Tag: corporate elearning

16 May 2022
hybrid training

Why is hybrid training useful in offices after the pandemic?

Hybrid training has become a feasible solution for companies ever since the Covid-19 pandemic became a reality. The employees shifted to the work-from-home mode and didn’t want to rejoin offices. The Hybrid Training concept means providing training to all the employees, including online means for those working from home and offline to those working from the office.

Hybrid training is useful because it addresses all the employees at the same time.

But is holding a hybrid training event always essential? The situations in which such an event must be held are the following:

  1. Crucial event

Sometimes, an important situation has arisen in the office due to which all the employees need to be informed about. In that case, hybrid training becomes crucial. Apart from that, when some employees work from home, they are not aware of the latest product developments. In that case, remote employees must be brought online to get an introduction to a new product. Sometimes, a special speaker is also called to the office to discuss his industry experience. All the employees need to be gathered together for a hybrid training scenario. Such a scenario ensures that the remote workers also can interact with such speakers, which are only called on exclusive occasions to the office.

  1. Anyone should not feel left out

When meetings are held in the hybrid training model, it’s advantageous for the team because remote workers get to see their office colleagues; this helps in culture building because they learn about other people’s ways of working. Such hybrid training sessions ensure that remote workers who often feel isolated because they are not attending offices don’t feel that way anymore. Since important discussions occur before them in the office, they feel included and don’t suffer from FOMO, leading them to quit.

They might feel that the office workers are being given undue attention because they are included in decision-making. But hybrid training events ensure that such things don’t happen.

  1. Product launch

Sometimes such training is the only option for companies when introducing new products. And all the employees have to be contacted at once to get information about the product. When remote employees are excluded from such training sessions, it can affect the product launch, which is detrimental for the company, given the competition.

For example, sometimes, the sales professionals working remotely and from the office have to be given sales training simultaneously; otherwise, the sales process gets delayed.

In hybrid training, the companies have the advantage that someone present from the office has a good attention span. But what about those attending the meeting online, who could be checking their phone every time. They might have turned their camera off and not listened to anything in the meeting.

Training material is the crux of such a training event

Hence, the most important concern in a hybrid training environment is the training material, which has to be designed properly. The remote participants must feel that the content is as per their needs. If the company does not design the environment in such a way, the whole idea of hybrid training can backfire. The hybrid training must be intentional and can’t be organic because it might not deliver the required results.

The hybrid training presentation must be recorded pragmatically because the remote workers must find the webinar interesting. There must also be PDFs shown in the videos and slide decks that can excite the participants. There can also be ebooks that can be given to the participants so that they have gone through them before attending the class.

Encourage employees to attend such training

The organizations have to make sure that the certifications are also awarded because they give motivation to the participants.

But for that, a tech-based platform has to be used so that there is no extra work for the HR team to keep track of participants who have to be issued certificates. If such software is not given to the HRs, their workload can be increased immensely because of the maintenance of spreadsheets for recording participants.

Organizations have to consider their work culture because presenteeism is not the only matter of importance now. The companies have to see whether the employees are meeting the goals regardless of how much overtime they put in. If an employee cannot deliver the required output, his efforts can’t be rewarded.

Hence this is how hybrid training must be conducted.

28 Mar 2022
elearning template

Pointers for designing an elearning template 

The e-learning industry has grown by leaps and bounds. It’s because people have started understanding the importance of learning unconventionally.

The e-learning companies are also coming up with avant-garde content to ensure that the businesses can take care of their employees. But some problems can impair the functioning of a company’s LMS. The LMS has a lot of eLearning templates available, but sometimes they become outdated; hence it’s the job of the business to contact the vendor to modify the template. An LMS template is just like a PowerPoint slide, in which the users can plug in the content. It’s also crucial that before you decide to buy an LMS software, you have a complete idea about its eLearning template library. Sometimes, the eLearning templates might not have an option for you to add videos and audio, which are essential for your course.

Hence, it does not make sense for you to get that LMS. The LMS must also have an option for the course creators to auto-translate because they need external help to add subtitles to a course without it.

These are the essential points that no designer team can ignore while designing a template:

  • Make sure learners get the instructor’s feedback

The LMS must have the option of feedback. This means that it must have an option for you to add the email ID of the instructor or even a chat box option. When the learners don’t get timely help, they are likely to divert from a course. Therefore, the learners must also be given help in the form of access to the social media handles of the instructors or the company so that they can get in touch with their peers who are a part of the official Facebook group. The learners feel motivated to continue with a course when their queries are answered on time. Also, the LMS eLearning templates must have options for the LMS admins to track the usage rates of the module, like when does a learner quits, i.e., he presses the “close” button.

  • Get the opinion of the team on the template

The team feedback is also crucial when getting an LMS template.

