Tag: finance elearning

05 Aug 2022
upskilling

What does it mean by upskilling for cybersecurity?

Government agencies are becoming quite proactive about security measures because they face the same hacking risks as other companies. However, such agencies must be more cautious about their cybersecurity because any data breach in another country’s hands can harm their national integrity.

We live in an antagonistic environment, and a lack of security can have immense repercussions. Due to every government organization becoming accessible through the website, their database has become vulnerable to cyberattacks. Hence, government agencies must ensure comprehensive upskilling in cybersecurity for their employees at all levels.

There are also problems caused because employees access websites on mobile phones. These devices are more accessible to hackers easily than laptops; therefore, government agencies’ IT personnel must be trained to handle security configurations on smartphones.

Not only the government information is at risk, but also the data pertaining to its employees when the systems are hacked.  The data of such employees was accessed when the government computer systems in the Office of Personnel Management in 2014 were hacked, which contained all their details, such as addresses, phone numbers and social security numbers. 

What are the reasons for such upskilling?

  • Outdated systems:

Technology has progressed rapidly, and the legacy systems used by the government are no longer sufficient to tackle attacks. These systems need to be replaced because the government is also spending a lot on maintenance. 

  • Supersensitive information:

In addition, government employees need upskilling in cybersecurity because such agencies store much confidential information like social security numbers and driver’s licenses of citizens.

Such information is enough to hack their internet banking accounts.

Upskilling is also crucial for government employees because they handle the most important infrastructure in the country, such as the national and state power grids.

Moreover, the US government organizations have a hacking risk because there are no measures taken due to reckless work culture.

Human error also arises because employees don’t work, due to which server downtime also happens apart from security breaches.

There is also insufficient training that employees cannot understand and hence fail to meet the compliance standards.

Measures for upskilling all employees

Government employees should be upskilled in cyber awareness and trained in taking the following precautions:

  • Information of Defense agencies:The Department of Defense(DoD) has established a security protocol(DoD 8140 ), under which it’s mandatory for the cyber security workforce who get in touch with the DoD systems to get IT certifications.

These certifications are required for everyone in the Defense department, including personnel, contractors, and foreign employees. These certifications involve teaching them about the principles employed by the DoD to protect its data from all kinds of cyberattacks. According to this directive, all the employees of the Dod must have the designated certifications.

  • Using cloud-based servers: Government employees need to be trained in using the most advanced technology, which can make them resilient to cyber-attacks. For example, they should use cloud servers instead of in-house servers.

The cloud-based servers mean using a third-party organization, and it means extra security because they don’t have a fixed location and 24/7 accessibility of the organization’s website. Also, in case of any data breach, the risk of a hacker asking for ransom is eradicated since the data is backed up in a cloud-based server. The vendor takes care of the cloud-based server and ensures it’s protected with the best security patches.

  • Not using personal emails: Hackers succeed when some employees use their personal email IDs to communicate sensitive information. Hence, they should be able to log in to their official email ID through two-factor authentication, which means no one can access their account without the OTP. In addition, if a certain password is compromised, the government official must change it.
  • Using designated machines: The upskilling can help government employees understand why they need to use official PCs to conduct their work matters. These devices have VPN enabled so that no one can access the government IP addresses and send malware or phishing emails to government email addresses. In addition, government organizations should get the web application scanning done or are upskilled to detect any system bugs, so they can be removed.

The government officials must learn how to remove the malware from the system. This is only possible if the malware code has been analyzed by an IT firm so that it can be debugged properly.

Hence, the officials can be trained to implement all the measures to mitigate the risk of cyberattacks.

What to do when a ransomware attack happens?

Government officials should also be given upskilling about how to handle such incidents that have happened. They should immediately notify CISA (The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency) about it, which can take remedial action.

Upskilling is also necessary in case the hacker has installed ransomware and wants a ransom so that the government officials can take necessary action whether to comply with his demands or not. The ransom must not be paid because it’s not a guarantee that the hacker will yield the credentials of the hacked system. The CISA can only let the government agency the actions to be taken when ransomware has been installed.

There are training materials available that can enable employees to implement the correct incident response plan. This kind of upskilling can be given to third-party vendors working for government organizations and state and federal government employees.

12 May 2022
gamification

How is gamification necessary in the corporate world for preventing obesity?

Online education is taking economies forward now because it helps people learn in the fastest way.

In companies, gamification has become a critical need now to prevent obesity.

There is a lot of use of such education in imparting healthcare knowledge. Ways of taking care of their health can be imparted to people so that they can prevent themselves from adverse health conditions like obesity. It’s important for the working professionals of today that they follow a healthy work-life balance which involves making judicious use of time. The professionals can be taught to step from their seats after every 10 minutes so that they can get some kind of workout.

Benefits of such apps for employees:

    • Better health:

When employees are encouraged to exercise regularly because wearables count their steps and they are given such targets through game-based apps, their possibility of taking sick leaves decreases. Such gamification makes sure everyone starts paying more attention to health because at the end of the day they can compare their score with each other like how many calories lost per day. Such apps can ensure that employees devote at least half an hour to some light cardio activity especially those with chronic diseases such as anxiety and depression.

They can also conduct meetings to include activities like walking while addressing their teammates. They also become productive due to robust lifestyles and getting confidence due to better physical appearance. Providing employees with such apps can be a part of the company wellness program.

  • Fixed schedules:

Healthcare is a crucial aspect of our lifestyles these days because a lot of work happens from home which has led to more sedentary work practices. When employees get gamified apps they can keep a tab on what they eat too. With gamification fitness, related goals are set for employees who start altering their schedules and with time, enhance their efforts in that direction.

