Microlearning: the best kept secret for boosting workforce engagement and performanceWatch Video
Good afternoon, and welcome to today’s webcast, Microlearning, the Best Kept Secret for Boosting Workforce Engagement and Performance, sponsored by Axonify. My name is Jill Jusko. I’m senior editor with Industry Week.
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Now I would like to take a moment and introduce today’s speaker. She is Carol Leaman and she’s the CEO of Axonify, Inc., a disrupter in the corporate learning space, and innovator behind the Axonify microlearning platform, proven to increase employee knowledge and performance necessary for achieving targeted business results. Prior to Axonify, Carol was the CEO of PostRank Inc., a social engagement analytics company that she sold to Google in 2011. Carol has also held CEO positions at several other technology firms. She’s a frequent speaker, regular contributor to Fortune, and a well-respected thought leader. She also sits on the boards of many organizations, both charitable and for profit, and advises a variety of high tech firms in Canada’s technology triangle. Carol, welcome, and the floor is yours.
Thank you very much, Jill, and thank you all for joining us this afternoon. As Jill mentioned, the topic for today’s webinar is microlearning, which is the best-kept secret for boosting workforce engagement and performance. We’re going to get into various aspects of that and hope that you have lots of questions that I’ll be happy to answer at the end.
The focus for today is what you see here on the agenda. We’re going to talk a little bit about the modern workplace and the modern workforce and characteristics of those. We’re going to delve into microlearning, what is it and why is it so important to be thinking about now? We’re going to then talk about five ways that it can boost frontline performance very specifically, and we’re going to close with showing you some microlearning in action and talk about some specific examples of organizations who are employing it to great financial benefit and outcome.
Let’s just start by looking at some data. The reality is that all workplaces today really need to be thinking about digitization. The modern workplace requires a different kind of worker than it ever has before, and you see some of these stats here that are really, really significant. The top one in blue, digitally mature organizations are four times more likely to provide employees with the needed skills than are organizations at lower ends of the spectrum. Why is that important? Well, it goes to the stat in the orange box in the bottom right corner. 66% of chief information officers believe that demand for talent is going to out-pace the supply just in the next three or four years by five times. That’s hugely significant. Organizations are currently feeling the pinch of finding mature skilled workers to stick around actually. Retention is also a huge issue. Being skilled in ways that they need to be skilled at is becoming an increasing issue.
In the green box, 50% of executives identified lack of digital expertise and skills as a huge barrier to the overall transformation of the organization. It doesn’t matter what kind of organization you have, whether it is a mix of knowledge-based workers with highly skilled workers or skills-based workers primarily, all organizations really need to be thinking about their digital transformation journey to upscale their people, to retain them longer, to get the best out of them while you have them, and to contribute to the bottom line in some pretty tangible ways.
Why are we talking about this at all? Well, the reality of the workplace today is that traditional methods of training our people simply aren’t meeting the needs of the modern workplace. Why? Because first of all, we are taking people off the floor, putting them in a classroom, and really being disruptive to the work flow. In the pace of business today, that often doesn’t work. We’re also delivering one size fits all one time events that convey way too much information in that one event that overwhelms the employee and the learner and really aren’t conducive to creating an environment for long-term retention that people in fact remember. It’s because of that one time event with a complete lack of reinforcement, people do forget. I’m going to talk about that in just a couple of minutes in terms of how quickly the brain forgets.
Those events are also completely not engaging, they’re not fun, they tend to be extremely boring, and with attention spans being what they are today, within 10 minutes the typical person is thinking about lots of other things besides what they’re learning. As the sessions go on and on, that problem becomes increasingly apparent. People just simply don’t remember what they heard 45 minutes in, three hours in, seven hours in. The reality is because they’re one time events where you sit people in a classroom and don’t continuously reinforce, you aren’t able to keep up with the pace of change of business. Things that you trained on a week ago or a month ago or six months ago could in fact be very different today, and oftentimes organizations don’t have the ability to immediately address changes in procedures, policies, a whole variety of things that require learning at the moment of need.
