The Benefits of E-Learning for Employee Training and Development

The National Research Business Institute found that 23 percent of the reason that employees leave their place of employment is due to the lack of development opportunities and training. This obviously affects the costs associated with losing talent, productivity, and recruitment expenses.

“The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”  – Henry Ford

The fact that learning and development is still a pressing issue is almost nonsensical. Companies, managers, employees, all have access to unlimited amount of information and can invest in learning management systems to help improve an employees skillset, even management decisions.
The benefits of e-learning for employee training and development are endless, but it’ll have to start with leadership to be proactive in getting a system that can address help employees grow. Here is how it can benefit a company:

Benefits of E-Learning

It’s an uber-competitive job market, and corporations are making the switch from hiring for experience to hiring people with growth mindsets. The reason being is that the world of work is progressing so fast, with all the new system and technologies out there, that it’s important to keep up with the competition.
We, as a society, have truly become a knowledge economy in every sense of the term. The majority of the work that we do is being done is for to incorporate human knowledge into machines. This fact has led to a rise in education tools for enterprises, leading us to have smarter, more innovative employees that are changing industries.
Having a knowledgeable group of employees and managers is a legitimate competitive advantage over other companies. You are embracing a growth mindset as an organization, and you are welcoming the exchange of information and proposal of new ideas; making you a more progressive and forward-thinking organization.
Aside from having a competitive advantage, studies found that companies that invest in training and development had increased employee loyalty. This stems from the employees feeling like the organization is investing in them — this decreases employee turnover and engagement.
The downside? If learning and development aren’t prioritized, employees will feel stagnant, making them feel disengaged. If you’d like to get a deeper understanding of why challenging an employee to learn new things is a good thing, here’s a simplified chart that explains how high skill and high challenge tasks create flow:
Finding flow and mastering new skills is one of the main benefits of focusing on training and development
See, if a person is not being tested, they’ll quickly get bored with their work; employers have the responsibility to assist their employees with developing their skills and give them challenging tasks that allow them to grow as employees and help the company solve complex problems.

How E-Learning Impacts Employee Engagement

Engaged employees drive innovation and push the organization forward. They will be the catalysts for change and help come up with new ideas for the organization.
When you invest in training and e-learning systems for these engaged employees, they’ll be able to improve processes, be more efficient, and obviously use the training to develop their skills, and hopefully, teach their peers.
This small investment pays dividends, as employees become both knowledgeable and happier.

How To Choose an E-Learning Program

Right now several companies offer learning platforms for enterprises.
On average, companies that have learning and development departments tend to spend about $100 a month, per employee, to help train their employees.
Before doing more research, I’d strongly recommend you read this by the folks over at Linkedin, as they make their case for E-Learning:

As far as budgeting goes, it’s worth spending a significant portion of an L&D budget on a learning management tool, but you should make the decision based off of the needs that you’re looking to address.
For employees, you should definitely invest in having e-learning tools that will primarily focus on developing their hard skills and helping them grow as workers.
For managers, it’s important that they focus on soft skills, as their interpersonal skills will be a big factor for the success of their department and their relationship with their employees.

E-learning to Train Employees

Right now, e-learning is being used to work on employees’ hard skills.
Services like Coursera, Skillshare, and hundreds of industry-specific learning tools (think Codeacademy) are being used to help people work on their skills.
When selecting an e-learning tool for an employee, think of their job description, the upcoming challenges that the business will face, and straight up ask your employees if they would be interested in learning the skill.
You can always customize a quick survey to see if there’s a skill or course that would benefit all the employees of a department and have them all take it together.
There are plenty of ways to approach an e-learning selection, but the main thing to do is just ask employees what they would like to learn, and as long as it has potential to help the company and department out, let them have at it.

E-learning to Train Managers

The type of e-learning tools that you should pick for managers should be one that has general management topics, to perfect their soft skills as leaders.
Management is obviously more reliant on soft skills, so teaching managers to handle rough situations and preparing them for the worst is probably best.
For example, Linkedin Learning’s management courses offer content around a wide variety of different management topics.
The next phase of Butterfly is to use artificial intelligence as a coaching tool for managers.
Right now, we serve as a pulse survey tool and have some content being pushed out to managers, but we intend on opening the floodgates and having content sent to managers as certain data trends from the pulse surveys start catching different trends.
Example: If employees, as a whole, are disgruntled and the data around employee happiness is trending downwards, we will proactively send a manager content (based off of the engagement sub driver) that addresses the issue at the office.

