Author

Chloe Anthony-Pillai

Browsing

Training is an important part of an organisation. As without training and development, how can you expect your staff to grow and excel? If they are not growing then neither will your business. We scanned the internet for the best training stats out there. Now you can be assured that training is a worthwhile investment.

58% of workers prefer to learn at their own pace

This shows that employees want to be in control of their own development and learning. It’s important that your company uses a learning software that enables employees to take learning at their own pace. HowNow is an online platform.  This means your company can access their own online training school from anywhere and even through the mobile app.

Source: https://learning.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/learning/en-us/pdfs/linkedin-learning-workplace-learning-report-2018.pdf

94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development

Recruiting new staff is a very hefty cost that can impact a business. Not only does it cost the business financially but also slows down the productivity of your workforce.  If almost all staff surveyed are saying that professional development impacts their decision to stay then it’s a no-brainer.  Professional development requirements of employees must be met with training opportunities. It will not only lead to employee retention but it will also lead to increased productivity.

Source: https://learning.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/learning/en-us/pdfs/linkedin-learning-workplace-learning-report-2018.pdf

employee retention

56% of employees would spend more time learning if managers indicated which courses to take to improve or gain new skills.

This figure indicates that the majority of employees would love to develop further but lack the expertise to know what courses or skills to take to advance themselves further in their career.  You want your employees to smash their goals and meet their KPIs. Therefore, allocate appropriate training to ensure they have the skills needed to excel.

Source: https://learning.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/learning/en-us/pdfs/linkedin-learning-workplace-learning-report-2018.pdf

33% of companies surveyed would say that learning and development departments are critical to the success

If you see evidence like this, you can’t ignore it.  Professional development will not only motivate and engage your team but it will also contribute to your profit line. HowNow makes it easy for you to deliver engaging training to employees with live classes, gamification and assessments.   You can measure your employee’s engagement and progress by using a detailed analytics dashboard of their learning and progress.

Source: https://www.findcourses.co.uk/inspiration/read-uk-ld-report-2018-13589

34% of companies say that their learning and development is limited by budget.

There are many things that are likely fighting for a share of your budget. It’s important to analyse each investment even learning, to understand the returns and the overall impact on the company. Thankfully, HowNow is an online platform where you can host and deliver learning online.  This means your budget won’t be quite as stretched as if you were providing workshops and using an old learning management system.  HowNow has monthly plans and if you signed up for a year you will receive a 20% discount.  Without your employees your company would not grow,  after your product, they are the single most important contributor to growth.  So if you are going to invest your money anywhere then I’d say that your employees are a pretty good investment.

Source: Source: https://www.findcourses.co.uk/inspiration/read-uk-ld-report-2018-13589

employee engagment

70% agree that training can help people block out distractions.

It’s not easy concentrating at work, there are a million ways you can distract yourself. Surprisingly as it may be many employees believe that training can help limit distractions. Employees surveyed said they felt much more productive when provided with training and development opportunities. This may be because when they are learning, they are far more engaged in their work and producing the best work they can. Not having adequate training to take on your tasks leads to frustration and distracted.

Source:  https://research.udemy.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/FINAL-Udemy_2018_Workplace_Distraction_Report.pdf

42% of employees surveyed said they would be more engaged at work if they had access to learning new skills whenever needed

Just in Time training is a new phrase but at the heart of it, it means learning what you need when you need it.  It’s important that employees can access materials when they need them.  This may be a lesson or a collection of resources when the issues arises. There are many training modules that can be planned but sometimes when you are working new issues arises. Build out a library of content in your school where employees can find appropriate resources. This will enable them to move past the problem quicker.  Not knowing how to solve an issue can lead to distractions in the workplace and a drop in morale.

Source: https://research.udemy.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/FINAL-Udemy_2018_Workplace_Distraction_Report.pdf

 

Onboarding

Let’s start from the beginning where training first plays a role. The first experience of your company an employee has is the onboarding process. This is the first impression they get of the company from the inside, the first time they realise what a treat it will be to work for you.  Sadly this process is fairly boring for a lot of companies. The first few days/weeks of a new employee’s life at most companies involve sitting around doing nothing and feeling that they have so much to learn about their new job.

