Activities to Improve Soft Skills

Soft skills, like the ability to communicate and work together, are some of the most sought-after employee skills. In fact, 92% of recruiters say soft skills are critical tools they look for in their applicants. Unfortunately, soft skills don’t come naturally to everyone. Activity-based soft skills training gives you the opportunity to instill these desirable qualities in new hires.

The question is, what skills should you develop and why? More importantly, what are some soft skills training activities you can use to help employees?

Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers you need. Keep reading to learn how you can make your training sessions more engaging while developing crucial soft skills.

 

Attributes of Soft Skills

Most skills produce tangible results. Videography, for example, produces video content. You can tell right away by looking at the video if you’ve produced quality work.

You can’t measure soft skills with such ease because they deal more with personalities. They focus on interpersonal interactions and communication.

Examples of soft skills include:

  • Positivity
  • Active Listening
  • Good Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Integrity

Soft skills permeate everyday existence and many people don’t even realize it.

When you write your resume or interview for a job, you have to use soft skills to position yourself as an exceptionally qualified candidate. Soft skills help you communicate complex ideas to others. They even come into action when you learn something new.

For a better understanding of what soft skills are, take a look at this article from Indeed.

 

Activities to Teach Soft Skills

Activities keep people involved in the subject matter and encourage them to take ownership of their learning. Activity-based soft skills training engages employees and teaches them how to literally interact with each other; not just on paper.

Using activities to improve soft skills is an excellent way to create good habits and weed out bad ones. It also gives people the opportunity to practice the new skills they’ve learned.

 

Exercises That Help Imagine Success

Activities that let people imagine success helps them visualize what success looks like. An exercise to accomplish this goal is for participants to think of positive past experiences and what made them a success. Examples include:

  • A customer service call that made them feel good.
  • A presentation that was well delivered.
  • An experience at a restaurant with an attentive server.
  • A sales pitch that made them want to buy.

Split people into groups of three or four to discuss their encounters. They can write them down, roleplay them, or prepare a presentation for the rest of the class.

Learners may also consider negative experiences and why they weren’t positive ones. This helps them identify the positive qualities in people they interact with to make better experiences.

Activities like this help people adopt a positive mindset, which is key to developing strong, soft skills.

 

Interpersonal Communication Games

Games that focus on communication teach people how to actively listen. Listening is a critical soft skill to develop because it teaches people to do more than just hear what others say.

Learning how to use active listening has many benefits:

  • Develops an Understanding of Perception. Different words have different meanings to different people. When you actively listen, you’re able to pick up on what others really mean.
  • Builds Rapport. When you use active listening, people take notice and appreciate you for it. This helps you develop a connection that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.
  • Ability to Follow Instructions. Active listening gives people a better understanding of directions. They’re able to complete tasks with better accuracy and efficiency.

Activity to Improve Active Listening

To show the importance of active listening, try this activity:

  1. Split your class into two groups.
  2. Ask Group A to keep their seats and have Group B leave the room.
  3. Instruct Group A to develop a short presentation about something they’re passionate about.
  4. Tell Group B to listen to the first 30 seconds of the presentation, but stop listening after that.
  5. Have a discussion about how Group A felt when Group B stopped paying attention.

Group A will most likely feel frustration that Group B wasn’t listening. Use this as a foundation to build active listing skills.

 

Team Games for Soft Skills Training

In any environment where you work with others, it’s important to foster a sense of team.

Teamwork helps to create an environment in which creativity can thrive. Team members brainstorm, share alternative viewpoints, and sell solutions.

When people work together, they combine their strengths. This leads to higher levels of efficiency and quality.

Relying on others is difficult, but with teamwork, you can build trust and establish strong relationships. People who feel like they’re part of a team tend to work safer because they trust others to help them out.

 

Activity to build Teamwork

Escape room challenges are an excellent way to build teamwork skills. Team members must work together to solve puzzles, find clues, and escape within a time limit. You can make your own escape room puzzles or you can visit a company that specializes in escape room games.

 

Tasks That Encourage Adaptability

According to Success.com, adaptability is two-fold. To be adaptable, you must be both flexible and versatile.

