Rising to the Corporate Learning Challenge

“In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists” — Eric Hoffer

 

According to the World Economic Forum, the half-life of a job skill has decreased from thirty years to an average of just six years - and this downward trend will continue. NASSCOM suggests that nearly 40 per cent of India’s total workforce has to be reskilled over the next five years to cope with emerging technologies. In times of rapid technological changes, ‘learning’ is not a phase but a way of life at work.

 

While disruptions have become the norm, L&D innovations are about preparing future-ready professionals who can adapt to constantly changing business priorities and industry sentiments. Learning solutions must be aimed at developing an agile work mindset. Hence, there is a need to depart from the ‘one-size fits all’ attitude and move towards a learning approach that is seamless, holistic, context-driven and customized.

 

A new-age learning startup, Enparadigm, seeks to leverage tech innovations, combined with the 'human element' to deliver learning solutions that are context-specific, customized for organizations, and personalized for individual employees.

 

“It is important to go beyond creating a solution for mere accessibility of information for learners, and focus on the goal of the organization as well as the individual needs of learners,” says John Cherian, Co-founder and Executive Director of Enparadigm.

 

Enparadigm came into existence on the IIM Ahmedabad campus in 2010 to help organizations step away from the traditional tick-in-the-box training and embrace learning that is engaging, relevant, and effective. It sought to achieve this by bringing together ground insights, doing thorough background consultations, and leveraging technology-driven solutions, including simulations and mobile platforms.

 

Today, Enparadigm is recognized amongst fastest-growing tech companies as part of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 APAC program and has been selected by CIO Review India as one of the 20 most promising eLearning & gamification solution providers.

 

A hybrid approach to learning

 

One of the most important factors that affect the implementation of any learning initiative is the degree to which learning partners understand learners’ motivations. Without employee buy-in on the importance and relevance of the learning program, even the best-laid plan is doomed. The questions of “why learn this?” and “what purpose does it serve?” are worth repeating until the answers become crystal-clear.

 

Enparadigm tackles this problem by using the ‘REITM’ (Relevance, Engagement, Impact) approach to maximize ‘ROI’. They’ve created a hybrid model that first uses the human element to understand business challenges and learner motivations. Subsequently, advanced technologies are leveraged to design customized learning programs, be it immersive simulations or the bite-sized content delivered through mobile platforms, that create the ‘aha!’ experiences.

 

Bottom line: Technology alone is not a panacea to all the L&D challenges. The human aspect of the human-machine partnership is crucial.

 

Learning in real-time for real-world solutions

 

The 70-20-10 model for L&D holds that 70 percent of learning at work is experience-based, 20 percent derives from interactions with fellow employees and merely 10 percent is the result of formal training. Since experiential learning is the way to go, simulations that emulate real-time business environments are best suited for corporate learning. Moreover, simulations can engage ‘passive-learners’ and convert them to ‘active-participants’ by making them the decision-makers in a safe virtual environment. Perhaps the greatest advantage of simulations is that participants get to understand the impact of their decisions in a risk -free environment, and in a time-bound manner.

 

Enparadigm facilitates active learning by creating simulation-based learning interventions that can make an impact in the ‘here and now’. Through a combination of context-specific business and behavioural simulations, Enparadigm has worked across industry sectors to help drive growth and leadership across functions and roles; and implement learning solutions for varied corporate competencies like strategy alignment, cross-functional decision making, business acumen, etc.

 

Wading through the noise with bite-sized content

 

According to Linked In’s Workplace Learning report 2019, finding time to learn at work is the biggest barrier to talent development. Today, people are overwhelmed with content. Given the digital information bombardment in work environments, employees feel jaded by the information overload (an enormous amount of accessible information) and noise (relevant information getting crowded out by irrelevant information).

 

Technology now allows for creating bite-sized immersive content that can spark high levels of engagement, understanding, and retention. Organizations that are ahead of the game are looking for paradigm-changing ways to drive scalable learning interventions – through games and role-plays.

 

Enparadigm offers a suite of highly specialized mobile products to help businesses bolster their L&D programs – SmartSkill for mobile-first micro-learning, SmartSustain for post-program learning retention (typically deployed after any learning engagement like a webinar, workshop, etc.), and SmartLaunch - an exciting induction platform.

 

Learning as a journey

 

In the increasingly VUCA world, building a learning culture is not just a nice-to-have adjunct but a must-have necessity. A holistic learning strategy today is as much about roping in the available tech arsenal as it is about leveraging the necessary human touch to ensure sustained intervention.

 

"Enparadigm approaches the design and delivery process in three phases:

 

EMBED primary learning: Use technology and AI-driven platforms to internalize concepts better;

 

SUSTAIN and nurture learning with valid exemplifiers over time: Use a mobile-first approach to enable post-program learning sustenance, such as spaced repetition and addictive game-based modules that improve recall, probability of implementation, and therefore, business impact;

 

MEASURE the business and behavioural impact of the programs: Make an ROI case for L&D by evaluating the traction on predefined metrics and providing a clear view of the program’s effectiveness."

 

Most organizations never know how much of the training has been absorbed and if the efforts have moved the needle on talent development. An integrated learning approach can help businesses pursue learning beyond a one-off event.

 

Enparadigm’s focus today is on delivering integrated programs that align with the organization’s objectives over a 6-18 months period to provide an all-encompassing view and measurable business impact. They believe that going into the future, the organizations that will make the most meaningful changes to L&D approach will be the ones that envision learning as a journey.

 

 

With 5+ years of experience, Ankita has performed diverse roles across the entire spectrum of corporate HR - from hire to retire. She is currently Deputy Editor at Human Capital.

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