E-Learning Could Be The Future Of Executive Coaching

Right now, executive coaching is very niche. Companies hire independent consultants, or coaches, that come in and help executives or high-value employees to help gain self-awareness.
This is usually done through a lot of investigative work, 360-degree feedback, and the coaches act as a therapist of sorts, to find out what is making the executive stressed.
The future of executive coaching will be a bit more proactive than reactive. Instead of having to reach out to consultants to help an executive out, there will be enough data, through pulse surveys and cloud-based 360-degree surveys that’ll enable us to virtually coach high-level executives with content.
Right now, e-learning for executive coaching isn’t widely embraced, but if the success and rise of e-learning for managers and employees are indicative of anything, it’s that the next step of online learning is to teach executives how to run successful, transparent, employee-centric organizations.

Do You Believe in the Benefits of E-learning for Employee Training and Development?

Have you instituted an e-learning system at your office yet? If not, is it something that your company is looking to invest in? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below!

The Importance of Both Work-Life Balance and Employee Engagement

The modern day workplace is becoming people-centric, meaning that companies are putting more emphasis on improving things like work-life balance and employee engagement.
Why? There are two main reasons: one is that it affects a company’s bottom line; making a company more innovative, productive, and helping its bottom line. The other is the fact that modern-day employee is looking for a job that is fulfilling that can help them grow as people.
With all this, what feels like sudden change going on, is your company truly doing its best to adapt to the times? Sure, it might be tough to get new engagement and work-life balance initiatives going, but they can help your organization prosper. Here’s how and why you should look into it:

Why Work-Life Balance Is Important

Last year, France passed a law stating that companies with over 50 employees are required to guarantee employees a “right to disconnect” from their e-mails/work outside of their office hours.
The minister of labor, Myriam El Khomri, took note that employees are more connected during hours outside of the office and that there are no boundaries between personal and professional life — she went on to justify the new law by citing the country’s burnout, stress, and turnover problems as one of the main reasons why this law was needed.
Unless your country has laws set in place to encourage balance, it’s important, as an organization to make these changes. There are a lot of business reasons why starting work-life balance initiatives makes sense, but let’s start off with the primary factor of why it’s essential. The people.
Work-life balance affects the overall well-being of employees.
When an employee can balance things out with their work and life, they’ll be able to allot more times to their personal interests and needs. This makes people less susceptible to burnout, put more focus on the things that matter (both at work and in life), and lessens stress — allowing employees to be healthier, both mentally and physically.
Here’s a small video describing the benefits of balance:

Yes, some employees can focus on work-life balance around their company’s schedule, but employers are assisting with promoting balance.

Work-Life Balance Leads Increases Productivity

A survey conducted by the Corporate Executive Board, representing over 80% of Fortune 500 companies, found that employees that believe they have good work-life balance worked 21% harder than those who don’t after researching 50,000 global workers.
Another interesting point from that study is that the research found that “boosting workforce productivity doesn’t hinge on employees actually participating in the work-life services offered by their employer. Employees just need to be reassured that the service is there and they have the option to participate if they want to.”
There is a psychological effect that occurs when employees feel as if their company cares about their well-being. It leads them to work more efficiently and actually leads them to perform better. Here’s a quick presentation by the folks at Engage For Success that explains how:

As far as on the recruitment and retention side: it’s proven that 1 in 4 employees who don’t have the support of a work/life balance plan from their employer, plan to leave the company within the next two years.
All this data proves is one thing, that simply assisting employees with their lives improves their productivity and makes them want to stay at your company.

Initiatives To Help Employees Achieve Work-Life Balance

Technology companies are setting the bar high for work-life perks, and larger enterprises are (slowly) starting to follow suit.
Though some of the more progressive perks may not be able to work in most workplaces (ex: a lawyer isn’t going to be able to go to trial remotely … yet?), it’s still worth seeing what some of the companies that are rated some of the best places to work are doing to keep their employees happy.
Here are a couple of ways to help employees achieve work-life balance

  • Flexible Work Schedule
  • Remote Working
  • Unlimited Paid Time Off — trust me, it’s not as crazy as it seems.
  • Extended Paternal and Maternal leave
  • Wellness Stipends

There are dozens and dozens of other perks that an employer can offer in order to improve work-life balance and increase happiness and engagement; just make sure to keep it as simple as possible, give employees autonomy to complete their work, how they want.
Why is all this stuff important to begin with? It’s quite simple: to improve employee engagement.

