When we discuss productivity issues with clients in the current climate, the context of the last four years is a recurring theme. Productivity shortfalls are commonly linked, at least in part, to the major shifts and adjustments we have witnessed in the workplace:
- 2021 was about adjusting to working from home and digitizing processes that were previously face-to-face.
- 2022 was about flexible and hybrid working – productivity in a personalized way that works for individuals.
- In 2023, many C-Suites questioned whether people are actually productive at home with incentives to return to the office and in some cases policies to limit remote working.
Many businesses made plans to call people back into the office, including Amazon, Disney, Black Rock and Apple according to a Business Insider 2023 list.1 Initial research from Stanford’s Institute for Economic Policy and Research indicates a 10%-20% decrease in productivity for fully remote workers (yet to be peer reviewed but food for thought for employers).2
For many businesses, when hybrid and remote workers return to the office, there are noticeable skills gaps that have emerged as a by-product of working from home.
That leads us nicely into 2024, where many employers are still grappling with these issues whilst also adjusting to an era of blisteringly fast-paced change – not least from generative AI.
This gives a strong and common focus for many businesses with regards to training – they want to train a workforce that maximizes productivity.
To achieve this, businesses are asking how they can achieve the following priorities in 2024:
- Cutting down on costly mistakes and inefficiencies
- Reskilling and upskilling employees to have the right skills and competencies
- Training the workforce in ways that maximize productivity
- Retention of skilled-up workers in order to meet KPIs
- Helping employees to be better and faster at their jobs, including best uses of AI
Reducing inefficiencies and mistakes
To be productive, the reduction of costly inefficiencies and common errors is a challenge as much as it is a priority. This has increased the demand for training that can reduce the time it takes to reach competence. Employers increasingly want to measure the performance of their workforce according to the depth and breadth of their knowledge. This impacts their individual contributions.
We often have these conversations with our professionals services clients. In this sector, managers want to know how many areas and in what depth a consultant can work across different areas. They are measured during their annual performance review on a set of skills that they need to achieve. This helps companies assign and deploy their staff in much more impactful ways that have measurable ROI. Rather than pigeon-holing new junior staff and then promoting them in a linear way, they are assigned to projects that maximize the full breadth of the skills they have and excel at.
This means that we work with employers to help them upskill employees in ways that make them much more deployable in much more impactful ways. It also means that they are happier in their roles, more likely to rise up the ranks and stay with the business – a retention that directly impacts the bottom line.
Working with a consultancy recently, we helped support a nearly 60% cut for in-person training time by providing training solutions that are time-efficient without having to compromise on scope of coverage in the content.
One skill area that many emerging business leaders have witnessed a decline in since COVID-19 is communication. This is something we have witnessed first hand, early in 2023, whilst observing new recruits who were sitting in a project team room for the first time. They were physically present and yet chatting to one another in digital chat rooms rather than face-to-face. There were clear skills gaps.
This requires training not just for competence but also for confidence. The ability to practice these skills remotely using simulation training adds enormous value to the trainee and the employer.
Lack of mentorship
With reduced travel and more remote meetings, the constant coaching and mentoring that naturally come with peer-to-peer contact has been diluted. This is where AI-powered coaching can bridge a gap in ways that have simply never been possible before. We will see a major advance in personalized coaching and training in 2024. Attensi is spearheading major advances in AI powered coaching and training.
These solutions also provide an excellent alternative to apprenticeships. This is especially useful in the current climate as different companies have different approaches to the working week with a wide variety of combinations of working remotely, hybrid working and office based roles. Regardless of the situation, the need for high quality coaching remains, but this may not be as readily available as before. Having this type of coaching available at your fingertips is ideal and it can be highly personalized to suit individual needs.
AI personalized training journeys
AI will be a transformative asset for all employers in 2024. Not only can co-author tools speed up their workforce and make them more productive, but they can be used to make much more impactful training, faster than ever before. Working with a consultancy recently, we reduced their training time from six days (on campus in their “university” training) to just two and a half days using our simulations.
Productivity is an open goal in 2024 for employers who know how to prioritize the right skills and competencies for a workforce that is engaged and motivated to thrive and enjoy their roles. Training that is personalized to the talents of the individual rather than the same linear pathways will be increasingly in demand because this type of strategic talent development leads to leaner, more productive teams with a positive impact on the bottom line.
Read more about how AI can elevate personalized learning journeys.
How can Attensi help to solve productivity issues?
Attensi solutions are scalable, measurable and can adapt immediately to your changing needs. They are also highly accessible and can be made available across multiple platforms and devices on a 24/7 basis with secure access systems. Our solutions are bespoke and tailored to your brand requirements including tone of voice (TOV). Users can repeat material as many times as they need to – catering for individual strengths and weaknesses to achieve mastery. The analytics tools enable you to track progress and measure KPIs.
Attensi is pioneering. It is a completely different world to the L&D providers you might be familiar with. We take the time to understand the needs of your business and we use cutting edge technology and world class expertise to help you achieve your goals. And – we have the data and analytics to prove it.