Flexibility means having a positive attitude towards change. Versatility refers to your ability to make that change happen. Teams who are adaptable are better equipped to solve problems.

 

Shrinking Vessel Activity

The last activity-based soft skills training game to consider is the shrinking vessel activity, which inspires adaptability and problem-solving.

  1. Encircle a group of people with a rope or string
  2. Shrink the space inside the rope over the course of 10 to 15 minutes
  3. Encourage everyone to stay inside the circle as the boundary shrinks.

Successful completion of this task requires participants to adapt to the situation and work together to find a solution.

 

Unbox Your Employees’ Potential

Unboxed Training & Technology offers modern soft skill training solutions for your company. You can use our training materials on a stand-alone basis or combine them to achieve impressive results. Choose the solution that’s right for you, or give our team a call at (888) 723-9770.

Employee Training develops a customized curriculum that breaks everything down for your trainees.

Spoke® LMS is a mobile learning management system that makes learning fun and engaging.

Hub360 Sales Enablement is a sales training and product delivery platform that helps every salesperson ramp up their sales.

Coach encourages on-going employee transformation through measurable development feedback.

Unbox your employees’ potential today by contacting the team that works with you!

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The start of every new year is a chance to revisit training goals and aspirations for the coming 12 months. How do you know what’s worth your investment?

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Microlearning and Microtraining Techniques for Success

Do you need to train your team fast? As in, “my people needed to be client-facing yesterday,” fast? Then microlearning is here to save the day! Learn about microlearning and microtraining techniques for success to take your employee training to the next level.

 

Microlearning Meaning

Microlearning, or “microtraining,” is the process of breaking down employee training into small, bite-sized pieces. The goal is to use short courses that are easy for employees to quickly learn and apply. And when I say short, I don’t mean 30 minutes—I mean 5 minutes or less. No more than one objective is focused on per training course.

In general, corporate training exists to equip employees with practical skills to complete job-related tasks and proactively train them for the future. Microlearning provides employees with applicable knowledge and skills based on their immediate needs. Think of these 5-minute videos as chunks of “micro knowledge.”

If a sales rep is constantly on the move, they may not think to carve out a whole hour, or even half an hour, for training. Using bite sized modules, training sessions are no longer time consuming, but concise.

Let’s talk about why you need to incorporate microtraining into your blended learning program today.

 

Why Microlearning?

Microlearning breaks down complex topics into specific, actionable objectives. We’ve discussed before how, in an age of distraction, the attention span of most people is less than a goldfish. Tragic that we’re losing to a glass-bowl-bound fish, but I digress. We can’t create more time, but we can use the time we do have more efficiently.

If you want to read about some microlearning examples in action, read about our partnership with NextWorth. We helped them develop bite sized training videos and accomplish a double-digit increase in used, electronic trade-in accuracy.

In a previous blog, we listed some of the primary benefits of e learning. Now, it’s time to dive into why microtraining is such an impactful tool by exploring the benefits of microlearning.

Benefits of Microlearning

 

1. Mobile Access

With the digital age comes a wealth of opportunity and modes of communication. Microtraining uses a variety of modalities to communicate new material to employees on different devices. The mobility makes microlearning exceptionally effective. Employees are empowered to access training wherever they are, whenever they can—before a meeting, waiting for the bus, or in between phone calls. Training has never been so accessible and agile.

2. Limited Distractions

Technology is a catch 22—mobility is no doubt a significant strength, but it can also be a major weakness. Smartphones are one of the biggest productivity killers in the workplace according to a study by Careerbuilder. But, we have good news! Since microtraining only takes minutes to complete, there is less time for distraction. Think of all of the notifications you typically receive in 30-minutes vs 5-minutes. Laser-focused microlearning courses keep employees both concentrated and engaged.

3. Higher Engagement

Did you know that 65% of people learn best by watching? Even marketing experts use micro-videos in digital advertisements because they are more engaging. The same reasoning applies to employee training. Guo, Kim, & Rubin’s research shows that shorter videos are statistically more engaging than longer ones. They recommend segmenting longer learning videos into shorter chunks (less than 6 minutes). In fact, the shortest videos (0-3 minutes) resulted in the highest engagement. Sound familiar? That’s microlearning at it’s finest.