Here’s what I mentioned just a moment ago. Traditional learning really can be described in this visual format. What we have historically done in many organizations, continue to do today, is to train people in that one event, and it results in what you see here in green, that bubble, that big bump and curve. During the training event, people will in fact acquire a certain amount of information that you are conveying to them, but just like what happens when we do this to kids in school, we get them to cram a whole bunch of information into their heads prior to a test, for example. People can very short term retain larger volumes of information in what’s called working memory, but very, very quickly after that one time event, the human brain simply isn’t capable of retaining the information long term. As the green piece of that slide indicates, memory degradation begins to happen very rapidly, and the down slope of that green curve is what’s often referred to as the forgetting curve. People just, by way of the way humans are built, forget things very rapidly.
You can, on the job, reinforce immediately after the event to try to instill increased learning transfer, and you really should do that, because leaving it to chance and not doing it in a way that you know it’s going to happen results in that forgetting curve. To really realize the true value of training long term, you need an approach to continuous on-going reinforcement of information that helps the brain remember it, sustains that knowledge long term, so that your workforce can in fact employ that knowledge at the moment of need when they’re on the job.
All of that means that to support your modern workplace, you really need to be thinking differently about your approach to workplace training. It’s a very different world today than it was even five years ago, and certainly ten years ago and beyond. Those changes really mean you need to be thinking about a continuous approach to learning, having it delivered in very short, small chunks of information, so that the brain can in fact remember those things easily, make it collaborative, get people talking to one another about knowledge, having your learners or your employees in your workforce provide input into content and the right way to do things. If you make a learning situation or experience engaging, you’ll find that learners and employees in your workforce in fact want to do it voluntarily. Where you make it woven into their work day and not pulling them away in those one time events, just make it easily accessible, you can get them to do it voluntarily.
Many organizations also have questions about devices and where points of access need to be. Many are moving to the idea that we’re just going to make information access device agnostic, wherever, whenever the employee needs to access it. Instead of that one size fits all content where you’re training frankly everybody to the lowest common denominator just so that you have to make sure everybody knows all of the thing, if you have a solution that focuses on high value content specific to the learner, you can really optimize the learning experience, which helps with engagement and retention person by person. If they don’t remember something, providing them a way to find quick information right at that point of need is also essential. Those are principles that all of us really need to be thinking about in terms of the modern workplace and the modern employee and what they need.
All of that is a really good foundation for introducing this concept of microlearning. Some of you may have heard the term previously. I’m going to give a really quick definition here. It’s not a big mystery. Microlearning, as you might expect from the word, is really just an approach to training that delivers the content you need delivered in those short, focused bites that I mentioned a moment ago. Microlearning was often referred to as bite-sized learning or nano learning, chunked learning a few years ago. The term microlearning has now emerged as the common term. Partnered with those short bites is this whole concept of weaving it into the work day wherever and whenever the workforce needs to have it or has a short bit of time to do some learning. By doing it in those short bites, you are mapping to how the brain actually learns and retains knowledge long term.
I’m going to take a quick step back here and very briefly explore why has this concept of microlearning emerged and why is it being adopted so quickly? It really is the case the five years ago we simply trained people the way we’ve always trained them, in long sessions in classrooms, pulling them away from their jobs, or getting them to watch long form videos at the start of a job or when something new emerged in the workplace. Both of those experiences, the long form content online, or long form in classroom, really have been, for decades, the only tools available for us to train the workforce. Microlearning has completely changed the game.
Why is that? Well, the reality is over the last five, extending out to possibly ten years, three things have collided, three realities have collided that have really made microlearning emerge as the most effective way for anybody to train on anything. They’re the three things you see here in the bubble. First, the characteristics of the modern employee have changed pretty dramatically, and I’ll talk about that momentarily. The second thing is we have increasing knowledge demands on employees that really are resulting from the change in the pace of business today. It is simply the case we need to know more than we’ve ever needed to know. The third thing are some really interesting advancements in both science and technology that have given us tools to be able to deliver and measure and adapt training in ways that have never been possible before.
Back to the characteristics of the modern employee. I just summarized here on a slide something that was published about two years ago, two and a half years ago, by an analyst in the learning or training space. They did a survey of thousands of employees to really try to discern what the common characteristics of today’s employees are. This is a really brief summary of some of the highlights of what they discovered.
