Engage, Excite, and Empower Through Animation

Engage, Excite, and Empower Through Animation

The possibilities for animation are endless. Quickly becoming one of the most popular trends in learning and development, animated videos provide you with tools to explain complex, intangible ideas in just minutes. Eye-catching, fast-paced graphics will grab the attention of your learner, and when paired with clear and concise language, help them piece concepts together.

From a brain science perspective, educational psychologist Richard Lowe writes that the following are two main reasons for using animations to inform or teach.

 

Affective Purpose

Animations attract and capture attention because motion is one of the primary attributes of a graphic that makes viewers take notice. Animations can also increase motivation because of their novelty. When they are humorous, they can create a positive effect.

Cognitive Purpose

Animations that have a cognitive purpose can facilitate learning because they provide more and different information than static graphics. They have the potential to help a learner build a more accurate mental model of a system’s behavior compared to graphics alone.

Additionally, animation maximizes this capacity by delivering information in two ways: Auditory and visual. This two-channel delivery system boosts the amount of content learners can encounter before reaching the maximum load for working memory.

Benefits of Animated Videos

Storytelling

Tell a story with a 3-D character. It allows the learner to connect through an emotional bond, increasing motivation. Characters can also act as a guide, helping the learner feel less alone if they’re going through the course independently.

simplify

Make complex programs or processes easier to understand with simple visual cues. This is an illustration of our host platform Spoke. The video helped introduce learners to the custom capabilities.

increase retention

Take a challenging topic, like  multifactor authentication, and tell a story that will increase retention. This allows the learner to tie eye-catching visuals to certain auditory cues as they apply the concept to their work.

Unboxed Animations

At Unboxed Training & Technology, our award-winning animations have been created for everything from demonstrating complex processes to getting a learner excited for their training. Senior Animators, Michael Laskaris and Dan Kanach, have stretched their animation muscles to incorporate different levels of detail. Check out the reel below for a peek at some of our most recent work.

Interested in how animated videos can help engage, excite, and empower your team? Contact us to learn more.

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Benefits of e Learning

Benefits of e Learning

The benefits of e Learning extend far past the desk of your employees. Learn why eLearning is an essential tool to train your organization’s modern learner in today’s fast-paced, digital work environment.

Traditional training methods, like classroom training, have their place in a blended training program. However, they can be expensive and time-consuming. The cost and logistics that go into organizing a face to face training add up: instructors, venue, learning material, etc.

Alternatively, eLearning provides a variety of training modalities that are both cost effective and mobile.

Let’s start with the definition before jumping into the data.

 

What is eLearning?

The eLearning definition, short for “electronic learning,” is any type of learning or training material that can be consumed digitally:

Online training provides significant flexibility considering the state of the modern learner. Even this blog is classified as a form of eLearning! At the same time you’re reading this content, you’re probably also writing an email, responding to a Slack from a coworker, prepping for a meeting, mentally responding to new text messages, and thinking about lunch.

Bombarded with constant, digital communication via notifications, text messages, entertainment, etc.—distraction is the greatest downfall for modern learners. If harnessed properly, online learning can streamline and support employee training and management development.

 

eLearning Trends

As eLearning continues to grow, so does its spelling variations. If you’re interested in any form of digital learning, you might search the terms: “eLearning,” “e learning,” “e-learning,” etc. According to Google Trends, keeping the term as one word — “eLearning” — is the most searched spelling over the past year.

google eLearning trends comparison

To conclude this short point, there will likely always be a dispute around which spelling is correct (especially among SEO experts). However you decide to spell it, using eLearning for employees is what matters most for your business.

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Great, so a lot of people search for “eLearning” on Google. But why invest in eLearning? What makes it effective?”

Well, we’re glad you asked.

 

Why Invest in eLearning?

Global Market Insights, Inc. reports that the global eLearning market is projected to reach $300 billion by 2025. More and more businesses are investing in eLearning—not because it’s a trend—but because the benefits of e learning have proven results.

Mark Van Buren, director of research for ASTD, tells HR Magazine: “It is clear that a firm’s commitment to workplace learning is directly linked to its bottom line.” Not only do profits increase when eLearning becomes a priority, but so does efficiency and employee retention.