Gamification can make sure that online education for health becomes easy for professionals. They don’t have to set timers on their phones to remind them to take some steps down a staircase after brief intervals. Apart from making adults adhere to fitness routines, online education and gamification ensure that those with chronic health conditions also take care of their lifestyle and follow the prescribed medication schedule. Gamification adds more fun to the task of following a healthy lifestyle because it sends a notification when it’s time to sleep, how many glasses of water to drink per day etc.

With gamification, a lot of pressure is relieved on medical health practitioners. The employees can also book appointments through them which it becomes easier for doctors’ assistants also. Such games have a record of the medical data of all the patients which can also be referred by doctors when required. Employers get a lot of benefits when employees are trained through gamification. It’s because employees are not wasting their time on medication due to obesity-related diseases.

Gamification apps can reduce employee insurance costs

It has been found that employees who are obese are more prone to diseases such as psychosocial stress due to workplace exposure. Companies should also consider that apart from modifying the eating and exercise-related behavior of employees through gamification, it’s also crucial to prevent the consumption of harmful substances such as alcohol, and smoking to prevent obesity. Overweight people can also develop diseases such as musculoskeletal ailments such as cervical.

They also have lower chances of recovery from any injuries caused at the workplace and it is costlier than individuals who have average weight.

According to research done by Gallop and Duke University Medical Center, the employees who are obese have a higher chance of suffering from workplace injuries by 25%. As a result, their chances of being absent from the workplace and filing medical claims are also high. When an employee is obese, this has direct repercussions for the employer. It’s because he pays for the workers’ compensation insurance which is a certain percentage of the total compensation.

How are obese employees more prone to accidents and illnesses?

When an employee is absent from work due to some illness they are paid for their lost income through this insurance. Also, if an employee can’t work due to some accident at the workplace they have to be paid through this insurance fund for hospitalization charges.

If an employee develops a disability due to which he has to abstain from work even temporarily, the employer has to pay him compensation for a specified period. It’s a portion of the weekly earnings of the worker.

Therefore, an employer should make sure that employees don’t become obese which makes them prone to workplace accidents and illnesses. Hence an employer must make sure that he provides healthcare-based gamification apps to employees so that they are fit and don’t fall prey to obesity-related diseases.

07 Apr 2022
crisis management training

Why is crisis management training crucial for companies? 

The pandemic has changed the way businesses conduct their work.

The companies are now facing various problems, such as the Great Resignation. That’s why companies are suffering from a talent shortage. The companies are seeing even worse conditions due to the unprecedented war between Russia and Ukraine.

 

Hence the companies are now preparing employees with crisis management training to be prepared to deal with unexpected problems.

There was massive employment (2,50,000) of technologists from Ukraine who have been rendered jobless. It is not a pleasant situation for the companies which worked with these coders.

For example, one of today’s most popular writing tools, Grammarly, had an office in Kyiv. It has executed its crisis handling plan and moved its critical business decisions to employees other than Ukraine. Another major Ukraine-based tech company already had a contingency plan if such a situation arose and had backups of its customer data on servers in Europe and the US. IT Companies that had been outsourcing work to Ukraine coders have plans in place to evacuate them. Many consumer goods organizations such as Nestlé SA have to shut down operations in Ukraine due to the war and have asked employees not to come to factories.

Three hundred thirty companies also have to leave Russia due to the war crisis because of safety concerns.

Why is crisis management training essential?

Hence, crisis management training aims to prepare employees emotionally for all kinds of situations. They also have to learn how to handle situations that involve getting resources from elsewhere so that the supply chain disasters can be mitigated, like the coding situation in Ukraine. The employees can be given integrated courses covering mental health coaching and emergency handling.

What does it include?

 

The employees have to learn how to be resilient in such situations. During the pandemic, the health care workers also displayed such kind of behavior where they were ready to treat patients even though witnessing mass deaths. Employees can also lose their cool during critical situations when the job takes a toll on their psychological well-being and they are traumatized by certain situations like the death of a close one. Hence crisis management training must be made mandatory for leaders who must keep the show running by understanding employee emotions. It’s their duty to see that the harmony in the office is not disturbed and make people feel strong enough to deal with the contingency. The leaders must handle the hopeless employees with compassion.

Crisis management involves dealing with alarming situations that harm a business’s operations. In that case, a company may have to shut down offices due to a lack of demand and supply.

Hence the companies must prepare a three-phased strategy to deal with such events.

  1. Before the crisis: The company has to lay down the plans for handling a crisis. There are always some events that signal to a company that a crisis is impending.
  2. Response to a Crisis: In the actuality of a crisis, a company has to follow all these plans
  3. After the crisis: During that time, the company has to analyze its plans and find out what better options could have been followed.

How can company leaders be a part of crisis management?

 

An organization’s seniors must understand that the larger the plans to handle a situation, the better it is for them because no company can be unaffected by such a situation. When a company thinks that its infrastructure is indestructible even in a global disturbance, it loses. But when an organization is better prepared with a plan, it can prevent or reduce losses. Every organization must have a crisis management plan which should be changed in the case of likely emergencies and changing world events. Crisis management training helps leaders in chalking out the plans for such circumstances. For example, when companies had the IT tools for remote working, they were better able to handle the pandemic. They must also also discuss the feasibility of such plans with crucial employees who will execute them.

The crisis management training includes the management and the HR leaders whose job is to see that the welfare of the employees is not put at stake while dealing with a crisis.

Any crisis management plan can’t be complete and adequate when the departmental heads are not included in its formulation. Apart from them, vendors must be included who can determine a company’s fate during a crisis.

The compliance requirements can also change during a crisis, and hence the business has to adhere to them.

The crisis management training must include a relevant communication plan and how it will be conveyed whether there would be the use of social media or multimedia channels such as print channels and TV. The business must also test the validity of such crisis management plans so that they don’t fail when required.