4. Just-in-time Learning

One of the primary advantages of microlearning is that learners can complete courses “just-in-time” without a moment’s notice. Employees are able to train on just what they need to know, right when they need it most. The benefits of microlearning for sales training are compelling. The just-in-time training provided by microlearning is particularly beneficial for the busy sales rep. They can easily start a new course and receive comprehensive knowledge minutes before a pitch or call.

5. Actionable Content

Microlearning fosters behavioral changes, as all learning should, with immediate application. Whether an employee faces a challenge in or out of the office, microtraining provides them with the necessary resources they need in a pinch. In addition, microlearning is personalized for a custom learner experience. A unique course path provides a more efficient training, so learners are ready to go, right after they complete it.

In short, start using bite sized learning to better inform and apply employees’ learning and development initiatives at work. Listen to our webinar, 25 training tips in 25 minutes, for a mix of training techniques.

 

Ready, Set, Train

At Unboxed Training and Technology, we developed ReadySet—an off-the-shelf eLearning system for the modern learner. Streamline your employee training by narrowing in on one key skill with microlearning. ReadySet courses are challenging enough to engage employees but short enough to support retention.

Use ReadySet as a just-in-time training for new employees, or equip your current employee with action-oriented course content.  Contact us to learn more about microlearning and microtraining techniques for success—ReadySet Sell, Lead, Secure, or Respect and adopt microlearning today!

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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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Corporate Training Trends 2020 – What’s Really Worth Your Investment?

As the end of 2019 approaches, budgets are being finalized and sales quotas are being established for the new year. Have you accounted for the cost of employee training in your 2020 budget? Some employers may be tempted to push employee training to the side of their business-centric priorities, but you may want to think again…

At Unboxed Training & Technology, our goal is to provide you with any recent corporate training trends with actionable ways to apply these new industry insights to your company or team. A diverse client base gives us a well-rounded view of the L&D space to share what we expect to see as corporate training trends in 2020.

Based on what we’re seeing with our clients, and in the L&D industry overall, we have compiled the top four future trends in training and development that you need to know for the upcoming year. But before we jump into the trends, let’s take a look at the corporate training landscape as a whole.

The Future of Corporate Learning

According to SHRM’s Skills Gap 2019 research, 75% of HR professionals say there is a shortage of skills in candidates for job openings. One of the “most effective remedies” mentioned in the report for this growing skills gap is to improve employee retention rates

Research has shown that employee training and development actually reduces employee turnover. The question is, do you believe it?

Take notes from Amazon. Earlier this year, Amazon announced a $700 million investment in employee training programsWe think it’s important to invest in our employees, and to help them gain new skills and create more professional options for themselves,” said Beth Galetti, senior vice president of HR.

Every year, corporate training trends evolve–but the value of employee training never changes. Use these corporate training trends to guide your training process whether you are onboarding new hires or upskilling current employees. The future of L&D starts inside your organization, today.

 

Top 4 Learning and Development Trends in 2020

Companies like Amazon understand the necessity of employee training and development–not only for new employees–but as an ongoing investment in current employees. Whether you invest $7,000 or $700 million, effective training is always advantageous to the business. A recent study, noted by Spotio, concluded that “every dollar invested in sales training returned $29 in incremental revenues.

Now it’s time to talk about what you don’t know (but should) about workplace learning and employee development.

 

Trend #1: Actionable Coaching

Research has shown that coaching is the number one competency that distinguishes average managers from highly effective managers. Actionable coaching is more than giving advice; it provides employees with constructive feedback, sets actionable goals, and develops a more efficient workforce.

As a manager, it’s not enough to say, “You didn’t do that right. Try again.” Managers must actively engage with employees to identify strong competencies and development gaps. For example, actionable coaching can turn a sales pitch tragedy into a training opportunity by creating a plan of action:

  1. Identify what part of the sales pitch or goal an employee missed.
  2. Explain the correct behavior or action expected and resource them with specific training material.
  3. Form a plan of action moving forward to train in weak areas and fill in knowledge gaps:
    • Brush up on product or service knowledge.
    • Review the messaging strategy.
    • Practice the pitch by role-playing with a colleague or mentor.
    • Set a completion date.

