By Madhukar Govindaraju , Founder & CEO

Remember the time when Artificial Intelligence was just a futuristic technology meant to be movie material? Today, AI is a mainstream technology driving almost all online interactions. As AI-driven everything becomes an enterprise staple, it becomes natural to extend the power of this technology to the learning and development department to drive powerful and contextual initiatives that deliver tangible results.

Here are a few reasons why AI is the future of coaching

Battle Information asymmetry

Until recently, coaches have worked on the principle of information asymmetry – a place where they have more information than the learners. However, the world of work is no longer holding the same avatar as a decade back. The enterprise is now a living, breathing organism that is evolving each day…and with this, its needs are evolving and changing.

Given the market forces and disruption at play, the rise of the remote workforce, gig economy and distributed teams, and rising competition, information asymmetry has to reduce to drive better coaching outcomes.

While coaches will have better coaching information, that information has to be relevant and contextual to the learner. For this, it is as important to have accurate and precise information regarding the learner and clarity on their learning needs. 

At the same time, the learners have to be aware of where their learning and coaching needs lie, how these efforts translate into progress, and how that helps them progress in their job roles.

AI-enabled coaching platforms help battle this information asymmetry by providing deep and accurate insights that help build a better understanding of how to drive coaching outcomes. They can help organizations drive phenomenal business results by identifying accurate coaching needs and powering better coaching conversations.  

Smart coach-learner pairing

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”.

While this is a good philosophy to go by, in the enterprise context this doesn’t hold water. 

With constant change becoming a staple, enterprises need to increase their agility and flexibility to adapt to change. The role of critical skills such as communication and collaboration are also becoming more pronounced owing to the rise of remote working. 

A sharp focus on reskilling, upskilling, and associated learning and development activities become natural outcomes of this climate of change. However, to drive elevated coaching outcomes, it is imperative to have the right coach-learner pairing. After all, this determines the quality of coaching conversations.

Read: Power your Upskilling Initiatives with Coaching

While organizations realize the importance of the right coach-learner pairing, many still rely on archaic guesswork to enable this. Unless the pairing is right, the learning interactions and the engagement is not going to be impactful and will be unable to drive powerful results.

An AI-enabled platform alleviates this concern and makes it easier for organizations to drive transformational coaching programs. Such a platform uses advanced technology to make the right coach-learner pairings taking the learning needs and other variables at play. This approach makes it possible for enterprises to pair the right coach with the right learner, and make sure that enablement reaches their workforce when they need it.

Build a thriving internal coaching culture

The number one HR priority for most organizations this year is to create an internal coaching culture to drive organizational and employee agility. Skill development initiatives have to become more future-focused and dynamic. These initiatives have to ensure that employees develop the right skills at the right time and contribute to the development of a robust leadership pipeline.

Integrating coaching in the workplace culture is the only way to achieve goals while driving lasting change. However, to create the right coaching culture, enterprises have to replace guesswork with accurate data to identify the current and future needs of their workforce.

An AI-enabled coaching platform gives enterprises the capacity to identify potential coaches from their internal employees and assess their skill sets versus coaching needs. Using this knowledge, organizations can create an army of internal coaches and build a thriving internal coaching culture.

Drive performance management with coaching

The days of the end-of-year annual review are behind us. The millennials and Gen Z (the dominant workforce demographic) need timely and action-oriented feedback at regular intervals. Whether it is to identify performance gaps proactively or to identify new skill development opportunities to augment career paths, organizations now need to make feedback a proactive mechanism.

Read: Coaching Strategies for Millennials and Gen Z

Optimizing performance management systems to help accurately identify top performers and high potential employees are also organizational prerogatives. Data-backed insights into both technical and critical skill sets are essential to drive organizational outcomes by ensuring that employees are on the right upskilling, reskilling, or critical skill enhancement trajectory.  

An AI-enabled coaching platform helps to drive performance management with coaching and optimizes coaching interactions by providing timely and contextual nudges. The technology also gives organizations the insights they need to identify their high-potential employees and top performers and assess who should be moved into the leadership pipeline to make it more robust and vibrant.