08 Mar 2022
elearning apps

What kind of an elearning app should a business use?

An e-learning app has become a necessity for companies because employees are so engrossed in smartphones. If the businesses don’t have an e-learning mobile app, they can’t make users browse their content. The e-learning companies USA have to produce an app rich in features so that the users enjoy using it, but for that, the right technology stack has to be used. Before choosing a technology stack for an e-learning app for their client, the app creation companies have to think of the scope of the app.

Native or Cross-platform?

 

The e-learning industry is now geared towards native apps, i.e., an app built solely for a single OS, either android or IOS. Moreover, having a native app is a safer option for a company because it has only one codebase, either Java or Objective-C, so there can’t be many bugs.

But a cross-platform app is developed using two code bases for compatibility with both IOS and Android-based phones, so its development time is less and can be used on both the operating systems.

However, native e-learning apps don’t need an internet connection, unlike a cross-platform app, which is beneficial because users can access them without using any mobile data.

Moreover, these apps are ideal ways to ensure that users can access them without public Wi-Fi at any location, which implies that accessibility will happen regardless of location.

Besides, the native app uses the hardware and the software of the OS and the mobile phone. Native apps have the advantage that since they are based on a single operating system, they use the system’s features such as memory management, location tracking, etc., and deliver the best app performance. They can also be linked to the other native apps used on the phone. Hence, they can easily use the device’s capabilities such as push notifications and microphones.
 
But a business needs to decide whether it should outsource the app development or not.

In house development or outsourcing?

 
The e-learning vendor checks which programming languages are reliable when developing an app. They can have their flaws, and hence the app has to be checked for any before it is launched. It’s because any bugs can cause the app to be hacked. The e-learning companies provide the business with a technical specification document that includes all its functions to be developed with ease. These functions decide which programming language is better for the app. The e-learning companies also have app developers with ample experience because any lack of expertise can cause problems later. Hence, these are the reasons why app development should be outsourced to one of the e-learning companies USA:

  1. Experience in developing apps:
  2. E-learning companies in the USA have full-fledged experience in creating such apps. They have a suitable variety of resources at their disposal. They also proceed meticulously with a plan of action. The first phase consists of Story Analysis, which includes developing the inputs and outputs of the app based on collaboration with end-users and managers. After the information flow has been decided, it’s time to create a Prototype consisting of the front end and the backend of the app. Then the third stage is to Determine the Technology Stack, whether it should be IOS or Android. These technologies are also dependent on performance and the app’s scalability, like how many users will access it at a particular time. Once all the considerations are taken into account, the US’s e-learning companies then decide on the Action Plan, like how the app will be developed, the time frame, etc.

  3. Fixed costs:
  4. Companies can’t save costs by using some free frameworks on the internet for app development because they may have to pay extra for more features. Developers have to be hired if they want to offset such additional payment. On the other hand, when a business takes the help of one of the e-learning companies USA, the app costs are decided in advance and released on time.

  5. Guidance by the e-learning vendor:

E-learning companies USA can guide a business on what app they need depending on their budget. A native app is an expensive option because the two codebases have to be written for Android or IOS. These costs can only be averted once you decide not to launch the app for one OS to avoid development costs, but it will restrict the accessibility of your app. Hence, a cross-platform app that works on both IOS and android is a better option because it requires a lower development budget. So, depending on the scale of your business, the app type can be chosen.

If security is a consideration because the app stores the confidential data of users of e-learning companies, then it’s better a native app is preferred because it uses the security features of the OS. The native app developers can include many features, such as file encryption, by using the OS libraries. So, the users can easily upload a file without the fear of it being accessed by hackers because it can’t be decrypted. So, if the e-learning app belongs to banks and hence contains confidential information about the processes, then a native app is a better option.

The customer experience also decides which app should be used, whether native or cross-platform. It’s because native apps deliver a better user experience since they can use OS libraries, and hence they are customizable in the future. The learner engagement can be increased multifold once the native apps deliver them a better UX. The UX decides their app journey, and without the right one, the customers leave the app sooner than desired. E-learning apps need to focus on better UI capabilities because they must have features like gamification. It’s an integral part of e-learning; with native apps making use of an OS’s existing libraries, they are a better choice for an e-learning app, and be it for medical e-learning or compliance training purposes.

02 Mar 2022
finance elearning

Is finance elearning mandatory in a digitalized world? 

Banking is an integral part of the economy in any country. This sector faces many challenges due to the pandemic; hence, upskilling has become a significant requirement.

An LMS in banking is necessary because there can’t be a common training place for the banking employees. Training has to be organized at offices, but banks have many branches.

Hence, the banking employees should be given feasible training that does not involve skipping office hours.

With finance eLearning, banks have gotten a significant advantage in terms of training employees without facing the problem of repeating training and even tracking compliance.

The employees can also be given scheduled training as per their comfort and can watch small bytes.

The communication skills in banking employees have been an essential matter to the companies due to which they must be given role-plays through elearning. The banking employees need to have excellent knowledge about products, and only then can they sell them. With onboarding accessible for them through finance elearning, they can handle the customers much better.

When employees are given role plays through finance learning, they can handle customers in an everyday scenario with frequent withdrawals and deposits. So, the banking employees handle in-person visits, which are also tough apart from calls requiring them to extract customer information. Employees need to go through desktop banking software during call handling to get the relevant product knowledge, which isn’t easy. They also have to access customer information after verifying their account details. Hence employees have to be given simulations in e-learning for their betterment in a call handling role.

Why is finance elearning necessary?