Most of the time they feel unsure how to bring themselves up to speed with the relevant processes and procedures.

Fear not! This is where HowNow could work it’s magic for you.  All you need to do is enrol your new employee to your online school powered by HowNow and invite them to your tailored onboarding course.

An onboarding course could save you a great deal of time and money. This is because you can ensure that new employees are up to speed from their first day. Another bonus is a reduction in costs associated with training; saving money on time and resources. You can ensure your courses are engaging and interactive by using the multiple content formats available on HowNow. This could be video, audio, quizzes, assessments or live classes to name a few.

New starter waiting for training

Health and Safety in the workplace

Sounds pretty boring doesn’t it, but we all need to do it. Although the training is fairly similar in most places, there are small details that differ that make it important to undertake. Better to be safe than sorry as they say! The chances are that your new employees have experienced similar training numerous times in their career. Therefore make sure it’s interactive and engaging so they don’t switch off.

Conduct a number of live classes within the organisation with various groups of people. You can be reassured that those employees are not sitting in the room sleeping with their eyes open.  A live class of say 9 people will allow the instructor to have a more personalised training experience with the learners. The instructor can engage the class with an interactive whiteboard, discussion and even put the learners on the spot with questions.

This kind of training is important to understand if employees have actually understood it, as it could affect the safety of themselves and others. So why not measure their intake of knowledge with a quiz or assessment. You will be able to monitor the employees to see who perhaps needs to revisit this training again as they have not understood it clearly. Guarantee all your employees pass with flying colours for a healthy and safe workplace environment.

health and safety training

Digital Skills Training

We have written a few articles on addressing the ‘Digital Skills Gap’ in your company which you may have read before in HR news and on our blog.  The ‘Digital Skills Gap’ can only be addressed with training. HowNow is all about empowering learning. We are constantly looking for ways to improve the learning and the knowledge sharing experience on our platform.

Use HowNow as a tool for upskilling your staff. Call upon someone within your organisation to who possess the correct digital skills to create a training course. This is a great way to empower employees and make them feel valued, whilst also sharing the great expertise they have in the business.

If you currently do not have anyone that is able to do this for you, then seek help elsewhere. Hiring an expert may be costly but the training material they create for your company will be invaluable as you share that knowledge with the rest of your organisation.

It’s worth noting that with Digital skills, they will constantly need to be updated and refreshed. This is so they fit in with the latest developments in tech and its impacts in the workplace. With HowNow, you can ensure that all your employees are kept up to date and refreshed with the latest developments – wherever they are

Digital Skills Training

 

Book a Demo today

HowNow is a wonderful platform ( well, of course, I am going to say this, but it really is).  The team is constantly working on wonderful ways to update the platform and to bring new and exciting features to our clients. If you have been thinking about HowNow and are not sure yet then let me run through our latest updates on our various plans.

 

Starter Plan:

So this plan is as little as £22 a month if you sign up for a year. Or £29 a month if you rather go monthly. So the updates you will see below will apply to all plans.

SSL

SSL- Your HowNow school on all plans now automatically comes with a Secure Site Certificate, so you don’t need to worry about buying them.

Unsplash Integration

You heard it here first, we have now integrated with Unsplash. So you can access a wealth of beautiful royalty free images to use in your online school, thanks to the generous photographers that contribute their imagery.

Custom URL For Private Bundles

If you want to send a special offer for one of your bundles to someone. You can now share a custom URL with them so they can access this private bundle.

Retakes

You can now decide if you want to enable your students to be able to retake their quiz if they didn’t perform so well the first time around.

Full-Screen Virtual Classroom

You can now full screen the virtual classroom. This gives you a full view of your whiteboard and a clearer view of your learners.

Trailer uploads

You can now upload video files as your trailer to your school, as well as links from Vimeo and YouTube.

Publish all lessons

We’ve saved you time, as now you can publish all your lessons at once rather than one by one. Create all of your lessons then preview how beautiful they look before you hit  ‘Publish all’.

Unsplash Intergration
Unsplash Integration.