Manage the diversity chasm

Organizations with diverse teams outperform non-diverse teams by 35%. 

Diversity is the enabler of innovation and creativity and a factor that builds empathy into the teams’ fabric. To reap the benefits of diversity, these policies have to align directly with organizational goals.

Read: The Critical Piece to Drive Successful Enterprise Diversity Initiatives

However, strong coaching programs are essential to drive diversity initiatives and to make sure that they stick. For this, it is essential to make the right coach-learner pairing, assess where diversity initiatives are lacking, identify exact skill areas that employees need help with, and develop critical skills like empathy that link back directly to diversity.

But how do organizations make sure that they are not linking their diversity initiatives to become mere affinity programs within organizations? Employing an AI-enabled coaching platform can help organizations build their diversity initiatives by creating transformational relationships that elevate the intellect by addressing relevant and contextual concerns and challenges.

Finally, and perhaps, most importantly, an AI-driven coaching platform helps organizations build contextual and relevant coaching programs by providing clear insights into performance gaps. With clear insights, organizations can jumpstart relevant company-wide coaching programs, provide actionable insights into skills development, performance, employee engagement, and much more. With overall enterprise transformational insights, an AI-powered platform helps organizations proactively identify and add new skills to address their growing needs.

Connect with our team of experts to see how our AI-enabled coaching platform can help you drive better learning outcomes and power your employee engagement and employee experience initiatives.

By Varnika Garg, Product Leader Intern

According to a research conducted by Hubspot, 69% of employees working in the US say they would work harder if they were better engaged and appreciated. That is how crucial employee engagement and retention have become in today’s time. Especially with the current pandemic and the shift to WFH, companies must invest more time and effort in acknowledging and connecting to their employees to keep them motivated and happy.

Surveys are a great tool when it comes to systemizing user input to amplify the business output. Managers are often struggling to identify the key factors behind dissatisfied employees. Here, surveys act as pulse checks to assess employee “happiness levels” and thereby increase morale by conducting fun events, understanding best practices and giving incentives to support the employees and keep them integrated. They specifically help in measuring and monitoring engagement among employees or to solve unanswered questions on employee skill gaps.

Surveys have many conventional uses, but Numly breaks the norms by using them rather differently. Numly’s AI-enabled coaching platform – ‘NumlyEngage’ uses surveys in a variety of ways to get insights on experiences, skills and to drive engagement between coaches and mentees. 

Ever thought you could be a coach to your colleague or a friend at the workplace? And how to even know about that? 

NumlyEngage utilizes various types of surveys such as pulse surveys, employee engagement surveys, surveys for programs, and many upcoming aspects like fun surveys.

How Numly uses them

NumlyEngage incorporates these surveys to quantify and measure the skill level of employees. Based on the data gathered from them, the platform’s in-built gamification model defines a healthy ratio of coaches and mentees, with a coach being a mentor who can guide another colleague who is weak a particular skill and a mentee being someone who needs guidance and mentorship to pick up that skill. The platform even lets the mentee get connected to external coaches who are very proficient in their fields.

AI-enabled technology

With the upskilling of employees becoming the need of the hour, NumlyEngage’s surveys are designed to track employees’ hard and soft skills gap. The platform uses its AI-powered algorithm to then map and recommend upskilling programs out of an extensive list to enroll and learn from. It not only recommends the programs but also provides the right analytics around them and tracks their progress as well.

These surveys include a powerful set of questions mapped to various skills, are backed by a user-friendly mechanism and can also be leveraged as ready-to-use templates for various programs. Cleverly integrated into the platform, these surveys will help establish a link to all the important elements of the product and will provide just the necessary metrics a manager needs to help his employees stay motivated and focus on their growth via learning and development.

What’s new?

People often tend to synonymize surveys to be “boring” and “time consuming”. Numly plans to launch a series of “fun surveys” which are short, light-hearted, and add just the right amount of fun to the time spent on the platform. They are designed to ensure that employees do not find their platform interactions monotonous and are motivated to continue their learning and coaching journey with their network. NumlyEngage will automatically guide the employee journey on the platform with the help of AI-generated nurture touchpoints, which are specifically designed to increase interactions and scale up the engagement levels.