Elearning also prepares banks for adaptation to rapid change, which isn’t easy. Whenever a bank employs a new IT system, it needs to train employees to handle the system. When banks have so much at stake, they can’t afford to lose anything because the customers can’t handle the enormous customer influx due to changes in IT systems. The employees could miss out on essential opportunities due to a lack of understanding about IT systems apart from having frustrated customers. And with such massive employee strength organizing even synchronous virtual training is an impossible task. Hence asynchronous e-learning involving simulations is a plausible option because employees can be trained without managers’ need to check how they are performing.

The financial service industry is dependent on product sales, whether done through sales teams or external vendors. Both these sellers require training, due to which finance elearning is pivotal. There are different training portals for distinct kinds of employees with an LMS. In finance elearning, employees are not served any futile information, and the engagement is even more. The employees also get encouragement when asked to conduct webinars on the LMS in banking. Banks have not discovered the importance of customer service. It’s because, without effective service, customers tend to choose competitors. And it serves no purpose for companies to lose business because winning new customers is costly compared to retaining existing ones.

Hence, banks have to implement finance elearning because of the higher penetration of the younger generation in their customer base because they prefer digitalization in services. Banks indeed have to understand that customers will still prefer digitalized services in a post-pandemic world. For example, they prefer paying bills and even crediting cash to others through digital channels. The baby boomer generation also prefers using digital pathways for fund transfer transactions. 52% of customers like to conduct online transactions for making payments like paying bills and 46%also like using online channels for transferring funds. So, banks have no alternative but to train employees to handle the highly digitally savvy customers.

Apart from the pressure of training banking employees to cope with digitalization, it’s also a need due to cybersecurity issues. The criminals now find it easier to access banking data because everything is on a server rather than paper files. Hence, the problem with today’s world is that information can’t be locked because passwords can be hacked, and malware can be installed on computers.

Spoofing takes anyone’s identity: be it a banking employee or a customer!

Spoofing has also become a common problem here. Someone can take the identity of a customer and conduct a transaction. So, banks have to train employees to ensure that their systems are safeguarded against hacking attempts.

Spoofing can happen when the credentials of a high-level employee in a bank have been compromised due to the installation of malware on his system. So, antivirus software should be installed on every PC so that employees don’t click on links in an email from nefarious sources that are blocked. Such links download malware on their systems, and hence all their credentials for logging into a banking software are revealed to the hacker.

Banking employees have to be cautious with what they reveal on social media. It’s a problem when banking employee reveals their birthdays to unknown people on social media, which the former have used as credentials on their desktop software. The banks have to ensure that the employees are given cybersecurity training not to disclose any such information. Often the social media accounts of banking employees can also be hacked, allowing the hackers to access sensitive information. But with financial elearning, banks can be prepared to take corrective action if any such information leak happens.

What to do when a bank’s accounts are hacked?

Banks have to set up a security breach response program to cope in the aftermath of such an incident. Firstly this program must deal with issues such as customer response in case of a data breach. Secondly, it should know how to handle the law enforcement agencies who can be shown employees’ cyber awareness training records. Thirdly, if the attack has happened through a third-party service provider, what are its implications for it. An audit can also happen on a bank after such an incident, and in that case, a prior assessment must be shown.

The bank can convince its customers that its systems were hacking-proof through an assessment. In such an assessment, a third-party vendor checks your systems and uncovers any security gaps, if any. Once the gaps are revealed, they can be filled by the vendor or the internal IT department.

The banks have set up the response system bearing in mind the law enforcement requirements. The customers have to be sent notifications when their account details have been compromised. Through a phone line, affected customers can contact the bank officials. The banks should immediately block internet banking in the bank accounts of all such customers. They can also report to the bank if their compromised details are still getting used.

The customers can also be informed of any other preventive steps taken by the bank after such a breach so that there is no repetition of such an incident. It’s better, that the bank has a compliance department aware of all the regulatory requirements after a breach.

Data breaches can happen, but banks have to make sure that the customers’ don’t switch to their competitors. It’s not only those customers whose details have been leaked who stop using a bank; other customers also stop using the services. A significant percentage of customers(29%) said they wouldn’t return to an organization again once it has been affected by any cybersecurity breach. It was revealed in the Verizon and Longitude survey, done in 2019 in 15 countries, including India, Australia, UK, France, Germany, Italy, etc., on 6000 customers. So, finance elearning is helpful for banks to ensure that they have the perfect response to critical situations such as data breaches.

Banks can also ensure that a new account should replace an old one for the customers whose credit or debit card details have been stolen, and the cards linked to the new accounts are issued.

But suppose a hacker has information about your confidential numbers like the social security card birthday dates. He can also apply for loans through your social security number(SSN). Hence when a bank accidentally leaks such details, it’s responsible for providing free credit monitoring services so that its customers whose SSN has been stolen are protected from any dubious credit taken in their name. The customers can also register themselves with credit reporting agencies like Equifax. They are immediately informed whenever someone takes a loan in their name using their social security number credentials.

Coping up with such situations implies that the customers have to apply for a new social security number. But for that, all the details have to be provided again, like proof of age, US citizenship and identity.

However, these credit bureaus can ensure that you get a credit freeze which implies that no one like credit card companies and Mortgage lenders can access your credit report and provide anyone else with a loan. So, any identity thief can’t use your social security number to get a loan. But despite a credit freeze, you are eligible for a loan because the creditors can still access your credit reports. The credit bureaus provide the applicant for such freeze with a PIN so that when he wants to unfreeze because he is himself applying for a loan, the prospective creditors are supplied with his credit report.

