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Highp is the new digital platform that delivers customer experience beyond the face to face visits

It seems that most of HR departments are more occupied with the problem what are employees’ training needs rather than what method should be picked up to have good and long-lasting training results. Repetition and hands on activity are vital to retain knowledge. It is also fundamental what tools are used since they can hugely impact employee’s knowledge retention. Microlearning, though gaining more popularity, is still not used to such an extent as one might expect. The aim of this article is to present how microlearning is employed by some of the companies to achieve outstanding business results, but also to make the learning journey an attractive experience for their employees.  

 

Microlearning is the method to grasp knowledge presented in small chunks. A learning session takes place on the mobile device.  A module is short, usually around 5 min. or even less. It is packed with essentials. One microlearning lesson has only one specific goal to perform.  Videos or other rich formats accompany the training to accelerate the learning process. Gamification i.e. using the elements from games or game convention is often used in microlearning. Moreover, learner can decide when or where to take the lesson. It is the learner who is in the center of attention and his/her needs. Retaining knowledge is fundamental. Continuous learning in small bites guarantees best results. Microlearning is the learning method which has appeared as the answer to growing number of millennials as the workforce but its appeal is much broader. The method is said to bring high engagement among the participants and give outstanding business results.[1]

 

One of the examples of microlearning’s use is onboarding prepared by Domino’s Pizza. The idea was to give its new employees a standardized training when they come to work. Onboarding is often overloaded with knowledge, sometimes it discourages new staff. They have to learn many different things: ingredients, quantities and recipes and it’s tough to prioritize things in the beginning. Additionally, the tasks need to be done in a limited period of time. The training aimed to engage them with their new duties, to quickly teach them know-how and give the possibility to come back to the training if needed. The formula used in the training was gamification and it was highly rated by the staff. As a result, Domino Pizza claimed increase of speed to competency among the employees, cost savings due to learning right proportions from the beginning and as a result more satisfied customer.[2]

 

Another example of using microlearning method was employed by American retailer Walmart who introduced a compliance training for the employees. Walmart needed to introduce safety culture which would affect in the decrease of injuries and accidents at work and last but not least save a lot of company’s money. Additional challenge was the fact that the workforce was multi-generational. Instead of traditional trainings, Walmart introduced Axonify™ microlearning platform. Employees were supposed to log into the platform while they had some down time during each shift. They had a task to play the game for 3 to 5 minutes and after to answer some questions regarding safety. They were given instant feedback on their results and the system remembered answers so it was able to come back to employee’s gaps in knowledge. The platform acted as a continuous loop. Both knowledge and behavior were tested to make sure that they were implemented on a daily basis. Walmart successfully diminished number of injuries and accidents at work. It increased significantly the knowledge on safety regulations among the employees. The platform gained huge popularity, not only was it focused on individual needs but it also did it in a funny, engaging way.[3]

 

BT Consumer, a division of British Communication group, also used microlearning for training. Their aim was to improve customer service since many customers complained about it. Many unsatisfied customers had to phone several times to solve their problems.  Additionally, BT Consumer recruited a lot of employees and needed fast onboarding training. Similarly to Walmart, the training had a game formula and microlearning bites ensure that the learning was efficient and interesting. Since the number of employees was around 2 500, it was vital that learning was individualized to cater for different knowledge and experience. BT Consumer claimed that the customer service had improved, which manifested itself in reduced number of callback rate. Customer value improvement grew by 5%. Reduction in call-handling time caused that customer service could handle more customers in shorter period of time.

 

Microlearning is also utilized in product training to help the staff remember product specifications. One can find such an example in Toyota, in the USA. The car company helped car dealerships learn the specification and differences regarding different car models. It was available for 25 000 representatives. The company noted 5% increase in their sales satisfaction index and increased sales. Not only did it help the staff to remember specifications, but it positively influenced their self-confidence making them better salespersons.[4]

 

Examples of microlearning can also be found in a competitive pharma industry. Connectmedica™ uses microlearning in its Highp platform. Highp allows to send personalised messages via SMS, e-mail or push-up notification. Microlearning is one of the aspects of the platform. Additionally, it has also tools to conduct account-based campaigns, can be used for customer services and allows for follow ups. Highp microlearning is an up-to-date solution which can be used for onboarding new employees, product training or just-in-time training. It allows the employees to have trainings without disturbing their daily working routines. For the company it means cost savings as trainings can be easily updated and they are cheaper in comparison to traditional trainings. Messages are positively assessed by 90% of recipients. Highp gets very positive feedback from the leading pharma companies.