Takeaways

In a nutshell, Numly has made use of surveys to extract critical information at various business process stages that clearly define the gaps in employee engagement and skill development. Regular surveys and check-ins can help organizations keep their employees engaged, stay aware of potential communication problems and gaps, and provide recommendations to enable seamless workflows. Well thought out and delivered surveys can really change the game by giving managers the necessary insights on employee data which may not be visible otherwise and can help dive deep into the employee psychology to best meet their needs and aspirations for career development.

By Divyanshu Kulkarni, Product Leader Intern

Keeping customers engaged when they visit a website, platform or tool is one of the biggest challenges for companies. With the trends shifting towards “AI” and the “Internet of Things (IoT)”, the humanization of the digitalized world is becoming more accepted. Chatbots are now commonly used in order to facilitate and smoothen the interactions between machines and humans.

Today, with the growth of sophisticated AI/ML technologies, chatbots are becoming more and more capable of human interactions. Their ever-growing popularity is proof that they make life easier for everybody.

NumlyTM offers an AI-enabled, employee coaching and engagement skill development solution for enterprises. Its AI-enhanced platform, NumlyEngageTM, enables coaching as an extension of eLearning, making it possible for organizations to tap into employees’ hard and soft skills and enable them to coach each other in a structured manner, while leveraging third-party learning content, external expert coaches and built-in coaching programs tailored for all corporate functional groups such as Sales, Customer Success, and R&D/Engineering.

NumlyEngage’s in-built algorithm helps define internal Jedi-coach pairings, wherein the Coach helps the Jedi to master the necessary skills, under various pre-packaged coaching programs.

Numly Inc. has developed its own chatbot a.k.a. BobotTM which is armed with a powerful AL/ML backend to guide the users on how to navigate through the NumlyEngage platform. The self-learning chatbot will guide users when they sign up for coaching programs by pushing them to undertake coaching interactions, view learning videos and undertake surveys.

BobotTM has been specifically designed to facilitate ease of use of the platform and using its resources efficiently, ensuring a hassle-free experience all the way for users.

It has some very interesting features –

Product Navigation:

  • BobotTM will help the user navigate through the platfrom, customized to his/her access as a Jedi, Coach, Manager, or a Program Admin.
  • The chatbot will suggest the steps that the user should undertake once they initially login and with the help of pattern recognition, it will learn what each user needs as they progress and accordingly suggest the next steps in their journey fo engagement and skill development.

Catering to User Requests:

  • If they user asks, “How do I get promoted?”, Bobot will pull the current designation of the user and the designation that he desires into account to suggest the next steps.
  • The chatbot will pull the “16 Personality Factor” report of the user to determine his/her strengths and weaknesses. It will cross reference it with the skills needed to reach his/her desired designation and voila, the relevant skills to be worked upon to get promoted are sent to the user. The user can then use the platform’s database of questions, mapped to the defined skills, to start interacting with their chosen coaches.

Guidance:

  • As the user undertakes a coaching program, Bobot will guide him/her through each step of the process in an orderly manner.
  • Whatever task the user chooses, it will guide him/her in real-time, ensuring the best and the most efficient utilization of the user’s time

Notifications:

  • Bobot will facilitate interactions on the platform by sending notifications to the user to push for the follow up steps. For example, if the Jedi has completed his/her task on a skill but has not received a feedback from his/her Coach, the Bobot will guide the Jedi with the following notification – “”Hey! Seems like your coach has been busy. Why don’t you send a follow up request?”
  • Let us say the Coach has been busy and missed out on sending the feedback to his/her Jedi, the Bobot will wait for a specific period and then automatically remind the Coach with the following message – “Hey there! Seems like you missed a feedback request from Mr. A, your Jedi. Please send your valuable feedback to him so that he can proceed in his learnings.”

The Bobot has been developed with the objective to guide the users on their coaching journey on the NumlyEngage platfrom and to facilitate an efficient user experience tailored for each user with the aid of powerful AI/ML technologies. Its self-learning model will keep learning and improving, thus creating a hassle-free experience.