First of all, there has been a 25% decay in our attention spans in a very short period of time. From 2000 to 2015, our attention spans have gone down 25%. We are all so used to small bits of information coming at us from all kinds of different sources and our ability to remain focused has diminished.
The second thing is 60% of us use mobile devices, wireless computing of some sort, and this has just become ubiquitous in our lives. We are so connected, more connected than we’ve ever been.
70% of learners or employees, when they don’t have the right information at their fingertips on the job will in fact turn to search engines for knowledge. This is kind of an alarming statistic because you don’t necessarily want your workforce to be Googling information to figure out how to do something or what to know in a particular circumstance that may or may not be the correct thing, but because it’s there at our fingertips we do it on a frequent basis.
87% of employees believe that collaboration or sharing knowledge with other team members if just such an integral part of becoming knowledgeable and learning and sharing information. Enabling that in today’s workforce is critical.
57% of interruptions at work are because of technology. I don’t think it needs any more explanation than that. We’re all subjected to it, whether we like it or not. We’re paying attention to what’s buzzing, what’s flashing, checking all kinds of different modes of communication, and it is a huge distraction that didn’t exist 10 to 15 years ago.
75%, a full three-quarters of us, will state that we are stressed at work. We’ve got too much to do, we’re overwhelmed, we have lots of information coming at us, lots of deliverables, and we’re juggling far too many things.
All of those things result in this. Only 1% of a typical work week is available to focus on training and development. That is virtually nothing. We’ve got so much going on as a modern workforce that we just don’t have more than what amounts to three, four, five minutes a day to devote to learning. Those characteristics of the modern workforce are here. Whether we like it or not, that’s what exists today.
That second bubble that I showed a few minutes ago really is saying in a different way what I’ve already said. These increasing knowledge demands on all of us mean that we have to know and do and perform in ways, to a level that’s expected of us that is unprecedented. It creates a huge amount of pressure on the workforce to be consistently staying on top of all of things that they need to know to be top performers in the business and deliver on what their objectives are. Those increasing knowledge demands exist and they aren’t going away.
When employees don’t have what they need to know to perform, it can be very expensive to the employer, and many times those expensive items aren’t necessarily completely visible. When employees are making judgments all day based on lack of information or incorrect information, you just don’t know sometimes what those judgments are and how much money that can be costing you. Having a very knowledgeable workforce is essential to maximizing your business outcome.
Finally, that third bubble, the advancements in science and technology that I mentioned, have been super interesting over the last decade. Really it comes from, it results from the fact that there have been many, many studies done now about the brain, and the understanding of cognitive science is unlike anything that it’s ever been. What we know now is that there are some specific concepts that have been studied and proven that scientists know will drive much better learning and long term retention. There are concepts that are called spaced repetition, which is spacing key learning points over a period of time, typically 30 days, and that spacing being very prescriptive, so that the employee is presented information that is repetitious and highly focused on them. That’s the really key technique to long term retention.
Another concept that has been discovered and known to drive very rapid retention of information is something called retrieval practice. It’s really interesting that it turns out the best way to get a human being to remember anything is to simply ask that individual a question and get them to retrieve the answer from their own brain. If you do that repeatedly, you hone the neural pathways in the brain which creates memory and long term retention very, very effectively. Instead of just asking or telling one of your workers a particular piece of information, asking them to tell you what the right answer is a very effective way to create memory and grow knowledge.
Another concept, deep encoding, when you can associate a piece of knowledge you need somebody to know with something else, then you have a greater opportunity to get them to remember it and act on it in the point of need. Finally, where you can also have your employee self assess or think about how confident are they in what they know? When they answer a question, what is their level of confidence in their knowledge? It’s another way of being thoughtful and ingraining that knowledge even deeper in the brain. Of course, giving them the right answer, letting them know whether they know it or don’t know it is essential to all of this.
Advancements in technology, I think, go without saying. We’ve all seen just the dramatic shift in what we have available to us today. Cloud-based technologies, we’re into Web 3.0 now. It’s beyond Web 2.0. The rise of social networks and the connectedness, and the use of mobile and video. It’s just expected today that these things are going to be available in the workplace, and they are, and we should be using them.
All of these things combined have led to the rise of microlearning as a key approach to corporate training, that because of this collision of these three things has allowed it to happen unlike any time previously. We have the tools, we have the technology, and those things just happen to fit very nicely with the demands of the modern workforce.