For example, the LMS template must be approved after getting approval from the team. Then, the graphic designers can design a style guide as to where the text and images should be placed in a template. If the template does not have the proper placement of the objects, it would be unusable in the future, causing an unnecessary expense on your part in getting a template redesigned. This style guide can include the tone of the template, like how many images would be placed on a slide.

An elearning template must also have a scope for notes, just like in PowerPoint slides, so that the SME team can include some important points if they are missed.

You might not use all the placeholders in a template like for notes etc., but they need to be there because the design can’t be altered to add more of them if needed.

  • Appropriate navigation

The eLearning template must also be navigable, and hence there should be placeholders for buttons/icons. You can also include captions to describe what belongs where.

Navigation is a crucial part of the elearning template. The template must have a placeholder for hyperlinks so that the users can be directed to the last/next slide or the main page. When the template does not have easily visible hyperlinks, the learners get confused, and their time is wasted finding the hyperlinks to go further in the course or backward. It is also necessary that on every elearning template, the place for menu/icons/buttons should be fixed and decided beforehand so that any significant modifications are not needed later.

  • Have proper bullet lists placeholders

The elearning templates have to be designed because every slide can’t have a different layout. You can’t expect the learners to lose their attention during a course. When you have a consistent layout throughout the course, thanks to the e-learning template, you have better brand visibility which ensures that the learners assimilate the eLearning content quickly.

Any template must have unavoidable elements like bullet lists and short text placeholders. Without such elements, the e-learning content is not coherent and articulate. When learners browse through long text blocks, they feel frustrated and suffer from cognitive overload. They might not retain much even after the course, and therefore short text blocks are essential to encourage retention.

Before embarking on a template design job, the design team must take some ideas from the end-users. They could be given surveys and assessments to gauge their response. Through such surveys, the design team knows what kind of layout is preferred in terms of positioning images and text. The target audience might not like any deviation from this layout.

When the organization does have an eLearning template, it makes sure that the employees get a feeling of cohesion. This is necessary because the employees don’t enjoy the e-learning experience when every slide has a different design.

  • Arrange a menu before the course

The e-learning content designers must also make sure that a menu is integrated at the beginning of the course. This menu lets them know whether the e-learning course is sufficient for them, or they also need external resources. So, before any module begins, a slide should be added as an introduction that briefly describes the contents. When the course is sorted with a menu and an e-learning introductory slide before every module, the learners can use the course for just-in-time information needs. They can quickly locate the information needed by them to solve their problem.

Hence, this is how an e-learning template should be designed.

15 Mar 2022
customer service training

What is the best method for customer service training: asynchronous or synchronous?  

The companies must focus so much on their services now because the competition is stiff. Customer service is integral to such services because the business is affected once they are not pleased.

Why can’t customer service training be asynchronous?

The customer service agents must know that the customers on calls might be irritated, but even then, they must be nice.

The customer service training for agents cannot be asynchronous because they have a lot of queries to be answered, so a trainer must be with them when they are reading the training stuff.

Query solving sessions can be scheduled later, but the customer service agents might be busy with their jobs.


Here are the following situations when synchronous customer service training can help:

  1. Organize weekly webinars:

    Since the e-learning sessions of the customer service agents must be synchronous, weekly webinar sessions can be held on an LMS (Learning Management System) where they can be guided on how to proceed. For example, a trainer, industry experts, and senior workers can explain the various situations in which the customer needs to be appeased. Send emails to customer service agents about such webinars to correspond and come up with some questions.

    The instructors can also hold such sessions once the agents have responded to the branching scenarios quizzes included in the LMS. Then, if the staff has chosen wrong answers, they can be shown the compiled results and the repercussions.

  2. Enlighten customer service agents:

    A company has so much at stake in an online call because the customers form the most critical impression about your company. Hence, the customer service agents cannot be slow, e.g., when a buyer needs a replacement product because he has received a defective product, the agent should know the product line. If he does not, the customer is not too pleased and may use the Cancel option to file a product return.

    Moreover, if a customer asks for a replacement, the customer service agent must also know whether the former still has enough time left for the eligible replacement since the purchase. Hence, a weekly quiz can also be posted on the LMS for customer service agents on how they respond to a particular situation.

    Such agents can also be given pop quizzes about which they have no prior knowledge.

  3. Show the demos of irritating customers:

    The instructors can show how the customer service task is done by preparing an act. They can ask someone else to play the confused customer. The whole act is entertaining if subtitles and background music are included. It is also helpful if along with the act-based video the employees are also given some resource links. Resource links to PDF documents on the LMS might prove tedious, so it is better, that the customer service agents are shown infographics or comic strips for better retention. The instructors can use anecdotes during webinars, so that customer service agents learn from the latter’s experience.