Coaches, how do you currently track your coaching engagements and employee observations?

In response to the need for better coaching tools to make actionable coaching more intuitive and effective, we’ve developed an easy-to-use mobile app that walks coaches through an observation flow and captures key data points. Here’s how it works:

  • Observe behaviors by taking coaches through a guided observation flow.
  • Capture information in the moment to keep coaches focused on the person in front of them.
  • Easily track and record detailed notes.
  • Provide feedback on strengths and opportunities.
  • Assist in creating SMART goals for tangible results.
  • Save documentation time.

If you aren’t observing, you can’t coach. Start tracking performance, skill progression, and providing constructive feedback to empower employees to make actionable changes.

 

Trend #2: 360 Certification

How do you know when your new hires are ready to be customer-facing?

At what point does your onboarding process transition new employees to executing responsibilities on their own?

How do you certify that your sales reps are ready to pitch prospects?

What guardrails can you put in place to ensure the best results?

We’re long past the point of a certification exam or a series of inconsistent classes being enough to guarantee readiness, let alone success. The future of corporate learning lends itself toward a 360 degree view of certification.

360 degree certification is holistic in nature. Begin by identifying a threshold that learners must meet before they are considered “certified.” Be sure to choose inputs that train and test on knowledge, skills, and behavior.

Then, use your Learning Management System (LMS) to create a unique formula of weighted inputs to automate the employee certification process. Inputs might include some or all of the following activities:

  • In-person training event
  • Video roleplay
  • Coaching session or observation
  • Mini knowledge checks
  • Action learning projects

The list could go on, but each input is used in combination with the others to collectively “certify” your rep.

Don’t stop at a one-time certification. Employee training is an ongoing process that continues well after onboarding has completed. Track employee training and recertify reps with refresher courses at various checkpoints in their careers to ensure knowledge retention over time. Reimagine how this will transform what “customer readiness” means for new hires and veteran employees.

The goal is to have employees cross-trained in everything from hard skills to soft skills throughout their career. This full-circle method of certification gives managers and employees a 360 degree view of what they are proficient in and where they need to improve.

2020 training trends webinar

The start of every new year is a chance to revisit training goals and aspirations for the coming 12 months. How do you know what’s worth your investment?

Trend #3: More Innovative Event Management

Are you using your LMS to its full potential by engaging, training, and assessing learners? Stop using your LMS as a repository for training and resources that aren’t being used anymore. An LMS that is being used effectively is an integral part of an employee’s work day.

Leverage your learning platform to pulse engaging pre-work, drive community traffic, and gamify training events with ongoing opportunities to earn points and rewards. Integrate your LMS across the organization to support business objectives and scale up your workforce.

 

Engage with Pre-Work

Pre-work should make a meeting, virtual instructor-led employee training (VILT), or webinar more valuable for both the attendees and the presenter. Take advantage of an LMS, like Spoke® LMS, to manage and engage attendees at your event. Reimagine pre-work as fun, engaging, and effective rather than just busywork:

  • Send out learning expectations and resource guides early to prepare learners.
  • Build assessments for learners to take beforehand to help gauge the audience.
  • Make pre-work visually stimulating with images, graphs, and multimedia.
  • Have some fun by using games to award points or prizes to those who complete pre-work.
  • Schedule email reminders to send out right before the session for optimal attendance.

Encourage learners to come with answers, questions, and comments so they participate in the conversation. Use engaging content that builds interest and promotes interaction among attendees.

Gamify Training Events

Games in training is one of those learning trends that will only get more influential every year. Use games and gamification at events to educate, improve the experience, fight disengagement, as well as create an environment of collaboration and healthy competition.

For example, a pharmaceutical national sales meeting is a great opportunity to implement games and gamification into an event. Use an LMS to award points or badges for various activities in order for participants to win a grand prize:

  • Attending different sessions.
  • Tweeting what they learned using an event branded hashtag.
  • Sharing photos on social media and tagging the company.
  • Networking with other attendees by exchanging business cards.
  • Collecting items from various booths.