I’m going to turn now to five ways that microlearning can boost your frontline performance while still keeping production moving. Again, what we’re trying to avoid is pulling people off the floor, consuming them for hours or a day or days, and really just giving them information in those short bites so that they can keep working on the job and keep delivering and performing for you.
The first thing that I want to talk about is this idea that learning, training should be personalized. It is absolutely essential that learning be relevant to the individual. I don’t know really how to explain it other than when you are asking questions of an individual and you can measure individual key learning points, what they know and don’t know, for example about how to properly use a ladder, you can adjust the learning person by person based on that information to make sure that what you’re training them on is relevant to them.
Again, you’re getting away from that one size fits all content and you could be agile and push out what an individual needs to know in that moment of need. Where you can make it fun, where you can employ techniques like gamification, then you can get engagement and actually create what’s called the dopamine effect in the brain. These sorts of things really apply to multi-cultural environments, multi-lingual environments and a multi-generational workforce. You really need to be thinking about how to make it personal, relevant and fun to engage learners in the learning.
The second point is that because microlearning is delivered in small bites, it is consumable on any device, anywhere, any time that the employee needs to get it or has the time to learn. It doesn’t require the employee to be pulled away or to sit at a desk to consume content. That is absolutely key in today’s modern environments.
The third thing is that microlearning platforms provide the ability to be agile and really push out information immediately. Again, you don’t need to wait. For example, and this is actually a real example of how an organization has used microlearning, if a hurricane is barreling down the east coast of the U.S., for example, you can instantly target the individuals in the facility that might be impacted by that weather event and push to them disaster preparedness content literally in minutes. You can know who’s consumed it and when, so that you have a really, really good read on what the population knows or doesn’t know in terms of that immediate need to know some key information.
The fourth thing is what I was talking about a few minutes ago. Microlearning really combats the forgetting curve, so you can get into this continuous cycle of reinforcement through using those concepts of spaced repetition and retrieval practice and aligning that knowledge with how your individual workers, the entire workforce and their brains actually work to learn and retain knowledge so that they have it a the point of need.
Finally the fifth point is microlearning, interestingly, because of the way you can now measure, track, everything that gets done online, you can continually monitor what your workforce knows or doesn’t know, what progress they’re making through topics, through subjects and towards your business goals, and it really can allow you to identify potential gaps or risks in your business that result from lack of knowledge. Microlearning, just by its nature, provides an opportunity to capture data at a micro level so that you can use that data and analyze that data to optimize the training experience person by person and really hone in on what is going to move the needle for your business.
With that I’m going to turn to some examples of microlearning in action, and we’re going to talk about Walmart, Merck and At Home, which is a specialty retailer that many of you may be familiar with. The first example is Walmart. Walmart has a fantastic logistics operation in the U.S. There are about 150 distribution centers with upwards of 90,000 people working in those environments. Walmart has an extremely high culture of safety. They are very, very much into keeping their workforce safe both at work, but also at home. You can see here that they launched microlearning in 2012, so going on six years ago, in an effort to continue to move the needle on driving their culture of safety.
In practice what’s happening is those 90,000 plus associates receive daily training via microlearning. You can see some of the results at the bottom of the slide there. Here we are six years later, and 91% or more of those 90,000 people voluntarily participate in the learning event because it’s short, they can get it when they need it, when they have those few minutes a day, and it’s fun, competitive, collaborative with the other associates, so it’s very appealing which drives that massive voluntary participation.
You can see that knowledge growth across all safety topics has been greater than 15%. A significant level of growth in knowledge in topic areas that are critical to keeping people safe on the job and reducing those OSHA reportable incidents. You can see here that the recordable incidents decreased by 54% during the initial pilot of eight facilities, and that was over the first six months, so a very, very significant business outcome that resulted from on-going engaged employees consuming microlearning content in a key area that had a very measurable business outcome.
Where do they employ it? Interestingly, people ask frequently how do employees access this in that environment? Interestingly, a Walmart general manager of one of the facilities came up with just a genius idea, and that was that the employees had to charge a battery on a handheld device that they carried around once a shift, and it took about three minutes to charge that battery. They put a terminal beside a battery charging station and while the worker was charging their handheld, they were then able to immediately get on and do their microlearning. It made the acceptability very, very easy and it just fit into the natural work flow of the workforce, making it, again, that much more easy, appealing and accessible for everybody.