    The videos containing the task-based acts can also be animated, where there can be varied kinds of customers portrayed. And these customers should be the types, the service agents do not know how to deal with, like chatty customers who want to talk even after the problem is solved, and the agent cannot disconnect the line. Other annoying customers hate every solution suggested to them because they are bossy. Such customers want to be treated exclusively, and hence it is best to connect them to a senior. Another set of irritating customers is those who file for product returns when the time limit is over.

    Also, dealing with new customers can be challenging because they need instructions on using a product. Although companies might have prepared onboarding product videos, they sometimes cannot understand.

  4. Dealing with new customers:

    The new customers require some guidance and heads-up because they are not acquainted with the product. They might ultimately discard your product in the trash can once the customer service agents don’t help them. So, the agents must have complete knowledge about the usage of the product to detect where a new customer might be going wrong. Once they don’t get the required help, such newbies shun your product, but not before badmouthing about it to everybody else.

  5. Be aware with the company’s return policies:
    Although customer service employees might have all the resources, they must be given knowledge about compliance rules. For example, they must be aware of the company’s policies regarding returns and replacements so that none of them is violated because heavy fines are levied if they are.

In the end:

Apart from customer service training, it’s also essential to see that such staff are pleased with their work schedules because when they are burned out, they are not in their best moods to attend to customers. So instead of them working more, even on holidays, you get technology like chatbots that can answer routine questions. When the customer service agents work more in their jobs, they are likely to switch, costing you experienced resources.

21 Feb 2022
pharma elearning

How has globalization led to pharma elearning?

The world around us has become easily dependent on the e-learning industry. Pharma e-learning is truly revolutionary in this industry because it can ensure that the employees become acquainted with the latest compliance rules. Employees also get frustrated with employers who are unwilling to update them about the new rules. Elearning in the pharmaceutical industry has become a critical factor because it can determine whether medical devices are used correctly or not.

When the pharmaceutical companies provide training to their salespersons, they can assure that sales happen. Quick sales are important for such companies because of the short shelf life between product launch and its copying by the competitors.

These are the reasons why pharma e-learning is indispensable in this industry now:

Higher hiring of freelancers

Elearning can as be used to train freelance employees who are getting increased employment in this industry.

The reason why freelancers are getting such high employment is that they can modify their working hours. In certain countries, rules about overtime of employees are very stringent and, as such, prove to be costly for companies. Since freelancers can easily adapt their schedules as per the requirements of the companies without imposing any huge costs on them, they are preferable employees. When the company has just launched a new drug in the market and needs a worker to work overtime for making sales, freelancers are a better option. Sometimes, they are also a necessity in those countries where the company might not find any regular labor.

Since so many companies are entering global markets these days, it might not be plausible to find someone local at quick notice for sales. Hence, hiring a short-time employee might be a good solution for a company. Since the pharma companies hire temporary workers on such a large scale, elearning has become a prerequisite to training them. Elearning is a fast delivery mode and can get a company to rush up to its sales processes.

Need for localization due to globalization

Localization is also becoming a major requirement in the pharma industry. Since so many companies are selling their products internationally, they require someone to interact with the local employees.

This is only possible when someone is aware of the native language of such countries, and hence pharma e-learning imparts the knowledge of such languages.

It has been proved that Asian countries such as India, Russia, and China will be major buyers of international drugs, and here e-learning is necessary for imbibing their cultural and linguistic nuances for making sales.

In addition, there is an increased demand for imports of pharmaceuticals in developing countries and reduced domestic production, which can be attributed to a rise in incomes in these nations. The pharma companies have started understanding the importance of Middle-income countries for their sales, and hence a lot of research and development activities are now focused on them. Hence, there is an increased necessity for language training.

Apart from that, although the local labor is hired in such countries for making sales, it’s important that they are trained adequately in teaching customers. The sales executives must be trained diligently about the consumption of a drug. Therefore, e-learning unavoidably offers the best possibilities for standardized training about drug consumption.

The companies need to systematically train local sales executives because any translation error can cause losses when the consumer takes drugs in the wrong quantity.

Increasing access to local customers

Pharmacists in every country have to be given e-learning to deliver the best of explanations to patients and doctors. That’s why, e-learning is the new paradigm for them given the globalization of pharmaceutical companies.

Such training has to include questions about dosage levels and what can be the side effects caused due to wrong levels of consumption. Moreover, the pharmacists and the sales executives have to be precise and compassionate in dealing with patients who might not read the product instructions, such as the right dosage levels when they are ill. Hence, pharma companies have to enhance pharmacists’ communication and technical skills to make sales and become effective resources for them. Also, the sales executives have to be trained in how to use technology to reach out to customers trying to access them via apps.

