Does Training Need the Human Touch?

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darth vader learner

Technology is able to do much of the work that people used to have to do. Just think, dishwashers save you doing the dishes and a text message saves you writing a letter.

Technology is making our lives much easier. But, increasingly jobs are being replaced by machines. Phone operators, bank clerks, warehouse workers and lots more jobs either have, or are set to be, replaced by automated robots.

In L&D, technology has already revolutionised the industry. LMSs, authoring tools and mobile apps have helped L&D professionals deliver training online.

Yet learning is an inherently social activity. People have been learning together for millennia. This raises the question – does L&D need the human touch? Here are six features you’ll find on The Academy LMS that just aren’t the same if you automate them.

1. Experts

Sure, bots can hoover your living room and deliver your package, but can they dish out the advice of an expert with years of professional experience? They can certainly try, but they won’t have a history of wonderful life errors and fantastically bad judgements to draw on!

Admins on LMS’s can appoint a collection of brainy gurus to dish out guidance to hungry learners. Known as the Experts, this group of highly skilled individuals will all be connoisseurs in their chosen fields.

For instance, you many want to assign Experts in marketing, HR, first-aid, finance, research, and any other department you may have.

The questions presented can be saved and put into a public space. This will save time for any other learners seeking the same answers.

2. Clubspartners handshake

Having friends at work is hugely important if you want to ensure employees feel part of the business. The more they feel a part of the business, the more engaged your employees will be. Workers with 25 or more friends at work feel 69% more engaged.

Implementing clubs on your LMS puts the human touch into learning. As an admin, you can create whatever clubs you see fit. From advisors, to industry news and events, to hangouts and social clubs; there’s plenty of scope to reach out to your workforce.

How about a work night out bowling?

(Note: A bot wouldn’t be much fun as they would win everything).

3. Praise Badges

Nearly half of all employees want to receive rewards spontaneously. If it’s too planned, it feels forced and therefore insignificant.

Management can dish out praise badges for a wide range of achievements. These are extra appreciated due to the fact that only managers can grant them. Praises badges can be awarded for absolutely anything. If a team member excels in any way, managers can take the chance to recognise them going above and beyond the call of duty.

Praise badges work because of the human recognition. Someone has taken the time to recognise your hard work because they think you deserve it. Systems like this only every work if a human is involved. A praise badge delivered by a machine would mean nothing.

4. Articles

The Academy LMS allows you to connect with employees via Articles. Articles lets admins create text posts which can be accessed by all LMS users, a bit like a blog. This can be used alongside other social features to create an admin diary or to manage news alerts.

Whatever subjects you decide on, the one important thing is that you write in your own distinctive voice. Be personable. It’s the only way you’ll be able to beat those cheeky bots, who are already writing books!

5. Push and Pull Learning

A push content strategy is exactly what you would imagine it to be; presenting your content where your learners can easily view and access it.

A pull content strategy is convincing your learner to actively seek out your content. It’s generating demand for your product/learning. This is also what we refer to self-led learning.

Both strategies have the human touch. Admins are able push and pull selected pieces of content to chosen learners, making it a tailored learning experience. The better the managers know the learners, the more suited the content will be. Machine Learning is an application of artificial intelligence that improves by accessing data and using it to learn for themselves.

But it doesn’t matter how much data is stored; it’s no match for human connection.

6. Live ChatSnap chat learner

Bots are quick, require minimal supervision and can handle lots of queries simultaneously. Add to this that labour costs are cut considerably in the long run, and it makes you wonder why we need humans at all!

Bots can be used in live chat training, but are their responses personable? Not quite. This may work in certain areas of a business, such as customer service, or online ordering, but learning via live chat needs to go beyond simply addressing someone by their name etc.

Small Talk

In order for online learning to stick, it needs to be engaging. Having a bot repeat automated training will not keep someone hooked. A real person can add affable touches such as small talk, Small talk makes people feel good, and it’s why Mark Zuckerberg is worth $55.1 billion.

Small talk is even said to make you smarter, as it prompts thinking on your feet. An ideal precursor to learning and something very unique to us humans.

Final Word

Bots may have pre-programmed responses, and they may be better looking than us. They may possess machine learning, but they are still limited. If the learner requires a more in-depth answer, or an alternative training response, they won’t be able to give sufficient replies.

The human touch is still very much needed in L&D. Like HR, it’s an entirely human-oriented discipline. Of course, technology will always help facilitate training, but it will always require that unique human intuition to drive it.

Why not request a free demo of our awesome Academy LMS and see for yourself how we incorporate the human touch!

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