E-learning is not new, not by a long shot. In the last decade it has become a ubiquitous method of educating, training, and teaching within and outside of organizations. However, lately I have come across a lot of people who seem to misunderstand what e-learning is all about. Many are using e-learning as simply a way to publish and share material over the web. If this sounds like your application of e-learning, then you’re missing on the real benefits of the concept.
What e-learning essentially is interactive learning material – two-way education with input and feedback between the teaching software and the learner. This is different from self-educated learning from electronic documents where the learner simply reads information or watches media and attempts to glean education from it. I believe that to truly have an effective e-learning solution, it needs to embrace three concepts: education, communication, and collaboration.
Studies have shown that audio and visual tools better engage the learner and this should be an essential part of an e-learning solution. The latest technologies, such as HTML5, Flash, Silverlight, have made great strides in e-learning by transforming content into audio, video, and animated effects. To help educate, an e-learning solution should have user feedback features such as tests and quizzes that automatically generate graphs and reports to help the learner track their progress.
Learning is never one-sided, a teacher or educator needs to be in touch with their students and understand how they are progressing.I believe interactive features that allow learners to ask experts online greatly benefits the learning process.Users should be able to view and register for events on a calendar and receive interactive reminders and alerts that keep everyone on the same page.
Learners not only can benefit from instructor feedback, but from each other through information discovering and sharing. An effective e-learning solution should have collaboration features to enable user-to-user communication and collaboration. For example, users should be able to upload and share content and communicate through email or a messaging system. I’ve noticed users greatly benefiting from e-learning solutions that integrate social media networks like YouTube and Facebook where they can upload and share content.
If you’re going to implement an e-learning solution (and I believe every business, regardless of size, should), then why not use one that offers the complete package of education, communication, and collaboration?
Achieving Stress-Free Work Environment in an IT organization
Stress and work have a paradoxical relationship. Stress at workplace is a big obstacle in business growth. Today IT organizations are increasingly facing this grave challenge on how to keep a stress-free work environment. At AllianceTek, we gauged and analyzed different facets of stress situations in the workplace and implemented significant steps in order to create a stress-free workspace.
Implications of Work-Related Stress
First, we must know that stress is not an illness, but a temporary mental state where a person feels pressurized due to unpleasant and unmanageable circumstances.
Some amount of stress is associated almost with any work irrespective of sector, organization or job role and is positive for the people and organization both to achieve their goals. On the contrary, excessive and continued work stress has its negative implications which results in higher attrition rate, employee dissatisfaction, employee health issues, lower productivity which ultimately impacts organization growth.
The Root Cause of Stress
Generally, work-related stress in IT industry occur due to reasons like,
- Excessive work pressure.
- Working outside their skillset resulting into inability to perform.
- Lack of clarity of roles.
- Unhealthy working atmosphere.
- Career growth.
- Fear of getting fired.
All this leads to the feeling of incompetence in performing the given job role among employees.
Building a Stress-Free Workplace:
A better workplace is built up with a structured work process, better incentives and increased employee work satisfaction. In order to create a stress-free workplace, IT organizations can adopt changes like,
- Establishing clarity of roles and responsibilities.
- Tasks should be allocated based on their skills.
- Team, as well as, individual performance appreciation is a good motivation factor.
- Effective communication is the key to resolve many issues.
- Feasibility of CFT (Cross-Functional Team) should be checked.
- Effective management & team co-ordination through implementation of agile development methodology.
Policies that help create a stress-free work environment in an IT company:
California Media recommends below steps to any IT organization in order to create a stress-free work environment. By implementing below steps California Media has significantly reduced workplace stress.
- Paid time relaxation, so that employees can freshen up and spend time with their family after working under continuous stress to meet client deadlines
- Flexible working hours or work from home facility that encourages efficiency and motivates employees to perform their best.
- Motivational perks such as performance incentive, gift vouchers, etc.
- Social activities such as get-together, picnics, etc. along with work.
- Monthly knowledge sharing sessions to keep employees skills updated.
- Team hang-outs to improve relationship and gelling among team
- Frequent and effective communication between employee and management
- Competitive compensation package as per market slabs which helps employee in career growth
Apart from the above, there are other benefits that help the organization to gain better employee retention. The implementation can cost higher but it can provide a better ROI and improved productivity.
- Providing social support and implementing programs that assist employees with workplace, personal and health problems.
- Female employees can be incentivized with a financial assistance and child care leaves with on-going employment.
- Allow employees to take out time to volunteer in communities can highly motivate them.
- Employees on medical leaves can be provided with decent compensation. Providing work assistance or delegating the tasks in their absence is also a good idea.