Despite technology seeping into every pore of modern business and transforming the landscape, there are still organisations that haven't significantly changed or updated their onboarding processes. Traditional forms of training such as mentor-based learning and lectures, as well as early LMS modules and e-learning models are still somewhat of a standard today.
While such methods may barely work for small businesses due to a more hands-on approach, there’s a far higher margin of error for enterprises. Not only is such training limited in a large-scale company but more importantly, its content and timing are off the mark.
The need to rethink learning
Most managers fail to realise that employee training ROI reflects in various areas such as employee retention and engagement, even top talent recruitment. Even if they nominally understand the value of employee training programs, they are selling their company short by delivering a program that is neglected, ineffective, and/or irrelevant to a large degree.
In fact, it’s safe to say enterprises are trailing the speed of technological disruption, playing catch-up with new processes, integrations of new systems, and constant cloud-based innovations and updates. For the most part, the problem lies in the fact that many companies perceive training as an expense rather than an investment, especially when the headcount is measured in hundreds and thousands.
Delivering a continuously optimised employee training in a digital workplace requires a digital system itself; a step into digital adoption. It may sound cliché but digitisation of training methods is an absolute must if the aim is to have a program that is:
- Based on employee data and feedback
Why are these elements important?
Having an agile program means users are properly onboarded and have a firm grasp on the key features and functionalities needed for optimal performance. The majority of digital adoption platforms (DAPs) are designed with streamlined workflows in mind, automating specific parts of corporate training. As a result, users can be steered to processes, functions, and changes that are essential to their work during the onboarding and development process, all the while cutting down on training time on one side and increasing employee satisfaction and productivity on the other.
Sustainable employee experience
In this digital era, training and learning are one continuous activity, which can equally be thrilling and intimidating. There is always something new to learn. By promoting a well-aligned culture of adaptability through effective digital management, you will help trainees learn new things, make use of new tools and processes easily, and acquire the skills needed to bridge the existing gaps.
Unlike other traditional means, a digital adoption platform is able to adapt to different individual preferences and learning styles, offering different modes of learning on the way. More so than ever before, it’s critical for an enterprise to tap into the potential and inclinations of all types of learners with audio, video, textual, and interactive options to increase engagement. This will especially be important with Millennials and Generation Z employees who are en route to becoming the predominant working population in this decade.
On top of that, these types of platforms are growingly implementing user-friendly interface options such as step-by-step walkthroughs and detailed tooltips which positively affect both the content’s comprehension and user retention.
Perhaps the most important characteristic is tuning in to the specific context. Employee training is time-intensive and often there is a discrepancy between pages of information presented during training sessions and their real-time application. The intricacies of modern technology are best mitigated with a digital training solution that supports users with contextual information to anticipate their needs and offer role-specific guidance and engagement in real time.
Through its ability to analyse a wide range of context-sensitive factors and deliver personalised, real-time direction and support on enterprise software, contextual learning makes sure each trainee has all the necessary requirements at their disposal to get onboarded fast. It also stimulates continual training and re-learning, allowing users to exhibit their independent learning affinities as they complete different tasks.
A new approach to training
When talking about the future workplace, change is already happening. What’s more, it’s accelerating. The proliferation of cloud technology has led numerous companies to fast track the adoption of new digital tools in their quest for digital maturity. Employee workflow has dramatically shifted from the “old ways”, forcing managers to act now and acknowledge multiple and evolving scenarios. They must show the willingness to change in order to keep afloat with the changing workplace environment and the ongoing flow of new technology.
The future of employee training and development for enterprise is dynamic, and requires an equally dynamic solution to cater to evolving employee needs. Creating a more effective digital training means creating a structured onboarding operation that can save resources, lower employee time-to-competency, boost long-term knowledge retention, and generally make for a more attuned work environment. It’s time for organisations to start treating their workers’ proficiency and happiness as equal assets as the employees themselves.
Ralph Tkatchuk, freelance data security consultant and IT expert