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Improved ways to train your staff using new technologies

New ways to train using new technologies

March 2014

Employee training—much like technology—continues to evolve at a rapid pace. The days of employees spending their day in a meeting room while a facilitator leads a workshop aren’t exactly over, but the ways that training can currently be dispensed and received are certainly paving the way to new and improved employee development programs.

The impact that technology has had on learning and training is quite staggering when you think about it. Many employees didn’t even have access to email as a work tool until the early 1990s. Flash-forward twenty years and it’s hard to imagine our lives without it. Back then it was a luxury to be able to exchange documents with a few clicks of the mouse.

The times, they are a changing
Today, advancements in technology afford us many more luxuries than just email; and it’s those very advancements that have not only changed the way we conduct business, but also how we teach and learn.

So, why should businesses embrace and leverage these changes in technology? First and foremost, technology allows businesses of all sizes to create more efficient and more relevant training for their employees. The one-size-fits-all approach to training is not only archaic, it’s also ineffective. Just like individual students in a school classroom, everyone in a business training environment learns in different ways and at different paces. 

Generation next
A good example of this is the makeup of today’s workforce. The influx of Generation Y (otherwise known as Millennials) means that there are far more tech-savvy employees than ever before. Not only do they probably know how to use much of the new technology on the market, they expect it to be used in all facets of their life. All-day training sessions in a conference room might not be the best way to reach this generation of employees. You’ll have to come up with fresh and exciting ways to get your message across and keep your audience engaged, and technology allows you to do just that.  

That’s why it’s never been more important to adapt training programs so that they’re relevant to all audiences and their varied styles of learning. Relevance refers to more than the content; it also refers to how this content is administered.

Here are a few ways that technology is changing the shape of employee training programs:

  • Web conferencing: Tools like HP Virtual Rooms allow businesses to conduct training, presentations and live meetings via the internet. These easy to set up, easy to use online meeting places give participants the opportunity to interact, ask questions and participate in real-time quizzes and polls.
  • Podcasts: The idea isn’t all that new—record an audio file to be played at the listener’s convenience. However, the delivery method of that audio file is relatively new and popular. Once the training session has been saved as an audio file, it can be stored on a variety of online delivery sites, allowing users to download the file to their computer, phone or MP3 player. The flexibility of podcasts means that employees can have access to training at different times depending on workload and availability.
  • Classroom control: Virtual learning is more than just classes and training sessions posted to a website. Virtual learning can also refer to the resources instructors and students can use to make the learning experience better and more personalized. HP Classroom Manager is one such resource. Through a simple dashboard, instructors are provided with access to individual users’ computers, allowing them to give feedback, monitor progress and keep everyone on task. It also allows the learner to interact with the trainer on a one-to-one basis.

Comprehensively training your employees gives your business a competitive edge in the current market. Today, small- and medium-sized businesses see more than cost savings from their training programs, they also reap the benefits of productivity gains and employees who are more engaged. Overall, with the help of technology, employee training can become more effective and enables improved adoption of new initiatives—no matter who your audience is.

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