The banks have to provide finance elearning for employees to deal with such situations. In case of identity theft, the banks should have a recovery plan in place through which the scammed customers can get aid from Federal Trade Commission. The affected banking customers can also file an FTC identity theft report, or they can call the fraud department of companies. Through this report, the businesses close the accounts of someone affected, and his login details on shopping portals linked to his credit/debit card details can’t be used for shopping anymore. This ensures that the businesses can know that someone is affected by a debit card theft in a data breach, and they must check the details when validating his card for sales.

The banking customers can also set up a fraud alert through one of the credit bureaus, and the banking employees can assist them in the same. This makes sure that the creditors have to conduct scrutiny before someone takes a loan in a customer’s name.

What if customers lose their debit cards?

Banking customers must also inform the bank immediately once their debit card or PIN has been stolen. It’s because if they inform the bank within two days of such a theft, they are only responsible for payment of $50 under the unauthorized transactions, no matter their amount. But, if the banking customer reports such a theft after two days, they are liable for payment of a maximum of $500 debited through unauthorized transactions from their account.

01 Mar 2022
Elearning forums

How can elearning forums help employees?

Technology has become such a crucial asset for companies because it allows them to share knowledge with employees. It’s true that companies need to ensure that employees develop and harness a drive to learn things. This can only happen when organizations use technology such as online forums to eradicate barriers in communication.

Apart from creating e-learning materials to boost the knowledge of employees, the companies need to focus on existing resources too. Employees can be given opportunities for collaborative learning where they can circulate knowledge to each other on forums.

There is a hidden repository of information in every company, and it should tap into it through e-learning forums.

The company can recognize which people in the organization are incredible sources of information through surveys. And then the ones with the biggest potential can be categorized according to their knowledge pools.

However, 30% of organizations still don’t have forums to help employees ask questions from their peers about confounding topics.

Besides facilitating knowledge sharing, these are the other benefits of online forums:

  1. Offer scope for human interaction: The learners partake in learning discussions on such forums, and it helps organizations to reduce costs incurred on formal training. The human assets get so much amplified when their colleagues solve their queries, which also boosts the camaraderie between them. In fact, when such discussions happen, the new employees get to learn such valuable information which is recorded in the brains of seniors or experienced co-workers.  Anyways, such forums offer opportunities for joiners who are working from homes but want to interact with other employees.
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  3. Increase confidence: The learners who lead the peers in such discussion often get a confidence boost, and it makes them go for the e-learning materials with a new zeal because they feel powerful after helping others. So, using an e-learning forum provides a great spur to an organization’s e-learning initiatives.
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  5. Get feedback about e-learning: The L&D department can also browse through such e-learning forum chats or get an idea from the employees themselves involved in them about the skill gaps not getting addressed by the formal training. With this information on their hands, the learning and development team can make sure that the e-learning content is better suited for the learner’s needs.
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  7. Get information about the most updated technology: The knowledge-sharing culture has to be encouraged in an organization because the technology is getting updated all the time. The learners want information that is useful as per their circumstances, and it’s not always possible to upload all such information on the LMS in the form of e-learning content, at least not so frequently.The organization might lose on some big opportunities when the employees don’t have the knowledge to carry out some tasks.

    Businesses can also ensure that they provide support in such online e-learning forums and add chatbots that can post hyperlinks to YouTube videos and pages in e-learning assessments to help the puzzled employees. If the employees don’t find the link useful, the employees can then be redirected to interact with another employee.

  8.  

  9. Brainstorming: E-learning forums allow employees to share so much information and are effective tools for brainstorming, which expedite their work. Employees can get a lot of timely inputs from others about the implementation of a path-breaking idea on such e-learning forums.

How to boost forum posting?

People should also be encouraged to share information on such e-learning forums. They might not have the initiative to do so because of a lack of time. But knowledge sharing should be an inclusive element in every culture and people should be infused with the motto of helping others. Hence, people should be rewarded when they let others know something useful. They can be given due acknowledgment for their knowledge sharing and praised too. It should be made a part of daily work chores. In fact, employees should be sent popup notifications when someone posts a question on an e-learning chat forum.

Some employees might be apprehensive about posting their queries on a forum for the fear of being judged by others. They are hesitant employees, so the forum administrators should see that the former’s posts are only seen by a smaller group of 5-10 people they are comfortable with.

In fact, they might end up procrastinating it, so make sure employees get some brownie points for asking others their confusions on the forum. It’s not always helpful for a company if an employee does not sort out his confusions and looks for answers online, adversely affecting his work due to lack of knowledge.

14 Feb 2022
Virtual reality

When must a company implement virtual reality training?  

Companies now increasingly use virtual reality to impart the best possible training to employees. The learners can benefit so much from this training, whether related to soft skills or technical skills. Virtual reality can be used effectively in all kinds of situations. In cases where employees need to use heavy machinery as a part of their work, virtual reality-based simulations can ensure that they are introduced into simulations where handheld controllers allow them to experience the tools.

They can be asked to work on assembly line production through a machine and see how the various buttons work. The learners can be immersed in a world of faulty machines and learn how to repair them. 

The virtual reality-based simulations are effective for nontechnical situations too, where employees have to deal with huge crowds

This can also be tried with HR managers, who can be asked to confront a deviating employee in a VR simulation. The former can see how his body language, voice modulation, etc. affect the latter. It is the best role-play for becoming an expert in handling real-life office situations. 

The same procedures can also be used for training recruits and introducing them to the shop floor procedures. This way, they can also learn how to prevent defects in the product line. 

But organizations need to ask before they decide to use this technology to create training whether it’s the perfect fit given their budget and other considerations. 

Depending on time and budget 

A company can develop the VR training depending on the timeframe. If a company needs immediate training solutions such as for recruits, VR is not the answer because the development time is long and can range between 1-6 months. The cost is also high and can vary between, 20000-1,50,000 dollars. Industries like manufacturing, retail, and transport require VR training compared to others where conventional training methods are sufficient. The 360 VR videos require an omnidirectional camera to be captured because they can take a shot from every angle. Such a VR video can be watched without a VR headset, but it can have an immersive experience. 