Benefits of e Learning

 

1. Improve Profits.

Industry data suggests that when employers invest $1,595 per employee each year on training, gross profit margins improve by 24%. Now that’s a statistic to take back to the boss! Every good investment produces an ROI to prove itself as a viable business endeavor.

2. Reduce Training Time.

A study conducted by the Brandon-Hall Group reports that eLearning significantly reduces training time compared to classroom learning—40-60% less time actually.

3. Increase Retention Rates.

eLearning can increase retention rates by up to 60%, compared to traditional training methods, which only boast a small 10% increase (The Research Institute of America).

 

When to Use eLearning

The corporate learning and development space is evolving every year with new technology and advancements. For instance, retraining employees will become just as important as onboarding new hires as a result of automation and AI.

Think of your opportunity cost—is it a better use of time and resources to rally employees together for in-person training (i.e. fly in remote workers, book a venue, pay an in-person trainer, print out all of the learning material, etc.)? Or, is it better to task everyone with completing the same training via a learning management system, then take a learning assessment once it’s complete, so everyone can get back to work?

At this point, when to use eLearning might be self-explanatory—ASAP—but here are a few use cases that may prompt your organization to start using eLearning today.

 

Training Remote Employees

Is a large part of your workforce remote? eLearning is a great way to provide consistent training across the organization—no matter an employee’s location. Mobile learning enables employees to fit in training “on-demand” as their schedule allows. On-demand training is especially helpful for sales reps with busy schedules who are always out of the office selling.

Sharing Company-Wide Information

Every company has standard procedures, processes, policies, etc. that everyone is expected to follow. Why have an in-person, company-wide meeting when the alternative is more affordable, effective, and convenient? ELearning provides a way to streamline sharing information at all levels of the organization with an LMS. Assign everyone the same material or updates to review and save yourself the scheduling headache.

Onboarding New Hires

Every business needs a comprehensive onboarding process. Save HR professionals time by jumpstarting entry-level employees with training as soon as they join the team. ELearning provides a consistent way for new employees to learn everything they need to know at the click of a mouse. Segment onboarding into organized, manageable sections such as organizational basics, human resources, role-specific training, etc.

 

Your eLearning Experts

With all of the new corporate training trends each year, it can be hard to figure out which ones to invest in and how to implement them. Are you ready to invest in the future of your company? The potential of your employees is waiting to be developed. Start reaping the benefits of e learning (your employees will thank you).

At Unboxed Training & Technology, we provide award-winning tools and expertise to help you train, develop, sell, and succeed. Contact us today to learn more about employee training and custom management and leadership training programs.

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Unboxed Training & Technology Wins Gold and Silver Brandon Hall Group Awards

Unboxed Training & Technology Wins Gold and Silver Brandon Hall Group Awards

We’re proud to announce that Unboxed Training & Technology has won two esteemed Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards for our work with Hilton Worldwide to develop the Hilton Core Sales Skills program.

Unboxed received a Gold award in Excellence in Learning for Best Advance in Competencies and Skill Development, and a Silver award in Excellence in Sales Performance for Best Sales Onboarding Program.

Brandon Hall Group has long been viewed as the industry experts when it comes to recognizing learning excellence,” said Unboxed CEO Brian Leach. “We are thrilled to receive these two prestigious awards with our partners at Hilton. We’re delighted to see the positive impact that the Hilton Core Sales Skills HCCS program is having around the globe!”

The Hilton Core Sales Skills program is a comprehensive sales training curriculum developed by Unboxed and Hilton to unify their Hilton Global Sales Team around proven sales skills and behaviors. The Core Sales Skills program standardized the sales training process across Hilton’s 17 unique brands and many operating regions.

Hilton Team Members participated in an eight-week blended learning program that used microlearning techniques and in-depth learning sessions to maximize engagement and retention. Learners completed a mix of live-action videos, reflection activities, simulations, and virtual instructor-led training sessions to practice and hone their skills. Hilton’s internal assessment of core sales competencies found that the first wave of participants in the program saw a 37% increase in their scores on critical metrics.

“The HCM Excellence Awards recognize programs that measurably benefit organizations,” said Mike Cooke, Brandon Hall Group CEO. “Many human capital management departments are unable to confirm that their initiatives help the business’s bottom line. Because we focus on measurable benefits, our awards program is universally recognized and highly prestigious.”

