Two immense changes have brought about a paradigm shift and subsequent challenges for managers today on how they manage, measure productivity and motivate their staff:
- Our roles have changed – from manual to skilled or knowledge workers.
- Employees have changed – our brains, how we learn, what we do.
- Working environment has become more stressed
Knowledge Vs Manual Workers
A couple of hundred years ago when your workforce was made up of manual labourers, it was relatively easy to study them in action and then implement a suite of measures that boosted productivity 50-fold. Today, the western world has shifted to a knowledge-based workforce where only one in seven employees in developed countries does work that requires manual labour.
Drucker coined the term “knowledge workers” in 1959 to categorize professionals, such as computer programmers, who must engage in problem-solving or creative thinking but his work has never been more relevant.
A study of knowledge workers in the United States revealed they feel less productive today compared to a decade ago. The decrease was attributed to technology, namely the Internet and time consumed reading and responding to emails each day.
Meet Today’s Employee
According to a recent Microsoft study, the human attention span has decreased by 4 seconds since 2000 – to an average of 8 seconds and our growing addiction to devices facilitating rapid demand and rapid delivery is cited as the number one cause. What impact is this all having on how we work and upskill and learn?
The infographic above by Bersin by Deloitte provides a 360-degree view of today’s learners and employees but we’ve picked out a few key takeaways:
- We are going online over 5 times more per day than in the early days of the web.
- People unlock their smartphones up to 9 times every hour.
- Most learners won’t watch videos longer than 4 minutes.
- 41% of time spent on things that do not get the job done!
- 2 /3 of knowledge workers actually complain that they don’t have time to do their jobs.
- Workers now get interrupted as frequently as every 5 minutes— ironically, often by work applications and collaboration tools.
- Online, designers now have between 5 and 10 seconds to grab someone’s attention before they click away!
- They are looking for answers outside of traditional training and development channels. For example, more than 70% of employees access search engines to learn what they need for their jobs.
- Employees want more control over how & when they access learning
- They are increasingly turning to their smartphones to find just-in-time answers to unexpected problems.
- 80% of workforce learning happens via on-the-job interactions with peers, teammates, and managers
How to Motivate Knowledge Workers
Drucker felt that ‘Assessing performance and results‘ and ‘Permanent learning and training‘ were key to increasing the productivity of the knowledge worker. A recent article by Laura Callisen builds on both Drucker and Bersin’s arguments and makes a compelling case for giving employees this: Why Micro Learning Is The Future Of Training In The Workplace? and comes up with:
3 ways to make on demand & micro learning work for your employees:
- Make the learning modules/updates mobile compatible.
The whole point of micro learning is flexibility for the learner. That flexibility means that all modules and all updates must be mobile-friendly. People do not go home and get on their desktops. They use their phones and gadgets and should have easy access to their learning with fast loads and 5-10 minute chunks.
- Less information at a time.
Students make flash cards for a reason: They allow them to absorb small bits of information at a time and the brain processes it better. Condensing a learning/training module down to the size of a flash card would be tough if it were all text, of course, but this is where graphics and videos come in. And they are far more engaging for learners.
- Include as much interaction & fun as possible.
An interactive quiz, a game, can be a powerful learning tool. Teachers know this. Time for business executives to know it too. Employees work lives are stressed enough, give them some challenges & fun that is linked to their work. Watch their behaviour change in front of your eyes.
Luckily, Jamjou’s behaviour changing tool ticks all these boxes:
- Jamjou is the behaviour changing pocket tool – accessible from any device or smartphone.
- Encompasses that byte-sized learning in tailored real life work scenarios created by you.
- Jamjou has effectively gamified staff training and it’s 100% interactive and let’s not forget that its league tables instill a joyful sense of competitive camaraderie.
But what has all of this got to do with Measuring Productivity?
Jamjou is measurable – its dashboards tell managers exactly which teams and/or individuals need more help and specifically how they should focus their energies on the skills that need to be coached. It drives productivity as it gives actionable data alerts to busy senior & middle managers telling them exactly where the weak points can be located.
Want to know more? Email us to see a demo of our product in action.