Essentials Plan

The essentials plan is perfect if your business comprises of more than one person or if you are looking for more features. It is our most popular plan at £64 a month if you pay for a year or £79 if you pay monthly.  Here is a recent update that is only available on Essentials and above.

Live Classes and Webinars

We’ve tried to make things just a bit more convenient for you and to help with your scheduling. So, you can now choose to repeat webinars and live classes every fortnight.

Live classes
Live Classes and Webinars Scheduling

Growth and Enterprise plans

Growth plans offer you many wonderful features. Enterprise is the same as growth but with custom add-ons that we can build for you and quote you per additional add-on. We have many organisations in our growth plan as it allows them to have up to 30 instructors teaching in their school. Growth plans are only £239 a month if you pay yearly or £299 a month if you want to pay month by month. We find many organisations want to move on from growth as they grow and desire custom features.

Retakes

Similar to retaking quizzes, you can now decide if you want to enable your students to be able to retake their assessment if they didn’t perform so well the first time around.

Assessment Visible To Learners

Upon completing the assessments, learners can now see the answers they selected or wrote to the questions after submitting it.

Scorm/TinCan

HowNow is now compatible with SCORM/TinCan. This means you can now upload your SCORM/TinCan compatible courses into your online school.

Style your assessments

You can now get creative with your assessments, alter the size, colour and boldness of your questions.

Certificates

Don’t wait till the end. You can now reward your learners at different stages of the course.

Want to compare the plans? have a look at this image from our website below:

 

 

 

What is a Millennial?

A Millennial is someone that is born in the early 1980’s to the late 1990’s. As a customer segment, the Millennial generation can be defined by many characteristics and traits. Although these, of course, vary. There is research that has made ‘claims’ about how this generation thinks and behave. This could be vital to understanding what motivates and appeals to this generation. Millennials currently make up 40% of the workforce and will make up 75% of the workforce in the next 10 years according to Forbes.

Cater to a shorter attention span

It’s not that Millennials are lazy or unable to focus, it’s that our attention span has dropped. According to Microsoft it’s now down to an average of 8 seconds. The presence of technology in our daily lives and how much we use it has lead to information overload. This is why we can only hold our attention for 8 seconds. A survey by Gallup found that 71% of Millennials are disengaged with work, which might be the reason for so many people choosing to do short stints at companies in comparison to their parents. So if you want to keep your employees engaged it’s probably worth investigating microlearning.

Microlearning is the process of delivering small digestible bites of information through a training programme. This type of learning is far easier to process if one has a shorter attention span. HowNow encourages microlearning and the delivery of short digestible engaging content. This could be a 10-minute audio for your employees or a 4-minute video explaining an important company policy.  

Millennials watch

Flexible Learning

The Millennial workforce requires a different approach to talent management as their focus is on a better work-life balance. According to Recruitment International, 70% of this audience want flexible working options. With the Millennials projected to make up the majority of the workforce in the future, companies need to start catering to their learning needs.With HowNow , you can offer all your employees flexibility in their learning. We are an online company, which means that your employees can access the online training school you have created on our platform from anywhere.

We also have an app for both IOS and Android, which means that this tech-savvy generation can access their training material from anywhere and have the flexibility to learn on the go. By offering your employees the flexibility to access training material when and where they want, hey are likely to be far more engaged and enthusiastic to enrol themselves in your many training courses. NBC News found that employees are more engaged when given the flexibility around their working location and hours.

 

Engage through Gamification

The average Millennial would have played their fair share of games online (or on mobile) before they started working for you. The Millennial generation grew up with digital games where you are engrossed in advancing levels and received immediate verification of your progress and achievements. As a result of this, gamification is likely to be far more familiar and appealing to this generation. By offering a level of gamification in your training, you are not only appealing to the short attention span but also the desire for immediate feedback and verification of progression. With HowNow, you can reward your employees with badges for completing certain goals and modules of learning.

You can also create short fun quizzes to test the knowledge of your employees. These methods are a great way to engage Millennials. A short quiz lends itself to the desire for immediate feedback. Updating your talent management and training to also suit the needs of the Millennial generation that makes up your workforce will result in higher performing and motivated employees.

HowNow enables you to create engaging, interactive and accessible learning for your employees.  