Why Employee Engagement Important

Every now and then it’s easy to forget that employees will always be the lifeblood of an enterprise. They are going to help an organization come up with products, services, close sales, execute ideas, they literally keep the company running.
With this said, low employee engagement in a global problem, as over 70% of employees consider themselves to be disengaged. This is causing up to $450B in lost productivity in the U.S. alone.
Which begs the question: How come employee disengagement is still a problem and why aren’t companies doing anything to solve the problem?
Well, instituting a work-life balance policy is one major step in the right direction. Giving employees autonomy, balance, and having a transparent culture, makes them feel more engaged and improves their output.

Engaged Employees Influence the Bottom Line

The role of an HR department is going to evolve into something different within the coming years. They won’t just be focused on hiring and retention, they’ll blossom into a data-driven labor optimization department.
Why is that? Well, companies with high levels of employee engagement tend to improve their operating income by at least 20%. A lot of this information can come from employee pulse survey tools that can provide you with metrics and analytics on engagement, happiness, and productivity levels of your company.
A lot of tools, like, include customizable forms that’ll allow you to ask questions to help delve deeper into some of the problems within your organization:

There’s a reason companies like Google, Microsoft, and HP, are introducing design thinking and people analytics, to help improve their organization.  These companies are investing in their people, and seeing returns that are affecting their business, like increased productivity, profits, less turnover, and even improved absenteeism.

High Engagement’s Influences Creativity and Innovation

According to a study published by Gallup, 59% of engaged employees say that their job “brings out their most creative ideas.”  Of the surveyed employees who were disengaged only 3% said the same.
Of course, it doesn’t take a large study to find out that the happier an employee is, the more likely they are to be satisfied with their work and engaged enough to offer new ideas and suggestion.
Just remember one thing: engagement influences innovation and innovation influences engagement. If you have the type of environment that is collaborative, innovative, and transparent, you’ll able to have an engaged office, and vice versa.
So take a step in the right direction and offer work-life balance perks. It’s a major factor in improving employee engagement, and, as you’ve learned, a great way to improve your bottom-line and innovation.

What Are You Doing To Improve Work-Life Balance and Employee Engagement At Your Office?

Are you planning on implementing a work-life balance initiative/s to improve engagement? Let us know in the comments below, and we can provide some insights and help!

Culture’s Effect On Workplace Psychology

In 2011, the Financial Times released an important article that had helped reveal an interesting fact. Hedge funds and private equity firms weren’t just looking for new innovative companies — for research, they began looking at something more interesting: a company’s Glassdoor rating.
That’s right, Glassdoor is not just job seekers, analysts are looking at it as a way to find trends in hiring, growth, management stability, executive leadership, and company culture.
To put it frankly, having a good culture isn’t just a great way to get the best job-seekers, but it could add value to your business.
Improving the culture and shifting the psychology, or the dynamic, of your work environment isn’t an overnight thing, and it requires a deeper understanding of workplace psychology. Which is why we went in and did a bit research to help you manage your office a bit better. Here are some takeaways:

How Does Organizational Culture Play a Role in Workplace Psychology?

It is undeniable that the culture at the office influences the work environment, and it’s up to leadership to set the tone for how employees are going to be treated and how transparent they’ll be with them.
That’s right, managers have to be the ones that set a precedent and lead their office to have an engaging and positive atmosphere. More times than not, employees are just going to be riding the wave — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but, as having a good culture and engaging environment is good for business; it’s important to train managers to have a good management style that will create a good atmosphere.

Influences The Atmosphere

A great culture influences the atmosphere and is a driver for productivity and employee engagement.
Engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound bond with their company, not just that, but they help drive innovation forward.
A couple of tips to help managers improve the atmosphere:

  • Have managers focus on individuals over rules, policies, and procedures
  • Recognize employees for wins, big or small.
  • Remind employees that the work that they do is vital for the company/team’s growth
  • Start practicing more positive psychology

All these small steps will help you become a better manager, and start shifting the culture at your workplace.

