Know-how And Behavioral Science Can Restore Nicely-Being At Work
A people-centered approach to learning about wellbeing
Adult education has been one of the most conservative and slowest changing sectors for many years. The way corporate training has been delivered to millions of people has remained pretty much the same over the past twenty years, resulting in low knowledge retention and low incentive to use that knowledge in both higher education and on-the-job training to use. It is only recently that behavioral research has opened doors to understand the role of the brain in taking over cognitions and in shaping changes in human behavior that is ultimately one of the outcomes expected from learning. In order to meet today’s urgent need to learn, managing our wellbeing requires a model that is based on “learning to learn” rather than simply imparting knowledge. When combined with technology, learning should be scalable and measurable. It must also relate to human touch and be smooth given the volatile human motivation.
According to KPMG’s Global CEO Outlook (2020), CEOs realized during the COVID crisis that the lack of suitable talent was the greatest risk to the future of their companies. The immediate actions focused on resources (often with less budget) and re-prioritization of learning content. The focus was on skills for overcoming the challenges due to the crisis, agility, self-management and employee motivation. These types of skills and behaviors need to have a different learning framework as they rely on harnessing human mental power to unlearn previous practices, create processes for self-management, and reduce our brain’s natural resistance to change.
Technologies that enable people to take better care of their mental resources are already available, but what companies want in these times is a more humane touch at work and a way to learn what is workable and produces sustainable results.
Technology and wellbeing
The idea of a clear separation between private and professional life is blurring with the outbreak of the pandemic and the shift towards a culture of working from home. Working from home may have excited some at first, but now long non-stop hours in front of the screen at home have significantly affected people’s wellbeing.
There are several ways that technology has contributed to our wellbeing. Some high tech devices like EMOTIV or meQuilibrium use artificial intelligence to study and analyze emotions so that they can be incorporated into organizations to monitor employee stress and develop a strong, resilient workforce. Company apps with data-driven platforms have seen the light to make individualized support accessible: Peerfit, LifeXT, Moodbit, BetterUp offer standard solutions that are geared towards the well-being in a company.
Most of the time, learning and wellbeing are low engaging. Fortunately, technology enables a more personalized approach according to the needs of employees, as there are individual technology-oriented wearables and applications like Fitbits, iWatch, Muse that indirectly track stress levels and serve as motivators and reminders of self-care. The enormous health awareness and the ability to track progress digitally have motivated people to lead a consistently healthy lifestyle and to work towards achieving personal goals.
Technology makes it easier to create support networks in the workplace. People can get involved via various technology-driven apps, network digitally, share challenges and progress. A touch of gamification also contributes to healthy competition among colleagues and can motivate them. The use of technology has helped individualize self-management learning, make it affordable, provide real-time insights into people’s progress, and create triggers for action to support expected behavior change.
On-the-job learning has taken a traditional path where technology helps scale but not always efficiency in adopting learning. Advances in brain research and psychology can help transform the way people learn.
Technology combined with brain research supports:
- Relevance and personalization of the learning experience
- Learning effectiveness on a granular level
- the immediate feedback loop on actions taken
- Tracking skills and psychological resources to carry out new behaviors
- Prediction of learning needs
- Expanding access to knowledge, either passively or from a real person
How using a brain-friendly learning method can improve the impact of technology
A neuroscientific learning process is about helping people create a process and set of triggers that can help them automate the use of new knowledge. Applying a behavior change and habit building methodology enables us to empower learners to stay on track in their learning path without relying on motivation to keep them going. In addition, it is about combining technology with a human touch and not just letting people go on their own journey, because individual support and feedback are an effective part of learning.
A modular, bite-sized approach to learning is an effective way to ensure that people:
- focuses on what they need to know for their respective goals at this point
- able to immediately apply what they have learned in real life
- not overwhelmed by unnecessary additional content
Learn new skills  To help employees self-manage their wellbeing and the need for self-actualization requires a change in learning methodology where developing new behaviors is the only evidence of success. Humans can only acquire these behaviors through consistent practice, personalization, continuous feedback, and measurement of progress. This is where a new learning model has its greatest impact and its potential to change not only individual learning, but also corporate culture. The biggest disruption in adult education that needs to take place is in the learning methodology. Technology is a vehicle for efficiently scaling learning.
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We help organizations measure and improve learning, performance and wellbeing through technology and behavioral science