Award entries were evaluated by a panel of independent industry experts, Brandon Hall Group analysts, and executives. Each entry was evaluated based upon the following criteria:

·     Fit the need: How well did the competency/skill model effectively align with business needs and situation?

·     Design of the program: Was the program designed to address competency/skill gaps?

·     Delivery: Was the learning program delivered effectively, in a manner easy to access and apply?

·     Measurable Benefits: Did the program produce measurable benefits and outcomes?

·     Overall: Did the program demonstrate a positive impact for the learners and the organization?

“The Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards Program has recognized leading organizations for the past twenty-plus years for the latest trends in Human Capital Management,” said Rachel Cooke, Brandon Hall Group COO and leader of the HCM Excellence Awards Program. “The initiatives that were honored are not only innovative but fit the unique needs of the business and create truly remarkable success stories.”

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Transforming Account Acquisition for U.S. Banking Giant

Transforming Account Acquisition for U.S. Banking Giant

Custom Software and Custom Training Solutions

Outdated processes were costing a top-ten US bank both time and money. It’s one of countless times we’ve seen this problem ­– and one of countless times we’ve solved it.

Our approach is different and, once we got the call, both our software and our content teams got to work. Each created a part of a solution that would have been powerful alone, but they were truly remarkable together.

Results:

•  Increased employee speed to competency
•  72% decreased in time to open a new account
•  40% increase in sales when application is used

From the software side, we created an application that replaced an outdated paper system. This modern, dynamic tool helps bankers make recommendations tailored to the customer’s needs. The app also suggests “add-ons” that help customers and boost the bank’s sales. On top of all that, our software reduces the time that it takes for bankers to explain the company’s product offerings and their benefits, so the bankers can see more customers each day.

While the software team did their magic, our content team was hard at work, creating a customized training curriculum. We delivered a program that streamlined the process of working with new customers, giving bankers the confidence they need to use the new tools and close more sales, faster.

Want to learn more? Click here to read the case study.

Case Study

Find out what Unboxed solutions resulted in a 40% increase in sales.

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If You Don’t Use the Oxford Comma, Your Words Have No Meaning

If You Don’t Use the Oxford Comma, Your Words Have No Meaning

Disclaimer!

We at Unboxed personally believe – nay, we KNOW – that the Oxford comma is imperative to good writing. However, many of our clients have style guides that don’t use it. Since we love all our clients, we always follow their style guides before our own.

The debate over whether the Oxford comma, also known as the serial comma, should be included in lists of three (“I ran, showered, and went to the restaurant”) has been raging for decades and shows no signs of slowing down. This blog post makes the case that it should ALWAYS be used. In short, writers, you need to be using the Oxford comma!

Why is the Oxford comma so important?

People often ask grammar geeks why they enjoy grammar. The most common response? Because there is always a right answer. Unlike the majority of our day-to-day lives, where nuance thrives and nothing is black and white, grammar is a welcome respite from this ambivalence. Its strict nature is precisely what allows us to communicate and connect with one another. Without that structure, everyone would always be confused.

With this in mind, rules like the Oxford comma need to be enforced so readers will never be left to wonder about the exact meaning of a sentence. If I write that “I’m going to the beach with Jenny, Rob and Emily,” you probably know what I mean. But if I say, as in the famous (and slightly obnoxious) example, “We invited two strippers, JFK and Stalin,” you cannot LOGICALLY know whether I’m referring to four people or two people.

The Oxford comma has to exist when you don’t need it, so it will always exist when you do need it.

Addressing common (lazy) anti-Oxford justifications

If you have a logical brain, my introduction was probably all you need to read. You can leave this page now. If you’re still on the fence, you may be thinking of one of the following common anti-Oxford arguments:

“But AP Style says…”

It’s true, AP Style does not use the Oxford Comma. Why not, you ask? Well…

“It saves space”

…It’s a space issue. The amount of space that one measly comma took up on a physical newspaper actually used to matter. Did it matter more than making sure the words themselves had meaning? Not in my opinion. But regardless, guess what doesn’t exist anymore? Newsprint. Words are now read in books (which don’t have space restrictions) or on electronic devices, which really don’t have space restrictions. Case closed.

