Training employees, while necessary and beneficial, can be a huge financial burden on a company. The cost of training, coupled with the time it takes to bring a new employee up to speed on company software and other procedures, should make implementing a more effective approach to training a top priority for any organization. Fortunately, emerging technologies have improved the employee training process, and by leveraging these technologies, your organization can ultimately save time and money. The following are the top five training methods that leverage technology to their advantage:
1. Interactive Training Materials
In the not-too-distant past, employee training consisted of an instructor talking to a room full of employees. These days, however, technology has enabled employers to take advantage of interactive training materials that can assess a new employee's skills and adjust training material to match their level of expertise. Additionally, tools like training guides and handbooks can be turned into interactive e-books, where more specific educational components can be included (e.g., a detailed instructional video can be embedded within a training manual to further expand on educational topics).
2. Interactive Gaming
Gamification has become increasingly popular over the last few years and is now used in a variety of industries, from education to insurance. Its popularity has risen largely because of its ability to help organizations improve education and keep both customers and employees engaged. In addition, gamification can significantly improve the training experience by creating a healthy and competitive environment that keeps employees engaged in educational information they'll need to be successful. The interactive nature of gaming uses the benefits of immersion, which helps employees retain new concepts and processes better than just reading about it or listening to someone in a classroom.
3. Internal Wiki
Building an internal Wiki (or knowledge base) is a great way for organizations to maintain institutional and industry-specific information. Even better, internal wikis are most commonly user-generated, so employees can add information for their co-workers to use. This can be especially useful in industries where legislation changes frequently and employees need to be aware of current laws and regulations.
4. Company Social Platforms
While many businesses ban popular social networking access on company computers, the nature of social platforms can make a lot of sense for employee training purposes. An internal social network can allow employees within specific departments to collaborate quickly through instant messaging software, get feedback through company forums, and encourage more collaboration. This type of social connectivity can make it easier for new employees to tap into the experience and expertise of their colleagues to fill in the gaps that formal training may leave.
5. Just-in-Time Training
Thanks to smart phones, most people are connected to the Internet 24x7, which makes the idea of "just-in-time training" appealing to many employees who want to have access to instruction, without having to submit a help ticket or wait for assistance. Just-in-time training uses the "always-on" nature of connected mobile devices, so if an employee has a question about a specific issue, they can connect to a live trainer instantaneously through an app on their phone. These apps can often integrate with the phone’s native features (e.g., camera) to make diagnosing issues much simpler.