Have games and gamification made it into your 2020 event plans?

Disengaged attendees are the bane of any event’s existence, in-person or virtual. Craft a learning culture that motivates and engages employees with the help of an LMS. Think Outside™ the box for your next corporate event!

 

Trend #4: Personalized Learning through AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no stranger to L&D or the world at this point. We talked about AI last year in our 2019 training trends blog, and it’s not going anywhere.

We interact with AI every day to make our lives easier. Google, Facebook, and Instagram all use AI-based algorithms to provide us with relevant information and ads to deliver a better user experience. Yet, in the workplace, AI is still severely underutilized.

AI At Work, a study conducted by Oracle and Future Workplace, discovered only 6% of HR professionals are currently using AI at work. Although, HR leaders believe AI will positively impact both L&D (27%) and performance management (26%) over the next two years. Both HR leaders and employees agree that the biggest impact AI will have on organizations is increased productivity.

AI caters to the individual who is handling it, fitting exclusively to the needs of each user. When AI is implemented into an LMS, it creates a personalized learning environment that becomes more intelligent over time. AI can improve employees’ learning experiences in many ways, but here are a few to consider:

  • Identify knowledge gaps in training then recommend the program(s) needed to strengthen that particular area.
  • Create a personalized course path using a blended learning approach and selecting the right modality for training content.
  • Measure training effectiveness through facial recognition to track what is being practically applied on the field as mentioned in our #4 trend for 2019.

The future of AI in the L&D space is limitless. If you don’t start adopting AI technology into your corporate training now, you’ll be limiting the potential of your business and employees later. Don’t get left behind.

 

2020 Training Trends Recap

L&D is constantly evolving with new technology and research used to improve the modern learner’s experience. Let’s recap our 2020 training trends:

  • Actionable coaching for actionable results. Don’t just manage employees. Use tech tools to coach employees with a plan of action that assesses their progress and improves performance.
  • 360 degree certification. Give your sales reps a full-circle onboarding experience using multiple methods of input so they are truly customer ready.
  • Use LMS for more innovative events. Engage employees at events with value-added pre-work and use both games and gamification to encourage participation, as well as collaboration.
  • Adopt AI for personalized learning. Use smart technology to support your training efforts. Start embracing AI in 2020; 93% of employees already say they would trust orders from a robot.

Need help implementing these new corporate training trends? Let our L&D professionals help you prepare for the future of work. Schedule your free training consultation today!

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How to Track Employee Training

Human capital is by far the most valuable asset to most any business. Although an intangible asset, people are a critical component to a business functioning at optimum capacity. People are part of the profit equation, and to make money, you have to spend money. Employees impact customer satisfaction, sales goals, ongoing innovation, company culture, etc. But, in most cases, employees are only as good as they are trained to be. Employee training is an opportunity for businesses to increase the value of their human capital. An employee training tracker is a key component to the training equation because it helps you identify if your employee training is directly increasing employee performance.

Furthermore, investing in employee training is important for the long term growth and success of a healthy business. So you’re probably thinking, “I agree, but how do I know if what I’m investing in is paying off?” We see where you’re coming from. Implementing an employee training plan usually starts with a learning management system (LMS).

Let’s talk about how an LMS transforms and tracks employee training today…

Employee Training Tracking Software

Training employees and tracking their progress is essential to properly evaluate what’s working, what information is not being retained, and what may need to change. To put things in perspective, up to 40% of employees who don’t receive adequate job training quit within the first year. Onboarding is no cheap investment, so when a new hire is made, that employee needs to be set up for success with well-defined job training.

Spoke® LMS

 

Spoke logo

Time for practical advice: The best way to track employee training is with an LMS.  Employee training tracking software, provided by an LMS, helps you collect, deliver, and track your company’s training content. Spoke® LMS is an award-winning, social LMS for the mobile workforce utilizing gamification to engage employees in training.

 

Assessment Builder

To understand the ROI of training, it needs to be accurately tracked. Tests, quizzes, and assessments are all ways for administrators and employees to identify areas for improvement. Spoke’s Assessment Builder is a useful, employee training tracker for both learners and admins to evaluate knowledge retention. 

