Employees Engagement and Augmented Learning

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

(%)
Engaged Employees Not-engaged employees Actively Disengaged
28 5417

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% [1]. 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% [1]. 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 [2], 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.

Engagement IndexPakistan Public Sector Workforce Engagement
Engaged employees: 28% 162,747
Not-engaged employees: 54% 313,870
Actively Disengaged: 17% 98,811

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?

21 comments

  1. Such an informative article. It wil really help the organisation to invest in the employee for better outcomes.

  2. A worthy and detailed model to transform the human asset of any organisation especially the Public sector of Pakistan. The ratio of engaged employees can be increased by implementing given techniques.

  3. Article gives vast ideas to employers to compete effectively in the market.
    Statistics in your articles always make it more worth reading .
    Thanks for exposing us to informative content time and again.

  4. Excellent article really informative will help organization to invest in employees to increase productivity and efficiency

  5. Great. Organization should use these strategies to train their employees for better results. Training makes the vision of employee more clear, makes him understand what organization is expecting and definitely there will be a Win-Win situation.

  6. Useful information.human resource may be utilized effectively by implimenting the strategies discussed

    • A really useful information about e learning and employees training benefits for future profits of an organization. As well as an effort about personality development process through giving skills and confidence from employers both in public and private sectors. A little attention can give fruitful results if do collective participation and encouragement. Admirable help for all of us. Thanks

  7. Well researched article by Dr Nadeem, in my opinion, the engagement of employees depends upon the style of leadership to be adopted by the top leader…i ll recommend the transactional style of leadership…. engagement of employees on excessive training at the government expenses must be avoided… The employer must promote OJT without compromising on objectives of organisations. The frequent engagement of employees in various types of training sometime shows lack of concrete and profitable works within the organisation, which is a very common feature of public sector organisations…i may be wrong, please. However, augmented learning may be a part of initial and basic training of any employee of the organisation. Hope to see more such articles in future too.

    Colonel Dr Qaim Raza Jaffry (R)
    Ex- Dy Director, Research Supervisor, Faculty- National Defence university Islamabad.

  8. Yes , this is true that many employees find themselves less engaged in their works and this is one of the big problem in organisations or any workplace now a days .. the ways for engagement of employees in work , presented in this article are very unique and updated as its right that the major part of the working persons are millennials and some new are generation Z .. so both can b attracted by technology or gamification kind of techniques which r presented in this article.. very well written sir. U always come up with new and different topic .. waiting for more write ups . Keep it like that ..

  9. Yes,i totally agree with the outcome of the blog written by Mr. Nadeem. The statistics are factual and matches with my 23 years of experience both in Pakistan and abroad. I would like to add,not only T & D but also daily progress reports and mentoring of the employees gear up the output.In Pakistan,this is especially required in Government and Public sector organization where employees even after getting training on organizational expenses are not conducive to work.The percentage(23%) of engaged employees given in the blog is absolutely correct.Augmented learning may be a part of initial and basic training of any employee of the organisation.

    • Very nicely written sir no doubt training and development for employees plays an important role in the productivity of any organization but employees must also have the passion to do trainings with their own interest

  10. Dr Nadeem, you have addressed one of the most challenging area of human resources. I strongly believe that it is really helpful for organizations and researchers.
    Keep writing such articles, stay blessed forever….

  11. A very good article. An eye-opener. Imagine if a less than one third of the total workforce is “engaged” and running the whole country, then what we can accomplish if even half of the workforce turns into “engaged”.
    The data and numbers you have shared can lead us to a better understanding of the current situation and to evolve a sustainable solution of the problems we are facing. But unfortunately, we as a nation including the Government has a mindset of data unfriendliness. This is the challenge we need to fight with. And people like you who are educating our nation bring us a light of hope that one day we shall overcome our challenges.
    Keep on doing the good work.
    God bless you.

  12. In public sector the main thing that is missing is to recognize employee engagement, give it direction and appreciate the potential talent he has nurtured throughout his career. This has been beautifully explained in article with a unique perspective

  13. The article is very informative with statistical evidences, which may really helpful to the organizations for the ultimate professional grooming of the personnel, specially in the public sector of Pakistan.

    It is worth mentioning that Dr. Nadeem always come-up with the unique useful write-up. Well done and Good luck sir.

  14. Very well researched articles based on a very practical aspect being faced by employees as well as employees.
    It is a fact that i have myself observed in my organization, that most of the employees feel that they are not doing their best or utilizing full potential due to lack of relevant skills, and assigned tasks which may keep them engaged.

  15. Very Imformative Really appreciated – Dr Nadeem.

    This is really helpful for the organisation to engage the employees for better result for organization and also for the employees development too.

    Great work.

  16. Great Work.. Dear Dr. Nadeem!

    This is really informative and helpful for organizations success by engaging their employees.
    May Allah Give you more strength and success Ameen.

  17. As a part of digital agenda and living in 21st century paratime productivity always be helpful.
    Really like the subject article as it’s helpful to polish employee, to find a fruitful direction.

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