Makes it Easier To Hire and Retain Talent

A positive atmosphere, a workplace that prides itself on getting things done,  and good leaders; will keep employees engaged, motivated, and it’ll retain employees
People leave managers, not companies. When managers aren’t doing a great job of motivating their employees, they will leave.
An ideal organization will make sure to focus on having good manager-employee relations, which is why they’ll invest in pulse survey tools in order to get constant feedback from their employees.
Retaining employees and keeping them engaged is important, but just as important is showcasing the atmosphere to potential new hires and job-seekers.
When hiring, go into an interview knowing that the person has already vetted your organization, and like most, they’ve probably read all the reviews about your company online.
For better or for worse, it’s your job to not only make sure that you pitch what it’s like to work for your company but what it takes to work there. The psychology, the motivation, the core values and mission of your organization should be an integral part of an interview.
To sum it up: the culture of your company is going to influence the psychology of your workplace; it’ll directly affect the atmosphere, the productivity, the retention, and the hiring of talented new employees. It’s up to you as a manager to start being proactive and do a lot of reflection on what can be done in order to make you and the people around you better.

Ways To Bring Positive Psychology To Your Workplace

There is a “trickle-down” effect when it comes to leadership, managers have to set the precedent and set a theme, or affirmation around what they want to push toward their employee.

A perfect example of trickle-down leadership is the story of Alcoa.

Before he was Secretary of the Treasury for the United States, Paul H. O’Neill was the CEO of Alcoa. During his first meeting, he didn’t talk about profit margins, no fancy presentations, his mission was to change the culture of the company by having one goal, making the company, an aluminum company, the safest place to work.
This affirmation — what would later become known as a “keystone habit” — became the internal mantra of the company. Everything that the company did; meetings, calls, having employee suggestion boxes, surveys, everything was done with the goal of creating the safest places to work. This one mission became so ingrained in the culture that employees and managers did whatever they could to look out for one another improved productivity and employee happiness.
As for Alcoa’s bottom-line? Within 5 years, the company’s profits hit record highs, and when O’Neill stepped down to retire, Alcoa’s annual net income was five times higher than when he started.
So what can you do to create this kind of similar change within your organization?

Have An Affirmation

Have one affirmation, or mantra, to tie your leadership goal with.
Like O’Neill’s safety affirmation, use something that people can get behind and strive toward. It doesn’t have to be too concrete, and it doesn’t even have to be a quantifiable metric. Just one goal that everyone in your department can get behind.

Ego Is The Enemy

Never claim employees’ success as your success. Give people all the praise and credit for their hard work and don’t make it about you.
True leaders should view organizational success as the main goal and be servants, as opposed to bosses.
And whether it is at work, or in your personal life, just remember that ego is the enemy:

Be A Courteous Leader

The average workplace of the information era is a bit destructive and has a lot of people wanting to prove that they know the best. This causes rifts between employees, managers, and leads to disengagement.
The best way to avoid having a “destructive” work environment is to make sure that you are leading by example and being courteous. Give credit to those that are doing outstanding work. Praise people for the jobs that they do. Be proactive and try to approach people about promotions or career advancement opportunities.
Managers have the opportunity to change the psychology of an office and get people invested in their businesses’ goals. Implementing these small changes to a work environment influences the company’s bottom line; so why not start working on improving your office today?

How Are You Improving The Culture At Your Office?

What are some things that you are doing to create a better environment and have more positive psychology within your workplace? Do you have any tips to give to other managers? Let us know in the comments below.

Butterfly Wins Award For Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

This past week the 2018 Devies was hosted at the Oakland Convention Center.
The ceremony, held annually during DeveloperWeek, celebrates the companies that are pushing boundaries in the tech scene. Previous winners include companies like Microsoft, IBM, Docusign, GitLab, and plenty of more.
To obtain a “Devie” you must have —

  1. Technology that garners press attention
  2. Be well-regarded by the developer community
  3. Be a leader in a sector for innovativeness

Out of the hundreds of companies that were nominated, we at Butterfly are extremely fortunate to have stood out and received recognition from our peers. We are glad to have won the award for Best Innovation in Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning.
Butterfly wins award for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the 2018 Devies
Developers are becoming key influencers in their companies because what technologies they use will matter more and more to their business’s operations. Butterfly is a great example of a new era of technologies that are empowering developers to have a greater impact on products and IT.” Said Geoff Domoracki, Founder of DeveloperWeek.
Though our company’s best days are in front of us we are glad to receive this recognition and we look forward to continue utilizing artificial intelligence in order to create better workplaces.
The features that we are working on releasing this year will improve the current product and also do a better job to help train managers and gather more feedback from employees in order to create a transparent workplace.
We look forward to building out Butterfly and continue using machine learning and AI to help solve issues in workplaces around the globe.
We hope that this is the beginning of more good things to come!