Millennial workforce engaged through technology

Startup events are a great way to get your name out there as a startup. It’s great to meet other similar people, potential customers and even potential investors.  We have just run our first ever event on Tuesday this week called Founders@Work.  It was amazing fun.

If you want to watch the recorded live stream you can here. Make sure you skip ahead to 3 minutes 30 seconds.

We will run through why and how we did it and our advice and tips to you, for smashing your first ever event.

Startup event marekting
Founders at Work poster

What’s your aim?

Apart from getting your name out there, what do you want to achieve and promote? We wanted to promote startups and to be seen as the place ‘Where Learning Happens’ ( visit our website to learn more). Our business equips individuals or businesses with the ability to teach and share their expertise. Individuals use us as a way to monetize their knowledge through teaching online in their own branded online school. They can reach learners across the globe with a simple internet connection. Businesses use us for the same purpose to sell courses in their expertise or to offer internal training to staff. We built a product that meant online learning could be engaging, accessible and interactive. So it made sense for us to host an event where you are learning from experts. We want to promote learning and the sharing of knowledge. We want to be seen as the place ‘Where Learning Happens.’ That’s our aim.

What event concept will achieve this?

So if our aim is to promote learning and sharing of knowledge then our event should involve this. So we decided to host a panel discussion where our founder Nelson could ask other founders about their journey, experiences and advice. We felt a panel discussion was best as it was about sharing advice and having an open discussion rather than a presentation. During the founders panel discussion, it would allow people to delve into their experience and personal learnings while bouncing off other founders. We also decided a Q&A at the end was super important for involving the audience and making them feel they could connect better with the people on the panel who were inspiring them.

startup event
Great turn out at Founders at Work

Always add Networking opportunities

As we are all about promoting learning and sharing of knowledge there had to be an element of networking. However, networking is important regardless of what your business is about. If you are a startup then opportunities like this are vital to you finding other people going through the same thing. You might end up finding people to partner with or potential customers. You may also impress investors and have people knocking at your door who want to invest in your startup – that is never a bad thing. Networking allows you to share your business and your experience with others whilst also learning lots at the same time.

What other things do you need to think about?

Marketing

So how are you going to advertise your event and promote it? There are lots of great avenues for this.  Listing your event on somewhere like Eventbrite can be a great way to gain exposure and also look very professional. It’s free and will certainly make your event more discoverable.

So look at maximizing your social media channels and really drive excitement and engagement on these channels.  Make sure you link your Eventbrite page to all of these channels.

Instagram is a great platform to use if you have it. Make sure you do Instagram stories, and an Instagram post advertising your event with a direct link to the event page in your bio.

If you have Facebook – then through Eventbrite you can create a Facebook event which you can share on your branded Facebook page and invite people to attend.

If you have Twitter, then make sure you are posting about your event multiple times a week.

Other marketing options may include posters, paid or promoted social posts and word of mouth.

Other things to consider for your event:

  • Food and drink? Are you providing booze and light nibbles? ( this is often popular for evening events or putting out tea and coffee and pasties for morning events).
  • Music? Does the venue have background music – do you want background music? (We had Iamrisha DJ at our event, who works at Poplify. She played great background chilled out vibes during the networking stage).
  • Promo material? Are you going to use any pull-up banners or flyers?
  • Time? Morning, day or evening and how long do you expect it to go on for? (So we allowed for 30 mins of networking before the panel and then an hour of networking after the panel).
Startup event drinks
Popilify kindly sponsored our event by providing all of the drinks

 

Benefits of planning and launching a successful event

You will love it! Maybe not the lead up to it but afterwards you will look back and think Wow! It’s a wonderful way to get your company name out there, to meet other like minded people. That’s why it’s important to carry a business card so you can exchange them with people and, who knows you might collaborate or work together in the future. You may not build a number of sales from it but you will certainly increase your reputation and awareness. Especially if your attendees are tagging all of their images from the night with your branded social tags. Capturing content is key during any event, as it’s content you can use for the following month. The content can demonstrate how successful your first event was. So when we say content, we mean anything from interviews, videos, quotes, photos, boomerangs etc.  Good luck with your first event! Do let us know how it goes and invite us! We would love to come and support fellow startups!

