Employees need answers - not just more learning content

By the Feathercap team
5 minute read

One of the last places employees go for job answers is their LMS/ LXP. Why? They first go to bosses, peers and even Google before the company learning system. Learning in the flow of work sounds great but the reality is people want answers not a link to a course when they have a question. 

Curiosity precedes learning.

Curiosity is always good. Psychologists tell us that curiosity not only leads to more engaged employees, regardless of cognitive ability but also drives knowledge attainment. It’s no surprise Google has done so well with everyone conditioned to getting immediate answers to their personal questions from any device. When it comes to our jobs, we all want to have the right answers immediately and at our disposal without having to ask a colleague or rummaging through silos of content. We’ve known instinctively and Degreed confirmed in their 2016 study that the path to curiosity starts with bosses then peers; with 69% of all first questions most employees have will go to bosses or mentors then the next 55% of all questions going to their peers. Only 28% of questions go to a companies learning system or source of on-demand learning. No one can argue the benefits of providing on-demand learning, but LMSs and LXPs are not favored as a solution to the many questions employees have. Their search capability is designed to not provide answers to queries but typically entire course or documents. 

 We’ve known for a long time rapid interaction is better.

Back in 1984, Educational Psychologist Benjamin Bloom was ahead of his time and posed a challenge right in the title of his research. “The 2 Sigma Problem: The Search for Methods of Group Instruction as Effective as One-to-One Tutoring”. He proved that one-on-one tutoring could produce up to two standard deviations – 2 sigma – of improvement to students learning a given subject versus those in a classroom. That means if they got a grade of 70% or a “C” previously while in a classroom setting they would get better than 90% or an “A” after learning the same subject from a one-on-one coaching approach. Bloom defined a “classroom” as a group of learners all receiving the same training without as much back and forth interaction as a one-on-one tutor. This is suspiciously like our existing workplace on demand courses and job related content approach to on the job learning.

From Bloom’s perspective, classroom and on demand content are static and generically built for an audience and on average only achieves 20% of the entire learner audience attaining highest achievement of presented material. Contrast this with Bloom’s 2 sigma improvement through one-on-one tutoring, enabling 80% of the entire learner audience attaining that highest achievement. A one-on-one tutoring approach yields 60% more of the learners achieving mastery. 

Today, the challenge for employees to get answers are due to lack of resources. Bosses and peers simply don’t have the time to answer all the questions they already get from employees. Though any interactions employees can get according to Bloom are invaluable, it just becomes harder for bosses and peers to have the time to accommodate all employees. This is why we’ve relied on on-demand learning systems to assist. Going forward, AI search players such as Moveworks or Coveo are flourishing. Even established players such as ServiceNow and Microsoft have jumped in. Connecting people to the exact answers they need is why we built Feathercap.

About Feathercap 

Feathercap connects people to the right job answers. We help everyone grow their curiosity, happiness and success so they are less likely to leave. Companies like Amgen, CVS Health, Old Spaghetti Factory have found using Feathercap has boosted their team’s productivity, retention and reduce’s everyone’s stress.  For more:


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