There are several more attractive upcoming features for Bobot. Keep an eye out for our updates!

By Madhukar Govindaraju, Founder & CEO

With commitment, loyalty, greater productivity, and lesser attrition being some of the by-products of having engaged employees, it is no surprise why employee engagement has taken center stage for a lot of companies. 

However, with engagement levels standing only at 30% worldwide, organizations have to take a close look at things they need to do to change this figure. 

Amongst other things, one of the key drivers of engagement is the presence of shared values. It can be easy to think of shared values and company values as interchangeable terms. However, they are not. 

Company values are related to an organization’s central approach to its overarching mission and values. Shared values, on the other hand, are the set of values that help employees relate to one another and ensure that they share common work principles and attitudes with their co-workers. 

Having shared values builds a sense of shared interest in the success of the organization and reflects how the personal values of an employee align with their work and the organization as a whole. 

But how do shared values drive employee engagement?

Don’t force it 

Organizations cannot force shared values. Neither should they try to do so. What organizations can do instead is to create a culture that helps foster deep connections at work. To achieve shared values, organizations have to look for ways to build meaningful connections between employees and the company vision. 

However, the company vision is a large, all-encompassing concept. To create a sense of shared values, this vision has to be tied to small, achievable goals for the employees to make it a part of the day-to-day experience. It is also essential to recognize the employees who accomplish these goals and help them stay motivated, committed, and accountable to this cause. 

Establish clear communication 

With enterprises today having interconnected functional departments, employee actions have a direct impact on their peers, especially as frequent change becomes a norm. Organizations have to help employees understand the importance of company values and ensure that their actions align with these.

A single session on company values conducted during the onboarding exercise is not enough. It is essential to not place the burden of aligning with the value system solely on the shoulders of the employee. Communicating these values clearly and how they are translated into the day-to-day procedural operations are essential to drive shared values across the organization. Hence, this has to be a continuous process. 

Build the bridge 

Today’s workforce, especially the millennials and Gen Z, have different motivations and expectations from their workplace. There is a high focus on purpose. They want to know how they are contributing to the larger picture. They want to see how their work matters. They want to see the value the organization is bringing into their lives. 

To have shared values and vision, organizations have to communicate how the organizational vision and values align with this workforce. They also have to identify where the gaps in the shared values are and build the bridges to close this gap. By identifying issues related to shared values within the organization with information relevant to the employees, organizations can gather relevant insights. After all, we can only manage what we can measure. 

Leverage coaching to foster connections

Organizations that want to develop shared values and vision also lean heavily on coaching and mentorship. This is especially relevant in the presence of a multi-generational workforce of today. Mentorship unveils how shared values matter. It helps employees understand how their role contributes to the bigger picture. It helps them decide how they can enhance their career goals in alignment with organizational goals. It also assists in reinforcing meaningful connections with all across the organizations by impacting attitudes and behaviors positively.

Shared values cannot be achieved in a day-long training program. Understanding shared values and learning how to employ them in everyday activities builds meaningful connections. This also leads to stronger social connections at work. And research shows us how strong social connections and productivity are directly related to one another.  

Employees who build these connections and connectedness with their colleagues are more likely to stay loyal to the organizations and more committed towards their work. They will also be willing to put in more discretionary effort because they understand why work matters. It solves the conundrum of purpose, something that millennials value heavily. And by doing all this, it helps in driving engagement at work and gives legitimacy to the statement, ‘engaged employees are driven by shared values and vision’. Because engagement, after all, is an emotional commitment to the organizational goals.

We have to accept that employee engagement is not rocket science. Neither is it magic. It is a craft that is created using trust, and this trust engenders loyalty. Clearly, employee engagement is not a destination but a journey. Shared values and vision are the vehicles with which it becomes infinitely easier to navigate this journey. 

With NumlyEngage™, we offer a next-gen employee engagement platform that provides a structured approach to soft skills development by bridging people and connections. NumlyEngage™ drives consistent and multi-touch interactions that are continuously scaled and nurtured by AI. Would you like to see NumlyEngage™ in action? Connect with us for a demo.