What they also do is they tie behavior observations to the actual levels of knowledge of the population in key areas. Like many facilities where behavior observations are common, Walmart is able to record the correct behavior or incorrect behavior in key safety topic areas which get correlated back to levels of knowledge of the workforce so that where levels of knowledge are poor and behavior observations are also poor, then they can immediately address what’s going on in those topic areas with the goal, of course, of mitigating any potential OSHA or reportable incident. They are using a very robust approach to tying specific knowledge delivered through microlearning and key learning points to the individual behaviors being exhibited or performed by the workforce, and having a really rich dataset with which to elevate again on safety.
The second example is Merck, so the drug company that I’m sure everybody is familiar with. Merck launched their microlearning approach really to drive a proactive culture of safety in their 52 global manufacturing facilities. It’s now moved across many other areas of the business. Again, at the bottom of the slide, you can see some of the tremendous results that Merck has gotten through microlearning. Again, huge voluntary participation, which in most learning situations, frankly doesn’t exist. Where you make it difficult for employees to learn, they will in fact not typically accept company websites or portals if you make it hard for them to go looking. If you make it easy, they will voluntarily participate. They also have seen significant knowledge growth across their safety topics, so 13% plus, which has resulted in a significant decrease in incident rates just like Walmart, and also a decrease in lost time injury frequency rates. Lots of measurable business outcomes resulting from a highly knowledgeable workforce in areas where they normally would experience some significant cost.
Finally we have At Home. At Home is a beautiful specialty retailer in the U.S. that is growing very, very rapidly, and they implemented a microlearning approach to their 150 stores, 3,000 plus associates, to really drive a dramatic cultural shift. They had a total rebrand a few years ago, and they wanted all of their employees to have the new name, the new approach, the new look, feel and cultural value of the new At Home really ingrained across that workforce. Again, you see massive voluntary participation across their thousands of associates. They’ve seen a dramatic decrease in onboarding time. It’s gone down 90% over what it previously was, and that was previously a very extensive onboarding program that took a long time to do, which they’ve now chunked down into microlearning and been able to accomplish much more quickly. With that speed, of course, comes cost effectiveness as well.
They’ve seen a 36% drop in safety incidents which are, many of you would know, prevalent in the retail environment, and they’ve also seen a 78% completion of compliance training in two weeks, which again is an area where if you need employees to be compliant, and not just compliant at a point in time, but compliant with knowledge on-going so that six months later, nine months later, they still understand what they need to be compliant with, microlearning is an excellent approach to achieving that very, very quickly.
When you combine all three of these things and essentially these are what is in the Axonify learning model, you can create an experience for your workforce grounded in brain science and adapted microlearning principles wrapped in gamification to create engagement and excitement and collaboration. You end up with an experience for your workforce that not only is highly effective for you as an organization, but results in the workforce doing exactly what you need them to do when they need to do it, and doing that very repeatably and scalably across the organization. Having the employee engaged in the learning experience, wanting to have that learning experience, enjoying the learning experience and in fact participating collaboratively with other employees and making sure that knowledge stays high across that workforce.
In manufacturing, distribution, logistics, lots of organizations are leveraging Axonify as their platform to deliver that microlearning experience. As you can see on the wheel, many different types of applications of microlearning, from onboarding to standards of practice, like your code of conduct, mission, vision, values, to specific topics like safety topics, quality topics, leadership topics, sales, other job skills, loss prevention, many, many areas of the business where you need people to perform at peak with the right knowledge at the right time, and taking a microlearning approach really helps you to attract people, retain and up skill them and have them recognize that you are taking action to help them improve their skills, be better employees, contribute to the organization in really tangible ways, and we’ve seen some really interesting results from things like retention, where employees understand that you are specifically trying to help them and improve their skills and making it easily accessible to them, you can drive that longer term retention and also get the business performance that you’re looking for.
If you want to learn more about microlearning and get some tips and tricks and foundational information tools that you can take back to your organization, you can download that at axonify.com/industryweek, and really kind of delve into this a little bit more and help you get on the path to microlearning. With that, I will turn it back to Jill and see if we have any questions I can answer.
