Table of Contents
- Bottlenecks in Working from Home
- Enabling Business Continuity through Employee Engagement
- How Certifications Play a Key Role in Employee Engagement
- The ROI of Online Certifications
- Significance of Certified Training
- How to Choose the Right Online Certification Software
- The Mercer | Mettl Way
- What Makes us Unique
The COVID-19 outbreak has led to a series of changes wherein Work from Home (WFH) has become the new normal. It has started reflecting on employees’ morale, productivity and engagement levels, affecting the overall performance. They face numerous challenges in the wake of adjusting to the new setting. As individuals are unable to venture out, their inability to move about has begun impacting their creativity. Therefore, organizations must come up with ways to engage and motivate employees.
The last-minute lockdown did not allow leaders to create a blueprint for the coming months. Businesses started experiencing the impact of the pandemic after their workforce went completely remote. Numerous challenges emerged as a result of the remote work set-up.
Bottlenecks in Working from Home
As opposed to a regular workday, WFH has a couple of drawbacks for businesses. When Enkata analyzed workforce performance data, the following issues appeared:
Dip in Productivity
Office-based workers are 50% more productive than remote employees. Working closely with peers contributes to the daily learning of employees. Transparency in conversations and expectations further aids enhanced outputs. According to Owl Labs, brainstorming and strategic planning are the most challenging tasks when working remotely. The elements of agility, brisk ideation, wit and critical thinking are often missing while working from home.
Increase in Idle Time
Indians spend 7% of their day commuting to the office, compared to most countries in the world, with more than 2 hours on the road every day.
- Travel Time Report Q1 2019 vs. Q1 2018
Similarly, workers across the globe who earlier spent significant time commuting to work, have more time on their hands, with commuting out of the equation. This, however, reflects poorly on their performance as a home-based workforce has 30% more idle time during their work hours than office-based employees (Enkata).
With no access to house help and schools being shut down, people have started contributing to household chores such as cooking, cleaning, teaching, etc. Even as the crisis mandates collectively contributing to household duties, it has somewhere started taking a toll on the overall output of employees. The workforce performance data indicates employees working from home have a higher percentage of hours clocked out during breaks.
Hence, it is about time for organizations to confront these challenges boldly to ensure these minor setbacks don’t hinder the long-term organizational objectives. There is a need to bridge the gap between the workforce, supervisors and management, which can be achieved by keeping the employees engaged. When employees have a sense of engagement, they strive to outperform themselves, thereby contributing to the business.
Enabling Business Continuity Through Employee Engagement
With the shifting paradigm of the workplace, workforce expectations are evolving too. We must also consider that the remote workforce is also grappling with the unexpected change. Businesses now must provide means to keep the workforce productive, engaged and motivated. Creating a roadmap for employees would give them a direction and keep them engaged in these unprecedented times. Employee engagement in the current situation can be achieved by:
Ideathons and Hackathons
Hackathons are a means to keep the creative juices of the workforce flowing. They provide a remarkable boost to employees’ morale. Employees find innovative solutions to organizational problems as a part of hackathons and ideathons that can be both technical and non-technical. The approach of rewards and recognition builds curiosity and interest in employees. This eggs them to curate out-of-the-box solutions to a given business problem. The fast-paced activity brings together a diverse set of people to decode organizational hitches. Participants take a responsive and agile approach to build solutions. The leadership then rewards the best prototype.
Learning and Development Initiatives
Companies must devise ways to continue investing in the learning and development (L&D) of their employees. Training and development are intricately linked to a sense of motivation, which drives people to perform better. Employees feel valued knowing that their company is invested in their growth. Even though the current situation might have hampered ongoing processes, organizations must not neglect the learning needs of their workforce.
Growth opportunities play a crucial role in keeping the employees invested in their jobs. Top performers value companies that prioritize their career paths and customized L&D initiatives.
Future of Work Priorities for HRs in 2020
Source: 2020 Global Talent Trends
As per 2020 Global Talent Trends, improving the employee experience and transforming talent practices are this year’s top priorities for HRs. HR leaders plan to take a targeted approach by focusing on future learning and workforce reskilling to achieve these goals.
With more time on hands, there is a massive scope of identifying skills gaps and training employees on newer technologies or models. Additionally, training should be complemented with online certification as it provides a sense of accomplishment to employees.
How Certifications Play a Key Role in Employee Engagement
Corporates can encourage the workforce to deliver quality work by ensuring the learning and development initiatives don’t remain limited only to training. Rewarding the workforce with certification after successful completion of training gives them a sense of achievement. Knowing that the employer is duly recognizing their time and efforts, the employees’ tendency to participate in the L&D program increases significantly.
An online certification implies that the individual possesses specific characteristics, validated by an external assessment or review. It corroborates if individuals possess the necessary skills to perform proficiently on-the-job. A certification system enables learners to acquire critical skills that would enable them to stand out. Employers equally value people who are driven by a continual urge to learn and grow in their careers.
“Certificate programs have been identified as important to adult learners who are focused on workforce development and are concentrated in programs designed to prepare them for specific workforce roles.”
– Suzanne Buglione, Principal, CommunityBuild
The modern-day workforce is mindful of the growing need to gain proficiency in a particular field even if it entails upskilling themselves. The certification platform provides a flexible learning path which professionals may take up simultaneously, with their ongoing work. It is an effective means to widen one’s abilities in a competitive world.