More R&D is happening in developing countries

Research and development have also become an important need for such companies. It’s because, without the right formulation, effective drugs can’t be produced. With so much competition, companies have to invest in research and development. But R&D being a costly initiative, the companies have to hire the most efficient workers. The companies have to hone their skills through e-learning to effectively interact with departments like marketing as to what kinds of drugs are needed. Language training is crucial so that the R&D employees in the headquarters can understand a local marketing team and the concerns of patients. Language learning is also significant because pharma companies must serve people, and hence they must have knowledge about their requirements. In addition, such industry has to deal with functional pathways in every country, including the governments, so language training is crucial.

Is e-learning the right choice?

Elearning is a practical alternative for pharma companies because they can’t provide instructor-led training in every country. Apart from being too costly, this can also prove to be a location-centric problem. The learners might not be willing to travel.

Hence, e-learning localization is a great resource for them to provide training in all languages accessible on all devices.

01 Feb 2022
elearning app

How a company must develop an elearning app?

The e-learning is now seeing new demand owing to the pandemic. That’s why companies are just coming up with new platforms, not to be left behind. There are many e-learning platforms in the market; hence, the companies need to decide which one to implement, depending on the user preferences.

For example, a company can provide users with a mobile eLearning app that ensures easy accessibility and is also the preferred choice given the wide availability of smartphones.

The companies can choose an e-learning app based on the following parameters:

The companies can develop an e-learning app after knowing the content to be circulated. However, any business which wants an elearning app for its employees must take care of the following features:

  1. Social media integration:

    Social media integration should allow an employee to sign in to the app through his Facebook account. This way, he can also share any new training certification badge on his Facebook page so that his friends can see it. Then, when his friends compliment him on seeing an achievement, he feels proud.

  2. Push notifications must also be there in an Elearning app that facilitates employee information sharing. This way, employees are aware when a new course is uploaded on the LMS. Employees can also be alerted when they have not used an app in a long time, reminding them it’s time to finish a course they have left in between.

    Such notifications are handy when the employees are informed about the turbulent weather conditions to reach home after work safely. If there is no light in the stairwell, the push notification can also tell employees to turn on the mobile torch. The authorities also become vigilant about repairing such issues before they can cause any harm.

  3. Search feature:

    Also, there should be a Search Feature integrated into the app so that employees don’t have trouble finding any information. Enable this search feature to find any content containing keywords, images, videos, or text in the app.

    The learners should have every kind of facility in the app, making it more usable; for example, they should have a Forget Password feature when they lose track of their credentials. They should set their profile picture and other account details on the home page. Every course must feature a course description number of lessons and be included in a category. Again, employees should have the option to download a lesson to read it without an internet connection.

  4. The e-learning app must have private access once it’s for the employees of a company. It should not be accessible to anyone outside the network. It’s also the task of the app admin to see that the user profile is deactivated once an employee has left the company.

    Also, even if someone gets access to the app through the Playstore with an employee’s credentials, he should not download the app on a nonrecognizable device.

  5. Chatrooms:

    Employees can solve any queries regarding the content on the app through a chat functionality managed by senior employees or chatbots. There can also be a chatroom functionality where employees can discuss their work-based problems with other employees if available online.

    The technical features of the app are crucial because businesses must consider that employees are taught the latest. Competitors implement new technologies to train employees about better work practices, which you could also use.

  6. Pop up quizzes:

    Suppose the safety regulations have been updated at the workplace, but how to check employees for their knowledge. It is possible through pop-up quizzes that analyze employee retention about policy changes. Employees can also be rewarded as positive reinforcement through gift cards etc.

    Providing information to employees through a mobile learning app gives them the safest way to access any precarious situation. They can get acquainted with the necessary protocol to be followed when near dangerous chemicals. Any accidents can be prevented when the information is within the most accessible reach of an employee. Hence, a mobile learning app acts as a pocket guide with immense knowledge for an employee.

How to ensure the app’s security?

Moreover, there should be controlled access to the mobile app, and its API should not contain any bugs. Finally, ensure that the developers who have developed the app use obfuscation to ensure that the hackers can’t decipher the code and reverse-engineer it.

In obfuscation, you can change the name of the variables and methods using unprintable characters, etc., but it does not alter the result of the program. Furthermore, since the code can’t be reverse-engineered through this technique, an app can’t be hacked.

Reverse engineering means that the executable file is broken down to get the source file because it is discovered how various functions are included in the source code. Here, a decompiler creates a source file from an executable file. It’s like opening a machine and then assembling it all over again.

For example, one can get the source code of an android app through so many free-cost tools. Hence, the app developers must obfuscate the source code to prevent it from being decompiled using one of these tools and reconstructing the app. But ensuring this is the responsibility of the eLearning companies USA hired for creating the app.