Virtual reality-based training is of two types, and it depends on an organization’s needs which it should use. First is the 360 degrees VR in which the learner does not move, and he only can vary his viewpoint, i.e., he can watch the objects in the environment from the left or right angle but can’t change his position. But in the Full VR, he can also move in the simulated environment apart from viewing them from different angles. 

Depending on training needs 

Virtual reality(VR) is a better way to train employees because they get to see a machine from proximity and find out where are all its parts. However, the 360 VR does not have much training scope as the full VR, allowing better learning. The employees can only see a machine from all angles, but they can’t touch the equipment. For example, the employees can learn about different parts of the equipment and which one to use during an emergency in 360 VR, but what happens when they do that can be checked in full VR only. Supposedly, just turning off the machine might not be the best solution in case of a crisis, but employees can only learn that when they are in a full VR simulation wearing a headset and holding controllers. They might need to take another action, like accessing the nearest fire extinguisher. So, when employees are required to take action, a full VR provides a more result-oriented training solution. 

Virtual reality training is not required for tasks such as cybersecurity, which requires employees to sit in front of PCs because they can be taught through screencasts. But in the case of safety training, virtual reality is an inevitable solution because lives are at stake. 

From the safety perspective, a company can’t take any risks, and such situations are more uncontrollable than computer problems, so VR, which emulates reality, is necessary. A VR training vendor can help a company carry out tests to determine whether a certain skill requires VR-based training or not. On the other hand, an organization can’t do without VR when the employee’s response is extremely critical, like pilots, because they have to be monitored for their response. Any delayed response by them can cost a company, but a late response might not have such adverse effects in some situations. In the latter cases, implementing e-learning training is sufficient because employees can be tracked for their right/wrong answers in an assessment. In addition, e-learning can measure employee performance metrics such as their MCQ test results. Unlike VR, e-learning can’t provide metrics like voice recording, body movements, data entry speed, etc., which are necessary for employees dealing with customers. 

So, the introduction of VR-based training depends on what performance metrics a company needs to measure, which are determined by a training needs analysis. 

A company can also use its current training materials like 2D e-learning videos and convert them into 360 VR. The businesses can consult the e-learning vendor about whether they can convert the characters and situations in such videos to virtual reality. Virtual reality allows the maximum retention of e-learning videos because employees are immersed in situations that require them to apply their knowledge.
They also have reinforcement of their training, and hence better retention happens. Since employees have practiced their skills through such simulations, there is decreased attrition due to the inability to face job challenges. On the contrary, employees have already experienced the worst-case scenario through simulation, which boosts their confidence and productivity. 

Companies should also make it a point to ease employees into VR-based training. It can ensure that the employees get the tutorials to handle any troubles while using the headsets and controllers. The employers can also ensure that the employees are given sufficient demo time before they are put into the VR simulators. If employees can’t get the hang of the headsets and controllers during such demos and still have some problems, they must be able to access technology experts for resolving issues. 

31 Jan 2022
finance elearning

How can financial wellness be ensured with 401(k) elearning?  

The employees are struggling with financial wellness, especially due to the pandemic. And companies know that when an employee has financial worries, it leads to adverse consequences. The employees have a lot of needs like constructing a house and paying for their children’s education. But they have to manage other important expenses like taxes, retirement savings, and healthcare. Companies can help employees manage their financial expenditures.

Employees have to manage their financial expenses well. Hence, they have to be taught how to do so. They could be given financial coaches who can prepare their spending and savings plans depending on their health, family members, and age. Employees can also be given software training to get an idea about how much they can spend every month, depending on the possibilities of any health-related contingencies. There are retirement plans available for employees, but they have to consider how many returns they offer.

What is a 401(k) investment plan?

As per this plan, an employee gets a certain amount deducted from his monthly salary subject to a total of 20,500 USD or less in 2022. This plan is taken care of by the sponsor’s employer and remits the employee contribution to the investment custodian responsible for investing such funds and managing them. Employees must know that they can’t contribute more than the 20,500 amount. However, if a larger amount has been deducted, the excess can be distributed to the employee. An employee must also know that he cannot pay any tax on elective deferrals (salary deductions) as per the 401k plan. The amount gets invested in stocks, mutual funds, or bonds, and when an employee turns 59.5 years old, he can withdraw the accumulated amount in the 401(k) account.

An employee must be aware of the elective deferral amounts as per the Internal Revenue Code Section 402(g) limits, and for that, elearning is a prerequisite. If an employer discovers that the elective deferrals for any employee are more than the Internal Revenue Code Section 402(g) limits, the extra amount has to be returned. The aged (older than 50 or more) can contribute more to the 401k plan apart from the 20,500 limits in 2022. They can contribute 6500 dollars more to this plan apart from 20,500 in 2022.

An employee can’t withdraw any amount contributed to the 401(k) account before his age is 59.5 years. But if an emergency requires him to withdraw, he has to incur a penalty of 10% deduction apart from income tax payments on the amount he took out of the 401k account.

Although the 401 (k) is a useful plan for getting a sum after retirement, employees can’t get great returns on the money invested because of restricted investment options. Another drawback is that employees can’t withdraw the money without incurring a 10% deduction(taxes) before they reach 59.5years. However, if an employee is out of a job at 55 because he has opted for retirement, he can still withdraw money without facing a 10% deduction. But, before that, any withdrawal will invite a penalty.

But the advantage is that money is withdrawable without requiring the participant to prove his facing hardship and is in dire need of money.

What are 401(k) hardship withdrawals?