Certifications have become integral to employee development in almost every industry - be it information technology, supply chain, finance, engineering, or management. The reason can be attributed to the fact that the certification system benefits both employers and employees.
“For organizations, training and certification will allow them to strengthen their finance functions amid technical change, and for employees, it will allow them to jump the skills gap and increase their prospects for career advancement.”
- Raef Lawson, VP of Research and Policy, Institute of Management Accountants
The ROI of Online Certifications
L&D leaders globally agree on the long-term benefits of investing in an online certification tool. Online training certificates offer employees the means to monitor their progress and proficiency. Acquiring new skills assists employees to work on habits that may be hampering their output while honing their competencies.
Source: State of Workplace Learning and Development 2020
As per our internal report, State of Workplace Learning and Development 2020, companies that do not issue certification post-training do not gain the expected Return on Investment (ROI) from their training program; their training effectiveness stood at 34%. On the contrary, organizations that issue digital certificates have training effectiveness of 47%. Online training certification is a sign of achievement and expertise. It exhibits the employees’ commitment to growth and development. It also reflects positively on your organization and enhances your credibility. Online training certification programs can help employees meet company standards, focus on their areas for improvement, and expand their knowledge and skills to become assets for the organization.
Significance of Certified Training
Employee training goes hand-in-hand with online certification. Certification is a validation that the individual possesses a particular skills-set which their peers may not possess. For internal training, managers and HRs are in the right spot to furnish Learning Management Systems with learning modules specific to the job function and level. Internal training must be supplemented with proctored certifications. This enables employees to not only learn new skills but also test them and get certified for the same. The certification, benchmarks and scores are also indicative of the quality of the L&D program. It is to be noticed that participation in the L&D program would not be high if the purpose of the program is to spend a couple of hours learning a skill. If employees are aware that they would be accredited after the training, they feel more engaged in the cause.
Consequently, companies can also keep a tally or scoreboard of ongoing certification programs. This will foster a positive competitive spirit among employees and encourage them to partake in training and certification proactively.
IT managers reported that their staff was significantly more effective on the job after attaining certification.
-Global Knowledge IT Skills Salary Report
Certifications allow managers to assess their team members, identify high performers and hone their skills for leadership positions. This especially applies to industries that undergo immediate changes like technology and medicine.
How to Choose the Right Online Certification Software
A stellar certification platform is one that allows organizations to execute end-to-end certification seamlessly. So, before finalizing a vendor that pops up on top of the search engine, keep in mind the following things:
Seamless Integration with LMS
The LMSs which corporates use to deliver their L&D programs have their limitations. Thereby, companies are forced to look for an external service provider. Companies must look for certification software that can be easily integrated with their existing LMS to avoid managing multiple touchpoints - thus becoming a single point of contact for your employee development needs.
Integrated Payment Gateway
The online certification software provider must render integration of payment gateway with the LMS. This ensures effortless registration, payment and certification, thus reducing the turnaround time. Additionally, a good certification vendor would offer discount coupons that can be availed while checking out.
A great certification tool can create gamified workflows, add logic, performance criteria and allocate marks. Test-takers are only certified after they meet the benchmark set by the organization.
Remote Proctoring to Curb Online Cheating
The remote proctoring technology eliminates the need for invigilation. Secure browsers do not allow test-takers to navigate out of the test window or share screen. Meanwhile, auto-proctoring detects any suspicious activity like an additional person or device and flags the issues, thus creating a cheat-proof environment for certification.
Search for a certificate provider that allows you to retain your brand image by letting you customize the certificates as per your brand guidelines, themes, or colors. This contributes to your brand-building efforts.
A forecast by Global Workplace Analytics suggests that the pandemic will dramatically accelerate the WFH trend. By the end of 2021, around 30% of the workforce will work from home more than once a week. This calls for a proactive approach wherein organizations must put sustained efforts for continuous learning and development of their workforce. The remote working set-up situation urges employers to embrace work from anywhere as the norm. Irrespective of job functions and industries, it’s time for leaders and organizations to redesign their L&D programs to stay relevant now and in the post-COVID world.
The Mercer | Mettl Way
To meet the continuous learning and development needs of your workforce, Mettl Certify delivers companies with talent that is skilled in the latest tools and technologies needed to excel in their job now and in the future.
What Makes Us Unique
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) in India has mandated registration on the portal- The Databank - for all Independent Directors in the Board of Indian Companies. On the portal launched by MCA, the independent directors will be directed to an LMS, which includes a wide array of e-learning courses on various topics, including the Companies Act, securities laws, basic accountancy, board practices, board ethics and board effectiveness, etc. The directors are also required to clear a basic online proficiency self-assessment test provided by Mercer | Mettl, to complete the process.
There are currently more than 100,000 independent directors in India, and all of them will have to undergo the Mercer | Mettl certification. Individuals aspiring to become independent directors can register themselves on the government portal for certification. This responsibility and partnership with the government is a significant affirmation to the prowess of the Mercer | Mettl’s technology platform. It is a matter of great pleasure for us to be partnering with the Government of India for such a crucial move toward improving the corporate governance landscape in India.
Topics: Online Certification Software