Hence, these are the benefits of using an e-learning app for a company.

04 Jan 2022
elearning design

How digital literacy and culture affect elearning design?

E-learning has become a massive trend all over the world. The trend is going to get better in the future because large corporations are now implementing this for their learners.

Corporate training is now experiencing huge growth because the companies have started realizing its advantage, in terms of ROI. Employees have the freedom of taking an online training course in terms of time. The best part is that since they are not studying it with other coworkers, and they don’t have to hurry with the course.

High demand for e-learning in North America

However, companies have to inform employees when an e-learning course becomes available, which is not so easy given the workload of the LMS admins and many workers. The US market is using e-learning because of the increased usage of the internet. With the pandemic, the organizations don’t have an option but to use the digital mode of learning. The corporate e-learning sector is expected to experience a huge CAGR of 10.3% from 2020 to 2026 in this country. The e-learning industry stood at a staggering US$250.8 Billion in 2020 in the US and will increase to an amount of US$457.8 Billion in 2026. So, these are exciting times for the e-learning companies USA. This growth can also be attributed to an increase in the use of social media such as YouTube and Facebook and the assimilation of major HR functions such as recruiting and leadership planning, which have necessitated digital learning.

Apart from the US, Canada has also shown a great demand for corporate e-learning, especially by government enterprises.

How can SMEs learn more about the learner?

Getting their feedback:

The companies also need to focus on how to include subject-matter experts in their programs in designing the relevant content. It’s better, that the SMEs have an idea about their content so, they should get feedback from the learners. When any results have been obtained about the success/failure of the content, they should be shared with SMEs so that they can improvise. The SMEs should know that their work is about helping the learners and hence feel responsible and motivated for the same. The SMEs should also be available for discussions with the learners. The social relationships of the SME’s also improve, apart from their knowledge base getting widened through such sessions. They understand the cultural context of their target audience, which is useful in creating effective content for them.

When SME’s talk to learners, they develop empathy towards them, making them generate more useful content.

The major challenge before e-learning companies USA is to ensure that they localize the English content into that for the native audience, for whom, English is a second language.

Culture of the learner:

The job of the SMEs is to see that the e-learning content teaches skills that meet the requirements of such learners. For example, culture is crucial in designing the LMS also. For example, chat boxes don’t play such a role in query solving in East Asian cultures because the students don’t initiate such chats themselves, unlike students in European countries. The teachers and students in the US have equal status, and hence the latter contact the former without any hesitation. But in countries such as China and Japan, the students give higher importance to the teacher’s opinion than their own; hence they desire that the latter gives them lucid instructions.

E-learning companies USA which want to have a worldwide client base must focus on the leadership required by the learners because that decides the support they require, including group work. In collectivist societies of East Asia, learners prefer social activities during learning such as VILT, whereas in individualistic societies, they want asynchronous learning with greater control.

Cultures affect perception

Cultural differences also have an impact on how learners perceive things. For example, red is not seen as a positive color in the US but in China represents prosperity. Hence, SMEs have to take this into account so that the content designed by them is culturally relevant and sensitive.

The LMS admins also have to ensure that the learners are not disturbed at culturally inappropriate times. It’s because in America the learners don’t like to be disturbed during lunchtime and hence any VILT session must not be scheduled. Hence, in some countries, synchronous learning becomes a problem because learners can’t be trained simultaneously due to the time gap.

Knowledge of technology i.e. digital literacy

The lack of knowledge about technology is also an important factor in how an e-learning course is to be designed. For those who are not well versed with technology because they don’t require computers for their jobs, the e-learning design has to be lightweight. Lack of internet access is also a reason which the e-learning companies USA, have to take into consideration while designing a learning system.

As far as the overall computer literacy across various age groups is concerned, the Netherlands has the 1st rank. Education also decides whether an adult is computer-literate or not. Digital literacy is proportional to the educational qualifications of a US adult.

The highest percentage of digital literates(95%) were found in US adults with an associate or higher degree. Computer literacy also differs among those born in the US and elsewhere. Again, foreigner-born adults have lower literacy rates as compared to those born to American citizens.

Ethnicity is also a deciding factor on whether someone knows computers or not because Whites and Asians held the highest computer literacy rates at 1st and 2nd position better than Blacks and Hispanics(only 65% of surveyed adults were digitally literate as compared to 89% in Whites). All this data was generated in a survey done in 2012 by the National Center for Education Statistics of the US.

Hence, the e-learning course has to be prepared to keep the digital literacy level of the target audience. For example, if an e-learning course has to be prepared for a semiskilled or unskilled blue-collar job holder then it can’t be using too much technology because 22% of digitally illiterate adults in the US work in these occupations such as machine and plant operators etc. like oil rig operators.