Here is a little bit about the companies that supported us

Poplify is a leading digital consultancy that helps forward thinking people realise their organisation’s growth potential by designing, building and scaling innovative digital businesses.

Mindspace is a great co-working space offering a creative environment for small businesses and individuals looking to hot desk.

 

Other articles you may like:

Content Marketing for small businesses

How to teach online with HowNow in a day

Free social tools for your business

I love Disney films, I am an adult but I am a child at heart. I am not entirely sure why I love them, it could be the optimism of the film or  the clever animation. It could also be the great story and it’s well thought out characters.  There is something unique about these set of films that are able to appeal to audiences of all ages. They teach audiences a lesson in something. Whether you realize it or not when you walk out of that film you have learnt something. It may only dawn on you later, it may reinforce a belief you already had. However, the key is it taught you something that will stick with you. As you read on I will point out some of the lessons you can learn and apply to you’ll own teachings from the way in which Disney has taught you.

What are some lessons they have taught you from their movies?

I am sure you will see many articles on the lessons learnt from Disney and Pixar movies like this one on Buzzfeed. So let’s have a look at some of the lessons they have taught us.

Dumbo: What makes you different also makes you incredible

Focusing on what you are, accepting what you have and choosing to celebrate it. I think how this is told is by getting the audience to feel empathy for the elephant, and display all the emotions that a child would exhibit when trying to fit in. The power of telling this lesson was connecting you an existing emotional idea you may have seen or experienced at a young age

Mulan: You have to go through a lot before people realise how much you’re worth


This is a great lesson, as it teaches, you the art of perseverance, determination and acceptance of challenges. The main character is forced to pretend to be a man in order to serve in the army.  She accepts the challenge of being a women, accepts she will not be accepted immediately. However, she continues to work hard anyway. How do they drive this lesson home to us? This film draws you in through association- you know the struggles of women and therefore you immediately feel invested in her story. You are also seeing her development and growth through the eyes of other characters. This reinforces the effort she is going through and the little people appreciate her at first.

Inside Out: Accept your emotions and understand we need a mix to be balanced

Inside Out was a critically acclaimed film that many critics and parents leap for joy at. It taught children and adults about their emotions and the roles they play. The role of emotions and how we should respond to them is very very complex.  And yet the film was able to draw a number of lessons about how one should feel. How on earth did they do this?  Well they broke it down, they personified the emotions of the brain as if they were people. Breaking down this complex idea into bite sized chunks/characters made it digestible to the audience, so they were eventually able to build up those small pieces of knowledge into a bigger picture.

 

So how can you apply this to your own teaching?

I am currently reading a book called Creativity, Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration. It is by Wallace and Edwin Catmul ( the current president of Disney and Pixar). It has helped answer some very interesting questions I had on writing, watching compelling stories. In this book they walk through their process of creating the story and the process of making the lesson ( the arch of the story) understable and engaging with the audience. This is how teaching should work too.

jacket illustration: © Disney • Pixar

In the examples above we have seen some different techniques for ensuring the audience is able to take this lesson away. Aside from the wonderful story they took you through to learn it there are other techniques which were used. They used a number of techniques such as:

 

Connecting the lesson you are teaching to a memory or experience.

This can be achieved through trying to give your learners an explanation of what you are trying to teach in a way that might connect with them. So encourage them to share memories or experiences that you can relate your teachings to as an example

Making the lesson relevant to cultural or historical events that your audience will be aware of.

You can accomplish this through looking at what you are teaching, then finding relevant current topics or historical moments in which you can tie your lesson too.

Breaking a large complex idea down into bite sized chunks that you can spend time on before sewing them together to form the larger picture.

This is especially important if you are teaching a complex idea of topic.  One way to do this is to break it down into lessons which can be any size if you are teaching online

If you’re interested in further teaching examples you might enjoy these:

Lessons from Ads

How to teach yourself your job

Does music impact our ability to learn more

 

 

.