 

Microlearning can be used for different trainings with different purposes. Its up-to-date features (mobile use and usually game-like formula) make it appealing to employees. Microlearning opens a new chapter in learning methods.

 

[1] https://elearningindustry.com/bite-sized-learning-future-of-elearning

[2] https://www.allencomm.com/blog/2015/12/7-awesome-microlearning-examples/

[3] https://axonify.com/customer-stories/walmart/

[4] https://cdns3.trainingindustry.com/media/20105914/microlearning

 

A popular joke among professionals presents two managers talking at work about a training for an employee. The financial manager says ¨What if we invest in him and he leaves the company…¨. ¨What if we don’t and he stays…¨, answers the other. It seems that most of companies have successfully gone through the questioning of the training needs. No doubt, in the fast-paced, technology-dominated world employees need trainings. The more relevant question is how to make most of trainings, so both employees and employers maximize their gains.

Changing learner’s profile

According to Forbes, a learner profile is undergoing serious changes nowadays and it has a huge impact on the training model. Forbes points out to some of the demographic and social changes. Growing mobility of workforce can be treated as a constant now. Increasing number of millennial employees is another important aspect.[1] Acc. to PWC millennials will constitute half of the global workforce by 2020.[2] Millennials bring some expectationswith them,  such as needs for development and training, preferably in flexible hours, so they can choose time for training themselves e.g. while commuting. Forbes also points out that most of the workers are not available at their desks even up to 50 or 60% of their time during their workday, because of on-the-go schedule, flexible time or remote work. Additionally, one can see that there is a need for highly qualified staff on the market and employees are expected to have broad knowledge and learn fast.[3]

Why current methods are not enough?

When one thinks of a traditional training session with a coach, problems such as time, cost and efficiency pop up. Long training sessions take much of employees’ time. It’s already a challenge to organize them amid busy working schedules. The cost cannot be overlooked because training needs for different employees are various while budget limitations do not change. Efficiency of a whole day training event can be sometimes questionable. Trainings can be interrupted by external factors and the attention span has also its limitations. Success of the session depends on the effectiveness of the instructor. [4]

Computer-Based Training (CBT), quite a popular tool, has also some basic disadvantages such as: not enough of interaction, not suitable for teaching soft skills or simply being monotonous.

Other training methods such as mobile applications seem not to work in companies which claim “bring your own device” policy (BYOD). Smartphones, for example, have different operating systems and the factor can exclude some of the staff from training.

Even online trainings, reported by the ASTD “State of the Industry” as extremely popular these days, have some disadvantages. They are usually generic trainings and not tailored to companies’ needs. Moreover, they are expensive to create. Companies’ hardware can impede training. Participants sometimes feel awkward to ask questions online and impersonal nature of the training can act as a disadvantage. [5]

Microlearning as the option

According to eLearning Industry, microlearning becomes more and more popular and it is claimed to be a milestone in learning. Microlearning is today’s answer to millennials’ learning needs but its appeal is much broader. It uses the advancements in brain science and progress in technology. Microlearning is self- paced, on demand training which allows a learner to take frequent, bite-sized microlessons, so called learning nuggets. The popularity of the tool can be attributed to mobile technology and game-like formula. It’s designed to be used on the move, so by its very nature it is short – up to 5 minutes or less. It is packed with essentials. Videos seem to be much more preferred over other mediums, but there are other options available: audio, presentations and games. The aim is to concentrate upon one objective per training. Small chunks of knowledge supplied regularly in an attractive format seem to work better than traditional methods.[6]

There are many advantages of microlearning use. Its concise form helps to keep dwindling attention span. It engages learners and allows them to complete even a few microlearning modules. No stress, no feeling of being bored or overloaded with a long training session. Concepts are memorised better  because a microlearning module concentrates on one specific aim. Microlearning sessions are constructed in such a way that they help to overcome Ebbinghaus’ “forgetting curve”, the phenomena of natural knowledge loss over time if no attempt was made to repeat it. Microlearning sessions can be taken at any time, any place. They do not distract an employee from the work, since they don’t cause long breaks. They combine new material with repetition. For a company they are much more affordable than training sessions. They are quick to develop and update.[7]

eLearning Industry claims that microlearning has versatile usages. It can be used for employee’s onboarding or getting the professional knowledge about the company and its products. It can be used for trainings of the staff working in retail industry, helping them to explain the working of a tool or a product specifications. It can also be used for compliance trainings to teach the staff e.g. safety procedures. It can be used to develop professional skills trainings. The possibilities are numerous. All materials are presented in an up-to-date, attractive and easily digested way.[8]