15 Dec 2021
ethics and compliance

Can a company benefit from ethics and compliance training?  

Ethics and compliance have become important matters for companies.

Any compliance fraud can lead to a lot of repercussions for a company because it can lose many customers apart from creating an adverse image for it. Hence, how can companies ensure that their compliance training programs are followed, knowing that any non-compliance can be detrimental to their success? The problem of following ethics and compliance regulations has intensified even more due to the multiple branches of multinational companies located in different countries. So, non-compliance can be caused by the actions of these stakeholders. The companies have started investing significantly in the implementation of compliance rules, which involves hiring compliance officers to oversee enterprise-wide compliance.

If employees have certain issues dealing with customers or other stakeholders, then they can get information through this program from the ethics compliance officer. He can act as an ombudsman when employees are worried about something unethical happening in the company.

Ethics and compliance training refers to educating the employees about the laws in place for their business domain, which can cause serious repercussions if not followed. Hence, employees must conduct their daily operations based on such compliance laws. 

The employees must have been given a handbook, which should include the company ethics. They must also sign an acknowledgement form that they comprehend everything written in the handbook.

Setting up a corporate compliance team 

Organizations can only take matters into their own hands when the employees are evaluated continuously. Apart from that, any changes in compliance rules must be provided to all departments. The businesses must be ready to provide employees with ad-hoc assessments to know how much they are aware of the ethics and compliance updates. A corporate compliance team is a necessity that can ensure that all the departments are taking their compliance processes quite sincerely to avoid any violation.

Hence, for this purpose the ethics and compliance training of management is necessary. 

In fact, the senior employees should be continuously reminded of the ethical behavior by issuing a memorandum to them. When its copies are pasted on the bulletin board, employees know what is expected of them when dealing with customers and vendors. The managers should be informed repeatedly that the company is an equal opportunity employer and any applicant cannot be rejected on basis of his caste, color, religion, sexuality.

Taking timely action 

The organization should be willing to act in time because any violation can cost it heavily. Hence, the businesses must have established processes so that it is easy to detect the source of non-compliance e.g., automated tools can be used for this purpose. There might be many branches of a company, but it is crucial to ensure that the compliance procedures have been developed considering the location. When the policies can be easily followed, there are no gaps in sticking to them. 

Establishing ethics and compliance hotlines 

Employees can become more compliant when they are given opportunities to complain about any non-compliance, which boosts their confidence in the system. Hence, a company can have hotline numbers where employees can report any incidents of bribery or discrimination they have seen. Once the complaint has been filed, the management can see to it that justice is done. Often giving the employees the freedom to complain can help organizations prevent the development of such conduct into something big in the future. 

Assessing what are the chances of a compliance risk 

The companies should be able to categorize compliance risks caused due to non-violations. It is because once such risks have been segregated, the companies can then see whether the internal controls for their prevention are sufficient or not. Based on the penalties levied for non-compliance in a certain geography, process, or business(impact) there can be a separation of compliance risks. The organizations can also divide risks based on the probability of their occurrence. Hence, controls can be devised and evaluated based on the effect and the likelihood of compliance risks. 

Businesses have a lot at stake as far as compliance risks are concerned. So, no business can ensure that it can take care of them overnight because employees can find loopholes. Moreover, new compliance risks arise overtime when the laws change. Hence, businesses must change their compliance goals over time when there is law modification. They also must use the updated technology to attain these goals, check the results and if there is a lack of compliance, check the control in place and upgrade them. 

Set up an ethics program

Once a company has an ethics program, the employees and stakeholders can be taught through it. An ethics program can inform employees about how much value of gifts they can accept from vendors because an excess amount would constitute a bribe. There should also be certain occasions mentioned on which employees are allowed to get gifts from vendors.

10 Nov 2021
employee training

Can employee training prevent workplace violence? Yes or No?

Companies have a huge responsibility on their shoulders to keep employees safe. It has always been a priority because workplace violence can cause a company to lose trust among prospective employees. Moreover, when an employee becomes a victim of violence, a company has to fight lawsuits filed by the members of his family. The death of an employee lowers down the morale of the rest of the team, apart from the company losing someone valuable and experienced.

Therefore, employers have to ensure that no workplace violence happens. OSHA has prescribed that all organizations must have workplace violence prevention programs to reduce the happening of such events. Employee training is required to ensure that such incidents don’t happen.

Let the employees know about the consequences

The companies should make sure that even if there is any risk of violence, it should be eliminated. During the on-boarding or employee training program, the HR should explain to the personnel how the company has a zero-tolerance policy toward such violence and it will result in termination.