 

You may be starting a new job or maybe you have been given a great deal more responsibility in your current role. Working at a startup is quite different to working for a large corporate organisation. You often have to learn on the job, teaching yourself and developing your skills independently. So, here I will share with you the best ways to teach yourself your job.  Also how to self train and develop yourself further. If you work in a small business then formal training might not be available and if you work in a startup then you certainly have to teach yourself.

Ask Questions

Ok, so it may sound fairly obvious, but many people shy away from questions in case they are deemed incapable. If you work in a startup/small business any good business leader will encourage it. I would say anytime is a good time to ask questions although my school teachers would certainly disagree.  If you have been given a project and don’t understand something, or if you are unsure – ask away. If you  don’t understand the direction of things – ask away. Maybe you don’t know how to do something  – ask away. The worst case, and I have had these a few times, is the answer is ‘I don’t know, research it’. Which is fine, it just means that they currently don’t possess that knowledge either.

Google is your friend ( other search engines are available). Ask away- now when you ask try to be specific about what you want to know as that way you will get the best articles and sources of knowledge. So, for example, don’t ask “how do I measure performance on social? ” but instead “what are the key performance indicators on twitter that your audience is engaged with?”

What do you mean picture

Have a go – best way to teach yourself

Literally the first three months of my job was all about trial and error. It is the best way to learn. It’s better to fail early and learn what you did wrong then cruise by for months and learn lessons too late. So if this means you need to go back to your boss and say: look I am going to try this, that is ok. Say it may fail, but we need to find out what works, just explain that in order to learn what is needed. You will have to try a lot of things to discover what works.

If you are working in a startup/ small business they will understand it’s important to embrace risk early on. The bigger you grow the more difficult risk becomes. It can feel disheartening to try so many things and to see so little progress. However, trial and error suits if you need to teach yourself your job because there is no formal training.  It’s the best way to test out the things you have read or watched or heard.

We have tried many campaigns that didn’t work, that I had put hours into but they taught us vital lessons. If you are worried about the amount of failure you will encounter then have an honest chat with your boss. Outline exactly what you want to try and what the possible outcomes could be. Then after your ‘tests’ sit down and discuss your learning. You can not be seen as damaging the business if your failed tests are providing the business with vital lessons for the future. Obviously, before you try something make sure you do a bit of research so you’re not just doing it off-the-fly.

Man discussing ideas with woman

Be Proactive

The best way to get better at your job quicker is to be proactive in your desire to learn. So this could be a range of things, from doing your own research to attending events and taking courses.  I was overwhelmed by the number of things I didn’t know and my team didn’t have the answers.  My proactive approach led me to listening to relevant podcasts on the tube to work. I  enrolled myself in a course on Hootsuite to teach myself more about social media marketing and I read a lot,  around different areas.

Events are also a great thing to attend, you can network, learn more and get a fresh perspective on something you might be struggling with.  I am often looking for free events to attend that are in London and are on topic areas related to my job. As you don’t have an official path of progression, it can be difficult to find training that will aid you in your development. Therefore, seek out courses you can take or events you can attend.  Your boss will be pleased you are taking charge of your own development. Most of the time they will be happy to fund this depending on the need of the business and the relevance to your role.

be proactive- Take a course to teach yourself

Join communities in your field

Through joining a community you are going to learn a lot from each other and teach yourself a lot in the process. This could be direct helpful comments,  relevant articles/ podcasts or courses. Some of the communities that I joined were looking at Facebook groups.  I was also building up a base Twitter users who post relevant content regularly and realised that this was a great source of knowledge not only for our audience but also for myself. Depending on your role you might find that networking events and attending them regularly is a great way to discuss practices, tips and tricks.

Teach yourself by meeting new people

 

 

Music oh sweet music. What are the chances you are actually listening to something right now? Pretty high? Music plays a massive role in our life! The average spotify user listens to 148 mins of music a day! But did you know the role it can play on learning?

Does music improve learning?

Many of you may listen to or have listened to something before while studying for an exam, revising or maybe completing a long essay. It is a heavily debated topic as to whether music actually improves learning and increases the intake of information. Many articles have been written laying claim that it can alter the brain’s processing to process more information and help implant it into your memory.