Quick tangent: Newspapers also hated the antiquated “two spaces after a period” rule, again because it saved them space. Unwittingly, they made paragraphs look sleeker and more modern by using only one space. While their reasoning for these two stances was the same, the results were different, because one negatively affected the meaning of sentences, while the other was a positive stylistic upgrade.

“Context”

Someone told me, “Oh, come on. People are smart enough to understand what you mean based on contextual clues.” This is untrue. Context may make a sentence clear most of the time, but:

  • Even though most people can be fairly certain of my meaning, you can’t be 100% sure. You just can’t. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could just be sure?
  • The world is a big place with thousands of cultures, and English (for right or wrong) has become the closest thing we’ve ever had to a universal language. Your context in Cleveland is irrelevant to someone in Senegal. Good thing the Oxford comma is there to be a unifying force in our modern world.
  • Context is constantly shifting over time – what’s clear to a millennial is not always clear to a Baby Boomer. And that’s okay, because we can just use the Oxford comma.
“It looks too complicated”

I mean, no it doesn’t. It looks almost exactly the same, with one key difference: we know what it means. What could be more beautiful than clarity?

 

A Closing Challenge

A quick thought experiment: Find me one sentence that is objectively better without an Oxford comma. What does “better” mean? Before anything else, a sentence must be understood by its reader. If it doesn’t achieve that, all the prose chops in the world won’t matter. With that in mind, please find me a sentence missing an Oxford comma that makes more sense than its correct counterpart.

It’s okay, I’ll wait…forever.

About the Author:
Jared Booth is a Content Strategy Manager who partners with clients to strategize and build cutting-edge learning programs. He’d love to chat with you, especially if you disagree with his point of view in this blog post.

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How the Rise of AI Changes Sales Training

How the Rise of AI Changes Sales Training

According to Forbes, 62% of executives believe they will need to retrain or replace more than a quarter of their workforce between now and 2030 due to digitization. Most employees won’t join your company with the skills to lead your team into the future of automation, which is why it’s critical that you’re ready to train your employees on emergent technologies.

There are plenty of upsides to automation: many companies have begun to leverage AI to better understand their customer’s behaviors and preferences so they can sell more personalized products, more accurately predict revenue, and even optimize pricing options for customers. Some companies have started to utilize AI assistants in the sales process to free up their salespeople from having to deal with mundane or repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus on increasing revenue through building relationships.

On the other side of the artificial intelligence coin is the notion that robots are taking over the world (and taking our jobs). Not everyone is excited to welcome AI into the workplace; There is a real fear about AI taking over jobs that humans can do and making certain skillsets obsolete. AI is capable of carrying out tasks within carefully delineated boundaries like recognizing certain email as spam, offering you Netflix movie recommendations, or identifying which books you might like to read according to your recent purchases – but there are things it can’t do that you can, like create human connections.

As certain sales activities have been handed over to machines, skills like empathy, decision-making, and collaboration are more important than ever. Where AI can construe predictable customer questions through an assistive chat feature, it cannot make quick judgments on gray-area situations or understand the nuances of emotions – and these are key skills when it comes to selling.

Saleshacker says that, “the more a salesperson understands the emotions invested in a sales interaction, the better her chances of successfully making the sale.”

Unboxed-blog-AI-sales-desk

 

If you’re a salesperson, you can’t succeed without the ability to talk to new people, overcome objections, build strong relationships, and make personal connections. At the end of the day, buying something is an emotional experience for both the seller and the customer and these skills are the things that separate salespeople from sales machines.

As technology continues to advance and improve, it’s important to focus on upskilling your workforce with the emotional intelligence skills they need to succeed while capitalizing on emerging technologies. Here are a couple of ways you can upskill your team:

• Offer personalized training programs that build sales and people skills to bridge the gap between automation and the emotional connection needed to make a sale.

Implement the usage of intelligent apps, AI programs, and other emerging technologies to improve efficiency and empower team members to spend more time on revenue-generating tasks than on busy work.

• Use time-tracking programs to measure each employee output. This way, your employees will be getting trained on a new program, while you pick up on their patterns, strengths, and weakness. This data can determine where an employee needs to be retrained or paired with a mentor who can help.

The future is here! Your employees should know that artificial intelligence isn’t out to hurt them, it’s here to help them work more efficiently and creatively.  Are you ready to see how personalized sales training programs can help your team build better customer relationships and generate more revenue?
Reach out today.

 

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