Apart from protecting employees, the company must also see that the vendors, clients, and anyone who visits the company premises does not become a victim of such violence. The risk of such violence exists when company personnel are accepting payments in return for services or goods. Working during late hours of the night also makes employees vulnerable to violence.

Finding hazards

OSHA has recommended that companies must conduct worksite analysis to identify potential risks. This includes detecting which workplaces are hazardous in terms of workplace violence. A team can be constituted for this purpose which can include senior management officials, workers, and legal staff, etc. This kind of information can be extracted by checking records where workplace accidents have occurred in the past. It also includes screening surveys that ask employees about incidents not known by the management.

The problem with reporting workplace accidents is that they are not reported due to the fear of revenge. Hence, the management has to take into account the undocumented incidents also. For this, workers have to be handed over questionnaires through which they can report any such incidents. But the management has to assure them that their answers will be confidential. The workers can report about customers who assaulted them and whether the cops were called to protect them.

Including engineering controls for prevention

The employers after hearing the accounts of assaults on a worker could take measures like implementing engineering controls. There should be video surveillance cameras installed inside the shop. Apart from that, enough lighting should be there so that anything incident of physical aggression is visible from outside the store.

Employees working at retail stores have high chances of being robbed, hence it’s better, that cash availability is restricted during that time. The employee’s training must contain the adequate measures to be taken when such an incident happens. So, enlightening them about such measures reduces the risk to their life and protects the store property too.

The late-night retail establishments must ensure that the cash is deposited in the Drop Safe at the end of the day so that it’s safe.

There should be panic buttons and alarm systems that can be triggered in case there is an attack and the nearby police station are informed in time. There should also be door detectors so that employees are informed about the entry of someone into the store. Also, there should be height markers installed on exit doors so that under any attack, the tallness of the escaping assailants is captured.

Employee training can also ensure that they are not looted when they are going back to the parking space.

So, there should be security escorts who accompany them to their vehicle, especially necessary for female employees. Also, the parking space must be easily accessible from within the building and well lit. If any customer behaves aggressively with a worker, a trained security officer can prove to be viable for stopping such an incident. He should have been given a security protocol to be followed under such circumstances. Employee training can prevent such incidents because they can be trained through simulations on how to react.

Managerial responsibility

It is also the job of managers to check that if any untoward incident happens and a worker sustains some injuries, he is immediately moved to the hospital so that no loss of life happens. The managers can ensure that the workers are duly protected, and their psychological well-being is ensured with proper counseling. Managerial training is critical because any delayed reaction can cause an irrevocable loss, like a deceased employee. Hence, the managers must ensure that nobody tampers with the evidence and the premises are secured so that a fair investigation can be done by the cops. The manager can ensure that an incident report form is filed by the company in case some facts are left out during recording the incident.

It’s the job of managers to revive the confidence in workers after an assault has happened. They have to assuage their fears regarding any future accidents, ensure that all potential hazards have been removed from the workplace. The managers also need to assure workers that they don’t need to hold themselves guilty of not being able to do much during the assault because it was not possible.

So, employee training especially of managers can prevent such incidents from happening and also reduce the aftermath.

05 Oct 2021
Banking elearning

How can banks provide better operations with banking e-learning?

Banks are including elearning to make sure employees are adept at doing their jobs. They are given games by the senior management to ensure they get a hang of their job roles.

How are banking elearning games helpful in handling customers?

Banks face a crisis when it comes to handling a tough situation. It’s because although customers have shifted to internet-based banking due to the pandemic still some of them prefer to come to banks. It’s because old people can’t operate online banking software and hence need resolutions of problems such as cheque clearance, the opening of savings accounts, etc. These banking elearning games make sure that customer executives experience situations like how to handle queues in banks and don’t panic when such a situation emerges.

These simulation games empower employees to handle their job roles better. For example, in a cheque clearing game, the employees are supposed to move the players, to handle tasks like when a customer gives a cheque after which they have to verify the details. Any wrong move in the game penalizes the players. All the game results are sent to the managers who then decide when an executive should be allowed public dealing. When an employee has attained a certain score, he can then be shifted to a customer handling role.

When employees play such games, they get hands-on experience in dealing with customer processes, so they don’t commit any errors in the actual process. Such elearning helps employees to deal with situations like mortgages, payments, and approval of loans. The customers want expedited processes when they come to banks and hence elearning has become a crucial way to achieve these results. Banking elearning must also include system safety because any carelessness can cause bugs to enter the system and everyone knows the consequences of data theft in such organizations. Hence access control is important in this kind of training.

Security is also important in banking elearning because if any information about the process is leaked, the operations can be compromised. Any hacker can get knowledge of a bank’s operations and this can be risky. Hence access to banking elearning courses should be there for employees only.