Microlearning in practise

Currently growing number of companies use microlearning as an efficient way to train their employees.  Connectmedica™ sees a high potential in microlearning and incorporates it in the tools which are developed. Designed for pharma industry Highp platform is such an example. It is a communication tool between the sales representative and the customer. Highp allows to send personalised messages via SMS, e-mail or push-up notification. It allows to publish interesting educational materials such as video or audio (2-3 minutes long). Supplying up-to-date concise knowledge in an attractive packaging is important, but equal emphasis is put on the retention of the material. The microlearning Highp training is linked with a short test to check knowledge. Highp platform is all about mobility. Apart from possibility to open messages on tablet, PC or Mac, it can also be opened on smartphones. It is a perfect tool to be used on the way to work in a car or on a bus.  A special automation system allows to put the messages in a que. Progress of an individual can be checked and one can see whether a lesson has been finished or abandoned. It is vital that system can be customised for each employee so they learn exactly what they need instead of having “one fits all” training.

Highp microlearning is an up-to-date solution which can be used for onboarding and just-in-time training. The technical capabilities of users are not important. Every smartphone user is able to use it since the platform is intuitive.

It is important to stay updated esp. in the fast changing and competitive industry such as pharma. Highp is the platform that gives most advanced tools and makes sure that microlearning is interesting and efficient. Highp is eagerly used by professionals who have busy schedules and who know the real value of time. It does not overburden them with long training sessions but offers essentials which are needed. Highp has been trusted by numerous leading pharma companies.

 

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2016/04/13/five-trends-pointing-to-mobile-learning-as-the-future-of-corporate-education/#40e31665141c

[2] https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/financial-services/publications/assets/pwc-millenials-at-work.pdf

[3] https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2016/04/13/five-trends-pointing-to-mobile-learning-as-the-future-of-corporate-education/#40e31665141c

[4] http://trainingtoday.blr.com/article/most-effective-training-techniques/

[5] http://trainingtoday.blr.com/article/most-effective-training-techniques/

[6] https://elearningindustry.com/bite-sized-learning-future-of-elearning

[7] https://elearningindustry.com/bite-sized-learning-future-of-elearning

[8] https://elearningindustry.com/microlearning-examples-in-corporate-world

Client

MERCK – a global company with over 350 years of experience, founded in Darmstadt, Germany in 1668 by Friedrich Jacob Merck, now with almost 53 000 employees in 66 countries working on breakthrough solutions and technologies. Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials are MERCK’s core businesses. In all three sectors, it offers specialized and high-quality products.

Challenge

Considering recent changes in European law system (GDPR implementation) Merck is required to gather a personal opt-in for further continuous communication with HCPs. It is a rather challenging activity involving multiple assets and resources, including proper tools, representative training, and development of an add-value – “a reason to believe” – to HCPs give Merck an e-permission. 

Our work

Connectmedica where responsible for complete project development and implementation using Highp platform and service. During the Polish Clinical Oncology Society Congress, Merck was acquiring opt-in with the support of our conference representatives. Using Highp platform we were able to send instantly thank you message to physicians and reinforce the promotional process of a new app – CRC box, designed especially for oncologists, bringing higher satisfaction and Merck brand awareness. With Highp automation we are able to followed-up communication to successfully engaged hundreds of HCPs remotely. 

Client

An innovative global biopharmaceutical enterprise, present on more than 175 markets, with more than 29 000 employees. Its main activities focus on areas with high demand for particular medical products, including neurology, immunology, oncology, women’s diseases, chronic renal failure or viral hepatitis.

Challenge

Our Client has difficulties in finding effective L&D solutions, that will answer both employees’ and employers’ needs and be cost-efficient at the same time. The amount of information that needs to be processed and put through very often outgrow companies’ capabilities. Cost and time restriction were critical factors against regular onsite training. 

Our work

We developed a series of micro-learning audio podcasts delivered via Highp messages to representatives. Short interactive educational message employees’ productivity, as well as cut costs, decrease the amount of average time an employee spends on self-development and it will be a valuable asset in the employer branding process. Already, more than 270 representatives are in continuous micro-learning process.

„We want to implement a new idea of training in the digital age. We believe that the best tool to do that are Highp video messages, which can be delivered at any time and place, only on condition that the recipients use smartphones on daily basis. This gives a wide range of opportunities in conducting training –the content can be adjusted to Client’s current needs and Sales Representatives can be up-to-date with all the necessary information almost immediately.” – says Client.

