One of the hallmarks of your business is training. You need to train new hires to get them up-to-speed, continually train your existing employees on new industry developments, train those who want promotions so they are equipped for new positions, and train everyone as you add new products and services.
The training platform you use has a great deal to do with your business success. The better you train your employees, the easier they achieve successful transitions, and the better experience every customer or client has. But what does your training platform should look like?
If you have a collection of safety videos from the early 2000’s, an old dusty TV and DVD player in the back room where new hires watch them, then you might need an update. And if you are, instead, spending hundreds of man-hours to have trainers take time from their daily tasks to show new hires or promoted individuals the ropes, you’re simply throwing money away.
New technology means new training platforms and more training options. A recent development that is gaining ground quickly is a software-based system called learning management systems, or LMS. This allows companies to distribute content, track individual and team progress, and enables businesses to run reports and evaluate the learning progress.
1 The eLearning Revolution
Learning about management systems is a part of the eLearning revolution; it plays a key role in the movement toward more web-based distance education. Students and employees can engage with courses and training programs anywhere they have an internet connection and any time convenient for them.
This is beneficial, especially for companies that hire remote workers. Workers who work anywhere and on their own schedule can also learn anywhere using the same technology. This, of course, means that you will have to make course selections for your employees and perhaps even create your own virtual training programs.
Since these programs can be used over and over again, and even modified nearly instantaneously when changes are needed, the investment of time and effort will be well worth it in the long run. Embracing eLearning is just the first step in this process.
2 Virtual and Augmented Reality
No longer are the video and text the only ways to teach through distance learning. There are also options for augmented and virtual reality. Beyond gaming, these applications offer training tools that let employees work hands-on with certain materials and applications without ever leaving home. With the proper equipment, this can be an immersive experience, but even with a smartphone and high-speed internet, the experience is extremely worthwhile. Medical schools and other educational institutions are using this technology to give students hands-on experience while saving thousands in costs for equipment and other expenses.
An engine can be rebuilt, a factory explored, a situation experienced and evaluated all without leaving the comfort of your home or office. The only limitation is what you create in this medium or what others have created that you can use.
One way to train and motivate your staff is to gamify some things. This is something that has grown popular recently but now has been replaced with cautious optimism. Gamification works in some training and goal-oriented tasks but is not ideal for others. It works because of what gamers learn by playing online and how they apply that to training.
- Gamers Try New Things
- Gamers Ask their Community for Help
- Gamers See Completion as a Reward
- Leveling Up Produces Satisfaction
The problems with gamification come when things are too competitive in the workplace. Then it is often tempting for gamers to:
- Try to cheat the system.
- Sabotage other Competitors
- Resent those who win more often.
- Become interested in speed more than quality.
It is, therefore, vital to understanding how to design the game so that it emphasizes a spirit of teamwork and cooperation toward one common goal, and that competition is friendly, especially in the training environment.
However, the ideas of leveling up, solving problems, and working within a community all translate from gaming to training, and the practice can be useful in many cases. It can also be delivered remotely through an eLearning program, so it fits well with a learning management system.
4 Video Conferencing
While the video is not the end-all, be-all answer, it is a helpful tool for your next training program. While it is not always practical to meet in person with remote employees, video conferencing is often a great option. It allows you to answer questions and create a more personal learning experience.
This option can be part of some training program modules, having a face-to-face conversation and meeting to clear up any issues, determine what the employee needs next and on what level, and generally check in. Remote training is great, but you want the employee to feel you are available if needed, and a personal conversation reinforces that idea.
The technology behind this is better than ever, and video conferences can be conducted on several platforms including social media. Use all the tools at your disposal as part of your training program.
5 Bring Them In
Lastly, while it is not always possible to bring in remote employees for training, sometimes it is essential to gain a true grasp of operations. Train remotely when you can. Have a good learning management system and base it in eLearning systems, but don’t be afraid to spend the money to bring in remote workers when essential.
Remember, it is important that these workers feel valued and appreciated, just like local employees, and one way to do that is to invest in them from time to time and bring them in.
The next training platform for your business might not be what you think. Setting one up using modern technology to work both remotely and on-site will not only get you the best results, but it will earn you the respect and loyalty of your employees too.