By Dr. Nadeem Ahmed Khan
According to a recent SHRM study, employee engagement is the No. 1 issue that has been acknowledged by surveyed HR professionals. One challenge is to involve employees across multiple generations and retain top performers to encourage them. There is a good reason for employers to invest in training to increase the value of their jobs by offering them learning opportunities.
The Gallup designed a 12 question survey to measure employee engagement. The instrument was the result of hundreds of focus groups and interviews.
The engagement index divides employees into three categories.
- Engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward.
- Not-Engaged employees are essentially “checked out.” They are sleepwalking through their workday. They lack energy and passion for their work.
- Actively Disengaged employees aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged co-workers accomplish.
Table 1: Results of the latest engagement index
HRD techniques including training and development programs can address the majority of these survey questions. The immediate question that comes to in mind how to keep employees engaged? The survey revealed that training and development programs are the most efficient ways. Not providing training and development opportunities to employees can negatively affect employee’s performance.
The Training and Development programs were very expensive and the transfer of learning through these programs is always questionable. The majority of employers and employees have admitted that T&D programs are very important in organizational growth and maximizing profit.
Today, in technological era training programs are not much expensive we can reduce training cost by using the latest technologies and techniques. Augmented learning is the natural evolution of online distance learning. Smart organizations understand the importance of various e-learning techniques and save much time and cost. In 2017, the Brandon Hall Group’s HCM Outlook Survey found that eLearning could reduce employee training time by as much as 40-60% . Cutting training time means that workers can spend more time doing their primary role and companies don’t need to organize as much cover.
Smart organizations understand the importance of various e-learning techniques and save much time and cost. In 2017, the Brandon Hall Group’s HCM Outlook Survey found that eLearning could reduce employee training time by as much as 40-60% . Cutting training time means that workers can spend more time doing their primary role and companies don’t need to organize as much cover. As suggested by research, eLearning allows firms to consolidate their training.
Delight, professional services and research companies, estimate that the average employee needs to allocate about 1% of their time each week to training. Deloitte research report suggested that short trainings enable workers to stay up to date with best practices and progress in their industry. 1% of the working week is not enough at all. This translates to 24 minutes per week or 4.8 minutes daily, assuming 5 working days. Every day, face-to-face 4.8 minutes of training is meaningless and possible only by “Micro-learning” methods. One can imagine a worker at his desk in the morning and easily taking a five-minute e-learning class before starting his work day.
The training and development professionals and Technology experts design some very good and efficient learning program. The private sector organizations are using these programs to improve the productivity of their workforce. Learning methods that are commonly used in corporate sector:
Blended Learning approach combines virtual or e-learning techniques with more traditional, in-person training sessions. Employees learn at their own pace while also benefiting from group collaboration and real-time feedback from their instructors.
There is a new, highly mobile model where learners can take courses in the subject of their choice, no matter where they are. This trend is made possible by the proliferation of mobile devices and well designed, interactive learning environments. More than 67% organizations offer mobile learning about one kind or another , 99% of mobile users believe that mobile learning enhances their experience. The mobile learning market is expected to continue to expand, reaching USD 37.6 billion by 2020.
Organizations that capitalize the effectiveness of mobile technology, smartphones are more innovative in micro-content. Short, mobile-optimized content, usually on a single topic and intended to spark curiosity – two to three minute videos, charts, graphs, chat features, audio files and surveys that convey learning materials in a quick and easy-to-absorb format on an employee’s smartphones devices.
Social and Collaborative Learning is allowing your employees to seek out internal subject matter experts, pose questions and share thoughts, you can provide real time knowledge sharing,” says technology writer Jasmine Gordon.
Gamification: Video games, simulations and other online games relating to workplace scenarios boost creative thinking and enhance problem-solving abilities.
According to Kathie Kelly, in organizations with more than 50% millennials, “gamification apps may encourage millennial to meet deadlines and pick up new skills while creating a stress-free social atmosphere“. And they are very smart in using smart communication devices and applications.
Famous Apps “Gamification”:
- Todoist – Gamification for Productivity Management.
- Goibibo – Gamification for Travel.
- Byju’s – Gamification for Education.
- Fitocracy – Gamification for Health & Fitness.
- Smarty Pig – Gamification for Personal Finance.
- Woot – Gamification for E-commerce.
- Starbucks – Gamification for Loyalty Programs.
The global gamification market was valued at USD 7.17 billion in 2019, and is estimated to have a CAGR of 30.31% over the forecast period (2020-2025). The exponential growth in the number of smartphones and mobile devices has directly created a vast base for the gamification market. Gamification systems are also gaining widespread recognition. This extends beyond the traditional scope of marketing. Now they are extensively used in advance applications, like crowdsourcing. https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/gamification-market
Organizations can engage employees through less costly augmented training and development programs. Productivity in public sector organizations is very low in comparison with private sector. This may help increase it.
The total strength of federal government employees is 581,334. According to the Gallop Q12 survey out of 581334 only 162,747 employees are engaged with their jobs.
|Pakistan Public Sector Workforce Engagement
|Engaged employees: 28%
|Not-engaged employees: 54%
|Actively Disengaged: 17%
Skills and Willingness are two very important factors for employees’ engagement. Public sector employees can be divided into four groups.
- In the first group employees are differentiators they can change and lead organizations. They need Financial and non-financial rewards through highly technical and strategic training and learning programs.
- The second group comprises of unskilled and willing-to-work people. They want to perform but face a skill shortage problem. This can be solved by giving them training in augmented learning and m-learning techniques.
- The skilled and unwilling workers are placed in third group proper counseling to remove unwillingness in their behavior by using:
- Define and recognize employee engagement.
- Design jobs to motivate and engage.
- Create an engaging work environment.
- Retain talented employees.
- Use employee engagement strategies.
- Prevent disengagement.
- The unskilled and unwilling workers need a golden handshake or some sort of Volunteer separation program.
Augmented learning and m-learning program are less costly and improve the productivity of public sector employees to serve the nation. These programs enhance the productivity and capacity of workers.
In adopting new technology, we all take time; we wait for the early adopter to use it, before we realize we should have adopted it a long time ago. In today’s competitive globalized economic climate, can organizations afford the luxury of waiting and seeing their competitors adopt new technologies and enjoy ROI?