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Are chatbots the future of corporate training?

By jake ellis | Dec 17, 2021

Are chatbots the future of corporate training? Cover Image

Chatbot-automated learning systems are bridging the gap between learners and content

Learning and development are an often overlooked part of business. It is important that corporate leaders have an accurate grasp of available training courses, but so often learning resource management can be seen as an inconvenience. No manager wishes to add the task of helping employees navigate through a wide portfolio of training resources and activities to their already expansive to-do list. As a result, employees sometimes miss out on the needed know-how simply because they don’t know the training resources exist.  Thankfully, this no longer needs to be the case. Instead of HR or line managers having to guide individuals through an extensive and lengthy training content portfolio, much of this work can be completed by bots. While chatbots are often seen as exclusively customer service-based, they have many more uses and one of those is to orchestrate employee training.

The market scope and potential of learning management systems is undoubtedly huge. In the last market estimate by McKinsey, their total market value was predicted to be $27 billion worldwide, with companies spending a total of $100 billion on training programs. After all, employers are all required to provide appropriate learning programs for employees and keep a record of their progress. This work has previously fallen on the shoulders of line managers but can now be intelligently tracked and recorded by chatbots.

Effective training leads to an efficient business

From a business perspective, the benefits of efficient and comprehensive training courses are unmistakable. Not only do employees know more about the business but they also learn new skill sets that directly impact the performance and progression of the company. Indeed, one investigation showed that leadership training provided an overall 20% increase in performance. Moreover, from a personal perspective, effective training programs are good for employee wellbeing. This shows that it is unquestionably worth the time to invest in a comprehensive learning management system. Using a chatbot for corporate training management further drives these efficiencies.

Matching learners to content is a big challenge that’s becoming ever more important

The no-mans-land between learners looking for training and the vast array of online content available to them is an area that can sap effort, investment, and energy from the best of management teams. While course content may be readily available, delivery of content ‘to the coalface’ is nowhere near as efficient as it needs to be in most businesses.

The existing learning infrastructure of many businesses cannot meet the demands that their workforce deserves. Instead of upskilling and providing due care and attention to their employees, the lack of resource allocation in training has created a gulf between learners and content. This has caused one report by Linkedin to conclude that 99% of Learning and Development professionals feel that the current skills gap will negatively impact their businesses.

Indeed, online courseware plays a vital role in business training and development programs these days.  Simply put, when there isn’t enough management time to go around, the only answer is to publish ‘serve yourself’ content and encourage learners to find it for themselves.  One study found that employees only received an average of 6-12 minutes of direct manager training every six months.

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Lagging perceptions of new technology

The technology that utilizes chatbots and AI to coach employees is already here. So what’s the hold-up? Part of the reason behind the slow adoption of more advanced training is that current perceptions have lagged behind the technology advances. Many companies often have a negative perception of not only the effectiveness of learning systems but also the use of chatbots more broadly. In just one study, 42% of businesses were actively looking to update their learning system. This builds upon another example which showed that 80% of businesses were found to provide a poor user experience with their current system. Their primary concerns centered around the control of the delivery of the program and the actual engagement of the employee in learning in the absence of a ‘coach’ chatbot. Thus the misconception is that employees will be less engaged and therefore less absorbent of the course content.

How can ‘coach’ chatbots assist in corporate training?

An essential part of any learning system is the role of coach chatbots to intelligently automate and curate training program content. Here, a coach chatbot can be used to guide an employee through a corporate training course and actively change the direction of the content based on the user’s understanding. Not only can coach bots respond intelligently to the user input using advanced natural language processing, but they also help the employee feel like they are not left alone in their training journey. Coach bots encourage learners to fully engage with an individually curated training program. This ensures that the training can take a place at a time that is convenient to the employee and the business, rather than dependent on the free time of the HR manager.

Coach chatbots guiding users through business training programs is just the tip of the iceberg. They can be used alongside quizzes to check understanding and incorporate a range of media and content delivery beyond that of a simple PowerPoint. As the user progresses through the training program, the bot can record and export their progress, providing managers with a dashboard overview of an entire cohort. It can intelligently collate this data to show insights into the relative completion rates and stages of training that the cohort has completed as a whole. This can help reduce the commitment and supervision needed by the manager to administer the training and open a whole new realm of flexibility and efficiency.

The rise of the coach bots is here. The technology to deliver greater efficiency, both company and personal wellbeing alongside the obvious time savings now await. It is time for us to grab it with both hands.

At INTNT, we know how a well-trained chatbot is key to securing customer trust and driving savings and efficiencies for any business. Contact us and let’s discuss how we can help.