in a rather novel fashion. Under this new approach, employees were given quick sessions in the form of a mobile game, where each session would take only 3 minutes. Employees could earn points from these sessions and those points could be redeemed for rewards.

The novel approach didn’t take long to prove its benefits. Unlike corporate learning models, not only did the employee use the system, but also gained measurable business results. Thefts in more than 700 stores dropped by $20 million in the first year alone, because employees were better able to identity suspicious behavior and report it properly. Axonify CEO Carol Leaman says that before the experiment, they took for granted that employees knew what to do. The HR industry is amidst an enormous shift in how it’s using technology to train employees. A lot of industries have already transformed through technology, however HR is still in the beginning phase of it. The HR software market is estimated to be at $15 billion, however, not all of that capital is being put to proper use. Despite companies using learning management systems, the fastest growing segment is more than 30 percent of the corporate training material that companies develop is squandered. ibm The general concept that training should be measured by what employees really learn is a reasonable leap forward. In the 1990s, traditional classroom training began to offer approach to “learning management systems,” which helped companies better scale their training efforts, because instruction could be incorporated and conveyed on-demand through corporate intranet. In any case, the data and reports they generated were primitive. Around then, it was especially about who attended the courses. Yet, that is of no worth. What companies truly need to know is whether employees really learn and retain the data, and whether it’s the right information for enhancing business performance. Advances in big data and machine learning now allow IBM to isolate variables and find which are responsible of noteworthy learning bits of insights. Five years prior, that sort of analysis would take analysts and data scientists days or weeks. However, now it should be possible in minutes or hours. As opposed to wasting worker time by making everybody sit idle, organizations should find out who needs the training, and who is already aware of the regulatory standards. In Axonify’s platform, assessment and training are entwined. Since numerous employees use Axonify consistently, the platform can continually track employee learning and intelligently give the data needed to close an employee’s individual knowledge. The app also influences learning research to enhance retention by repeating the inquiries in specific time interims. Even after an employee “graduates” out of a specific point, the inquiries will revisited to around seven months to help recall the information. IBM uses behavior data a bit in an unexpected way, to deliver valuable training materials to employees when they really need it. For instance, when another IBM employee schedules their first meeting with different employees, the aide detects that it’s their first time, and proactively shows material about how to direct a meeting. TRADITIONAL CLASSROOM TRAINING How did it work? Precisely how you’d anticipate that it will function. In individual training lectures gathered employee and trained them collectively. What did it measure? More than participation and, if there were tests and quizzes, individual performance scores. LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS How did it work? It brought the classroom experience to the PC and eliminated the requirement for in-person lectures or sessions. Training should now be possible exclusively at the employee’s convenience. What did it measure? LMS’s were generally limited to measuring completion of the training and development and if there were tests and quizzes, individual performance scores. To get a good understanding about what employees know and how they’re learning, analytics systems should consider more than just HR-provided training and development material. The things that happen in a learning management system are under 10% of the activities that individuals seek when they need to learn something. If you need to learn something, you don’t go to a LMS, whether you have access to it or not, use Google or seek a co-worker’s help. Martin is one of the founders of the Tin Can API, a new standard for communicating and storing data about employee learning events. Tin Can is the cutting edge successor to SCORM, a specification that was initially made to standardize content crosswise over various learning administration frameworks. The things that SCORM could quantify and track were those where a single client was signed into a learning management system, taking a recommended bit of training in an active browser session. Tin Can, then again allows organizations and employees to record more basic learning events, such as writing a company blog post or attention a session at a conference. More companies are now beginning to understand how employees actually learn and allowing them to do it the way they wish to, instead of forcing them into a draconian system. This type of integration is a trend catching up in the IT departments. More CEOs are requesting for technology solutions that support collaboration. Across a range of industries, companies are shifting from controlled, closed environment to more open environment. It’s no more possible to expect a single software, program or app to do everything—rather, employees expect multiple applications across different platforms to work in harmony in a useful way. IBM has integrated social collaboration tools into their talent management and learning systems. Social communication has been eliminated from virtual classroom instruction, instead, learning is considered as a social activity. IBM has found that employees learn and absorb more from training programs when they’re working socially. As job functions related learning turn into something more user-friendly, it also encourages employees to improve their performance and results. In a survey of why employees rely on such playforms, it was found that it’s because they help them do their job better. When employees have more knowledge, they feel more empowered and confident in taking action and are actually much better at their jobs. A decade ago, HR tools and technology was generally used by the HR division, though now companies are more centered around employees themselves as the primary clients. In the near future, companies might use the technology to empower employee and help them increase their individual performance. By giving employees more meaningful data about the way they’re doing their jobs, they will be able to improve on how they’re functioning and perform better.

Priyansha Mistry
Currently editor at The HR Digest Magazine. She helps HR professionals identify issues with their talent management and employment law. | Priyansha tweets at @PriyanshaMistry

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