However, he can get rid of the 10% deduction rule to prove that he needs money in certain conditions. All these 401(k) withdrawals are known as hardship withdrawals, and the best part is that you don’t need to repay the amount taken under the following circumstances:

 

  • When he needs to bear medical bills for himself, his spouse, or children
  • When he needs to bear the educational costs of his children
  • When somebody in the family has died, and funeral charges are to be borne
  • When unavoidable home repair is needed due to a natural calamity
  • If an employee is facing eviction from his house due to nonpayment of the mortgage.

 

But apart from the regular income tax rates levied on such an amount, there is another disadvantage. The employee has to stop making any contributions to his 401(k) account for 6 months after a hardship withdrawal, and can resume them after this period.

 

Hence, financial advice is needed for an employee about when to start withdrawing money to avoid the 10% penalty.

Hence employers can ensure that the employees have proper retirement planning as per the 401(k) rule and don’t suffer from financial worries.

Are 401(k) hardship withdrawals the best option, or should employees opt for 401(k) loans?

Through finance elearning, employees can learn whether withdrawing from the 401(k) account is the most feasible option for them.

They also have the option of taking a 401(k) loan, in which case they can withdraw the amount from this account but will have to repay it, unlike a hardship withdrawal. In the former case, an employee can take such a loan subject to the maximum amount of 50,000 USD or 50% of his vested 401(k)account amount. But an employee has to pay back this amount in 5 years or less.

Another advantage of the 401(K) loan is that the employees don’t incur any 10% penalty. They also don’t have to pay any income taxes, but if they cannot repay the loan on time, they are subjected to both the income tax and the early withdrawal penalty of 10%.

How can 401(k)elearning help employees?

The employers can arrange the meetings with licensed financial educators, who can also monitor which employees attended the elearning based webinar. With elearning at their disposal, the employees can be taught a lot, like whether they would want a new investment alternative for their 401(k) account, making them earn a higher interest. The employees can also ask questions from such educators during the webinar.

The 401(k)elearning module includes videos, calculators, and articles so that employees know where to invest their money deposited into this account. Such sessions are also attended by the 401(k) recordkeepers who can amend the 401(k) account for an employee once he is interested in a change like selling his mutual funds.

The job of a 401(k) recordkeeper is to get rid of mutual funds or buy them as per the employee’s discretion. They also handle other investments made through the 401(k) account. They also keep track of 401(k) loans and whether the employees who took them have paid them or not.

 

 

 

07 Jan 2022
financial wellness

Is elearning important for the financial wellness of employees? 

Financial wellness has become a protocol for employees now because when they have stress due to money, it can affect their mental and physical health.

This kind of wellness means having no worries caused due to lack of money.

Hence, employees have to take control of their expenses to ensure this kind of wellness.

Moreover, the companies can encourage employees to save money for the latter’s betterment. It’s because when employees have control over their expenditures, they are not stressed about finances.

Financial wellness is crucial for companies because not having the right kind of cash can impact employees. They can find it tough to concentrate on work and lose their productivity.

They can feel more motivated to perform when they have stable finances, which are possible with better finance management. Employees have complained in the past that lack of proper finances causes sleep deprivation, which is detrimental for a company. In a research done by the DNA of Financial Wellbeing including 750 employers and 11,000 employees of UK, it was found that employees are worried about their retirement finances. This survey concluded that employers are losing a lot of money, i.e. approximately 15.2 Billion Euros because employees stay absent from work due to their financial concerns and even change jobs.

Every year, employees take 2.5 days off due to their financial problems in the UK. Here is how employers can help employees manage their expenses:

Providing them retail vouchers

The employees can be given discounted vouchers for shopping and groceries. This helps them indulge in their tastes too without going overboard. It’s because millennials want to party harder apart from working, too. The employees should know how to use these discount vouchers. Companies can ensure that money is deducted from their salaries in return for these vouchers but ensure that the employees get to shop from the brand of their choice. The HR’s can maintain a list of which is an employee’s favorite shopping brand for retail and groceries.

A concierge service is an important part of the hotel industry now because guests can get recommendations about which nightspots to visit etc. Similarly, you can make sure that your employees get such services also, so they can be guided about which discount vouchers to use and when. For example, if you have given ticketing discounts to employees, they should know when to avail of the flight because such offers are time sensitive and expire. Even hotel discounts have the same problem.

Helping them meet fitness targets

Employers can also help their employees maintain their fitness goals in the New Year. They can ensure that the employees have access to discount coupons of fitness portals so that they can get gym memberships at low rates. They can also opt for sports goods ordering at cheap rates through such portals.

Advising them about financial security

The employees have to be advised about financial security because unexpected events can happen at any time. There can be a medical emergency that can delete all their savings. Hence, it’s important that they have savings so that they are not without any resources on a rainy day. With proper financial aid such as insurance policies, employees can have peace of mind knowing that they won’t have to ask for help in case of emergencies.

Providing them with salary sacrifice options

Employees can also opt for salary sacrifice, which is a popular scheme in the UK. Although most of the on cash benefits are no longer exempt from tax, the employees can still get benefits such as child care through a salary sacrifice scheme. A salary sacrifice is when an employee agrees to swap some of his cash pay with a non-cash benefit and be exempt from tax payments on the latter. An employer has to ask the employee for such an arrangement by including it in the employment contract.

Hence, employees can make sure that they give up on some of their cash salaries to make payments for workplace nurseries and childcare. As per the salary sacrifice scheme, the employees can get 2 Euros from the government for every 8 euros they submit into the childcare account, which has to be opened up at on the gov.co.uk website. But to be exempted from tax, make sure that your childcare provider has signed up with the Tax-Free Childcare scheme. So they not only get these 8 Euros exempted from tax, but they also get an extra 2 Euros. The employees can get the amount of up to 2000 Euros per year. So employees can get help from such a scheme because they can avail child care expenses through such child care vouchers such as arranging home care workers for them.