“Music activates both the left and right brain at the same time, and the activation of both hemispheres can maximize learning and improve memory,” says Dr. Masha Godkin

However, there is also a lot of articles saying it actually doesn’t help and it could worsen leaning.  The reason they think it will worsen the learning process is because it will actually distract you from focusing on what you should be doing.  In this articles they discuss how in order to learn and retain information we often need to be absent of distractions. They beleive the best environments to learn are those that are silent and quite.

 

Mozart Effect

 

We don’t know  if it helps or hinders. There has not been enough research conducted and it’s also a difficult thing to measure. There is arguments that the myths of being able to learn better when listening to music came about because the Mozart effect. The Mozart effect is a term referring to the results of a study done in 1993 which claimed that “listening to Mozart‘s music may induce a short-term improvement on the performance of certain kinds of mental tasks known as “spatial-temporal reasoning;”[1]”.

If you’re going to listen to something what should you listen too?

It’s interesting to think that music could actually aid in your study and learning efforts. So if you personally like listening to something while learning and you find it works for you – what’s the advice?

So the general advice is classical is the best option as it could increase our mood and productivity. There has been research and many people including myself have felt the calming effect of classical music and it’s soothing notes. Advice of what not to listen to appears to be anything that is going to excite you. Also anything that has a beat, that  gets you dancing and tapping your feet. Also nothing that is super lyric heavy or you will be singing to your heart’s content.

Does music that relax you help?

There are a great deal of relaxing melodies and study playlists on YouTube which are a combination of gentle sounds and nature. A study by Health found that listening to nature sounds actually increased the physical and mental signs of relaxation, which in turn increases the your chance of learning. There has been new evidence in the study which looks closely at how the brain’s working memory functions when it’s exposed to different stimuli that relaxes it such as music. This is because if you are more relaxed you are likely to take in more information. “Our research shows that when memory-related neurons are well coordinated to theta waves during the learning process, memories are stronger,” said Adam Mamelak, a neurosurgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The jury is still out on the effect of music and learning.  It’s fair to say that relaxation and focus is important. If you find that music does help you, you  are probably in a better state of mind to absorb information. It seems at the moment that everyone is different so keep doing what you find works for you.

How can you use music in your teaching?

If you are an educator/ teacher/course creator who and looking for a way to teach online. Then help your students by offering them varying  content types with HowNow. 

So if you teach music- music is pretty much a compulsory part of your lesson. However, if you teach something like financial management and  you  want to incorporate  this in because you really think it will help – by all means do. How? Well let’s say there are parts of your  course that are less engaging such as reading through some theory. You can upload an audio file for the learner to listen to while reading the text. This way, for those that think they learn better with music, have recommended music by you and for those that prefer silence can take this option. Your learners will be grateful and impressed you are trying to suit multiple learner types by giving them the extra resources to learn in the way they prefer.

To create your own online school, check out  HowNow.

 

You might also be interested in:

5 Pros to video based learning

Free tools to produce professional content for your online courses

5 Steps to start teaching on HowNow in a day

 

You may have heard,  we’re in a crisis and that it’s something that needs to be addressed immediately, but you may not know what it is still? Well rest assured, we are going to explain what it is and what it all means for you as an employee or an employer. Continue reading as we navigate this jargon minefield to reveal what you need to do next.

What is it?

So essentially the Digital Skills Gap refers to two things. First, is  the term that has been used for the lack of employees in the workforce that are currently lacking many of the vital digital skills. These skills are needed to ensure their companies are at the forefront of change and development.  Secondly it refers to the lack of trained people ( graduates, appretnices and school leavers) coming into the workforce. These newcomers also don’t posses the digital skills to take themselves and their companies forward.

There is a lack of knowledge and people skilled in this area to fill the increasingly growing positions. This is an issue is because there is an increasing demand for tech in our lives. This results in  many industries moving towards a digital space.  So in order to progress we need to have staff who are trained or experienced enough to  take the company to the next level.

Wider implications of this?

Companies that are failing to train or posses the digital skills needed for growth impact the economy. The reason so many people are calling for immediate action is that it directly affects economic growth. We have now reached a point where digital skills are not just desirable but essential for survival.

 

How does it impact me as an employee?

