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Communications is Training


Employee working on cellphone
Image: insta_photos - Alamy Stock Photo
Optimizing employee experience continues to be an overarching business objective this year for companies of all sizes, in every vertical, and across geographies. But the goals companies set out around achieving optimum employee experience can vary significantly one to the next.
In a global research study on employee experience conducted this spring, Metrigy asked participants to rate 14 goals as vital, nice to have, or not necessary. Six goals bubbled up to the top, rated as vital by at least 50% of our 250 participating companies.
  1. Keeping employees informed on company activities, news, and other pertinent information – 61.4%
  2. Facilitating training and education for career development – 56.1%
  3. Establishing collaborative goal setting (via objectives and key results) – 53.6%
  4. Providing a central repository for content and knowledge sharing – 52%
  5. Fostering connectivity among employees – 51.4%
  6. Measuring employees’ use of communications and collaboration (meetings, team messaging) or productivity apps to guide well-being improvements – 50.5%
It’s an interesting mix, with plenty to dissect about each individual goal, how they interplay with each other, and how they work to further the mission of optimizing employee experience. For purposes of this post, however, let’s consider just those top two goals: keeping employees informed and helping them evolve their careers through training and education.
When I first looked at these research results, I didn’t see much of a connection between those two goals — or at least not as strong of a connection between either of these and others. However, a conversation with start-up Tyfoom got me thinking differently.
Among a crowded, and oftentimes confusing, employee experience field, Tyfoom differentiates itself on providing a mobile-first employee engagement platform that brings together training and communications. (Some companies may only use the platform for communications and others for training, at least initially.)
From a training perspective, Tyfoom is turning the traditional approach to learning management systems on its head. Whereas legacy learning management systems typically have shrunk their existing desktop footprints to fit a mobile format, they haven’t shrunk the duration of video training sessions, with many running 20-30 minutes. Tyfoom, however, launched its platform specifically around the behaviors of a smartphone-toting, mobile-savvy workforce, said Frantz Belot, co-founder and president.
On their mobile devices, many people thrive on watching super-short TikTok or YouTube videos, or Instagram reels, sharing what they like, and zipping off quick text messages to each. The experience for training should be the same, he added: “Training has to be short, with lots of videos, and the system has to notify me, deliver things to me that I'm interested in.”
To date, Tyfoom has created 650 microlearning videos, each running no more than two minutes in length. Belot, who has a doctorate in education and organizational behavior, sees a successful correlation between learning via snippet and retention. Employees forced to sit through a half-hour training on emergency response may very well feel forced into compliance, begrudge the time they must spend away from “productive” work, and pay only enough attention to pass the quiz required for successful completion. People are far more receptive to taking two minutes out of their day to watch a video on one very specific topic: what to do if you’re in the field and encounter an animal, you’re having lunch in the cafeteria and your coworker starts choking, or you’re in a conference room and smell smoke. You don’t need to learn everything about a subject area in one fell swoop, and couching a session in humor helps with recall. Plus, microlearning videos are easy to store centrally and make searchable for quick refreshers.
With this microlearning approach, “communications and training can be the same,” Belot said. In other words, companies can create learning playlists for employees, based on their likes and interests, and communicate to them through those playlists. For consistency, Tyfoom recommends daily messaging on which single microlearning session to watch, though Belot noted that some clients limit requests to two or three days a week.
“I log in, I see a message from executives, and I know exactly what is expected of me. I don’t need a town hall; I have this personal message on my phone from the CEO,” Belot said. And, all of sudden, he added, you’ve gone from training and communications to employee engagement.
“This is about engaging with a company’s content,” he said. “Give me an assignment, and I will do it. Send me an email, and I will read it. Teach me a skillset, and I will practice it. Tyfoom gets employees engaged to help them perform better.”
Tyfoom measures success by daily engagement and uses gamification to encourage consistent participation. Employees receive a rating based on their engagement, and badges for completing designated numbers of sessions. Tyfoom reports 71% daily engagement among its customers, based on employees logging in, completing training, and reading alerts of the day. As a future, Tyfoom would likely integrate with employee experience management platforms, Belot said.
So now I see the connection between communications and training, and engagement... and, well, any number of other employee experience goals.