The basic principle of training and development, or corporate training per se, has not changed much over time. It revolves around the idea of honing the skills of employees and increasing their productivity and effectiveness by providing them with the knowledge and opportunities to maneuver new technologies.
However, with new technologies emerging every day, the way in which companies deliver training to their staff has evolved over time. Also, the new learning and development techniques adapt to the needs of the employees to provide the maximum Return on Investment (ROI), thanks to the studies about how people learn.
The new technological innovations in the training space have significantly reduced disengagement and tackled the problems related to time. The emerging techs have enabled organizations to take a holistic approach to train their workforce, covering every staff member. The eLearning technologies also enable self-paced learning for individuals so that they can enhance their skills at the comfort of their own chosen venue and time.
Now that we understand that technology is revolutionizing the field of training and development, let’s take a glance at the need for technology in training. We will follow it up with the ways modern innovations are impacting learning and development.
Why Do We Need Technology in Training?
The professional development of the workforce is crucial to business growth. Skilled and productive employees help an organization to achieve company goals, retain clients, and stay competitive. However, the old ‘stand-and-deliver’ methods, which proves to be exhausting and tedious for employees many a time, can result in disengagement and decreased retention of attention.
Therefore, technological advancements are bringing in the much needed fresh air and a new life to corporate learning, offering new corporate training capabilities. New instructional methods also align to the goals of the company apart from allowing the organization to customize and design the modules based on their training needs.
The best thing that technology brought to the learning and development space is online training that leverages the Internet and the web. Online training is not restricted to a specific location or time. Learners can train themselves anytime and anywhere they have an Internet connection.
This also saves the company from spending a hefty cost, in terms of money and time, as it does not have to bear the expenditure of arranging a venue or a classroom plus online training does not block the employees from performing their daily job-related tasks.
Moreover, with the evolution of the field of Instructional Design, technology-enabled learning can prove to be an effective tool when the lessons are drafted according to instructional design principles. Additionally, the use of an automated learning management system (LMS) allow enterprises to monitor employee performance and evaluate the training effectively. New technologies also enable employees to get hands-on experience on simulated real-life scenarios and apply their newly acquired skill to address them.
Another reason to emphasize the need for technology in corporate training is leveraging the scale and scope of employee training programs. When it comes to training multiple employees, technology offers innumerable options for employee accessibility on comparatively low-cost.
How Has Technology Changed Corporate Training?
Now with the understanding of why we need technology for corporate training, let’s check out the ways technology has impacted corporate training:
Learning as a Personal Experience
Earlier, corporate training happened to be a group activity, but technology has allowed it to become a one-to-one affair. Technological innovations have enabled leveraging techniques like podcasts, online learning, screen capture, etc. to train employees on their responsibilities and how to accomplish them.
With eLearning, particularly video training and live virtual classroom (LVC) training, technology has transformed learning into a personal experience. Today, employees can utilize digital tools instead of attending a tedious classroom training session. With online training, employees can also have access to the training materials whenever they wish, they can also rewind and look back on the course to ensure they fully comprehended a particular concept.
Communication and Records Management
Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) that enables administering data entry and tracking details like payrolls, etc. by Human Resource departments, also allows organizations to keep track of employee performance, personal growth, and goals.
This facilitates effective evaluation of training methods and helps an organization to analyze and understand whether a particular training has yielded desired results or not. Technology also allows maintaining an effective communication system so that the completion of a training session can be tracked and plans for future L&D programs can be developed efficiently.
Some of the aspects of workforce training and development that can be tracked by a management system like HRIS are:
- Attendance and PTO use
- Performance development plans
- Training received
- Disciplinary action received
- Personal employee information
- Management and key employee succession plans
- High potential employee identification
The more engaged employees are in their training, the better they will learn and the better they will implement their knowledge. The e-learning technology industry has matured with time to deliver effective and engaging corporate training opportunities.
With modern technologies, people can just find the information that they are looking for exactly within minutes. People, today, spend less time looking at something and this impacted the technological evolution of video training, which is now packaged in a way that they contain key learning points in a compact format so that employees can grasp them quickly.
The use of technology to learn, interact socially and communicate formally and informally is a prevalent method among the working population. Today, organizations also include game-based learning applications and mobile learning as accepted training delivery systems to drive engagement and ensure that employees are receptive to the training content.
Benefits Employees and Organizations
Leveraging latest technology-enabled training capabilities maximizes available training resources and delivers benefits to both employees and the organizations. Technology offers ease of use, learning retention, dissemination of information, the ability to reinforce learning, employee training convenience and a reduced impact on productivity.
Training games or game-based instructions have been proven to provide faster and easier information delivery, yielding higher test scores and lasting retention. Interactive training apps, based on game-play mode, also offer consistent instructional quality and comes at a significantly lower cost.
While technology has impacted the evolution of corporate training techniques significantly, it is not a replacement but an addition to the prevalent employee training and development processes. Building a world-class employee training and development program, in modern times, requires the best of both worlds.
Training and Development is a continuous task to keep an entire organization well-tuned. There are various ways to accomplish your organization’s training needs. However, the best way to deliver an effective training to every staff member requires integration of instructor-led classroom training with technology-based training, along with objective employee assessments techniques and evaluation methods to measure training outcomes.