90% of new jobs require digital skills to some level. So for employees it means those that can gain or posses digital skills will be more highly sought after. If you are looking to advance your career and  want to get ahead then their are a few things you can do. First of all look at the industry you work in and evaluate the skills you might need to have for the future. If you’re looking for a new job then look at the skills your desired job is looking for. Then take it upon yourself to up skill yourself so you can fill these gaps. Here are a few places that provide online digital skills courses:

How does it impact me as an employer

The good news, is there are a lot of simple things you can do to address the digital skills gap in your workforce and prepare them for the future. First of all try and establish the skills you are missing.   The following material might be of interest for different sectors

A lack of these crucial  skills means you won’t grow as fast. While these are great reading material, you want to take action. You need to take action and pretty soon, to avoid being left behind.

72% of big companies are suffering tech skill gaps in the UK. You need to up skill your staff through providing extra training especially in the digital skills gap. HowNow is a great platform you can use to host your training. It’s the perfect space to host interactive, engaging training that your staff can easily access anywhere with an internet connection or even access on their mobile through the HowNow app.

The Human Resources department should put more budget into training your staff.  Give staff the incentive to take up training within the digital skills space. As the future of industries change, you need to be adaptable and so do your staff.   Keep up to date with the trends and make sure you are offering or at least supporting the right training for your staff.

Attracting the right talent with the right skills for future is all about making your current staff happy. If your current staff feel valued and happy then they are going to recomend your company and be your company advocates when they know you are looking for new hires. 55% of job seekers would move to another job if they feel their current employer is not fulfilling their desire to keep their digital skills current. So make sure you are providing regular training and training is something you celebrate and shout about. Check out HowNow for a software platform that can host all your training material to educate and up-skill employees.

For more on:

Feel free to sign up for our newsletter if you want to be notified when we post a new blog post or follow us on social for more great content.

Advertising (ads) is part of a business marketing strategy and it plays a crucial role in that marketing plan. Although in recent years more people are turning to content marketing for their main strategy as consumers are getting put off pushy advertising campaigns that annoy consumers more than anything.

However,  it’s important that when you do advertise, you really make people stop and think and you are demonstrating your product in the best possible way while making that ad engaging and memorable. There are some great examples of this you may have seen in similar round up articles, but here are perhaps less famous ads ( due to them being a smaller brand)  that really hit the nail on the head.

 

Rescue Remedy

First of all if you didn’t know what recuse remedy was you do now. Their product’s aim to is to give you a little support and help calm you down to take a moment when you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed or anxious.  There ad, does just this. It is not only an excellent way to inform  you of their product but it actually helps you take that moment, just by reading their ad.

I am sure you are well aware of mindfulness and meditation that is gripping the nation as a coping mechanism of busy lives. There ad gives you a little does of mindfulness- forcing you to focus on your breath. Also the placement of the ad is excellent as it can be seen on tubes and trains through London – which is where you are most likely to find stressed commuters.

What can you learn?

Can you use your ad to be practical and helpful while also being informative?

Stabilo Boss Highlighter Pen

Stabilo Boss have produced an incredible ad here. Again it’s simple and get’s straight to the point.  Think about it – what is  a highlighter’s purpose? To make something stand out, to draw attention to something important, something vital. Or in this case someone vital. In this remarkable ad, they have highlighted ( literally) a very important women called Katherine Johnson who’s math’s calculations were one of the main reasons for Apollo’s 11 safe return to earth.

What can you learn?

Convey simply what your product does and connect it to an emotional or key reference point that people can identify with.

 

SunSmart 

How do you advertise and raise awareness of skin issues as a sun care skincare charity while also impacting people immediately? That is exactly what SunSmart Australia did with their bus stop ad. They realize only scaring people and alarming people to the dangers of the sun was futile unless you could get them to engage immediately and do something that would make a positive difference.  There bus stop ad, raises the awareness of sun damage on the skin while sowing you how simple it can be to protect yourself and that you could start now. Offering free suncream increases the levels of engaging and awareness people take from what would of been just a bus stop poster.

What can you learn?

How can you make your Ad actionable? Is there something you can do to make sure the consumer engages directly and takes an immediate action.