Teaching employees about hard skills, soft skills, and compliance

Banking involves a lot of administrative tasks done through software. Hence it involves teaching employees the correct use of software for their job duties so that they become efficient. After going through banking elearning employees not only gain hard skills, but also soft skills and customers are more pleased. With an elearning platform, when employees play simulation-based games for their skill assessment, their performance can improve. Such communication skills are quite useful in convincing customers to save and open accounts with banks. Of course, the ability to save differs between different customers. But their psychology towards savings can be influenced by a banking officer who can tell them about good rates on term deposits. This way, the customer can become more financially knowledgeable and learn about how savings can fetch him good rates of interest. But there needs to be the protection of customers so that they are not defrauded. However, law-making authorities in several countries have come up with rules to protect customers’ money.

In 2017, RBI made changes to the Banking Ombudsman law which protects customers in case they are misled about a banking product(mis-selling). For example mis-selling happens when someone tries to conceal facts about a financial product like asking customers to invest in mutual funds which are linked to securities whose values can fluctuate and there is no assurance of monthly returns. But banking elearning can teach employees to refrain from such practices to protect the integrity of a bank.

13 Sep 2021
Compliance training

Why is HR compliance training necessary to handle remote work laws?

There has been a lot of emphasis on compliance training recently. The employees indeed enjoy the freedom of remote work, but there are so many compliance laws governing it. Employers have to follow so many laws when they allow remote work.

Reimbursable necessary expenses laws

The states have also formulated laws on expense reimbursements even if employees are working remotely and don’t incur any travel expenses.

But there are other expenses such as the internet expenses to be borne by the employees.

In that case, as per the Fair Labor Standards Act(FLSA), an employer is not supposed to provide any work-related expenses for employees who work remotely. However, when due to such expenses, an employee’s monthly income goes below $684 per week, and then the employee has to reimburse the work-related expenses of such employees.

Ten states have enacted laws that remote workers be reimbursed for their work-related expenses, including California, Illinois, Montana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Iowa, New York, Pennsylvania, and North Dakota. Apart from all these states and the District of Columbia which has also implemented, employee reimbursement laws, the FLSA is applicable everywhere. 

So, Compliance training for HR becomes mandatory in these situations so that the company does not violate any law.

State laws:

California 

For example, California has the most rigid rules in this context. As per Section 2802 of the Labor Code of California, employers have to reimburse employees for all pertinent work-related expenditures including a percentage of money expended on home utilities.

However, the definition of such expenses differs with the type of job. As per the interpretation of this law, employers have to reimburse employees a specific percentage of internet bills even if the employee has an unlimited data plan. However, in cases where employees are working from offices, such expenses don’t have to be paid back to them. But employees are not required to reimburse such necessary expenses incurred during remote work when the employees voluntarily choose to work from home and there is no compulsion for them to do so due to the pandemic.

The HR can know through compliance training what is considered a necessary expense so that it’s reimbursable.

Necessary expenses are those expenses that have to be done requisite to performing the job. Internet and mobile phone bills are considered necessary apart from the cost of buying IT equipment such as printers and laptops. But if an employee gets an ergonomic chair for a comfortable working position, then he won’t be reimbursed for it because it’s not necessary to carry out his duties.

The employer should send an employee a reminder when it’s time for them to provide the reimbursement requests because, in the case of non-repayment to such employees, a lawsuit can be filed against the former.

Illinois 

Illinois has similar reimbursement laws and employers have to repay the internet and cell phone bills caused due to remote work. This state has the law that the employees have to submit all their reimbursement requests within a month of paying, corroborated by relevant documentation.

Paid meal breaks:

An employee can be paid for his meal periods once he has taken a twenty-minute or lesser-minute break for the same. So, it’s high time that HR employees of US states are informed about such laws.

Tax benefits for employers:

There are benefits for employers also, in reimbursing necessary expenses such as, they are tax-deductible. This is only possible when the employer can prove he is on an Accounting Plan, provided the reimbursed expenses fulfill these 3 conditions:

  • The employees must have incurred such expenses while they were working
  • The employees must be able to prove such expenses within 60 days of incurring them. So, they must provide the employer with a reimbursement form while asking for repayment of such expenses.
  • Any expenses reimbursed over and above the allowed necessary expenses must be repaid by the employee within 120 days. These expenses are invalidated expenses for which the employee is not able to supply any proof.

All the ways, in which an employer can ensure that his remote employee’s reimbursed expenses are tax-deductible can be brought to his knowledge by the company’s HR or the Accounting department enlightened by compliance training.

When an employee is unable to corroborate his expenses with proof, they are regarded as non-reimbursable expenses, as supplemental wages, and are not tax-deductible.

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He was a German psychologist who is known for discovering the forgetting curve. According to this curve, the biggest decline in memory happens within 20 minutes, and then 1 hour.