Okay. Thank you very much, Carol. A few of the audience members have already submitted questions, so we are going to jump right into those questions. I’m going to ask our audience that while our presenters are answering the question, please take a moment, audience members, to fill out the feedback form that appears or should appear on the left side of your screen. With that, Carol, are you ready for questions?
Okay. Question number one. This is from Dennis, who asks how do you differentiate between educating and training in microlearning if the employee needs to be educated before hands on training?
That’s a great question, Dennis. We absolutely advocate and recognize that there are certain jobs that require foundational knowledge before you can send somebody out into the field or onto the floor and have them learning in short bits of information. How you can lay that foundation down is often a blended approach that involves sometimes classroom training, sometimes a module online. Certainly if you use a software platform like Axonify or others, you can deliver that online learning up front through an onboarding module that gives the individual that foundational level of knowledge before key skills needs to be reinforced on the job and on-going. It is a blended approach, and we see many organizations doing exactly that.
Okay. Thank you. Our next question is how can I get support from a leadership perspective? What do other companies do to ensure support of leadership at all levels?
That’s another great question. Really what it comes down to is businesses, CEOs, C level leadership individuals are typically all about achieving a business outcome, and for the first time ever, learning and development professionals have the ability to prove the value of learning. Unlike in years past where you conducted a session or got somebody to watch one video online, you really had no idea what the value was that they were deriving from that and then using to perform on the job. Microlearning gives you all of the data to prove exactly what the business outcome impact of knowledge is, and can be. In our experience, being able to show that business value, the proof points, the ROI very measurably instantly gets the attention of leadership.
You know, if you want to connect after, I can give you lots of examples of some very specific business outcomes and numbers that are achieved through a microlearning approach that are substantial and very, very provable. It’s completely changed the game in terms of the way the senior leadership in an organization views the value of training in the organization. It’s gone from being we’ve got to do it, almost like we have to, it’s a necessary evil, to how can we optimize it to increase sales 5% or decrease those OSHA recordables by 25%. L&D in organizations or business unit owners who are managing a workforce now have the tools to be able to do that. Numbers matter and when you can prove the numbers, you can really build a very compelling business case.
Okay. Thank you, Carol. Our next question comes from Christine who asks how are the real world behavior observations captured.
They are captured on the Axonify platform, so there is a module that’s attached to the learning module called Behaviors. I’ll give you an example of how this would be done. Let’s just say your business outcome is that you want ladder safety incidents to be zero, or substantially reduced from where they are today. You would decompose that objective into some key behaviors that result in fewer accidents. Did the individual use three points of contact? Did the individual put the brake on? Did they lean it at the appropriate angle?
You can decompose ladder safety into the specific behaviors and put those on the platform attached to the ladder safety training module, and an individual can walk around the facility and randomly observe people performing those tasks and immediately assess whether it’s being done correctly or incorrectly. It’s captured directly onto the platform and then instantly tied to what is known or not known about ladder safety based on the employee’s learning performance. Where behavior is deficient, knowledge is deficient, the learning algorithm will work to immediately self heal that knowledge and improve it so that you can mitigate those accidents. It’s all done within an enclosed solution that ties everything together.
Okay, thank you, Carol. Our next question from Robin and Robin asks does Axonify already have content on its platform or is that something that we have to create on our own?
We have what we call a content library that has many subjects and topics in standard areas that cross many types of organizations, so for example in the topic area of ladder safety, there is a standard ladder safety module that you can pull in. It’s pre-Axonified as we call it. The key learning points have already been developed, the behaviors, the questions, and you can instantly pull it in. Most organizations do a variety of things. They have existing content that they train on already via classroom or in other online means, and we just teach you very quickly how to Axonify that preexisting content and put it on your instance of the platform. There’s a variety of ways to do it. You can use existing content that we’ve got and even edit it if you want to, or you can Axonify your own content.
Okay. Thank you very much. We have a question here from Marcio who asks regarding time between modules, I think, how long does it take?