To make microlearning more practical, let’s characterize it. This term is often connected with microcontent. It could be some short quote, a few seconds movie clip, flashcard, short podcast, SMS and more. 

It is believed that we can call the process microlearning if it can be done in the amount of time between a few seconds to about fifteen minutes. It could also be connected with other short-lasting activities.  Nowadays it is most widely used to describe the informal way of how people are learning thing using all of the available sources, especially the Internet and some new and advanced technologies.

According to the report “Microlearning: an emerging field in science” by Theo Hug from the University of Innsbruck (Austria) “Freeing MicroContent from its container allows for all kind of new ways of using, reusing, hashing, mixing and mashing content. Content gains new meaning in new contexts, well beyond the intention of the original authors.”

To be sure, that we are dealing with microlearning, let’s take a look at all of the dimensions that characterize it. The first one is time, as we previously said, it should be short. A low afford kind of shortness.  The second one is the content, that should be presented in small units, concern relatively simple issues, and possibly narrow topics. It should also be informal, as it is easier to memorize. What form should it have? The best way is to present content in episodes. In this case, you could provide a lot of knowledge in the most digestible way. Two last things to have in mind is the mediality of the content and the consistent learning type.

How Walmart increased personnel safety thanks to microlearning?

When we think about a Walmart, a multinational retail corporation, the last word that will come to our mind is “micro.” We name this hypermarket chain operator with adjectives like biggest, wealthiest, most significant, most prominent and so on. But there is one activity in which Walmart excels with “micro” in its name. It is called microlearning.

If you are one of the biggest employers, sooner or later the safety of your personnel will become a significant and vital issue. With 150 distributor centers across the United States with more than 75 000 associates, the chance of an injury is quite big. It is why in 2010, Ken Woodlin, Vice President of Compliance, Safety and Asset Protection for Walmart Logistics decided to introduce a safety program. His goal was to go one step ahead and build a world-class safety culture. He decided to implement it by microlearning.

Woodlin hired a company that was supposed to face a few key challenges. Reducing safety incidents in Walmart Logistics locations was the first point of the agenda. Woodlin wanted to improve employees’ knowledge about safety practices. With multi-generation staff, he needed a solution that could engage all of the employees. The last task was to predict at-risk behaviors.

After recognizing the main problem, the company decided to use microlearning as the best tool to implement solutions that would work with all of the four generations of employees. Something that could be beneficial for the Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. In 2012 he implemented a microlearning platform which identified the knowledge gaps and gave the employees the ability to perform their roles in the best way. The platform works like a quiz that should be taken during each shift. It takes about three to five minutes of playing the nice game and answering some critical questions meanwhile.

The results were magnificent. Incidents at eight of Walmart’s centers decreased by 54 percent. About 96 percent of employees applied their knowledge on the job. With more than 90 percent of voluntary participation, it showed that the staff accepts this kind of training. Other results showed that the knowledge level on the topics around safety increased by 15 percent and the employees confidence in this field increased by 8 percent.

If Warren Buffet uses microlearning,  you can’t just pass by.

One of his companies, Berkshire Hathaway Media Group, is managing over 100 newspapers, with over 30 of them published daily. With multinational and multicultural sales team it wasn’t so easy to find the one way to prepare a training program that would fit everybody. Thanks to microlearning platform, 98% of all of the participants found it useful and said that with just-in-time learning options it met their needs perfectly.

How expensive is that solution?

Walmart is a big company with almost 12 000 stores worldwide and more than 500 billion dollars in revenue. That is huge. The organization is wealthy enough to use the most expensive tools. But we need to remind one thing. Walmart strategy is to be cost-efficient. That is why this company is an excellent case study for other, much smaller organizations. And microlearning is one of the best examples of that thesis. It is a cheap, efficient, easy to use and engaging proposition for all sorts of companies.

What are the microlearning tools available on the market?

One of the most affordable platforms to use is Highp. Highp is a platform which allows to send short, personalized video and audio messages via SMS or email. The solution is a non-traditional one – since it is not an app, the user doesn’t need to log in or install anything on their mobile device. Thanks to which it can be used in a variety of different situations. The messages are short enough to be listened to in the so-called “meantime”. The recipients choose when and where they want to get acquainted with the content – whether it is in the car, the elevator, the gym or during the lunch break.  Highp is user-friendly, designed to be used by everyone, including those who do not use mobile devices on daily basis. The platform allows to make a queue for messages which is adapted to the needs and individual progress. The owner of the process can quickly check which employees finished the program and who stuck along the way.

