Expert Sandra Loughlin from EPAM Systems details the complexities of omnichannel learning experiences for employees, and how to mitigate them
With omnichannel learning taking the front seat in employee training, experts question the efficiency of this new learning experience. The technology risks and the emotional challenges of remote working employees is a cause of concern for the C-suite executives.
In a podcast conducted by EnterpriseTalk, Dr. Sandra Loughlin, Head of the Learning Practice at EPAM Systems, discusses these challenges. Sandra focuses on the technological and emotional hurdles that brands and their employees who are involved in omnichannel learning must overcome.
“With any sort of technology and certainly in the learning space, there are pros and cons to having constant access and seamless learning experiences,” says Sandra. There are lots of benefits to access content from a variety of sources without the worry of not having enough battery or having left a device in the office. According to Sandra, the reason for caution is its “degree of inherent risk given the nature of the data that is transferred in learning environments.”
When the technological risk is in question, data security is the first criteria that businesses address. Data breaches are the most vulnerable threats to businesses as data is being increasingly shared through various devices by remote workers. Several brands train their employees on security measures, including encryption tools, malware software, and the basic ethics of keeping personal and office data separate on different devices.
Listen to Podcast by Sandra Loughlin here
Sandra believes some enterprises that make it a priority to include a sophisticated data security infrastructure continue to make themselves aware of potential risks. Security training programs might be considered mandatory as digital experiences are now on a rapid rise. The challenge that industry leaders find more threatening is the emotional deficiency of employees. With the pandemic-led working conditions, employees must deal with their existing health, social, and environmental challenges.
While technological risks can be addressed and corrected with systematic strategies and available tools, working on the employees’ emotional chart can be difficult. With the increased employee remote working and learning, fatigue is an aggravating issue. “Employees are fatigued being home all the time, constantly accessible to their employer and constantly having to think and see learning experiences on all devices. It can just be emotionally exhausting.” Indeed, the tiresome emotional journey has to be addressed by the C suite.
Employee fatigue can cause direct consequences to the productivity of any business. Moreover, the remote learning process, especially during a pandemic, does not provide the required motivation. “During stressful times, people have limited bandwidth for learning. What’s really important from a learning outcomes perspective is the perceived social support for learners. We know that learners tend to be more successful when they tend to learn with others. There is a limitation to what can be effectively learnt online,” adds Sandra.
With the world going virtual much faster than planned, delivering learning modules seamlessly across online devices is the strategy applied by many brands. While technical and emotional complications are to be urgently addressed, Sandra and other industry leaders believe that in time and with more data, learning professors will figure out which aspects of learning can be conducted online and which kind of training requires real-time social engagement.