They can also swap some of their cash salaries for using a cycle to commute to work. So this is an excellent way for employees to cut down on their taxes. But, when situations change and employees don’t want any non-cash benefits such as childcare vouchers because they might be working from home due to the pandemic, they can ask their employer to cut back the salary sacrifice and receive the salary in cash.

Employees also feel happy when they realize that the employer is concerned about their financial well-being.

Can e-learning help?

Employers have to help employees manage their financial issues through e-learning. It’s because these problems differ with employees in different age groups. Younger employees have a tough time managing their current expenses and fixed asset needs like getting a house, and older employees are worried about managing their expenses after retirement.

Companies should provide older employees with sufficient resources to do their retirement planning, which can include audio files on how to manage money.

Employees can be taught about when they would like to retire when they have enough funds to go through old age. The employees can decide how much they would like to work after a certain age, depending on their past and current savings and future expenses. The companies can advise employees on which scheme they should invest in as per the rate of interest offered. Also, they should invest depending on how many years they have left to work because the lesser the years, the more lucrative should be an investment.

With financial e-learning for retirement, employees can retire at an appropriate age, leaving their job open for new employees helping the new talent to blossom.

29 Dec 2021
banking training program

Do banks require a banking training program? If yes, why?

The pandemic has forced businesses to alter the way they conduct operations. It had the same effect on banks also that had to reskill employees because they had no other option when the customers were not willing to come in person. The banks also can’t afford to fire redundant employees because their operations need individuals with integrity. The banking employees have to be hired after rigorous criminal checks, due to which frequent hiring is not possible. Apart from that, employees are hired after testing them for mathematical aptitude and English comprehension skills.

Hence, banks have to reskill such employees by keeping a close watch on the changing trends. You can conduct tests with employees to know the skill gaps required for fulfilling crucial business goals.

Banks also have to check whether the training program they are looking to implement matches the needs of the trainees, whether they want a hybrid or an online solution.

An online banking training program is of two types, one which is related to banking operations such as handling checks, checking whether the currency or the check submitted for deposits is counterfeit or not.

The second category of such programs includes elucidating on the business etiquette and the latest regulatory compliance.

Why is a banking training program required?

Lack of employees:

The training of employees can be done with employees from other departments, for example; customer service representatives(CSR) can be trained with the Operations employees so that the former can enhance their knowledge of banking services. The latter can improve their communication skills and hence can deal with customers when there is a shortage of CSR.

Training freshers with different educational backgrounds:

Banks need to have scalable training content, too, which can be provided to a larger number of employees when the need emerges. Hence, they should have training resources for online mode also when the new employees can’t attend training physically.

The training content should be reusable so that changes can be made to it as per the modifications in compliance laws. The main problem before taking up a banking training program is that it needs to be specific. There have to be different programs for new and old employees, where the former need onboarding but the latter need upskilling for better roles. Hence, the challenge lies with the e-learning companies USA who have to prepare training material as per employees. Onboarding is also tougher for freshers who have the relevant degrees but don’t know the exact duties of their job role. In India, a banking training program is a must because the graduates in different streams are hired. Thus, such programs teach the fundamentals of banking to non-commerce graduates and about the proprietary banking software to those who are not accustomed to working with IT.

The employees can be taught about the banking infrastructure, which can make them work better. So recruits can be taken through simulations where they can be shown how banking employees work in conjunction with each other to make things happen.

A banking training program is also vital for employees because when there is a hike in demand for services, they can easily adapt to different roles. It’s because a banking training program teaches graduate freshers different skills including business, communication, and software skills.

Divisional training is also part of a banking program because new employees might be working in different departments of the bank such as commercial banking and investment banking etc.

Training employees for quality and not quantity :

Banks also have to check whether the employees are performing reliably and are not committing mistakes due to the pressure of working at speed. This can cause a lot of problems for the bank because any unintentional error with the customers’ money can cause them to pay for damages and lose customer credibility. Hence, even if employees are doing their work at a pace, they should be trained to double-check their data entries before pressing the “SUBMIT” Button.

It’s better that since the employees can commit mistakes if working quickly, the repetitive tasks should be delegated to AI-based software.

AI is also helping banks to carry out the tasks of record-keeping efficiently. Banking employees also think that due to the implementation of AI, they are faced with lesser work. They can put their attention into creative tasks, such as suggesting ways to customers to save profitably.

How can banks make employees imbibe knowledge from such programs?

Banks have to ensure that the employees attend such programs, which can happen when it’s a must for staying hired. However, employees also have to be rewarded for learning from these programs by introducing metrics to measure an employee’s learning. Whenever an employee scores the highest marks on a quiz, it can be informed to everyone else in the organization.

Every quiz should have a level attached to it. But these quizzes must be related to credit-based courses, such as teaching employees about how to handle loan requests based on a borrowers’ credibility assessed from his tax return and other financial statements, etc.

There can be different such courses for banking employees who make decisions to lend to high worth borrowers and conventional borrowers, such as those for home loans etc. Evaluating the creditworthiness of borrowers is important because any loan default means a loss for the bank. Hence, the documents such as tax returns need to be checked whether a borrower has enough salaried and non-salaried incomes for the requested loan amount.

A banking training program also helps employees in judging that if the collateral is getting used for securing the loan, is it enough to recover the dues in the situation of non-repayment.

Hence, a banking training program ensures that employees in such decision-making roles have proper job aids. When employees have completed a banking training program, they also have a scope for career progression in the same bank.

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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.