Dr. George Selix, KM & Learning Consultant, shares his thoughts on why digital adoption requires expert performance and how L&D professionals can enable novices to perform like experts at the moment of need. 

Before diving deep into the topic, I would like to ask you, What is the ultimate goal of providing training?

From my experience of over 40 years, I can tell that when you are training employees, you are not interested in how many hours they have or what their post-test scores are; you are interested in making sure that they can do their assigned job at the end of the day. 

I would like to discuss three aspects of L&D that will help you in increasing digital adoption and driving expert performance at your respective organizations: the training perspective, how customers perceive digital adoption, and what is the learning philosophy that L&D professionals should adhere to for the dynamic training requirements.

The training Perspective

To understand the general training perspective, let us consider a 2-dimensional graph where emotion and complexity represent the X and Y-axis respectively. The bottom left corner represents low-complexity low emotion tasks, while the top right corner represents high-complexity high-emotion tasks. It is a trainer’s job to guide new hires and help them move from low-emotion, low-complexity tasks to high-emotion, high-complexity tasks.

Usually, the training begins with user-onboarding or initial skills acquisition training for a week or two before moving on to a combination of on-the-job training, formal training, and experience to enable new employees to higher-complexity, higher-emotion tasks.

For instance: In a call center, your customer service representative (CSR 1) would probably be at the bottom, and that is where they have just come out of training. They need to go through the OJT and formal training experience to grow to be a CSR 2, CSR 3, and finally become CSR 4. 

Organizations have always been seeking the right people at the right place with the right skills to do the job. However, this scenario is changing with an increase in digital adoption amongst the customers. 

It is only logical that we consider how a customer perceives digital adoption and see what is changing that will drive the way we train our people.

Digital Adoption from a Customer’s Perspective

I would like to build upon the same parameters (emotion and complexity) to highlight how technological advancements have affected a customer’s perspective. 

With advancements in technology over time, we began to shift towards self-service. As shown in the graph, the vector is not going to change, and technology will continuously push outwards into higher complexity or higher emotion tests.  

From a business and operational perspective, self-service capabilities are imperative as they result in cost reduction. Once such a self-serve system is established (like AI chatbots), it can run with minimum cost and human intervention. You don’t have to employ multiple resources for answering customer calls if you already have chatbots.

To highlight the impact of artificial intelligence and machine learning, let us bucket these emotion-complexity-based tasks into three groups- self-service, assisted service, and full-service. 

Self-service and full-service tasks are self-explanatory here. But, what do you understand about assisted services? 

Assisted services indicate a balanced use of technology, which allows customers to push self-service a little further. Here digital adoption solutions like Whatfix come into the picture. Additionally, you can observe the use of knowledge management systems, AI chatbots, analytics, and much more.

We can see that self-service takes a lot of these lower complexity, lower emotion tasks off the table because our customers complete them by themselves. Additionally, we can see that assisted service is taking another slice of these tasks. Therefore, as those vectors continue to move, technology forward, and things like products and prices, processes, customers, competitors continue to change, our role as L&D professionals also evolves. 

Learning Philosophy for L&D Practitioners

So how has the role of an L&D Practitioner changed?

In the current scenario, our job is to enable novices to perform like experts in the moment of need, which can be achieved through these three ways-

Governance: Risk mitigation is crucial for every business, and the best way to mitigate risk is to make sure there is governance around the knowledge that we use to drive performance in our jobs and customer communication.

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