As we enter the first weeks of 2021, many will have hoped that the working-from-home (WFH) revolution of 2020 would have been consigned to the history books by now. Others are making the most of the continued WFH situation, having seen a marked improvement in business productivity and employee wellbeing.
Whatever your stance, one thing is for certain: business leaders and HR teams across the world will be re-considering their learning and development (L&D) strategies for 2021. Indeed, the past year has uncovered gaps in corporate learning programmes, and these must be remedied as employees review their career goals for the year ahead.
At Soffos.ai, we were keen to explore employees’ experiences with digital learning solutions, which have been employed by many businesses to deliver training in the face of COVID-19 restrictions. So, we commissioned a survey of 2,000 UK professionals to delve into the matter.
Here’s what we found…
Squaring online instruction with in-person teaching
From the offset, the statistics suggest that the transition to digital learning has not received the warmest welcome. In fact, one in five(19%) of UK workers do not find online learning software to be an effective replacement for in-person teaching.
Meanwhile, a significant 42% say they find it more difficult to properly engage with learning materials or training courses if they are conducted online, with a similar number (41%) expressing doubts over their ability to support their individual learning goals.
There are many reasons that can explain employees’ aversion to digital learning. The first is the distinct lack of personal connection and communication. Indeed, workers don’t just miss the workplace for the ‘office banter’ - they also miss it for the opportunity to engage in healthy discussion and learn from their peers.
For businesses that are finding it difficult to deliver training that is both engaging and constructive, I would suggest introducing a more human element to learning initiatives as a crucial first step. Webinars and online courses are useful resources to deliver important information to employees, but workers must also know how new-found knowledge applies to their day-to-day role. Hosting post-training debriefs, whether one-on-one or as a group session, could help cement their grasp of a subject, and uncover any gaps in understanding.
AI: a beacon of hope
Positively, our survey demonstrated that employees were more open to the idea of online learning resources if they were augmented with AI which could tailor training to their personal needs.
This raises another common concern: most learning solutions provide standardized training materials in a generic format. Crucially, this overlooks the fact that each individual has a unique style of learning, while also ignoring the importance of business-specific contexts. Indeed, information that is useful for one company, might not apply directly to another.
These are all problems that our corporate KnowledgeBot will remedy. Powered by AI, Soffos will provide employees with personalized training programmes, delivered in a natural, conversational format.
Rather than relying on standardized answers to common queries, employees will be able to ask Soffos questions that are unique to their role and business, with the platform pulling the most relevant information from its huge database – built from documents and resources fed directly into it by managers and colleagues.
As we unveil our sophisticated solution in the months ahead, we hope that it will support both businesses and employees in their L&D efforts, while helping professionals hone their existing skills and develop new talents.
To find out more about how Soffos.ai will revolutionize the employee learning experience, please visit our website.