Avoiding the Hamster Effect in Training

This article is part 2 of the 3 part blog on  Sify’s Anywhere Learner Mobile and how it will impact job performance. You can read part 1 here.

Sometimes, we tend to get into a habit of doing things without really understanding its impact and if what we are doing is relevant any more. Training departments should watch out for signs of “Hamster Effect”. So what is Hamster Effect? It refers to the idea of working hard to go nowhere and wasting precious time, effort, and money, in pursuing tasks that are essentially unproductive.

Training departments have two major objectives if they have to stay relevant and not feel threatened by budget cuts every time the stock market tanks or fall prey to the hamster effect which eventually results in budget cuts.

1. Delivering actionable training: How do we empower employees to act on the training. Typically, classroom based training has one major drawback that can result in falling prey to the hamster effect i.e. retention rates are extremely poor. If you have seen the Dale’s cone of learning or Dale’s cone of experience (as some would like to call it), it is very obvious that doing the real thing is the best way to retain knowledge. Can training transcend the classroom into your cubicle, shop floor, or on to the field where it can make a difference to someone doing the job? This is a question that often gets ignored.

2. Pushing the learner to modify their behavior: I see the role of the training department as Master Shifu from the movie Kungfu Panda. Master Shifu discovers Po’s (Panda) considerable latent strengths when motivated by food. The teacher fashions a training regime that makes Po a formidable warrior. Are tools available to training departments that can allow them to do what Master Shifu did with Po?

One of the core features of the Anywhere Learner Mobile is the Action Plan. An Action Plan allows the learner to create a personalized list of action items that they can make their own and follow through by implementing these personalized action items in their jobs. The platform allows the training department to stream relevant action items to an employee based on their role. Not only that, the learner has the freedom to create their own action items!

When learners take control of their training you are now automatically moving from passive training consumption to actionable training. Rather than entirely depending on pushing training down people’s throat by holding them captive (I am exaggerating here), letting people to  choose their action plan results in greater adoption of the training concepts in addition to reinforcing the training.

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

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I love to read and share thoughts on technology, enterprise learning, mobile and any thing cool that impacts enterprises.

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Posted in Learning, Mobile Learning, Teaching, Training

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