Easily create assessments, track progress, and note trends to refine your training over time. Additionally, employees have the ability to test out of courses they have mastered to spend more time training on topics they don’t know as well. Gain insights on how effective your training is by retrieving granular data on specific questions or administer surveys for a broader view.

spoke assessment example questions

Assessments are fully customizable and can be required before or after a training. A pre-assessment is a good way to draw a baseline for comparing employees’ results, post-training. Using a tool like Assessment Builder as an employee training tracker is a great way to start evaluating your internal training efforts. The more you measure, the more you know.

Spoke® Reports

Keep track of your team’s overall results or review individual learner data with Spoke® Reports. Robust reporting helps you identify coaching opportunities for learners who have skill gaps and empower teams that need additional training resources. Filter reports by team, region, job code, and organizational hierarchy.

Spoke LMS reporting features

Dial in on course completions, user activity, and course activities. Practical, performance evaluations have never been so easy. Measure ROI with visual, interactive reports and go beyond the basics to discover metrics like social participation and learner engagement.

To grow your business you have to know your business. Access real-time, interactive dashboards, stunning user transcripts, and optional, business intelligence reports. Spoke is completely customizable to fit your business’ branding too, so you get all the credit for employee training satisfaction (don’t worry, we won’t Unbox your secret).

 

The Kirkpatrick Model

Dig a bit deeper into tracking employee training with the Kirkpatrick Model, which identifies four levels of learning evaluation:

kirkpatrick model four levels learning

At Unboxed Training & Technology, we use the Kirkpatrick Model to evaluate the effectiveness of employee training. Tracking employee training can be an elusive topic, but the four levels of learning can be used as guidelines to evaluate employees with some help from Spoke® LMS.

Reaction: Spoke® Surveys

The first level, “Reaction,” is meant to measure the learner’s experience with the training after they have completed a course. Practically speaking, this would look like administering a survey at the end of a training to gauge the employee’s experience. Some example questions could be:

  • How did you like the training? 
  • What did you like about it?
  • Did you enjoy the learning experience?
  • How do you feel post-training?
  • Were you satisfied with the virtual instructor?

Learning: Spoke® Assessments

The second level, “Learning,” tests the employee’s new knowledge to determine the retention of what was learned. A pre-assessment and post-assessment should be administered to properly gauge the level of comprehension.

  • Pre-assessment: ask questions related to the training topic.
  • Post-assessment: ask topical or scenario-based questions directly after the training to test knowledge retention.
    • What new topics did they learn?
    • How well did they acquire this new knowledge?
    • Are they confident in their abilities to execute the job’s task.
  • Compare results.

Behavior: Practical Application

The third level, “Behavior,” is where the post-training application is played out. Interviews and scenario-based assessments are helpful tools when analyzing the effectiveness of training 3-6 months later. Tests and quizzes are not as effective at this level because behavior changes don’t play out on paper. Changes in behavior occur at different times for everyone and typically require a personal follow up at a later date. 

Results: Key Performance Indicators

Positive results are the goal of any employee training initiative. The success of training is seen over time by measuring company sales goals, team efficiency, individual task completion, customer satisfaction, product quality, faster turnaround times, etc. Identify specific, key performance indicators (KPI) to track, measure, and evaluate. Use those KPI’s to determine how successful the training proved to be over a particular time frame. Review the results at an appointed time or during the employee’s end-of-year evaluation.

 

Tell Me More About Spoke® LMS

Every business is unique, but so is every employee. Training should be custom fit to meet the needs of your business and the learning needs of employees. Do you have an employee training tracker to measure results? Is your training doing the job? Are you ready to start making employee training trackable and more impactful? Request a demo of Spoke® or attend an upcoming Spoke® webinar. Our Spokes-people are on standby to show you how Spoke® can help you train better teams today.