A typical learning experience is three to five minutes a day. That’s all you need. It is three to five minutes, anywhere, any time the employee has that amount of time. What happens in terms of the algorithm is that let’s just say that you and I were starting the same job the same day, and today each of us got five questions that were reinforcing knowledge we needed to have. You got them all right, all five right, I got all five wrong. What you would see tomorrow and what I would see tomorrow are different based on our performance around the knowledge in those five questions. The spacing or timing of when each of us sees those same questions again immediately adjusts based on our performance. In my case, I’m going to see those five questions much sooner than you would because you got them all right the first time.
What we do is algorithmically space the representation or the re-questioning based on when we know the brain is just about to forget something. We reinforce it immediately and hone that neural pathway over a 30 to 45 day period so that the person never forgets it again. That’s kind of how the algorithm works in terms of spacing. You can deploy, if you wanted to deploy 10 different topic areas day one, then the questions associated with those topic areas get woven in together. You set your priorities, but they get woven together, so I may get two questions in ladder safety, two questions in WHMIS or hazardous waste disposal. Basically how you prioritize the topics is all part and parcel of what we would tell you how to do.
Okay. Our next question is from Carolyn who asks I run a shop floor. Where would an employee typically access this type of learning?
It really does depend on your environment. There are organizations who, like Walmart, put them in a central location so that it’s easily acceptable and kind of fits into that work flow. There are other organizations who allow their workforce to use their own personal mobile devices. There are other organizations that provide a kiosk in a break room. Really it just depends on what you want to make acceptable to the work force so that it’s easy, convenient and fits into the work flow. The device really doesn’t matter. It’s completely device agnostic.
Okay. The next question says my employees don’t have email addresses. How do they get their training?
That’s a great question too. You’re not required to have an email address. As long as you have been registered as a user and you have a point of access on some kind of device, you can go on as a registered user with your login information and immediately do your training. It does not require an email address. In fact, interestingly, many organizations who don’t give email addresses to their employees use Axonify as a way to communicate daily information, not just learning information, those key learning points, but through broadcast messaging. For example, sending out a broadcast message that’s applicable to everybody that’s a quick video or a quick slide that you need people to know instantly, and it’s a way to communicate with a deskless workforce who does not have an email address.
Okay. Thank you, Carol. How can microlearning support my upscaling efforts?
Microlearning is just a really effective way to track what people know and don’t know instantly, real time, and to provide them a learning path that continuously gives them new information to take them to the next level of knowledge in a new topic area and really very specifically allow them to progress through content that is not just beneficial for them as an individual, but beneficial for you as an organization to have them know. Because microlearning and the approach allows you to track absolutely everything down to the level of the individual, it really is a way to keep a record of accomplishments, knowledge accomplishments and learning of each individual, and give them incremental learning opportunities that frankly can go on forever. It is a way to keep your employees knowing that you are investing in them continuously and adding to their skill base and really wanting them to be top performers in your workplace.
Okay. We have another question here, and it is how do your customers get their employees to access the training voluntarily?
That’s a great question too. Interestingly, we have honed in on about 20 different game mechanics that appeal to all different ages, demographics, cultural differences between countries. There are things like casual game play. We have about 50 different very casual games on the platform that an employee can play for one to three minutes as part of the learning experience. They’re competitive, they’re a lot of fun, they free the brain of distraction and really actually enhance the ability to learn.
That’s just one game mechanic. There are competitive game mechanics. There are leader boards. There are prizes you can win for successful learning. There are lots of different things that make it a highly appealing and engaging experience that gets the learner, the employee to come back day after day after day. Interestingly, when you show your workforce that they are in fact learning and you expose to them their personal learning journey and their success in that, it is very, very interesting how there is a natural intrinsic motivation to be smarter on the part of the individual. It builds on itself over time, so if you can get them engaged at the outset, you will be amazed at how they will continue to want to learn and be smarter and acquire those additional skills voluntarily, without ever being asked.
Okay. Thank you, Carol. It appears that we are approaching the top of the hour, which means unfortunately we have run out of time. I’d like to thank Carol Leaman and our sponsor, Axonify, for today’s presentation. I’d like to thank the audience for their participation. We got a lot of great questions. As a reminder, if you are registered as a group, please add the names and the emails of everyone in attendance on the exit survey. With that, on behalf of Industry Week, have a productive remainder of the day. Thank you.