Microlearning as a tool for onboarding.

One of the best examples of an activity which is crucial for every company, and could be quickly done with microlearning is the onboarding process. When a new employee appears on the deck, it is a must to introduce them to other employees, their tasks and responsibilities. Even in the smallest organization, it can be a painful and inefficient process. Thanks to microlearning solutions such as Highp-based onboarding package, the process of introducing a new employee to the organization’s structure could be conducted in a much more comfortable manner almost effortlessly. It could also be essential in building a professional and modern image of the company. Used worldwide it might help the busiest and hard-working employees to focus only on the essential matters, avoiding unnecessary meetings, never-ending emails, and conference calls till the wee hours. What is even more critical, micro-knowledge is easy to memorize and it is less likely to be forgotten.

If the best-managed companies on the planet could use microlearning platforms and get results, it is a perfect solution for every organization. Highp, created by experts from Connectmedica with the help of the best trainers and training authors seems to be the right choice for every aspiring business.

 

www.gethighp.com

If you work for the B2B sector, there is a big chance you found this article through LinkedIn, the most popular social media for B2B promotion. Can you believe LinkedIn generates 80 percent of leads in this sector? Not Facebook, not Twitter, no quick images on SnapChat, because business needs text and space for thought and discussion. So unless some new social channels miraculously conquer the business world in 2016, LinkedIn will stay The King of Business to Business.  What other trends should we expect in 2016?

ania

Technology

In the field of technology nothing will stay still, B2B managers will have to surrender to constant development:

  • mobile marketing (there is 1.91 billion smartphone users in the world, predicted increase to 2 billion in 2016). 68% of companies have integrated mobile marketing into their overall marketing strategy, which also works in favor of their brand in SEO, as mobiles usage influences Google’s search algorithm. IDC claims that by 2018 80% of B2C and 60% of B2B businesses will restructure their digital tools to support from 1,000 to 10,000 times more customers.
  • big data Ashish Thusoo, CEO of Qubole, predicts 2016 will be the year where those who want to stay in business, need to focus on big data analytics. ‘ The combination of social data, mobile apps, CRM records and purchase histories via advanced analytics platforms allow marketers a glimpse into the future by bringing hidden patterns and valuable insights on current and future buying behaviors in light. In 2016, businesses will increasingly leverage these insights(…)’ – explains Thusoo.
  • wearables – according to the great “8 B2B Digital Marketing Predictions For 2016” article, we’re still a 12-24 months off from wearables really going mainstream. So 2016 is the time to look around, observe the smartwatch market and try out diverse business apps in order slowly to incorporate these devices into our marketing strategy (example of business app for the Apple Watch here).

Data and analytics

As mentioned before in Ashish Thusoo’s predictions for big data, there will be a huge and constantly growing amount of data to be collected and analyzed. Forrester’s report finds 37 percent of surveyed B2B specialists increasingly using data and analytics and seeing that as a high priority. In 2016, that number will possibly double.

Microsegmenting

Have you noticed the growing trouble of distinguishing yourself from your growing competition? There are more and more growing markets which develop in speeding tempo, e.g our competition in Asia. This is even more dangerous to those sectors, who must reveal their key actions and modus operandi on the Internet. Companies must categorize their B2B partners not just on segments but also microsegments in order to find and cover their niche. Brands must find simple relations between how their customers buy and what they’re looking for to solve their daily problems on all levels. Maybe they require extended support on one of the small moments of their supply levels? And then fulfill this need, as a microsegment.

Content

Key word: personalization. As sales tend to transform their relationship with the buyer in a more one-to-one contact, the content becomes even more important and also has to give the feeling of being dedicated to one concrete group of readers. Each slice of attention for the audience is building the relationship. According to CMI, 51% of B2B firms plan to increase spending on content marketing in 2016. To get ahead of the competition, reach for enhanced personalization in your marketing contact – try video messengers for mobile and embed video greetings in SMS delivered to your customers. Jed Singer, author of the aforementioned “8 B2B Digital Marketing Predictions For 2016” warns us: ‘Plan to incorporate video into your B2B content & community marketing plans for 2016, or prepare to watch your competitors succeed with this highly engaging medium’.

So you have great tips for your Business to Business strategy in the upcoming year. Now go and get this market! May 2016 will successful to you All.

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