4 Leadership Trends Managers Should Embrace In 2018

The beginning of the year is a perfect time to review your processes, try new things out, and find what sticks.
As a leader within an organization, the constant need to improve should drive you to try new things that’ll help you be a better manager and member of a team.
We’ve done some research on some of the leadership trends that are taking the workforce by storm in order to help you out at your office. Here are a couple of small things that you can to do be a better leader this year.

Face-To-Face Communication

Fred Dust, CEO of Ideo, argued that face-to-face engagement is a dwindling art. He believes that the way we communicate with each other at work is unproductive, as it’s more talking at each other than with each other.
To make matters worse, we are now taking the easy route when communicating, as we’re opting to use emails, texts, or tools like Slack, to shoot out messages and “talk.” Though easy, it might not be as effective as simply going up to somebody to ask a question, make a request, or even settle a dispute.
The empathy shown when people communicate face-to-face allows people to bond, and the interactions help bring an understanding that people are aiming to reach the same goal.
There are a couple of other things that face-to-face chats help with, like:

  • Putting an end to “Cyber Miscommunication
  • Coming up with solutions faster
  • Enables more creativity between the two people.

Make time this year to chat with your employees, it can be about work, or it can be just getting to know them a bit more, whatever the case, just make sure to start a conversation and talk with them, not at them.

Running Effective Meetings

Unproductive meetings waste more than $37 Billion Per Year and the average employee spends over 4 hours a week just preparing for meetings.
As a leader, it’s your job to make sure that people are getting the most out of their meetings, so do your best to make them informative, brief, and productive for all the people attending.
The best thing you can do to run effective meetings is to set a goal for the meeting and sharing it with the team before the session starts (try to include it on the agenda). This will (hopefully) allow people to understand what the purpose of the meeting is and reach that common goal together.
A couple of other quick tips:

  • Keep meetings short — 30 minutes (maximum)
  • Only invite people that need to be there
  • Have a notetaker
  • Have the notetaker assign action items as you go

There are dozens of other ways to make meetings run better, but find what works for you and your team, and continue to improve on it.

Being More Transparent

There are three things that employees would like to have, job security, career advancement opportunities, and they’d want to work for a company that values transparency.
Transparency is nothing more than the exchange of trust between the employer and the employee, and having a culture of transparency creates more trust throughout the office.
As a leader, being more transparent with employees will enable you to not only have more trust from them, but it’ll help you communicate more efficiently and create a better office environment.
If you aren’t a transparent culture already you may want to do some research on a company like Buffer, who has perfected their transparent culture — So much so that they have a list of every single thing that they do, buy, read, and even their employees’ salary all available on the web.
In a speech given by their co-founder Leo Widrich, he says that a transparent culture not only improved the morale of the office, but people were so engaged and happy that it reflected on the product:
To sum it up, the more information that is spread with employees, the more devoted to the company/person they become. Consider sharing more information and letting employees know that they are an important part of why the company continues to grow.

Raise The Bar, But Embrace Failure

If you’re looking to improve, stop going after small, modest goals and aim to have big, fat, hairy, audacious goals. The value of going after big goals is worth the risk, as they make us stretch what we believe is possible and get us working harder to reach new heights.
Risk-averse organizations tend to go after modest goals and appear to be successful, whereas growth-oriented organization thrive off of having ambitious goals; as it allows them to find new, innovative ways to grow and learn.
The only trade-off: you’ll have to deal with the fact that you’re probably going to fail at hitting the goals you set.
So embrace the fact that you’re probably going to fail, and utilize an OKR/KPI system that will set the framework for hitting the goal. Then at the end of every quarter aim to have a retrospective meeting that’ll help you figure out how can things be improved moving forward and adapt accordingly.

Any Leadership Trends or Traits That We Missed?

Are you looking to be a better manager, leader, person, all the above? Leave us some of suggestions to becoming a better manager in the comment section below.
Would also recommend that you start the new year off right by downloading our e-book “Your First 50 Days,” as it highlights some of the things that you can do to improve as a manager. The best part is it’s absolutely free. Check it out by clicking here