Sources: Kurt, S. “Kirkpatrick Model: Four Levels of Learning Evaluation,” in Educational Technology, October 24, 2016. Retrieved from https://educationaltechnology.net/kirkpatrick-model-four-levels-learning-evaluation/

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5 Ways to Utilize E-Learning Games in Employee Training

In the ever-changing world of technology, the race to stay up to date is an exhausting feat. Modern learners are bombarded with texts, emails, phone calls, push notifications, and all kinds of digital distractions throughout the day. Simplifying the training experience is pinnacle to both effective learning and knowledge retention. Integrating eLearning games into your training increases training interactions by 3x, improves knowledge from beginning to end by 64%, and boosts employee engagement (who doesn’t love a good competition?).

Gamification in Business

Gamification is a buzzword these days as one of the most popular learning styles for both learners and educators. Gamification is the application of game mechanics in non-gaming contexts, such as employee training, to increase engagement. Examples of game mechanics include badges, points, levels, and leaderboards. 

corporate university meister learning retention triangle data

Statistically speaking, people only retain about 10% of what they read and 20% of what they hear/see. Corporate Universities author, Jeanne Meister, notes compelling evidence for incorporating gamification in business today:

“Interactive learning games can increase long-term retention rates by up to 10 times.”

5 eLearning Games

In a previous blog, we talked about some questions to consider before introducing games in training. The question isn’t if your organization should introduce games, but how. To understand how you can start utilizing eLearning games in employee training, consider the following.

1. Jeopardy!®

Documenting all of the ins and outs of company products, policies, and best practices could quickly fill a 50-page manual; thankfully, those are long gone! Use the traditional Jeopardy!® format to train employees and reinforce specific topics, relevant to various job descriptions. Assess both hard skills and soft skills with customizable categories to fit your company’s needs.

Jeopardy!® for training includes all of the same rules as the top-rated quiz show on TV with wagers, Double Jeopardy!®, Final Jeopardy!®, and “Daily Doubles.” For cybersecurity training, the categories might be “Passwords,” “Don’t Do This,” and “Crack The Code.” The possibilities are endless and employees will most likely be familiar with the game rules making adoption easy.

2. Recall

Everyone learns differently, so using a mix of training games supports a range of employee learning styles. Recall uses visual learning to test employees’ ability to memorize using videos and images. 

For instance, the game will display a picture, such as a work environment, without giving the player any hint as to what they need to remember. The player is then challenged to recall specific details about what they just saw during a series of questions testing memorization and retention.

3. Trivia

Not a good test taker? No problem. Trivia transforms the negative sentiments around assessments into an exciting, competitive game using points, timers, and leaderboards. Employees are more engaged when tests are gamified into trivia questions. 

Trivia helps learners make the right decisions, faster. Use Trivia to test product knowledge, terminology, encourage asymmetrical thinking (i.e. Think Outside™ the box) and improve retention.

4. Scenarios

Product knowledge and negotiations can be difficult to practice when there is no application for on-the-job instances. Virtual scenarios provide employees the opportunity to learn in a fail-safe setting before being in the “real world.” 

Scenarios are a great training type for customer service representatives, salespeople, and management. Gamified scenarios allow employees to step into the shoes of a virtual character and engage in different conversation paths to test soft skills. Realistic, contextual simulations also help to assess cause and effect decision making.

5. Scramble

New job, new everything. A new employee can feel like they just walked into a foreign country as they begin integrating into the workplace. Colleagues may seem to be speaking another language if new hires are not well prepared with training. Onboarding is an important process to effectively equip new hires, but it doesn’t have to be all mundane.

Scramble is a great resource for terminology and can be played in two ways: Word Scramble and Sentence Scramble. Sentences are either written with a word missing or laid out in a word bank where players are challenged to correctly reorganize them. Learners are tested on knowledge retention whether they are new or seasoned employees.

Game On

Gamified learning management systems (LMS) motivate learners to excel, progress, and achieve final outcomes with anticipation. Each game is easily tracked for robust reporting on an individual or team data. Identify knowledge gaps, improve retention, and empower employees with more effective training experiences. 

When gamification is implemented into eLearning, companies increase employee engagement by 60% and improve productivity by 50% (eLearning Learning). Who’s ready for a performance review now? At Unboxed Training & Technology, we offer a full list of customizable employee training games. Learn more about how to level up your training with eLearning games by watching our Beyond Gamification webinar!

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